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J. M. Barrie and the Boy who wouldn’t grow up

J. M. Barrie and the Boy who wouldn’t grow up

On May 9, 1860, Scotish author and playwright Sir James Matthew Barrie, 1st Baronet was born. Barrie is best remembered for being the creator of Peter Pan in his novel “Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up“, a “fairy play” about an ageless boy and an ordinary girl named Wendy who have adventures in the fantasy setting of Neverland. “All children, except one, grow up. They soon know that they…
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Sir Joseph William Bazalgette and the Great Stink of 1858

Sir Joseph William Bazalgette and the Great Stink of 1858

On March 28, 1819, British civil engineer Joseph William Bazalgette was born. As chief engineer of London‘s Metropolitan Board of Works Bazalgette‘s major achievement was the creation in response to the Great Stink of 1858 of a sewer network for central London which was instrumental in relieving the city from cholera epidemics, while beginning the cleansing of the River Thames. From Railway Projects to London’s Sewers Joseph William Bazalgette was mainly educated at home…
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The Tower Subway – the World’s First Tube Railway

The Tower Subway – the World’s First Tube Railway

On August 2, 1870, the Tower Subway, the first tube railway in the world, was opened under the River Thames in London, England. Engineer James Henry Greathead used a tunnelling shield he modified from Barlow’s design to bore the 6-ft diameter tunnel near the Tower of London. It opened with steam operated lifts and a 12-seat carriage shuttled from end to end by wire rope powered by a steam engine. The Idea of an…
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John Graunt and the Science of Demography

John Graunt and the Science of Demography

On April 18, 1674, English herberdasher and statistician John Graunt passed away. Graunt is considered by many historians to have founded the science of demography as the statistical study of human populations. For his published analysis of the parish records of christenings and deaths, he was made a charter member of the Royal Society. “Having always observed that most of them who constantly took in the weekly Bills of Mortality made little other use of them…
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William Harvey and the Blood Circulation

William Harvey and the Blood Circulation

On April 1, 1578, English physician William Harvey was born. Harvey made seminal contributions in anatomy and physiology. He was the first known to describe completely and in detail the systemic circulation and properties of blood being pumped to the brain and body by the heart. “The heart of animals is the foundation of their life, the sovereign of everything within them, the sun of their microcosm, that upon which all growth…
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The Great Exhibition and the Crystal Palace

The Great Exhibition and the Crystal Palace

On May, 1st, 1851, Queen Victoria opened the Great Exhibition in the Crystal Palace in Hyde Park, London, which was the first in a series of World’s Fair exhibitions of culture and industry. A special building, nicknamed The Crystal Palace, a gigantic cast-iron and plate-glass building, was built to house the show on its 92,000 square meters of exhibition space to display examples of the latest technology developed in the Industrial Revolution. If you…
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John Snow – Tracing the Source of the London Cholera Outbreak

John Snow – Tracing the Source of the London Cholera Outbreak

On March 15, 1813, English physician and a leader in the adoption of anaesthesia and medical hygiene John Snow was born. He is considered one of the fathers of modern epidemiology, in part because of his work in tracing the source of a cholera outbreak in Soho, London, in 1854. Growing Up in a Poor Neighborhood John Snow was born on 15 March 1813 in York, England, the first of nine children born to William…
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The Great Fire of London of 1666

The Great Fire of London of 1666

From Sunday, 2 September to Wednesday, 5 September 1666, a major conflagration swept through the central parts of the English city of London, destroying the medieval City of London inside the old Roman City Wall. The social and economic problems created by the disaster were overwhelming. Evacuation from London and resettlement elsewhere were strongly encouraged by Charles II, who feared a London rebellion among the dispossessed refugees. Despite numerous radical proposals, London was…
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The Natural History Museum in London

The Natural History Museum in London

On April 18, 1881, the Natural History Museum in London was opened for the public. It is one of the largest natural history museum‘s of the world. Sir Hans Sloane’s Collection Sir Hans Sloane was an Irish physician, but also a collector who provided the foundation for the museum. He allowed his collections to be purchased by the British government below their actual value on the free market. The collections included dried plants,…
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Thomas Gresham and the London Royal Exchange

Thomas Gresham and the London Royal Exchange

On January 23, 1571, the Royal Exchange in London was founded by the merchant Thomas Gresham to act as a centre of commerce for the City of London. The Protagonists On the afternoon of January 23rd, 1571, Queen Elizabeth [8] went from her Palace of Somerset House to dine with Sir Thomas Gresham at his fine mansion in Austin Friars. She went in state with her Trumpeters and Halberdiers, with Sir Thomas Gresham…
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