history

Wilhelm Schickard and his Calculating Clock

Wilhelm Schickard and his Calculating Clock

On October 23, 1635, German astronomer and mathematician Wilhelm Schickard, who constructed the very first mechanical calculator, passed away. His famous calculator was able to perform additions and subtractions. For more complicated operations, it provided so-called Napier bones, named after the Scottish mathematician John Napier,[1] who came up with the idea of logarithms. Although it is widely believed that the first mechanical calculating device was created by the French mathematician Blaise Pascal in…
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Finally, Goethe Got Married – The Story of Christiane Vulpius

Finally, Goethe Got Married – The Story of Christiane Vulpius

On October 19, 1806, the famous German writer, artist, and politician, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe,[1] finally got married with his mistress Christiane Vulpius after having lived together quasi-maritally since 1788, to the scandal of the ladies of Weimar and the vexation of Bettine von Arnim.[2] Christiane Vulpius’ Family Background Christiane Vulpius came from a poor family. Her father Johann Friedrich Vulpius, official archivist in Weimar, i.e. file copyist, had studied law for several…
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The Knights Templar and their Most Inglorious End

The Knights Templar and their Most Inglorious End

On Friday, October 13, 1307, King Philip IV of France ordered the Knights Templar grandmaster Jacques de Molay and scores of other French Templars to be simultaneously arrested under the accusation of various heredities. It is said that this very date sometimes spuriously is linked with the origin of the Friday the 13th superstition, because it was the beginning of the end of the powerful Knights Templar. The Origins of the Knights…
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Black Thursday – The Wall Street Crash of 1929

Black Thursday – The Wall Street Crash of 1929

The Wall Street Crash of 1929, also known as the Great Crash and the Stock Market Crash of 1929, began in late October 1929 and was the most devastating stock market crash in the history of the United States. The crash signaled the beginning of the 10-year Great Depression that affected all Western industrialized countries, in Germany also referred to as the “Weltwirtschaftskrise“. The optimism and financial gains of the Wall Street…
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In Xanadu did Kublai Khan a Stately Pleasure-Dome Decree

In Xanadu did Kublai Khan a Stately Pleasure-Dome Decree

On September 23, 1215 AD Kublai Khan, the second son of Tolui and Sorghaghtani Beki, and a grandson of Genghis Khan, was born. Considering the Mongol Empire at that time as a whole, his realm reached from the Pacific to the Black Sea, from Siberia to modern day Afghanistan – one fifth of the world‘s inhabited land area. Kublai’s Way to Power Although the prince had Chinese educators and advisors, he still lived…
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Hoist the Sails! The Mayflower and its Journey to the new World…

Hoist the Sails! The Mayflower and its Journey to the new World…

On September 16, 1620, the famous transport ship Mayflower started its first voyage to the new world with English and Dutch separatists on board and arriving Plymouth, Massachusetts in the same year. The ship has become a cultural icon in the history of the United States. On board of the 170 ton Dutch cargo ship were a total of 102 passengers and an additional number of 30 crew members. They all were curious…
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To Preserve a Copy of each printed Book – The German National Library

To Preserve a Copy of each printed Book – The German National Library

On September 2, 1916 the opening of the ‘Deutsche Bücherei’, i.e. the German National Library, was celebrated. Founded already in 1912, the German National Library has the task of preserving at least one copy of every book in print in Germany starting 1913. Today, almost every country has a national library for the preservation of its literary cultural heritage. A national library is a library specifically established by the government of a…
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The Still Unsolved Case of Jack the Ripper

The Still Unsolved Case of Jack the Ripper

On August 31, 1888, the mutilated body of Mary Ann Nichols was found in Whitechapel, London. Her death has been attributed to the notorious unidentified serial killer Jack the Ripper and was part of a series of eleven murders that took place between 3 April 1888 and 13 February 1891 in Whitechapel and the neighbouring districts of Poplar, Spitalfields, and the City of London. Despite the mundane nature of crime against women,…
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Eureka! – California and the 1848 Gold Rush

Eureka! – California and the 1848 Gold Rush

On August 19, 1848, the the New York Herald, a major newspaper of the American East Coast printed the exciting news that gold has been found on the West Coast, which caused thousands of immigrants from all over the world to travel to California hoping to to find wealth and glory. The story began some months earlier, in January 1848. James Marshall constructed a saw mill for the pioneer John Sutter at…
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How High/Low Can You Go? – The Explorer Auguste Piccard

How High/Low Can You Go? – The Explorer Auguste Piccard

Scientists and explorers we are, to boldly go where no man has gone before. If there is one scientist, who might serve as the prototype of an bold explorer, then we have to consider Auguste Piccard, a Swiss professor of physics, who tried to explore the deepest depths of the sea as well as the extreme stratosphere of the earth. And he did this not only in theory, but by experiment (always…
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