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Caroline Herschel – The Comet Sweeper

Caroline Herschel – The Comet Sweeper

On January 9, 1848, Caroline Lucretia Herschel, German-British astronomer and sister of astronomer Sir William Herschel, passed away at age 98. She is best know for the discovery of several comets, in particular the periodic comet 35P/Herschel-Rigollet, which bears her name. Caroline Herschel grew up in the German town Hannover where she worked at her parent‘s home as a housekeeper and received a musical education followed by a starting career as…
James Watt and the Steam Age Revolution

James Watt and the Steam Age Revolution

James Watt (1736 – 1819) Painting by Carl Frederik von Breda On January 5, 1769,  Scottish inventor, mechanical engineer, and chemist James Watt finally received the patent for his steam engine: patent 913 A method of lessening the consumption of steam in steam engines-the separate condenser. Before James Watt was able to revolutionize Europe’s industries, folks had to find different ways to generate power. While the Romans during the first century…
Standing on the Shoulders of Giants – Sir Isaac Newton

Standing on the Shoulders of Giants – Sir Isaac Newton

Sir Isaac Newton (1643-1727), Portrait by Sir Godfrey Kneller (1689) On January 4, 1643 [N.S.] (25 December 1642 [O.S.]), Sir Isaac Newton, famous physicist, mathematician, astronomer, natural philosopher, alchemist and theologian, was born. With his Principia Newton laid the foundation of modern classical mechanics. Besides he constructed the very first reflecting telescope and independent of Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz developed differential and integral calculus [10]. “We are to admit no more causes…
James Blundell and the Blood Transfusion

James Blundell and the Blood Transfusion

On December 27, 1790, English obstetrician James Blundell was born. Blundell researched in the technique of blood transfusion, and was the first in Great Britain to perform the procedure using human blood (rather than animal blood) on 26 Sep 1818 at Guy‘s Hospital, London, where he used an apparatus of his his own design to collect and transfer the blood. James Blundell was born in London, UK, to Major Blundell,…
James Challis and his failure to discover the planet Neptune

James Challis and his failure to discover the planet Neptune

On December 12, 1803, English clergyman, physicist and astronomer James Challis was born. Challis investigated a wide range of physical phenomena though made few lasting contributions outside astronomy. He is best remembered for his missed opportunity to discover the planet Neptune in 1846. James Challis was born in Braintree, Essex, UK, where his father, John Challis, was a stonemason.After attending Braintree School, the Revd Daniel Copsey’s school, Braintree, and Mill…
Edmund Gunter and his Measuring Devices

Edmund Gunter and his Measuring Devices

On December 10, 1626, English clergyman, mathematician, geometer and astronomer Edmund Gunter passed away. Gunther is best remembered for his mathematical contributions which include the invention of the Gunter’s chain, the Gunter’s quadrant, and the Gunter’s scale. In 1620, he invented the first successful analog device which he developed to calculate logarithmic tangents. Edmund Gunter was born in Hertfordshire in 1581. Edmund attended Westminster School as a Queen’s Scholar, then…
Joseph Needham and the History of China

Joseph Needham and the History of China

On December 9, 1900, British historian and sinologist Joseph Needham was born. Needham is best known for his scientific research and writing on the history of Chinese science and technology. He wrote and edited the landmark history Science and Civilisation in China, a remarkable multivolume study of nearly every branch of Chinese medicine, science, and technology over some 25 centuries. Joseph Needham attended Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. There he received his…
John Bunyan and the Pilgrim’s Progress

John Bunyan and the Pilgrim’s Progress

Probably on November 28, 1628, English writer and Puritan preacher John Bunyan was born. Bunyan is best remembered as the author of the Christian allegory The Pilgrim’s Progress. In addition to The Pilgrim’s Progress, is regarded as one of the most significant works of religious English literature, Bunyan wrote nearly sixty titles, many of them expanded sermons. John Bunyan was born in the parish of Elstow, Bedfordshire, UK, to Thomas…
Colin Turnbull and the Forest People

Colin Turnbull and the Forest People

On November 23, 1924, British-American anthropologist Colin Turnbull was born. Turnbull came to public attention with the popular books The Forest People on the Mbuti Pygmies of Zaire and The Mountain People on the Ik people of Uganda, and one of the first anthropologists to work in the field of ethnomusicology. Colin Turnbull studied politics and philosophy at Magdalen College, Oxford and joined the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve during World War II.…
The Death of Blackbeard

The Death of Blackbeard

On November 22, 1718, English pirate Edward Teach or Edward Thatch, better known as Blackbeard, was killed. Blackbeard operated around the West Indies and the eastern coast of Britain’s North American colonies. Teach was a shrewd and calculating leader who spurned the use of force, relying instead on his fearsome image to elicit the response that he desired from those whom he robbed. Contrary to the modern-day picture of the…
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