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## #76 2016-01-30 22:53:48

ganesh
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 28,171

### Re: crème de la crème

60. Euclid, sometimes called Euclid of Alexandria to distinguish him from Euclid of Megara, was a Greek mathematician, often referred to as the "Father of Geometry". He was active in Alexandria during the reign of Ptolemy I (323–283 BC). His 'Elements' is one of the most influential works in the history of mathematics, serving as the main textbook for teaching mathematics (especially geometry) from the time of its publication until the late 19th or early 20th century. In the 'Elements', Euclid deduced the principles of what is now called Euclidean geometry from a small set of axioms. Euclid also wrote works on perspective, conic sections, spherical geometry, number theory and rigor.

Although many of the results in 'Elements' originated with earlier mathematicians, one of Euclid's accomplishments was to present them in a single, logically coherent framework, making it easy to use and easy to reference, including a system of rigorous mathematical proofs that remains the basis of mathematics 23 centuries later.

There is no mention of Euclid in the earliest remaining copies of the Elements, and most of the copies say they are "from the edition of Theon" or the "lectures of Theon", while the text considered to be primary, held by the Vatican, mentions no author. The only reference that historians rely on of Euclid having written the' Elements' was from Proclus, who briefly in his Commentary on the 'Elements' ascribes Euclid as its author.

Although best known for its geometric results, the Elements also includes number theory. It considers the connection between perfect numbers and Mersenne primes (known as the Euclid-Euler theorem), the infinitude of prime numbers, Euclid's lemma on factorization (which leads to the fundamental theorem of arithmetic on uniqueness of prime factorizations), and the Euclidean algorithm for finding the greatest common divisor of two numbers.

The geometrical system described in the Elements was long known simply as geometry, and was considered to be the only geometry possible. Today, however, that system is often referred to as Euclidean geometry to distinguish it from other so-called non-Euclidean geometries that mathematicians discovered in the 19th century.

It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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## #77 2016-02-05 19:50:27

ganesh
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 28,171

### Re: crème de la crème

61. The Wright brothers, Orville (August 19, 1871 – January 30, 1948) and Wilbur (April 16, 1867 – May 30, 1912), were two American brothers, inventors, and aviation pioneers who are credited with inventing and building the world's first successful airplane and making the first controlled, powered and sustained heavier-than-air human flight, on December 17, 1903 four miles south of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. In 1904-1905 the brothers developed their flying machine into the first practical fixed-wing aircraft. Although not the first to build and fly experimental aircraft, the Wright brothers were the first to invent aircraft controls that made fixed-wing powered flight possible.

The brothers' fundamental breakthrough was their invention of three-axis control, which enabled the pilot to steer the aircraft effectively and to maintain its equilibrium. This method became and remains standard on fixed-wing aircraft of all kinds. From the beginning of their aeronautical work, the Wright brothers focused on developing a reliable method of pilot control as the key to solving "the flying problem". This approach differed significantly from other experimenters of the time who put more emphasis on developing powerful engines. Using a small homebuilt wind tunnel, the Wrights also collected more accurate data than any before, enabling them to design and build wings and propellers that were more efficient than any before. Their first U.S. patent, 821,393, did not claim invention of a flying machine, but rather, the invention of a system of aerodynamic control that manipulated a flying machine's surfaces.

They gained the mechanical skills essential for their success by working for years in their shop with printing presses, bicycles, motors, and other machinery. Their work with bicycles in particular influenced their belief that an unstable vehicle like a flying machine could be controlled and balanced with practice. From 1900 until their first powered flights in late 1903, they conducted extensive glider tests that also developed their skills as pilots. Their bicycle shop employee Charlie Taylor became an important part of the team, building their first airplane engine in close collaboration with the brothers.

The Wright brothers' status as inventors of the airplane has been subject to counter-claims by various parties. Much controversy persists over the many competing claims of early aviators. Historian Edward Roach argues that they were excellent self-taught engineers with a knack for tinkering more than for systematic research, but they proved to be poor businessmen.

It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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## #78 2016-02-08 17:22:53

ganesh
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 28,171

### Re: crème de la crème

62. Isaac Asimov (born Isaak Yudovich Ozimov; circa January 2, 1920 – April 6, 1992) was an American author and professor of biochemistry at Boston University, best known for his works of science fiction and for his popular science books. Asimov was prolific and wrote or edited more than 500 books and an estimated 90,000 letters and postcards. His books have been published in 9 of the 10 major categories of the Dewey Decimal Classification.

Asimov wrote hard science fiction and, along with Robert A. Heinlein and Arthur C. Clarke, he was considered one of the "Big Three" science fiction writers during his lifetime. Asimov's most famous work is the Foundation Series; his other major series are the Galactic Empire series and the Robot series. The Galactic Empire novels are explicitly set in earlier history of the same fictional universe as the Foundation series. Later, beginning with Foundation's Edge, he linked this distant future to the Robot and Spacer stories, creating a unified "future history" for his stories much like those pioneered by Robert A. Heinlein and previously produced by Cordwainer Smith and Poul Anderson. He wrote hundreds of short stories, including the social science fiction "Nightfall", which in 1964 was voted by the Science Fiction Writers of America the best short science fiction story of all time. Asimov wrote the Lucky Starr series of juvenile science-fiction novels using the pen name Paul French.

Asimov also wrote mysteries and fantasy, as well as much nonfiction. Most of his popular science books explain scientific concepts in a historical way, going as far back as possible to a time when the science in question was at its simplest stage. He often provides nationalities, birth dates, and death dates for the scientists he mentions, as well as etymologies and pronunciation guides for technical terms. Examples include Guide to Science, the three-volume set Understanding Physics, and Asimov's Chronology of Science and Discovery, as well as works on astronomy, mathematics, history, William Shakespeare's writing, and chemistry.

Asimov was a long-time member and vice president of Mensa International, albeit reluctantly; he described some members of that organization as "brain-proud and aggressive about their IQs". He took more joy in being president of the American Humanist Association. The asteroid 5020 Asimov, a crater on the planet Mars, a Brooklyn elementary school, and a literary award are named in his honor.

It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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## #79 2016-02-10 01:13:58

ganesh
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 28,171

### Re: crème de la crème

63. Gottlieb Wilhelm Daimler (17 March 1834 – 6 March 1900) was an engineer, industrial designer and industrialist born in Schorndorf (Kingdom of Württemberg, a federal state of the German Confederation), in what is now Germany. He was a pioneer of internal-combustion engines and automobile development. He invented the high-speed petrol engine.

Daimler and his lifelong business partner Wilhelm Maybach were two inventors whose goal was to create small, high-speed engines to be mounted in any kind of locomotion device. In 1885 they designed a precursor of the modern petrol (gasoline) engine which they subsequently fitted to a two-wheeler, the first internal combustion motorcycle and, in the next year, to a stagecoach, and a boat. Daimler called it the grandfather clock engine (Standuhr) because of its resemblance to a large pendulum clock.

