Archive for Era – First Industrial

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1786 – electrical stimulation

In 1786, in Bologna Italy, Luigi Galvani noticed that the muscles of a dead frog twitched when they came in contact with a metal probe and there were sparks visible between the probe and the frog muscle. Galvani made the assumption that the sparks came from the frog muscle. His associate, Alessandro Volta disagreed with […]

1765 – Niepce – bio

Nicephore Niepce was born in 1765 in France and invented photography and developed the first internal combustion engine. In 1807, the Niepce brothers: Nicephore and Claude, demonstrated the first internal combustion engine and were granted a patent for the design. It used a combination of moss, coal dust, and resin for fuel. PRECURSOR: 1206 – […]

1789 – Ohm – bio

Georg Simon Ohm was born in 1789 in Germany and was a physicist and mathematician. He is best known for formulating “Ohm’s Law” which states there is a proportional relationship between voltage (electrical “pressure”) and current (electrical flow) that also involves resistance. The formula is voltage = current x resistance. This can be re-arranged to […]

1770 – Elements of Algebra

“Vollständige Anleitung zur Algebra” translated literally means, “Complete Instruction to Algebra”, but it has become known in the English translation of “Elements of Algebra” as the first modern algebra textbook. When it was published in 1770 by Leonhard Euler, the author was near complete blindness. Twenty years earlier, he had published volumes on functions and […]

1701 – Bayes – bio

Thomas Bayes was born in England in 1701 and was a mathematician who contributed to the field of probability a rule that is now known as “Bayes Theorem”. The theorem is a simple formula used for calculating conditional probabilities. PRECURSOR: 1601 – Fermat 1623 – Pascal 1642 – Newton 1667 – de Moivre CONCURRENT: SUBSEQUENT: […]

1738 – Herschel – bio

Frederick William Herschel was born in 1738 in Hanover, Germany and was an astronomer and musician. He built over four hundred telescopes, including one that had a 40 foot focal length and 50 inch mirror. He observed and catalogued over 2400 astronomical objects. He discovered Uranus, two of it’s moons and two moons of Saturn. […]

1709 – Vaucanson – bio

Jacques Vaucanson was born in Grenoble, France in 1709 and was an inventor and engineer who mainly constructed automated machines known as automatons. These were early versions of robots. His most famous robot was the duck, which could flap its wings, stretch its neck and simulated digestion. He learned anatomy from discussions with surgeons and […]

1765 – Whitney – bio

Eli Whitney was born in Massachusetts, USA in 1765 and is known for being the inventor of the cotton “gin”. At the time, the word “gin” was used as a short form of the word “engine”. The cotton gin is a machine that combs through cotton to separate the cotton fibers from the seeds. When […]

1707 – Linnaeus – bio

Considered to be the father of modern taxonomy, and one of the fathers of ecology, Carl Linnaeus was a Swedish botanist born in 1707. He created a standardized system of classification and nomenclature to organize the data he collected on plants and animals. Linnaeus published a book called, “Systema Naturae” which began as an eleven […]

1791 – Babbage – bio

Charles Babbage was born in London, England, in 1791 and was a mathematician and inventor who is mostly known for designing the first calculating machine, that he called a “difference engine”. Babbage had the idea that tables of logarithms “might be calculated by machinery”, which would save time and reduce errors. He went on to […]