Germany

Johann Hedwig – the Father of Bryology

Johann Hedwig – the Father of Bryology

On December 8, 1730, German botanist Johann Hedwig was born. Hedwig is notable for his studies of mosses for which he is sometimes called the father of bryology, in particular the observation of sexual reproduction in the cryptogams. He dealt with the anatomy, fertilization, and reproduction of mosses and introduced a new method of classification based on the distribution of spores (reproductive bodies). Hedwig was the first to recognize the…
Richard Kuhn and his Work on Carotinoids and Vitamins

Richard Kuhn and his Work on Carotinoids and Vitamins

On December 3, 1900, Austrian-German biochemist Richard Johann Kuhn was born. Kuhn was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1938 “for his work on carotenoids and vitamins“. Kuhn is also credited with the discovery of the deadly nerve agent Soman in 1944. Before entering the University of Vienna in 1918, Richard Kuhn attended the same classes as the later Nobel Prize winner Wolfgang Pauli. In 1919, Kuhn moved to the…
Martin Heinrich Klaproth and the Analytical Chemistry

Martin Heinrich Klaproth and the Analytical Chemistry

On December 1, 1743, German chemist Martin Heinrich Klaproth was born. Klaproth became well known a founder of analytical chemistry discovered uranium (1789), zirconium (1789), cerium (1803), and contributed to the identification of others. Although he did not isolate them as pure metal samples, he was able to recognize them as new elements. Martin Heinrich Klaproth worked at the council pharmacy in Quedlinburg, and later became assistant in various pharmacies…
Karl Ziegler’s Work on Polymers

Karl Ziegler’s Work on Polymers

On November 26, 1898, German chemist and Nobel laureate Karl Ziegler was born. Ziegler won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1963, with Giulio Natta, for work on polymers. He is also known for his work involving free-radicals, many-membered rings, and organometallic compounds, as well as the development of Ziegler–Natta catalyst. Karl Ziegler was born in Helsa near Kassel, Germany and was the second son of Karl Ziegler, a Lutheran…
The Murder-Suicide of Heinrich von Kleist

The Murder-Suicide of Heinrich von Kleist

On November 21, 1811, German poet, dramatist, novelist, short story writer and journalist Heinrich von Kleist committed suicide. Kleist stood as an outsider in the literary life of his time beyond the established camps and the literary eras of Weimar classical and romanticism. He is best known for the “historical knight play” Das Käthchen von Heilbronn, his comedy plays Der zerbrochne Krug and Amphitryon, the tragedy Penthesilea as well as…
Heinrich Hertz and the Transmission of Electromagnetic Waves

Heinrich Hertz and the Transmission of Electromagnetic Waves

On November 13, 1886, German physicist Heinrich Hertz succeeded to transmit electromagnetic waves from a sender to a receiver in Karlsruhe. Hertz conclusively proved the existence of the electromagnetic waves theorized by James Clerk Maxwell’s electromagnetic theory of light. The unit of frequency – cycle per second – was named the “hertz” in his honor. Heinrich Hertz studied science and engineering in Dresden, Munich, and Berlin under Gustav R. Kirchhoff and…
Hermann Conring and the Science of German Legal History

Hermann Conring and the Science of German Legal History

On November 9, 1606, German intellectual Hermann Conring was born. Conring made significant contributions to the study of medicine, politics and law. He made significant studies on blood circulation, and later in his career addressed himself to politics. Conring was polyhistor and Reichspublizist, as well as medical doctor and personal physician of Queen Christina of Sweden, Danish State Councillor and director of the Bremen-verdische Archive in Stade. He is regarded as…
Hans Cloos and the Granite Tectonics

Hans Cloos and the Granite Tectonics

On November 8, 1885, German structural geologist Hans Cloos was born. Cloos became known throughout Europe as the author of a textbook (1936) and the extensive monograph Gespräch mit der Erde (1947), whose clear language and self-drawn illustrations made geology comprehensible to the general public. He was a pioneer in the study of granite tectonics (the deformation of crystalline rocks) and in model studies of rock deformation. “The earth is…
The ‘Trabbi’ – an Icon of the Fall of the Berlin Wall turns 60

The ‘Trabbi’ – an Icon of the Fall of the Berlin Wall turns 60

On November 7, 1957, the first Trabant left the factory of the former East German car manufacturer VEB Sachsenring Automobilwerke Zwickau. Although it is often seen as symbolic of the defunct East Germany and the collapse of the Eastern Bloc in general, it was a sought-after car in East Germany before the fall of the Berlin Wall. During the early 1950s, vehicle construction in the German Democratic Republic (GDR) was…
The Benz Patent-Motorwagen No.1

The Benz Patent-Motorwagen No.1

On November 2, 1886, the German imperial patent office granted Karl Benz the patent under the number 37435 for his automobile, the Benz Patent-Motorwagen No.1. Benz‘s automobile is widely regarded as the world’s first automobile, that is, a vehicle designed to be propelled by an internal combustion engine. After developing a successful gasoline-powered two-stroke piston engine in 1873, Benz focused on developing a motorized vehicle while maintaining a career as…
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