In 1890, they founded Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft (DMG, in English—Daimler Motors Corporation). They sold their first automobile in 1892. Daimler fell ill and took a break from the business. Upon his return he experienced difficulty with the other stockholders that led to his resignation in 1893. This was reversed in 1894. Maybach resigned at the same time, and also returned. In 1900 Daimler died and Wilhelm Maybach quit DMG in 1907. In 1924, the DMG management signed a long term co-operation agreement with Karl Benz's Benz & Cie., and in 1926 the two companies merged to become Daimler-Benz AG, which is now part of Daimler AG.

It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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## #80 2016-02-11 23:45:06

mathaholic
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### Re: crème de la crème

ganesh wrote:

Walt Disney

Date of Birth 5 December 1901, Chicago, Illinois, USA
Date of Death 15 December 1966, Los Angeles, California, USA (cardiac arrest following lung cancer surgery)
Birth Name Walter Elias Disney
Nickname Uncle Walt
Height 5' 10" (1.78 m)

Walter Elias Disney was born on December 5, 1901 in Chicago, Illinois. He moved with his parents to Kansas City at age 7 where he spent the majority of his childhood. At age 16, during World War I, he faked his age to join the American Red Cross. He soon returned home, where he won a scholarship to the Kansas City Art Institute. There, he met a fellow animator, Ub Iwerks. The two soon set up their own company. In the early 1920s, they made a series of animated shorts for the Newman theater chain, entitled "Newman's Laugh-O-Grams". Their company soon went bankrupt, however.

The two then went to Hollywood in 1923. They started work on a new series, about a live-action little girl who journeys to a world of animated characters. Entitled the "Alice Comedies", they were distributed by M.J. Winkler (Margaret). Walt was backed up financially only by Winkler and his older brother Roy O. Disney, who remained his business partner for the rest of his life. Hundreds of "Alice Comedies" were produced between 1923 and 1927, before they lost popularity.

Walt then started work on a series around a new animated character, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. This series was successful, but in 1928, Walt discovered that M.J. Winkler and her husband, Charles Mintz, had stolen the rights to the character away from him. They had also stolen all his animators, except for Ub Iwerks. While taking the train home, Walt started doodling on a piece of paper. The result of these doodles was a mouse named Mickey. With only Walt and Ub to animate, and Walt's wife Lillian Disney (Lilly) and Roy's wife Edna Disney to ink in the animation cells, three Mickey Mouse cartoons were quickly produced. The first two didn't sell, so Walt added synchronized sound to the last one, Steamboat Willie (1928), and it was immediately picked up. With Walt as the voice of Mickey, it premiered to great success. Many more cartoons followed. Walt was now in the big time, but he didn't stop creating new ideas.

In 1929, he created the 'Silly Symphonies', a cartoon series that didn't have a continuous character. They were another success. One of them, Flowers and Trees (1932), was the first cartoon to be produced in color and the first cartoon to win an Oscar; another, Three Little Pigs (1933), was so popular it was often billed above the feature films it accompanied. The Silly Symphonies stopped coming out in 1939, but Mickey and friends, (including Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy, Pluto, and plenty more), were still going strong and still very popular.

In 1934, Walt started work on another new idea: a cartoon that ran the length of a feature film. Everyone in Hollywood was calling it "Disney's Folly", but Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) was anything but, winning critical raves, the adoration of the public, and one big and seven little special Oscars for Walt. Now Walt listed animated features among his ever-growing list of accomplishments. While continuing to produce cartoon shorts, he also started producing more of the animated features. Pinocchio (1940), Dumbo (1941), and Bambi (1942) were all successes; not even a flop like Fantasia (1940) and a studio animators' strike in 1941 could stop Disney now.

In the mid 1940s, he began producing "packaged features", essentially a group of shorts put together to run feature length, but by 1950 he was back with animated features that stuck to one story, with Cinderella (1950), Alice in Wonderland (1951), and Peter Pan (1953). In 1950, he also started producing live-action films, with Treasure Island (1950). These began taking on greater importance throughout the 50s and 60s, but Walt continued to produce animated features, including Lady and the Tramp (1955), Sleeping Beauty (1959), and 101 Dalmatians (1961).

In 1955, he even opened a theme park in southern California: Disneyland. It was a place where children and their parents could take rides, just explore, and meet the familiar animated characters, all in a clean, safe environment. It was another great success. Walt also became one of the first producers of films to venture into television, with his series Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color (1954) which he began in 1954 to promote his theme park. He also produced The Mickey Mouse Club (1955) and Zorro (1957). To top it all off, Walt came out with the lavish musical fantasy Mary Poppins (1964), which mixed live-action with animation. It is considered by many to be his magnum opus. Even after that, Walt continued to forge onward, with plans to build a new theme park and an experimental prototype city in Florida.

He never did finish those plans, however; in 1966, he developed lung cancer brought on by his lifelong chain-smoking. He died in the hospital on December 15, 1966 at age 65. But not even his death, it seemed, could stop him. Roy carried on plans to build the Florida theme park, and it premiered in 1971 under the name Walt Disney World. What's more, his company continues to flourish, still producing animated and live-action films and overseeing the still- growing empire started by one man: Walt Disney, who will never be forgotten.

http://www.justdisney.com/images/walt_disney_photos/unedited_pics/waltdisney3.jpg

That was such a touching biography.

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## #81 2016-02-12 00:21:35

ganesh
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 28,171

### Re: crème de la crème

I concur, mathaholic!

64. Johannes Gensfleisch zur Laden zum Gutenberg (c. 1398 – February 3, 1468) was a German blacksmith, goldsmith, printer, and publisher who introduced printing to Europe. His introduction of mechanical movable type printing to Europe started the Printing Revolution and is widely regarded as the most important invention of the second millennium, the seminal event which ushered in the modern period of human history. It played a key role in the development of the Renaissance, Reformation, the Age of Enlightenment, and the scientific revolution and laid the material basis for the modern knowledge-based economy and the spread of learning to the masses.

Gutenberg in 1439 was the first European to use the printing press and movable type in Europe. Among his many contributions to printing are: the invention of a process for mass-producing movable type; the use of oil-based ink for printing books; adjustable molds; mechanical movable type; and the use of a wooden printing press similar to the agricultural screw presses of the period. His truly epochal invention was the combination of these elements into a practical system that allowed the mass production of printed books and was economically viable for printers and readers alike. Gutenberg's method for making type is traditionally considered to have included a type metal alloy and a hand mould for casting type. The alloy was a mixture of lead, tin, and antimony that melted at a relatively low temperature for faster and more economical casting, cast well, and created a durable type.

In Renaissance Europe, the arrival of mechanical movable type printing introduced the era of mass communication which permanently altered the structure of society. The relatively unrestricted circulation of information—including revolutionary ideas—transcended borders, captured the masses in the Reformation and threatened the power of political and religious authorities; the sharp increase in literacy broke the monopoly of the literate elite on education and learning and bolstered the emerging middle class. Across Europe, the increasing cultural self-awareness of its people led to the rise of proto-nationalism, accelerated by the flowering of the European vernacular languages to the detriment of Latin's status as lingua franca. In the 19th century, the replacement of the hand-operated Gutenberg-style press by steam-powered rotary presses allowed printing on an industrial scale, while Western-style printing was adopted all over the world, becoming practically the sole medium for modern bulk printing.

