Germany

Theodor Fontane and German Realism

Theodor Fontane and German Realism

On September 20, 1898, German novelist and poet Theodor Fontane passed away. Fontane is regarded by many as the most important 19th-century German-language realist writer. A Hugenot Family in Neuruppin Theodor Fontane was born in Neuruppin, a town 30 miles northwest of Berlin, into a Huguenot family as son of the pharmacist Louis Henri Fontane. At the age of sixteen he was apprenticed to an apothecary. His further education was in Leipzig…
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Walter Dornberger and the Spaceplane

Walter Dornberger and the Spaceplane

On September 6, 1895, German Mechanical Engineer and Army artillery officer Walter Dornberger was born. Dornberger is known as a leader of Nazi Germany‘s V-2 rocket program and other projects at the Peenemünde Army Research Center. After World War II Dornberger played a major role on the creation of the X-15 aircraft and was a key consultant for the X-20 Dyna-Soar project. He also had a role on the creation of ideas…
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Carl Runge and the Early Days of Numerical Mathematics

Carl Runge and the Early Days of Numerical Mathematics

On August 20, 1856, German mathematician, physicist, and spectroscopist Carl Runge (Carl David Tolmé Runge) was born. He was co-developer and co-eponym of the Runge–Kutta method , a single-step method for the approximate solution of initial value problems in numerical mathematics. Carl Junge – Youth and Education Carl Runge was born in Bremen, Germany, the son of the merchant Julius Runge and his wife Fanny Tolmé, who was from England. He spent…
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Christian Friedrich Schönbein – Ozone and Explosives

Christian Friedrich Schönbein – Ozone and Explosives

On August 29, 1868, German-Swiss chemist Christian Friedrich Schönbein passed away. Schönbein is best known for inventing the fuel cell (1838) at the same time as William Robert Grove and his discoveries of guncotton and ozone, of which he also coined its name. Christian Friedrich Schönbein – Early Years Christian Friedrich Schönbein came from a Pietist family, his father was a dyer, postman and accountant. He was apprenticed to a chemical and pharmaceutical…
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Carl Bosch, the Synthesis of Ammonia, and the IG Farben

Carl Bosch, the Synthesis of Ammonia, and the IG Farben

On August 27, 1874, German chemist, engineer and Nobel Laureate Carl Bosch was born. He was a pioneer in the field of high-pressure industrial chemistry and founder of IG Farben, at one point the world’s largest chemical company. Carl Bosch – Youth and Education Carl Bosch was born in Cologne, Germany, the first of seven children of Carl Bosch senior (1843-1904), co-owner of the installation company Bosch & Haag in Cologne, and his wife…
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Wilhelm Wundt – Father of Experimental Psychology

Wilhelm Wundt – Father of Experimental Psychology

On August 16, 1832, German physician, physiologist, and philosopher Wilhelm Maximilian Wundt was born. He is one of the founding figures of modern psychology and was the first person to ever call himself a psychologist. In 1879, Wundt founded the first formal laboratory for psychological research at the University of Leipzig. This marked psychology as an independent field of study. Youth and Education Wilhelm Wundt is the youngest child of a Palatinate…
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The Mainz Psalter and Major Innovations in Printing

The Mainz Psalter and Major Innovations in Printing

On August 14, 1457, the Mainz Psalter, the second major book printed with movable type in the West, was published according to its colophon, which was the very first to contain a date. Also it was the first important publication issued by Johann Fust and Peter Schoeffer following their split from Johannes Gutenberg. The Case against Gutenberg Johann Fust and Peter Schoeffer famously carried on a partnership after Fust sued and won a case…
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Leopold Gmelin and the Chemistry of Digestion

Leopold Gmelin and the Chemistry of Digestion

On August 2, 1788, German chemist Leopold Gmelin was born. Gmelin discovered potassium ferrocyanide (1822), devised Gmelin‘s test for bile pigments and researched the chemistry of digestion. He published the notable Handbook of Chemistry to comprehensively survey the subject. This was the first thorough update since the era of Lavoisier‘s influence.[4] He also coined the names ester, ketone and racemic acid. Leopold Gmelin – Early Years Gmelin was born in Göttingen, Germany, the…
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Parsifal – Richard Wagner’s Last Opera

Parsifal – Richard Wagner’s Last Opera

On July 26, 1882, Richard Wagner‘s last opera ‘Parsifal‘ premiered in the Festspielhaus at Bayreuth. Wagner described Parsifal not as an opera, but as “ein Bühnenweihfestspiel” (“A Festival Play for the Consecration of the Stage“). Initially, according to Wagner‘s will, Parsifal should only be allowed to be played at Bayreuth, because he wanted to prevent it from degenerating into ‘mere amusement‘ for an opera-going public. Wagner‘s compositions, particularly those of his later…
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The Medical Breakthroughs of Ernst Ferdinand Sauerbruch

The Medical Breakthroughs of Ernst Ferdinand Sauerbruch

On July 3, 1875, German surgeon Ernst Ferdinand Sauerbruch was born. He is considered as one of the most important and influential surgeons of the 20th century. He developed the Sauerbruch chamber, a pressure chamber for operating on the open thorax. Ferdinand Sauerbruch – Early Years Since his father, technical director of a cloth weaving mill, died early, Sauerbruch grew up with his grandfather, master shoemaker Friedrich Hammerschmidt. 1895 he passed the…
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