England

Matthew Boulton and James Watt’s Steam Engines

Matthew Boulton and James Watt’s Steam Engines

On August 17, 1809, English manufacturer Matthew Boulton passed away. Boulton financed and introduced James Watt‘s steam engine. The partnership installed hundreds of Boulton & Watt steam engines, which were a great advance on the state of the art, making possible the mechanisation of factories and mills. Boulton applied modern techniques to the minting of coins, striking millions of pieces for Britain and other countries, and supplying the Royal Mint with…
Frederick Sanger and the Structure of Proteins

Frederick Sanger and the Structure of Proteins

On August 13, 1918, British biochemist Frederick Sanger was born. In 1958, he was awarded a Nobel Prize in chemistry “for his work on the structure of proteins, especially that of insulin“. In 1980, Walter Gilbert and Sanger shared half of the chemistry prize “for their contributions concerning the determination of base sequences in nucleic acids“. “Scientific research is one of the most exciting and rewarding of occupations. It is…
The Fruit Breeding of Thomas Andrew Knight

The Fruit Breeding of Thomas Andrew Knight

On August 12, 1759, English horticulturalist and botanist Thomas Andrew Knight was born. Knight initiated the field of fruit breeding, experimental horticulture while also studying plant physiology with botanical experiments. He made studies on the movement of sap in plants, the nature of the cambium, and phototropism in tendrils. To investigate the geotropism of roots and stems, he invented a machine, rotating to simulate gravity with centrifugal force in either horizontal or vertical…
William Bateson and the Study of Heredity

William Bateson and the Study of Heredity

On August 8 1861, English biologist William Bateson was born. Bateson was the first person to use the term genetics to describe the study of heredity, and the chief populariser of the ideas of Gregor Mendel following their rediscovery in 1900 by Hugo de Vries and Carl Correns. William Bateson graduated from St John’s College in Cambridge in natural sciences. He traveled to the United States in order to study embryology…
Richard Leach Maddox revolutionized Photography

Richard Leach Maddox revolutionized Photography

On August 4, 1816, English photographer and physician Richard Leach Maddox was born. Maddox is best known for his invention lightweight gelatin negative plates for photography in 1871, which enabled photographers to use commercial dry plates off the shelf instead of having to prepare their own emulsions in a mobile darkroom. Also, for the first time, cameras could be made small enough to be hand-held. Richard Lech Maddox first became…
John Caius and the English Sweating Sickness

John Caius and the English Sweating Sickness

On July 29, 1573, English physician John Caius passed away. Caius was one of the founders of the present Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. His classic account of the English sweating sickness is considered one of the earliest histories of an epidemic. John Caius attended Gonville Hall, Cambridge and after graduating traveled to Italy where he studied under the celebrated Montanus and Vesalius at Padua. He earned his degree as a…
Sir Edmund Hillary – Mountaineer, Explorer and Philanthropist

Sir Edmund Hillary – Mountaineer, Explorer and Philanthropist

On July 20, 1919, New Zealand mountaineer, explorer, and philanthropist Sir Edmund Percival “Ed” Hillary was born. Hillary and Nepalese Sherpa mountaineer Tenzing Norgay became the first climbers confirmed to have reached the summit of Mount Everest. As part of the Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition he reached the South Pole overland in 1958. He subsequently reached the North Pole, making him the first person to reach both poles and summit Everest.…
Sir Frederick Abel and the Smokeless Gunpowder

Sir Frederick Abel and the Smokeless Gunpowder

On July 17, 1827, English chemist Sir Frederick Abel was born. Abel was a military explosives specialist, and with the chemist Sir James Dewar, invented cordite in 1889, which is a smokeless gunpowder that was later adopted as the standard explosive of the British army, and proved vital in WWI. Frederick Abel studied chemistry at the Royal Polytechnic Institution. In 1845 he started studying at the Royal College of Chemistry…
Morell Mackenzie and The Fatal Illness Of Frederick The Noble

Morell Mackenzie and The Fatal Illness Of Frederick The Noble

On July 7, 1837, British physician Morell Mackenzie was born. Mackenzie was one of the pioneers of laryngology in the United Kingdom. He is best remembered for his role at the centre of a bitter international controversy over the death of Emperor Frederick III of Germany. In his book, ‘The Fatal Illness Of Frederick The Noble’ (1888), Mackenzie describes his care of laryngeal cancer in the Crown Prince, later Emperor Frederick…
Joseph Dalton Hooker and Taxonomy

Joseph Dalton Hooker and Taxonomy

On June 30, 1817, Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker was born, one of the greatest British botanists and explorers of the 19th century. Hooker was a founder of geographical botany and Charles Darwin‘s closest friend. Furthermore, he was assistant on Sir James Ross‘s Antarctic expedition and whose botanical travels to foreign lands included India, Palestine and the U.S., from which he became a leading taxonomists in his time. Joseph Dalton Hooker…
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