The use of movable type was a marked improvement on the handwritten manuscript, which was the existing method of book production in Europe, and upon woodblock printing, and revolutionized European book-making. Gutenberg's printing technology spread rapidly throughout Europe and later the world.

His major work, the Gutenberg Bible (also known as the 42-line Bible), has been acclaimed for its high aesthetic and technical quality.

It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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## #82 2016-02-12 01:30:57

mathaholic
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Posts: 3,251

### Re: crème de la crème

Uh huh. So that's the person behind Gutenberg Bible.

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## #83 2016-02-12 18:55:57

ganesh
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 28,171

### Re: crème de la crème

That's right, mathaholic!

65. Charles Babbage.

(b. Walworth, Surrey, England, 26 December 1791; d. London, England, 18 October 1871)

Babbage is generally remembered as the nineteenth-century prophet of the modern computer. He was a mathematician who designed two distinct types of mechanical computing devices that were rediscovered in the late 1930s, a time when American and European engineers were building electronic computing machines. Since that period, the story of Babbage served as a starting point for the computer age, the distant founder of a modern discipline. Many a discussion of the field began with a brief treatment of Babbage’s computing engines. The London Science Museum constructed one of his computing machines from the original plans in order to demonstrate the validity of Babbage’s ideas.

After the first major biography of Babbage appeared in 1982, scholars developed a broader understanding of Babbage that places his computing machines in the context of his other scientific work. Babbage explored a number of fields, including geology, chemistry, economics, electricity, actuarial mathematics, astronomy, statistics, and mechanical engineering. In probing these different areas, he developed three basic themes that served as his foundation stones for the practice of science. The first was the importance of analysis, the dissection of ideas into their fundamental components. The second was the value of symbolism, the tool for recording and manipulating ideas. The last is need for well, democratic institutions to support scientific research. These themes are best seen in his efforts to reform the English scientific community and his writings on industrial management but they are also found in his work on computing machines.

Education and Early Career - Babbage was born into a middle-class family with rising fortunes. His father was a London banker, who made enough money to be able to purchase an estate in the country. Though he was educated at minor regional schools, Babbage was prepared for the Cambridge University entrance exam by a scholar from Oxford. In this preparatory work Babbage demonstrated a substantial skill in mathematics and a firm interest in the mathematical writings of continental mathematicians represented by Leonhard Euler, Joseph-Louis Lagrange, and Pierre-Simon Laplace, a group that was often identified as the “analytical school.”

Babbage entered Trinity College, Cambridge, in the fall of 1810. His first months at college were awkward as he struggled to find a place among the aristocratic students who had studied at England’s public schools. He shunned the ordinary course of study at Cambridge, which was focused on the mathematical ideas of Isaac Newton, and spent hours studying the analytical mathematicians. In the spring of 1812 he fell into a group of like-minded students and formed an organization known as the Analytical Society. The leader of this group was John Herschel, son of the astronomer William Herschel.

For the rest of Babbage’s life Herschel would be his best friend and closest confidant.

Over the next eighteen months Babbage and Herschel prepared a small volume of mathematical papers called the Memoirs of the Analytical Society (1813). After Herschel graduated from college in May 1813, Babbage turned his attention from mathematics to chemistry. He created a small laboratory in his college rooms and started a program of experiments. Most of these experiments consisted of subjecting different substances to extremely high temperatures. His study was guided by England’s premier chemist of the time, Smithson Tennant, who had just taken an appointment at Cambridge. Babbage’s interest in the subject faded when his time at college came to an end, but he would later write that “I have never regretted the time I bestowed upon [chemistry] at the commencement of my career”.

In June 1814 Babbage left Cambridge with a bachelor’s degree, married Georgiana Whitmore, and moved to London. For the next seven years he returned to mathematical work and published more than a dozen papers. Though he is usually associated with the traditional ideas of calculus—the analysis of motions and forces—Babbage actually devoted most of his energies to a branch of algebra called the calculus of functions. This branch looks at broad classes of mathematical functions and tries to determine the properties of those functions.

During his time in London, Babbage became interested in geology and astronomy. He also traveled to France in search of scientific books. While in Paris he was likely introduced to the work of Gaspard de Prony, who had completed a large set of logarithm and trigonometry tables. De Prony had been able to divide the labor of computing these tables among ninety assistants. This work impressed Babbage, and he would draw upon it when he returned to England.

The Difference Engine - In 1820 he became a founding member of the Astronomical Society, a group of businessmen who were interested in revising the Royal Nautical Almanac, the annual volume that was used by navigators and surveyors. This book gave lengthy tables that showed the positions of the heavenly bodies on every night of the year. It needed to be prepared years in advance and required a substantial amount of calculation.

In preparing some ancillary tables for the Almanac, Babbage conceived of a machine that might assist with the calculation. The machine would calculate polynomial interpolations; it would draw curves through points on a graph. Babbage called this machine the Difference Engine, because it used the method of finite differences to compute the interpolations. For this idea he received a gold medal from the Astronomical Society and a grant of funds from the British government to complete the machine.

Though Babbage was quickly able to complete a prototype of his Difference Engine, he found that the full machine was considerably more complicated than he had anticipated. He spent seven years refining the design and developing new machining techniques. During this time he visited different English companies in order to learn how they engineered complicated machinery. He also became engaged in other activities. He became interested, for a time, in the new insurance industry. He wrote a treatise on the construction of mathematical tables. He experimented with electricity. He wrote papers on machinery and mechanical engineering. And he lobbied for an academic appointment at the new University of London.

In 1827 Babbage was confronted, in less than six months’ time, by the deaths of a son, his father, and his wife. Abandoning his Difference Engine, still unfinished, he retreated to Europe. During his travels he was introduced to many of Europe’s leading scientists and learned that he had been appointed to the Lucasian chair at Cambridge, the professorship that had once been held by Newton.

Babbage returned to England invigorated and filled with new ideas. He first became involved in the reform movement and stood for election to Parliament twice as a Liberal or Whig. He lost both times and turned from politics back to scientific projects. From the notes he made while visiting machine shops and factories he wrote a book titled On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures (1832), which was probably his most influential work during his lifetime. It took the economic ideas of Adam Smith and updated them to the machinery age. The book showed not only how machines might be used in industry but how they might be used most economically.

Most of Babbage’s economics ideas were based upon the division of labor. He recognized that the division of labor could be applied not only to physical tasks such as manufacturing but also to mental tasks such as the computation of a trigonometry table. Furthermore, he recognized that the division of labor allowed factory owners to reduce the cost of manufacturing by assigning each individual task to the least expensive laborer capable of handling that task. This insight became one of the foundations of industrial management.

As one of the country’s leading experts on computation, Babbage was appointed to a committee reviewing the Royal Nautical Almanac. This group met in the offices of the Royal Astronomical Society and considered both the contents and means of producing the almanac. They recommended adding a substantial number of tables to the volume. They also urged that the British government use a more systematic form of management to compute the tables, though they stopped short of recommending that Babbage’s machine be used for the calculations.

