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Jacques de Perthes and European Archaeology

Jacques de Perthes and European Archaeology

On September 10, 1788, French archeologist Jacques Boucher de Crèvecœur de Perthes was born. He was the first to establish that Europe had been populated by early man. Further, his discovery of whole handaxes, tools and fragments embedded in and scattered about the fossilized bones of prehistoric mammals in the high banks of the Somme River showed that man existed at least as early as the ancient creature. Jacques de Perthes Background…
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John Dalton and the Origins of the Atomic Theory

John Dalton and the Origins of the Atomic Theory

On September 6, 1766, English chemist, meteorologist and physicist John Dalton was born. He is best known for his pioneering work in the development of modern atomic theory, and his research into colour blindness. He also recognised that the aurora borealis was an electrical phenomenon. “Philosophers are generally persuaded, that the sensations of heat and cold are occasioned by the presence or absence, in degree, of certain principle or quality denominated fire or…
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Pliny the Elder and the Destruction of Pompeii

Pliny the Elder and the Destruction of Pompeii

On August 25, 79 AD, Roman author, naturalist and natural philosopher Pliny the Elder died, while attempting the rescue by ship of a friend and his family from the eruption of Mount Vesuvius that had just destroyed the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Unfortunately, there don’t exist contemporary pictures or portaits of Pliny the Elder. Thus, I decided to show you an also imaginary picture of the destruction of Pompeii instead. “Fortes…
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The Poet and the Lunatics – The Works of C. K. Chesterton

The Poet and the Lunatics – The Works of C. K. Chesterton

On May 29, 1874, English writer, philosopher, lay theologian, and literary and art critic Gilbert Keith Chesterton was born. Chesterton created the fictional priest-detective Father Brown, and wrote on apologetics. Even some of those who disagree with him have recognised the wide appeal of such works as Orthodoxy and The Everlasting Man. I remember that I really enjoyed reading Chesterton’s short novel The Man Who Was Thursday (1908), somehow a political satire or almost…
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Abraham Ortelius and the Theatrum Orbis Terrarum

Abraham Ortelius and the Theatrum Orbis Terrarum

On May 20, 1570, Belgian cartographer and geographer Abraham Ortelius published the first modern atlas, the Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, in Antwerp. It consisted of a collection of uniform map sheets and sustaining text bound to form a book for which copper printing plates were specifically engraved. Abraham Ortelius – Early Years Abraham Ortelius was born in Antwerp, but grew up with his uncle after his father passed away at young age. In…
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Carl Hagenbeck – Pioneer of the Modern Zoo

Carl Hagenbeck – Pioneer of the Modern Zoo

On May 7, 1907, German merchant of wild animals Carl Hagenbeck founded Germany’s most successful privately owned zoo, the Tierpark Hagenbeck. He created the modern zoo with animal enclosures without bars that were closer to their natural habitat. Background Carl Hagenbeck Already his father, Gottfried Hagenbeck, who was originally a fish dealer started displaying and trading animals in the mid-19th century. In 1866, Carl Hagenbeck joined his father’s business and started to expand…
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You Press the Button and We Do the Rest – George Eastman revolutionized Photography

You Press the Button and We Do the Rest – George Eastman revolutionized Photography

On May 5, 1885, George Eastman filed a patent for a “Roll Holder for Photographic Films“, which was the first film in roll form to prove practicable. Based on his newly invented roll film and a rather simple camera for that film, he established the Eastman Kodak Company, in Rochester, New York. It was one of the first firms to mass-produce standardized photography equipment. Roll Film Ok, please hold on before you…
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Dennis Tito, the very first Space Tourist

Dennis Tito, the very first Space Tourist

On April 28, 2001, American engineer and multimillionaire Dennis Tito joined the Soyuz TM-32 mission to the International Space Station ISS, spending 7 days, 22 hours, 4 minutes in space and orbiting Earth 128 times. He paid $20 Mio for his trip, which made him the very first space tourist in history. Space Travel Who ever thought that space tourism would become possible? To travel in space simply for recreational, leisure or…
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Frederick Reines’ Chase for the Ghost Particle

Frederick Reines’ Chase for the Ghost Particle

On March 16, 1918, American physicist and Nobel Laureate Frederick Reines was born. He is best known for his co-detection of the neutrino with Clyde Cowan in the neutrino experiment. The neutrino is a subatomic particle, a tiny lepton with little or no mass and a neutral charge which had been postulated by Wolfgang Pauli in the early 1930s but had previously remained undiscovered. Reines shared the Nobel Prize with physicist Martin…
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The Influential Timelines of Joseph Priestley

The Influential Timelines of Joseph Priestley

On March 13, 1733 (March 24 according to the new Gregorian calendar), English theologian, Dissenting clergyman, natural philosopher and chemist Joseph Priestley was born. He is usually credited with the discovery of oxygen, having isolated it in its gaseous state, although Carl Wilhelm Scheele [3] and Antoine Lavoisier [4] also have a claim to the discovery. A scholar and teacher throughout his life, Priestley also made significant contributions to pedagogy, including the publication of…
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