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The Inventions of Luther George Simjian

The Inventions of Luther George Simjian

On January 28, 1905, Armenian-American inventor Luther George Simjian was born. Simjian probably is best known for his invention of the Bankmatic Automated Teller Machine. His more than 200 inventions also included the TelePrompter, a self-posing portrait camera, automatic postage metering equipment, and an indoor golf practice range. Early Years Luther Simjian emigrated to the United States in 1920 and started to work as a photographer at the age of 15 and…
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Ancel Keys and the Effect of Saturated Fats on Our Health

Ancel Keys and the Effect of Saturated Fats on Our Health

On January 26, 1904, American nutritionist and epidemiologist Ancel Keys was born. Keys studied the influence of diet on health. In particular, he hypothesized that saturated fat in the diet is unhealthy and should be avoided. He also was the first to identify the role of saturated fats in causing heart disease. Ancel Keys – Early Years Ancel Keys was born in Colorado Springs in 1904 to Benjamin Pious Keys (1883-1961) and Carolyn…
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Amelia Earhart – Record-breaking Aviation Pioneer

Amelia Earhart – Record-breaking Aviation Pioneer

On January 11, 1935, American aviatrix Amelia Earhart became the first person to fly solo from Honolulu, Hawaii to Oakland, California across the Pacific ocean. “Please know I am quite aware of the hazards. I want to do it because I want to do it. Women must try to do things as men have tried. When they fail, their failure must be but a challenge to others.” — Amelia Earhart, 1937 [1]…
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Donald Knuth and the Art of Programming

Donald Knuth and the Art of Programming

On January 10, 1938, computer scientist Donald Knuth, developer of the seminal computer science textbooks ‘The Art of Computer Programming‘, was born. He is also widely known for his development of the TeX typesetting framework and the METAFONT font definition language. Actually, Donald Knuth is one of my personal heroes in computer science. The very day I started to study this subject, his textbooks had already become a sort of ‘holy bible’ when…
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Alfred Romer and the Evolution of Vertebrae

Alfred Romer and the Evolution of Vertebrae

On December 28, 1894, American paleontologist and biologist Alfred Sherwood Romer was born. Romer was a a specialist in vertebrate evolution. He studied the evolution of early vertebrates in biological terms of comparative anatomy and embryology. He researched muscle and limb evolution, the development and evolutionary history of cartilage and bone, and the structure and function of the nervous system. Youth and Education Alfred Romer was born in White Plains, New York,…
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Horticulturist Liberty Hyde Bailey and the Country Life Movement

Horticulturist Liberty Hyde Bailey and the Country Life Movement

On December 25, 1954, American horticulturist and botanist Liberty Hyde Bailey passed away. Bailey helped to create the science of horticulture. He made systematic studies of cultivated plants, and advanced knowledge in hybridization, plant pathology, and agriculture. He was a recognized authority on sedges, tropical palms, blackberries, grapes, cabbages, pumpkins and squashes, among others. He is particularly notable for his great encyclopedias (Cyclopedia of American Agriculture, in four volumes, 1907-9) and important…
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Grote Reber – Pioneer of Radio Astronomy

Grote Reber – Pioneer of Radio Astronomy

On December 22, 1911, American pioneer of radio astronomy Grote Reber was born. He combined his interests in amateur radio and amateur astronomy and became instrumental in investigating and extending Karl Jansky’s [4] pioneering work, who in August 1931 first discovered radio waves emanating from the Milky Way. Reber conducted the first sky survey in the radio frequencies and is considered one of the founding figures of radio astronomy. Born in Wheaton, Illinois, a suburb…
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James Rumsey’s Extraordinary Steam Boat

James Rumsey’s Extraordinary Steam Boat

On December 21, 1792, American mechanical engineer James Rumsey passed away. He is chiefly known for exhibiting a boat propelled by machinery in 1787 on the Potomac River at Shepherdstown in present-day West Virginia before a crowd of local notables. James Rumsey – From Millwright to Steam Boat Designer James Rumsey was born in Calvert County Maryland in 1743. His family moved to Berkeley Virginia (now West Virginia) when he was a teenager. Rumsey became a…
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Robert J. Van de Graaff and the Van de Graaf Generator

Robert J. Van de Graaff and the Van de Graaf Generator

On December 20, 1901, American physicist Robert Jemison Van de Graaff was born. Van de Graaff is specifically noted for his design and construction of high-voltage Van de Graaff generators that can be used as a particle accelerator in atomic research. Early Years Robert Jemison Van de Graaff received his master’s degree from The University of Alabama and began working at the Alabama Power Company afterwards. Van de Graaf later studied at the…
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Robert Millikan and the Millikan experiment

Robert Millikan and the Millikan experiment

On December 19, 1953, US-American physicist and Nobel laureate Robert Andrews Millikan passed away. Millikan was honored with the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1923 for his measurement of the elementary electronic charge and for his work on the photoelectric effect. Millikan‘s famous oil-drop experiment (1911) was far superior to previous determinations of the charge of an electron, and further showed that the electron was a fundamental, discrete particle. In later work,…
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