During this period Babbage also became interested in the organization of scientific societies. In particular he became a champion of the modern, self-organized scientific institution. In an 1830 pamphlet, Reflections on the Decline of Science, he argued that “science has long been neglected and declining in England” (p. i). England’s major scientific society of the time, the Royal Society, was not entirely self-governed and had many members who were not scientists. Babbage, who had been a member of the Royal Society since his graduation from Cambridge, attempted to reform the society but found little assistance. Frustrated by the work, he and a small group of friends decided to found a new society, the British Association for the Advancement of Science, based on the principles of self-organization by scientists.

The Analytical Engine. In 1834, with his Difference Engine still unfinished, Babbage conceived a new, more general machine for the evaluation of functions. This machine resembled the modern computer in that it read operations from a string of punched cards and performed those operations on individual numbers. It also had a means of storing and retrieving numbers. He would name the new device the Analytical Engine after his interest in analytical mathematics. It was far more complicated than his Difference Engine, which could calculate only polynomials. It required him to prepare new designs, new plans, and new descriptions.

In his work on the Analytical Engine, Babbage was briefly assisted by Ada Lovelace, the daughter of the poet Lord Byron (George Gordon Byron). Lovelace played a key role that moved Babbage’s idea beyond its inventor into the larger world: She translated and annotated a description of the Analytical Engine and wrote the instructions that would compute a set of values called Bernoulli numbers. In modern terminology the term program would be used to identify this set of instructions.

While Babbage was working on his design for his Analytical Engine he was also continuing to organize scientific institutions. He was a founding officer of the Royal Statistical Society. At the time, statistical science included most of the fields that have since devolved into social sciences: economics, sociology, psychology, and anthropology. Babbage was interested in the mathematical foundations of these fields and corresponded with most of the leading statisticians of the day, including the Belgian Adolphe Quetelet.

Though he worked on many different projects during the late 1830s, Babbage devoted most of his attention to his Analytical Engine. “My coach house was now converted to a forge,” he wrote, “whilst my stables were transformed into a workshop”. He refined the design of the machine, carefully describing the motion of each part in a notation that he had devised. Through these years his ideas about calculation drew the attention of individuals both in England and in Europe. In 1840 Babbage discussed his Analytical Engine at a scientific conference in Turin, Italy, which proved to be one of the more gratifying moments in his life. Two years later his workshop was visited by Prince Albert, the husband of Queen Victoria.

Through 1842 the British government had supported the development of Babbage’s computing machines and had given him fifteen thousand pounds to help pay for materials and the salary of a skilled machinist. However, the government had become impatient with Babbage’s progress. In twenty years of work he had failed to complete a full, working machine. In the fall of that year the chancellor of the exchequer informed him that the government would no longer provide him with funds. Babbage appealed to the prime minister, but he was unable to change the decision.

Babbage was angered by the action of the British government and was particularly stung by a report from the astronomer royal, George Airy, who wrote, “I believe the machine to be useless, and that the sooner it is abandoned, the better it will be for all parties” (George Airy to Henry Goulburn, September 16, 1842, Papers of the Royal Greenwich Observatory, Cambridge University). For the next twenty-five years Babbage would devote himself to erasing that verdict and establishing the value of his ideas. However, Airy probably made the correct judgment for the time. Babbage’s calculators would have had limited application. Within the nineteenth-century scientific community only astronomers might regularly have found a use for one of Babbage’s machines, and none of them could have kept it fully occupied.

In 1854 Babbage’s ideas came to the attention of George and Edvard Scheutz, a father and son from Sweden. After reading a description of the Difference Engine, they designed and built their own version. This machine was smaller and lighter than the engine conceived by Babbage. They used gears and levers that would have been suitable for the mechanism of a clock. In contrast, Babbage used technology that would have been appropriate for a steam engine. Babbage’s engine, if completed, would have filled a room. The Scheutz engine sat nicely on a table and looked like a complicated music box.

Babbage was pleased with Scheutz engine and praised it publicly. The machine was purchased by the Dudley Observatory in Albany, New York, and was given its test, in 1858, by the staff of the American Nautical Almanac. The Americans used it to compute part of an astronomical table that showed the position of the planet Mars. Though they ultimately completed the task, they found the machine difficult to set up and more trouble than it was worth. “The result thus far,” wrote one member of the staff, “has not been such as to demonstrate to my satisfaction that any considerable portion of the Almanac can be computed more economically by this machine”.

Later Years. At this time Babbage began to withdraw from scientific work. One author speculates that Babbage had a problem with his eyes that made it hard for him to work and exacerbated his difficult personality. Increasingly he turned to problems that were trivial and not worthy of his talents. He designed a system for coastal navigation and worked on minor problems of machining. However, he did complete a new, refined design for his Difference Engine and continued to promote his ideas on computation.

Babbage remained a key member of the scientific community. He knew Charles Darwin and had a brief correspondence with George Boole. Yet during the last years of his life he continued to return to his computing engines. In 1861 he wrote an autobiography, which is largely a defense of his ideas on computing machines. He also returned to his Analytical Engine, looking at calculations and seeing how he might do them with his machine. For the most part he went over old ground. He looked at different mathematical expressions and tried to write code for them. Only a few times did he begin to wander into fields that would really show the power of the computer, but he never pursued these ideas very far. He died in 1871 with his machines still unfinished.

In 1879 the British Association for the Advancement of Science considered the possibility of building an Analytical Engine from Babbage’s plans but concluded that such a project was beyond their ability and resources. A decade later Babbage’s son, Henry Prevost Babbage, constructed part of the machine, the section involved with the actual computation. The younger Babbage also collected and published his father’s papers on calculating machines.

A practical Difference Engine was demonstrated by the Royal Nautical Almanac in the 1920s. The superintendent of the Almanac, L. J. Comrie, discovered a commercial bookkeeping machine that had a structure similar to that of Babbage’s original computing machine. It can “be called a modern Babbage machine,” Comrie wrote, for “it does all that Babbage intended his difference engine to do and more”. Comrie showed how this machine could be used to compute some of the Almanac’s tables. The Almanac staff made regular use of this machine until it was replaced with an electronic computer in the 1950s.

Babbage is connected to the modern computer through the work of Howard Aiken, a Harvard University graduate student who built a computing machine in the early 1940s. Aiken discovered Babbage’s papers and a model of his computing machine while he was designing his own device. Aiken quickly grasped what Babbage had accomplished and identified him as one of the founders of the field of computation, “a radical inventor,” according to Aiken’s biographer, “who was not fully appreciated by his contemporaries”.

It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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## #84 2016-02-12 22:06:42

mathaholic
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### Re: crème de la crème

Amazing person he is.

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## #85 2016-02-16 23:38:32

ganesh
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 28,171

### Re: crème de la crème

Amazing person, indeed, mathaholic!

66. George Eastman (July 12, 1854 – March 14, 1932) was an American innovator and entrepreneur who founded the Eastman Kodak Company and popularized the use of roll film, helping to bring photography to the mainstream. Roll film was also the basis for the invention of motion picture film in 1888 by the world's first film-makers Eadweard Muybridge and Louis Le Prince, and a few years later by their followers Léon Bouly, Thomas Edison, the Lumière Brothers, and Georges Méliès.

