Australia

The Sydney Harbour Bridge

The Sydney Harbour Bridge

On March 19, 1932, the Sydney Harbour Bridge was opened, which connects the Sydney central business district and the North Shore. It is the sixth longest spanning-arch bridge in the world, and it is the tallest steel arch bridge, measuring 134 m from top to water level. “To get on in Australia, you must make two observations. Say, “You have the most beautiful bridge in the world” and “They tell me you trounced…
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Courage and Folly – The Burke and Wills Expedition Crossing Australia

Courage and Folly – The Burke and Wills Expedition Crossing Australia

On August 20, 1860, Robert O’Hara Burke and William John Wills led an expedition of 19 men with the intention of crossing Australia from South to North and back again. But, due to poor leadership and bad luck, both of the expedition’s leaders died on the return journey and only one man, John King, crossed the continent with the expedition and returned alive to Melbourne. In the early 1850’s, gold was found…
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Aviatrix Amy Johnson and the Flight to Australia

Aviatrix Amy Johnson and the Flight to Australia

On May 24, 1930, pioneering English aviatrix Ami Johnson safely landed in Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia after a 18.000km flight, becoming the first woman pilot to fly solo from England to Australia. Amy Johnson – Early Years Amy Johnson was an enthusiastic sportswoman who played hockey and cricket. At the age of 14 she lost several front teeth to a cricket ball. Since she came from a not incapable family – her father was a…
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Do You Speak Polish… Or Maybe Reverse Polish?

Do You Speak Polish… Or Maybe Reverse Polish?

I guess almost nobody except a few mathematicians and computer scientists have ever heard of the Australian computer scientist Charles Leonard Hamblin, who passed away on May 14, 1985. And also most of my fellow computer scientists might not have heard of him. But, one of his major contributions to computer science was the introduction of the so-called Reverse Polish Notation. Does that ring a bell? Charles Leonard Hamblin – Early Years…
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John McDouall Stuart and the Exploration of Australia’s Mainland

John McDouall Stuart and the Exploration of Australia’s Mainland

On September 7, 1815, Scottish explorer John McDouall Stuart was born. McDouall Stuart became known as one of the most accomplished of all Australia‘s inland explorers. He led the first successful expedition to traverse the Australian mainland from south to north and return, through the centre of the continent. John McDouall Stuart graduated from the Scottish Naval and Military Academy as a civil engineer before emigrating to Australia at the age of 23.…
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Sir Ferdinand von Mueller – Government Botanist

Sir Ferdinand von Mueller – Government Botanist

On June 30, 1825, German-Australian physician, geographer, and botanist Baron Sir Ferdinand Jacob Heinrich von Mueller was born. Von Mueller migrated to Australia in 1848 for health reasons, and there became the country’s greatest 19th-century scientist as a great botanical collector and writer. His contributions covered a wide field of sciences such as geography, pharmacy, horticulture, agriculture, forestry, paleontology, and zoology. His activity as a botanist is shown by hundreds of Australian…
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John Tebbutt and the Great Comet of 1861

John Tebbutt and the Great Comet of 1861

On May 13, 1861, Australian astronomer John Tebbutt discovered C/1861 J1, the Great Comet of 1861. C/1861 J1 is a long-period comet that was visible to the naked eye for approximately 3 months. It was categorized as a Great Comet, one of the eight greatest comets of the 19th century. John Tebbutt – Becoming an Astronomer John Tebbutt Tebbutt was born at Windsor, New South Wales, the only son of John Tebbutt, then a prosperous store…
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Jules Dumont d’Urville and his South-Pacific Voyages

Jules Dumont d’Urville and his South-Pacific Voyages

On May 8, 1842, French explorer, naval officer and rear admiral Jules Sébastien César Dumont d’Urville passed away. D’Urville commanded voyages of exploration to the South Pacific (1826–29) and the Antarctic (1837–40), resulting in extensive revisions of existing charts and discovery or redesignation of island groups. As a botanist and cartographer he left his mark, giving his name to several seaweeds, plants and shrubs, and places such as D’Urville Island. Jules Dumont d’Urville…
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Lawrence Hargrave and the Box Kite

Lawrence Hargrave and the Box Kite

On January 29, 1850, Australian engineer, explorer, astronomer, inventor and aeronautical pioneer Lawrence Hargrave was born. Hargrave “flew” on 12 Nov 1894, by attaching himself to a huge kite construction connected to the ground by piano wire. Due to their abilities to carry heavy payloads, steady flight, and capacity for high altitude flight, these kites have had many industrial and military uses. “I am using kites, and find perfect stability can be got…
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Ludwig Leichhardt’s Australian Expeditions

Ludwig Leichhardt’s Australian Expeditions

On October 23, 1813, Prussian explorer and naturalist Friedrich Wilhelm Ludwig Leichhardt was born. He is most famous for his exploration of northern and central Australia. Leichhardt went to Australia in 1842 to study the rocks and wildlife in Queensland and the Northern Territory. In 1846 he left on an expedition with nine men to find a route from Moreton Bay (Brisbane) to Perth, rather poorly equipped. The party disappeared, leaving a mystery as to…
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