Netherlands

Charles de l’Écluse and the Dutch Tulips

Charles de l’Écluse and the Dutch Tulips

On April 4, 1609, Flemish doctor and pioneering botanist Charles de l’Écluse, L’Escluse, or with his Latin name Carolus Clusius passed away. He is considered perhaps the most influential of all 16th-century scientific horticulturists. He travelled and collected botanical information throughout Europe, and introduced new plants from outside Europe. In the history of gardening he is remembered not only for his scholarship but also for laying the foundations of Dutch tulip breeding…
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Scaliger and the Science of Chronology

Scaliger and the Science of Chronology

On January 21, 1609, French religious leader and scholar Joseph Justus Scaliger passed away. He is referred to as being one of the founders of the science of chronology, expanding the notion of classical history from Greek and ancient Roman history to include Persian, Babylonian, Jewish and ancient Egyptian history. “All divisions in religion arise from ignorance of grammar.” ― Joseph Justus Scaliger [8] Justus Scaliger – Early Years Joseph Justus Scaliger was born…
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Jan Baptist van Helmont – The Founder of Pneumatic Chemistry

Jan Baptist van Helmont – The Founder of Pneumatic Chemistry

On January 12, 1580, Flemish chemist, physiologist, and physician Jan Baptist van Helmont was born. Can Helmont worked during the years just after Paracelsus and is sometimes considered to be “the founder of pneumatic chemistry“. Van Helmont is remembered today largely for his ideas on spontaneous generation and his introduction of the word “gas” (from the Greek word chaos) into the vocabulary of scientists. “I praise my bountiful God, who hath called…
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Anthony Fokker and his Famous Aircrafts

Anthony Fokker and his Famous Aircrafts

On December 23, 1939, Dutch aviation pioneer and aircraft manufacturer Anton Herman Gerard “Anthony” Fokker passed away. He is most famous for the fighter aircraft he produced in Germany during the First World War. Anthony Fokker and the Fokker de Spin Anthony Fokker was born in Kediri on Java. His father Herman Fokker, owner of a coffee plantation on Java, returned with the family to Haarlem in the Netherlands in 1894. It is believed that…
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Peter Paul Rubens and the Baroque Extravaganza

Peter Paul Rubens and the Baroque Extravaganza

On June 28, 1577, German-born Flemish Baroque painter Peter Paul Rubens was born. He is best known for his extravagant Baroque style that emphasised movement, colour, and sensuality. “The light falls so unfavorably on the altar that one can hardly discern the figures or enjoy the beauty of color and the delicacy of the heads and draperies which I executed with great care from nature and completely successfully according to the judgement…
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The Diary of a Young Girl – the Story of Anne Frank

The Diary of a Young Girl – the Story of Anne Frank

On June 12, 1929, Annelies “Anne” Marie Frank was born. She is one of the most discussed Jewish victims of the Holocaust. Her wartime diary The Diary of a Young Girl gained international fame posthumously when published in 1947. The diary documents her experiences hiding during the German occupation of the Netherlands in World War II. “For someone like me, it is a very strange habit to write in a diary. Not only…
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Abraham Ortelius and the Theatrum Orbis Terrarum

Abraham Ortelius and the Theatrum Orbis Terrarum

On May 20, 1570, Belgian cartographer and geographer Abraham Ortelius published the first modern atlas, the Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, in Antwerp. It consisted of a collection of uniform map sheets and sustaining text bound to form a book for which copper printing plates were specifically engraved. Abraham Ortelius – Early Years Abraham Ortelius was born in Antwerp, but grew up with his uncle after his father passed away at young age. In…
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Statistical Mechanics with Paul Ehrenfest

Statistical Mechanics with Paul Ehrenfest

On January 18, 1881, Austrian and Dutch theoretical physicist Paul Ehrenfest was born. Ehrenfest made major contributions to the field of statistical mechanics and its relations with quantum mechanics, including the theory of phase transition and the Ehrenfest theorem. “Einstein, my upset stomach hates your theory — it almost hates you yourself ! How am I to provide for my students ? What am I to answer to the philosophers ?” –…
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The Fateful Journeys of Alexine Tinne

The Fateful Journeys of Alexine Tinne

On October 17, 1835, Dutch explorer of Africa Alexandrine Petronella Francina Tinne was born. She was the first European woman to attempt to cross the Sahara. Alexandrine Tinne Background Alexandrine Tinne was born into a wealthy family. Her father passed away when she was only ten years old and she turned into one of the richest young girls of the Netherlands. It is then said that she suffered highly from love sickness…
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The Phantastic Worlds of M. C. Escher

The Phantastic Worlds of M. C. Escher

On June 17, 1898, Dutch graphic artist Maurits Cornelis Escher, better known as M. C. Escher, was born. He is known for his often mathematically inspired woodcuts, lithographs, and mezzotints, which feature impossible constructions, explorations of infinity, architecture, and tessellations. “The ideas that are basic to [my work] often bear witness to my amazement and wonder at the laws of nature which operate in the world around us. He who wonders discovers…
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