He was a major philanthropist, establishing the Eastman School of Music, and schools of dentistry and medicine at the University of Rochester and in London; contributing to the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) and the construction of several buildings at MIT's second campus on the Charles River. In addition he made major donations to Tuskegee and Hampton universities, historically black universities in the South. With interests in improving health, he provided funds for clinics in London and other European cities to serve low-income residents.

The George Eastman House, now operated as the International Museum of Photography and Film, has been designated a National Historic Landmark. Eastman is the only person represented by two stars in the Hollywood Walk of Fame in the same category, for his invention of roll film.

Last edited by ganesh (2016-02-16 23:45:42)

It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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## #86 2016-02-17 09:27:10

bobbym
bumpkin
From: Bumpkinland
Registered: 2009-04-12
Posts: 109,606

### Re: crème de la crème

Hooray for Babbage!

In mathematics, you don't understand things. You just get used to them.
If it ain't broke, fix it until it is.
Always satisfy the Prime Directive of getting the right answer above all else.

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## #87 2016-02-17 17:40:57

ganesh
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 28,171

### Re: crème de la crème

Thanks, bobbym! (#88)

67. John Logie Baird (14 August 1888 – 14 June 1946) was a Scottish engineer, innovator, one of the inventors of the mechanical television, demonstrating the first working television system on 26 January 1926, and inventor of both the first publicly demonstrated colour television system, and the first purely electronic colour television picture tube.

In 1928 the Baird Television Development Company achieved the first transatlantic television transmission. Baird's early technological successes and his role in the practical introduction of broadcast television for home entertainment have earned him a prominent place in television's history.

Baird was ranked number 44 in the BBC's list of the 100 Greatest Britons following a UK-wide vote in 2002. In 2006, Baird was named as one of the 10 greatest Scottish scientists in history, having been listed in the National Library of Scotland's 'Scottish Science Hall of Fame'. In 2015 he was inducted into the Scottish Engineering Hall of Fame.

It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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## #88 2016-02-20 00:21:56

ganesh
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 28,171

### Re: crème de la crème

68. David Robert Joseph Beckham, (born 2 May 1975) is an English former professional footballer. He played for Manchester United, Preston North End, Real Madrid, Milan, LA Galaxy, Paris Saint-Germain, and the England national team for which he holds the appearance record for an outfield player. He is the first English player to win league titles in four countries: England, Spain, the United States and France. He announced his retirement in May 2013 after a 20-year career, during which he won 19 major trophies. Known for his range of passing, crossing ability and bending free-kicks, he was twice runner-up for FIFA World Player of the Year and in 2004 he was named in the FIFA 100 list of the world's greatest living players.

Beckham's professional club career began with Manchester United, where he made his first-team debut in 1992 aged 17. With United, he won the Premier League title six times, the FA Cup twice, and the UEFA Champions League in 1999. He then played four seasons with Real Madrid, winning the La Liga championship in his final season with the club. In July 2007 Beckham signed a five-year contract with Major League Soccer club LA Galaxy. While a Galaxy player, he spent two loan spells in Italy with Milan in 2009 and 2010. He was the first British footballer to play 100 UEFA Champions League games.

In international football, Beckham made his England debut on 1 September 1996 at the age of 21. He was captain for six years, earning 58 caps during his tenure. He made 115 career appearances in total, appearing at three FIFA World Cup tournaments, the 1998, 2002 and 2006 editions and two UEFA European Championship tournaments, the 2000 and 2004 editions.

One of the most marketable athletes in sport, Beckham has consistently ranked among the highest earners in football, and in 2013 he was listed as the highest-paid player in the world, earning over \$50 million in the previous 12 months. He has been married to Victoria Beckham since 1999 and they have four children. He has been a UNICEF UK ambassador since 2005, and in 2015 he launched 7: The David Beckham UNICEF Fund to help protect children in danger around the world. In February 2014, MLS announced Beckham and a group of investors would own an expansion team in Miami, which would begin in 2016 or 2017.

It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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## #89 2016-02-22 00:19:35

ganesh
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 28,171

### Re: crème de la crème

69. Gregor Johann Mendel (20 July 1822 - 6 January 1884) was a German-speaking Moravian scientist and Augustinian friar who gained posthumous fame as the founder of the modern science of genetics. Though farmers had known for centuries that crossbreeding of animals and plants could favor certain desirable traits, Mendel's pea plant experiments conducted between 1856 and 1863 established many of the rules of heredity, now referred to as the laws of Mendelian inheritance.

Mendel worked with seven characteristics of pea plants: plant height, pod shape and color, seed shape and color, and flower position and color. With seed color, he showed that when a yellow pea and a green pea were bred together their offspring plant was always yellow. However, in the next generation of plants, the green peas reappeared at a ratio of 1:3. To explain this phenomenon, Mendel coined the terms “recessive” and “dominant” in reference to certain traits. (In the preceding example, green peas are recessive and yellow peas are dominant.) He published his work in 1866, demonstrating the actions of invisible “factors”—now called genes—in providing for visible traits in predictable ways.

The profound significance of Mendel's work was not recognized until the turn of the 20th century (more than three decades later) with the independent rediscovery of these laws. Erich von Tschermak, Hugo de Vries, Carl Correns, and William Jasper Spillman independently verified several of Mendel's experimental findings, ushering in the modern age of genetics.

It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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## #90 2016-02-23 19:29:21

ganesh
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 28,171

### Re: crème de la crème

70. Elias Howe

Elias Howe jr

Born     July 9, 1819
Spencer, Massachusetts

Died     October 3, 1867 (aged 48)
Brooklyn, New York
Nationality : American

Engineering career
Engineering discipline     Mechanical Engineering

Elias Howe, Jr. (July 9, 1819 – October 3, 1867) was an American inventor and sewing machine pioneer.

Elias Howe, Jr. was born on July 9, 1819, to Dr. Elias Howe, Sr., and Polly (Bemis) Howe in Spencer, Massachusetts. Howe spent his childhood and early adult years in Massachusetts where he apprenticed in a textile factory in Lowell beginning in 1835. After mill closings due to the Panic of 1837, he moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts, to work as a mechanic with carding machinery, apprenticing along with his cousin Nathaniel P. Banks. Beginning in 1838, he apprenticed in the shop of Ari Davis, a master mechanic in Cambridge who specialized in the manufacture and repair of chronometers and other precision instruments. It was in the employ of Davis that Howe seized upon the idea of the sewing machine.

He married Elizabeth Jennings Ames, daughter of Simon Ames and Jane B. Ames on 3 Mar 1841 in Cambridge. They had three children: Jane Robinson Howe, Simon Ames Howe, and Julia Maria Howe.

Contrary to popular belief, Howe was not the first to conceive of the idea of a sewing machine. Many other people had formulated the idea of such a machine before him, one as early as 1790, and some had even patented their designs and produced working machines, in one case at least 80 of them. However, Howe originated significant refinements to the design concepts of his predecessors, and on September 10, 1846, he was awarded the first United States patent (U.S. Patent 4,750) for a sewing machine using a lockstitch design. His machine contained the three essential features common to most modern machines:

a needle with the eye at the point,
a shuttle operating beneath the cloth to form the lock stitch, and
an automatic feed.

