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The Almanachs of Benjamin Banneker

The Almanachs of Benjamin Banneker

On November 9, 1731, American almanac author, surveyor, naturalist and farmer Benjamin Banneker was born. Born in Baltimore County, Maryland, to a free African American woman and a former slave, Banneker had little formal education and was largely self-taught. Banneker’s knowledge of astronomy helped him author a commercially successful series of almanacs. He corresponded with Thomas Jefferson, drafter of the United States Declaration of Independence, on the topics of slavery and racial…
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Raymond Loewy – the Father of Streamlining

Raymond Loewy – the Father of Streamlining

On November 5, 1893, French-born American industrial designer Raymond Loewy was born. Loewy achieved fame for the magnitude of his design efforts across a variety of industries. He is known as the “Father of Streamlining.” Among his designs were the Shell, Exxon, TWA and the former BP logos, the Greyhound Scenicruiser bus, Coca-Cola vending machines, the Lucky Strike package, Coldspot refrigerators, the Studebaker Avanti and Champion, and the Air Force One livery. Raymond…
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Donald Kerst and the Betatron

Donald Kerst and the Betatron

On November 1, 1911, American physicist Donald William Kerst was born. Kerst worked on advanced particle accelerator concepts (accelerator physics) and plasma physics. He is most notable for his development of the betatron, a novel type of particle accelerator used to accelerate electrons. Donald Kerst – Early Years Donald Kerst was born in Galena, Illinois, U.S., the son of Herman Samuel Kerst and Lillian E Wetz. He studied at the University of Wisconsin, earning…
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Nathaniel Wyeth and the Invention of the PET Bottle

Nathaniel Wyeth and the Invention of the PET Bottle

On October 24, 1911, American mechanical engineer and inventor Nathaniel C. Wyeth was born. Wyeth is best known for creating polyethylene terephthalate that could withstand the pressure of carbonated liquids. Made of recyclable PET plastic, lighter than glass and virtually unbreakable, Wyeth’s invention is used widely today for both carbonated and non-carbonated drinks. Nathaniel Wyeth – Background Information Nathaniel C. Wyeth was born into America’s foremost family of artists: both of his sisters…
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Seymour Benzer and his Experiments in Behavioural Genetics

Seymour Benzer and his Experiments in Behavioural Genetics

On October 15, 1921, American physicist, molecular biologist and behavioral geneticist Seymour Benzer was born. Benzer is known for having developed a method for determining the detailed structure of viral genes. He coined the term cistron (1957) to denote functional subunits of genes. He also did much to elucidate the nature of genetic anomalies, called nonsense mutations, in terms of the nucleotide sequence of DNA, deoxyribonucleic acid. Seymor Benzer – Early Years Seymour…
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William Edwards Deming and Total Quality Management

William Edwards Deming and Total Quality Management

On October 14, 1900, American engineer, statistician, author, lecturer, and management consultant William Edwards Deming was born. Deming often is referred to as the father of “Total Quality Management.” After World War II, he contributed to Japan‘s economic recovery by recommending statistical methods of quality control in industrial production. His method embraced carefully tallying product defects, examining their causes, correcting the problems, and then tracking the results of these changes on subsequent product…
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Elmer Sperry and the Invention of the Gyrocompass

Elmer Sperry and the Invention of the Gyrocompass

On October 12, 1860, American inventor and entrepreneur Elmer Ambrose Sperry was born. Sperry is best known for his significant role in the development of the gyrocompass, a type of non-magnetic compass which is based on a fast-spinning disc and rotation of the Earth to automatically find geographical direction. Elmer Sperry – Early Years Elmer Sperry was born at Cincinnatus, New York, on October 12, 1860, to Stephen Decatur Sperry and Mary Burst. His mother…
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Otto Frisch and the Idea of Nuclear Fission

Otto Frisch and the Idea of Nuclear Fission

On October 1, 1904, Austrian-British physicist Otto Robert Frisch was born. With his aunt Lise Meitner,[4] Frisch described the division of neutron-bombarded uranium into lighter elements. With his collaborator Rudolf Peierls he designed the first theoretical mechanism for the detonation of an atomic bomb in 1940. “Scientists have one thing in common with children: curiosity. To be a good scientist you must have kept this trait of childhood, and perhaps it is not…
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Edward Herbert Thompson and the Cenote Sagrado

Edward Herbert Thompson and the Cenote Sagrado

On September 28, 1857, American archaeologist and diplomat Edward Herbert Thompson was born. Thompson is most famous for dredging the Cenote Sagrado (Sacred Cenote) in Chichen Itza from 1904 to 1910, where he recovered artifacts of gold, copper and carved jade, as well as the first-ever examples of what were believed to be pre-Columbian Maya cloth and wooden weapons. Edward Herbert Thompson – Early Years Edward Herbert Thompson was born in Worcester, Massachussetts,…
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John Ray Dunning and the Manhattan Project

John Ray Dunning and the Manhattan Project

On September 24, 1907, US-American physicist John Ray Dunning was born. Dunning played key roles in the Manhattan Project that developed the first atomic bombs. He specialized in neutron physics, and did pioneering work in gaseous diffusion for isotope separation. John Ray Dunning – Early Years John Ray Dunning was born in Shelby, Nebraska, USA, the son of Albert Chester Dunning, a grain dealer, and his wife Josephine. He graduated from Shelby High…
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