A possibly apocryphal account of how he came up with the idea for placing the eye of the needle at the point is recorded in a family history of his mother's family:

He almost beggared himself before he discovered where the eye of the needle of the sewing machine should be located. It is probable that there are very few people who know how it came about. His original idea was to follow the model of the ordinary needle, and have the eye at the heel. It never occurred to him that it should be placed near the point, and he might have failed altogether if he had not dreamed he was building a sewing machine for a savage king in a strange country. Just as in his actual working experience, he was perplexed about the needle's eye. He thought the king gave him twenty-four hours in which to complete the machine and make it sew. If not finished in that time death was to be the punishment. Howe worked and worked, and puzzled, and finally gave it up. Then he thought he was taken out to be executed. He noticed that the warriors carried spears that were pierced near the head. Instantly came the solution of the difficulty, and while the inventor was begging for time, he awoke. It was 4 o'clock in the morning. He jumped out of bed, ran to his workshop, and by 9, a needle with an eye at the point had been rudely modeled. After that it was easy. That is the true story of an important incident in the invention of the sewing machine.

Despite securing his patent, Howe had considerable difficulty finding investors in the United States to finance production of his invention, so his elder brother Amasa Bemis Howe traveled to England in October 1846 to seek financing. Amasa was able to sell his first machine for £250 to William Thomas of Cheapside, London, who owned a factory for the manufacture of corsets, umbrellas and valises. Elias and his family joined Amasa in London in 1848, but after business disputes with Thomas and failing health of his wife, Howe returned nearly penniless to the United States. His wife Elizabeth, who preceded Elias back to the United States, died in Cambridge, Massachusetts shortly after his return in 1849.

Despite his efforts to sell his machine, other entrepreneurs began manufacturing sewing machines. Howe was forced to defend his patent in a court case that lasted from 1849 to 1854 because he found that Isaac Singer with cooperation from Walter Hunt had perfected a facsimile of his machine and was selling it with the same lockstitch that Howe had invented and patented. He won the dispute and earned considerable royalties from Singer and others for sales of his invention.

Howe contributed much of the money he earned to providing equipment for the 17th Connecticut Volunteer Infantry of the Union Army during the Civil War, in which Howe served as a Private in Company D. Due to his faltering health he performed light duty, often seen walking with the aid of his Shillelagh, and took on the position of Regimental Postmaster, serving out his time riding to and from Baltimore with war news. He'd enlisted August 14, 1862, and then mustered out July 19, 1865.

Howe received a patent in 1851 for an "Automatic, Continuous Clothing Closure". Perhaps because of the success of his sewing machine, he did not try to seriously market it, missing recognition he might otherwise have received.

Between 1865/67, Elias established 'The Howe Machine Co' in Bridgeport, Connecticut that was operated by Elias's sons-in-laws, the Stockwell Brothers until about 1886. Between 1854 and 1871/72, Elias's older brother, Amasa Bemis Howe, and later his son Benjamin Porter Howe, as Amasa died in 1868, owned and operated a factory in New York City manufacturing sewing machines under the name of 'The Howe Sewing Machine Co', which had won a gold medal at the London Exhibition of 1862. Then In 1873, B. P. Howe sold 'The Howe Sewing Machine Co' factory and name, to 'The Howe Machine Co', which merged the two companies together. Elias's sewing machine won the gold medal at the Paris Exhibition of 1867, and that same year he was awarded the Légion d'honneur by Napoleon III for his invention.

Howe died at age 48, on October 3, 1867, of gout and a massive blood clot. He was buried in Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York. His second wife, Rose Halladay, who died on October 10, 1890, is buried with him. Both Singer and Howe ended their days as multi-millionaires.

Howe was commemorated with a 5-cent stamp in the Famous American Inventors series issued October 14, 1940. In 2004 he was inducted into the United States National Inventors Hall of Fame.

It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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## #91 2016-02-25 03:20:00

ganesh
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 28,171

### Re: crème de la crème

71. Charles Robert Darwin, (12 February 1809 – 19 April 1882) was an English naturalist and geologist, best known for his contributions to evolutionary theory. He established that all species of life have descended over time from common ancestors, and in a joint publication with Alfred Russel Wallace introduced his scientific theory that this branching pattern of evolution resulted from a process that he called natural selection, in which the struggle for existence has a similar effect to the artificial selection involved in selective breeding.

Darwin published his theory of evolution with compelling evidence in his 1859 book On the Origin of Species, overcoming scientific rejection of earlier concepts of transmutation of species. By the 1870s, the scientific community and much of the general public had accepted evolution as a fact. However, many favoured competing explanations and it was not until the emergence of the modern evolutionary synthesis from the 1930s to the 1950s that a broad consensus developed in which natural selection was the basic mechanism of evolution. In modified form, Darwin's scientific discovery is the unifying theory of the life sciences, explaining the diversity of life.

Darwin's early interest in nature led him to neglect his medical education at the University of Edinburgh; instead, he helped to investigate marine invertebrates. Studies at the University of Cambridge (Christ's College) encouraged his passion for natural science. His five-year voyage on HMS Beagle established him as an eminent geologist whose observations and theories supported Charles Lyell's uniformitarian ideas, and publication of his journal of the voyage made him famous as a popular author.

Puzzled by the geographical distribution of wildlife and fossils he collected on the voyage, Darwin began detailed investigations and in 1838 conceived his theory of natural selection. Although he discussed his ideas with several naturalists, he needed time for extensive research and his geological work had priority. He was writing up his theory in 1858 when Alfred Russel Wallace sent him an essay that described the same idea, prompting immediate joint publication of both of their theories. Darwin's work established evolutionary descent with modification as the dominant scientific explanation of diversification in nature. In 1871 he examined human evolution and selection in The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Male/Female, followed by The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals. His research on plants was published in a series of books, and in his final book, he examined earthworms and their effect on soil.

Darwin has been described as one of the most influential figures in human history; he was honoured by burial in Westminster Abbey.

It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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## #92 2016-02-26 00:29:10

mathaholic
Member
From: Earth
Registered: 2012-11-29
Posts: 3,251

### Re: crème de la crème

Yeah, Charles Darwin. Knew him for quite some time now. I even once mistook him as the contributor to the continental drift! (Even though that was Alfred Wegener)

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## #93 2016-02-26 00:40:22

ganesh
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 28,171

### Re: crème de la crème

72. Christiaan Huygens, also spelled Christian Huyghens    (born April 14, 1629, The Hague—died July 8, 1695, The Hague), Dutch mathematician, astronomer, and physicist, who founded the wave theory of light, discovered the true shape of the rings of Saturn, and made original contributions to the science of dynamics—the study of the action of forces on bodies.

Huygens was from a wealthy and distinguished middle-class family. His father, Constantijn Huygens, a diplomat, Latinist, and poet, was the friend and correspondent of many outstanding intellectual figures of the day, including the scientist and philosopher René Descartes. From an early age, Huygens showed a marked mechanical bent and a talent for drawing and mathematics. Some of his early efforts in geometry impressed Descartes, who was an occasional visitor to the Huygens’ household. In 1645 Huygens entered the University of Leiden, where he studied mathematics and law. Two years later he entered the College of Breda, in the midst of a furious controversy over the philosophy of Descartes. Although Huygens later rejected certain of the Cartesian tenets including the identification of extension and body, he always affirmed that mechanical explanations were essential in science, a fact that later was to have an important influence on his mathematical interpretation of both light and gravitation.

In 1655 Huygens for the first time visited Paris, where his distinguished parentage, wealth, and affable disposition gave him entry to the highest intellectual and social circles. During his next visit to Paris in 1660, he met Blaise Pascal, with whom he had already been in correspondence on mathematical problems. Huygens had already acquired a European reputation by his publications in mathematics, especially his De Circuli Magnitudine Inventa of 1654, and by his discovery in 1659 of the true shape of the rings of Saturn—made possible by the improvements he had introduced in the construction of the telescope with his new method of grinding and polishing lenses. Using his improved telescope, he discovered a satellite of Saturn in March 1655 and distinguished the stellar components of the Orion nebula in 1656. His interest, as an astronomer, in the accurate measurement of time then led him to his discovery of the pendulum as a regulator of clocks, as described in his Horologium (1658).

In 1666 Huygens became one of the founding members of the French Academy of Sciences, which granted him a pension larger than that of any other member and an apartment in its building. Apart from occasional visits to Holland, he lived from 1666 to 1681 in Paris, where he made the acquaintance of the German mathematician and philosopher Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, with whom he remained on friendly terms for the rest of his life. The major event of Huygens’ years in Paris was the publication in 1673 of his Horologium Oscillatorium. That brilliant work contained a theory on the mathematics of curvatures, as well as complete solutions to such problems of dynamics as the derivation of the formula for the time of oscillation of the simple pendulum, the oscillation of a body about a stationary axis, and the laws of centrifugal force for uniform circular motion. Some of the results were given without proof in an appendix, and Huygens’ complete proofs were not published until after his death.

The treatment of rotating bodies was partly based on an ingenious application of the principle that in any system of bodies the centre of gravity could never rise of its own accord above its initial position. Earlier Huygens had applied the same principle to the treatment of the problem of collisions, for which he had obtained a definitive solution in the case of perfectly elastic bodies as early as 1656, although his results remained unpublished until 1669.

The somewhat eulogistic dedication of the Horologium Oscillatorium to Louis XIV brought to a head murmurs against Huygens at a time when France was at war with Holland, but in spite of this he continued to reside in Paris. Huygens’ health was never good, and he suffered from recurrent illnesses, including one in 1670 which was so serious that for a time he despaired of his own life.

A serious illness in 1681 prompted him to return to Holland, where he intended to stay only temporarily. But the death in 1683 of his patron, Jean-Baptiste Colbert, who had been Louis XIV’s chief adviser, and Louis’s increasingly reactionary policy, which culminated in the revocation (1685) of the Edict of Nantes, which had granted certain liberties to Protestants, militated against his ever returning to Paris.

Huygens visited London in 1689 and met Sir Isaac Newton and lectured on his own theory of gravitation before the Royal Society. Although he did not engage in public controversy with Newton directly, it is evident from Huygens’ correspondence, especially that with Leibniz, that in spite of his generous admiration for the mathematical ingenuity of the Principia, he regarded a theory of gravity that was devoid of any mechanical explanation as fundamentally unacceptable. His own theory, published in 1690 in his Discours de la cause de la pesanteur (“Discourse on the Cause of Gravity”), though dating at least to 1669, included a mechanical explanation of gravity based on Cartesian vortices. Huygens’ Traité de la Lumière (Treatise on Light), already largely completed by 1678, was also published in 1690. In it he again showed his need for ultimate mechanical explanations in his discussion of the nature of light. But his beautiful explanations of reflection and refraction—far superior to those of Newton—were entirely independent of mechanical explanations, being based solely on the so-called Huygens’ principle of secondary wave fronts.

As a mathematician Huygens had great talent rather than genius of the first order. He sometimes found difficulty in following the innovations of Leibniz and others, but he was admired by Newton because of his love for the old synthetic methods. For almost the whole of the 18th century his work in both dynamics and light was overshadowed by that of Newton. In gravitation his theory was never taken seriously and remains today of historical interest only. But his work on rotating bodies and his contributions to the theory of light were of lasting importance. Forgotten until the early 19th century, these latter appear today as one of the most brilliant and original contributions to modern science and will always be remembered by the principle bearing his name.

The last five years of Huygens’ life were marked by continued ill health and increasing feelings of loneliness and melancholy. He made the final corrections to his will in March 1695 and died after much suffering later that same year.

It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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## #94 2016-02-26 00:47:02

ganesh
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 28,171

### Re: crème de la crème

Thanks, mathaholic, for post #94.

It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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## #95 2016-02-27 00:29:06

ganesh
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 28,171

### Re: crème de la crème

73. Samuel Langhorne Clemens (November 30, 1835 – April 21, 1910), better known by his pen name Mark Twain, was an American author and humorist. He wrote The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876) and its sequel, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885), the latter often called "The Great American Novel".

Twain was raised in Hannibal, Missouri, which later provided the setting for Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer. After an apprenticeship with a printer, Twain worked as a typesetter and contributed articles to the newspaper of his older brother, Orion Clemens. He later became a riverboat pilot on the Mississippi River before heading west to join Orion in Nevada. He referred humorously to his singular lack of success at mining, turning to journalism for the Virginia City Territorial Enterprise. In 1865, his humorous story, "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County", was published, based on a story he heard at Angels Hotel in Angels Camp, California, where he had spent some time as a miner. The short story brought international attention, and was even translated into classic Greek. His wit and satire, in prose and in speech, earned praise from critics and peers, and he was a friend to presidents, artists, industrialists, and European royalty.

Though Twain earned a great deal of money from his writings and lectures, he invested in ventures that lost a great deal of money, notably the Paige Compositor, a mechanical typesetter, which failed because of its complexity and imprecision. In the wake of these financial setbacks, he filed for protection from his creditors via bankruptcy, and with the help of Henry Huttleston Rogers eventually overcame his financial troubles. Twain chose to pay all his pre-bankruptcy creditors in full, though he had no legal responsibility to do so.

Twain was born shortly after a visit by Halley's Comet, and he predicted that he would "go out with it", too. He died the day after the comet returned. He was lauded as the "greatest American humorist of his age", and William Faulkner called Twain "the father of American literature".

It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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## #96 2016-02-28 17:36:56

ganesh
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 28,171

### Re: crème de la crème

74. Elisha Graves Otis (August 3, 1811 – April 8, 1861) was an American industrialist, founder of the Otis Elevator Company, and inventor of a safety device that prevents elevators from falling if the hoisting cable fails. He worked on this device while living in Yonkers, New York in 1852, and had a finished product in 1854.

Otis was born in Halifax, Vermont to Stephen Otis, and Phoebe Glynn. He moved away from home at the age of 20, eventually settling in Troy, New York, where he lived for five years employed as a wagon driver. In 1834, he married Susan A. Houghton. They would have two children, Charles and Norton. Later that year, Otis suffered a terrible case of pneumonia which nearly killed him, but he earned enough money to move his wife and three-year-old son to the Vermont Hills on the Green River. He designed and built his own gristmill, but did not earn enough money from it, so he converted it into a sawmill, yet still did not attract customers. Now having a second son, he started building wagons and carriages, at which he was fairly skilled. His wife later died, leaving Otis with two sons, one at that time being age 8 and the other still in diapers.

At 34 years old and hoping for a fresh start, he married and moved to Albany, New York. He worked as a doll maker for Otis Tingely. Skilled as a craftsman and tired of working all day to make only twelve toys, he invented and patented a robot turner. It could produce bedsteads four times as fast as could be done manually (about fifty a day). His boss gave him a \$500 bonus. Otis then moved into his own business. At his leased building, he started designing a safety brake that could stop trains instantly and an automatic bread baking oven. He was put out of business when the stream he was using for a power supply was diverted by the city of Albany to be used for its fresh water supply. In 1851, having no more use for Albany, he first moved to Bergen City, New Jersey to work as a mechanic, then to Yonkers, New York, as a manager of an abandoned sawmill which he was supposed to convert into a bedstead factory. At the age of 40, while he was cleaning up the factory, he wondered how he could get all the old debris up to the upper levels of the factory. He had heard of hoisting platforms, but they often broke, and he didn't want to take risks. He and his sons, who were also tinkerers, designed their own "safety elevator" and tested it successfully. He thought so little of it he neither patented it nor requested a bonus from his superiors for it, nor did he try to sell it. After having made several sales, and after the bedstead factory declined, Otis took the opportunity to make an elevator company out of it, initially called Union Elevator Works and later Otis Brothers & Co.. No orders came to him over the next several months, but soon after, the 1854 New York World's Fair offered a great chance at publicity. At the New York Crystal Palace, Elisha Otis amazed a crowd when he ordered the only rope holding the platform on which he was standing cut. The rope was severed by an axeman, and the platform fell only a few inches before coming to a halt. After the World's Fair, Otis received continuous orders, doubling each year. He developed different types of engines, like a three-way steam valve engine, which could transition the elevator between up to down and stop it rapidly.

In his spare time, he designed and experimented with his old designs of bread-baking ovens and train brakes, and patented a steam plow in 1857, a rotary oven in 1858, and, with Charles, the oscillating steam engine in 1860. Otis contracted diphtheria and died on April 8, 1861 at age 49.

It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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## #97 2016-02-29 01:00:35

ganesh
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 28,171

### Re: crème de la crème

75. Antoine-Henri Becquerel

Antoine-Henri Becquerel's landmark research on x rays and his discovery of radiation laid the foundation for many scientific advances of the early twentieth century. X rays were discovered in 1895 by the German physicist Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen, and in one of the most serendipitous events in science history, Becquerel discovered that the uranium he was studying gave off radiation similar to x rays. Becquerel's student, Marie Curie , later named this phenomenon radioactivity . His later research on radioactive materials found that at least some of the radiation produced by unstable materials consisted of electrons. For these discoveries Becquerel shared the 1903 Nobel Prize in physics with Marie and Pierre Curie . Becquerel's other notable research included the effects of magnetism on light and the properties of luminescence.

Becquerel was born in Paris on December 15, 1852. His grandfather, Antoine-César Becquerel, had fought at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815 and later earned a considerable reputation as a physicist. He made important contributions to the study of electrochemistry, meteorology , and agriculture. Antoine-Henri's father, Alexandre-Edmond Becquerel, was also scientist, and his research included studies on photography, heat, the conductivity of hot gases, and luminescence.

During his years at the Ecole des Ponts et Chaussées, Becquerel became particularly interested in English physicist Michael Faraday's research on the effects of magnetism on light. Faraday had discovered in 1845 that a plane-polarized beam of light (one that contains light waves that vibrate to a specific pattern) experiences a rotation of planes when it passes through a magnetic field ; this phenomenon was called the Faraday effect. Becquerel developed a formula to explain the relationship between this rotation and the refraction the beam of light undergoes when it passes through a substance. He published this result in his first scientific paper in 1875, though he later discovered that his initial results were incorrect in some respects.

Although the Faraday effect had been observed in solids and liquids, Becquerel attempted to replicate the Faraday effect in gases. He found that gases (except for oxygen ) also have the ability to rotate a beam of polarized light. Becquerel remained interested in problems of magneto-optics for years, and he returned to the field with renewed enthusiasm in 1897 after Dutch physicist Pieter Zeeman's discovery of the Zeeman effect—whereby spectral lines exposed to strong magnetic fields split—provided new impetus for research.

In 1874 Becquerel married Lucie-Zoé-Marie Jamin, daughter of J.-C. Jamin, a professor of physics at the University of Paris. She died four years later in March 1878, shortly after the birth of their only child, Jean. Jean later became a physicist himself, inheriting the chair of physics held by his father, grandfather, and great-grandfather before him. Two months prior to Lucie's death, Becquerel's grandfather died. At that point, his son and grandson each moved up one step, Alexandre-Edmond to professor of physics at the Musée d'Histoire Naturelle, and Antoine-Henri to his assistant. From that point on, Becquerel's professional life was associated with the Musée, the Polytechnique, and the Ponts et Chaussées.

In the period between receiving his engineering degree and discovering radioactivity, Becquerel pursued a variety of research interests. In following up his work on Faraday's magneto-optics, for example, he became interested in the effect of the earth's magnetic field on the atmosphere. His research determined how the earth's magnetic field affected carbon disulfide. He proposed to the International Congress on Electric Units that his results be used as the standard of electrical current strength. Becquerel also studied the magnetic properties of a number of materials and published detailed information on nickel, cobalt, and ozone in 1879.

In the early 1880s Becquerel began research on a topic his father had been working on for many years—luminescence, or the emission of light from unheated substances. In particular he made a detailed study of the spectra produced by luminescent materials and examined the way in which light is absorbed by various crystals . Becquerel was especially interested in the effect that polarization had on luminescence. For this work Becquerel was awarded his doctoral degree by the University of Paris in 1888, and he was once again seen as an active researcher after years of increasing administrative responsibility.

When his father died in 1891 Becquerel was appointed to succeed him as professor of physics at the museum and at the conservatory. The same year he was asked to replace the ailing Alfred Potier at the Ecole Polytechnique. Finally, in 1894, he was appointed chief engineer at the Ecole des Ponts et Chaussées. Becquerel married his second wife, Louise-Désirée Lorieux, the daughter of a mine inspector, in 1890; the couple had no children.

The period of quiescence in Becquerel's research career ended in 1895 with the announcement of Röntgen's discovery of x rays. The aspect of the discovery that caught Becquerel's attention was that x rays appeared to be associated with a luminescent spot on the side of the cathode-ray tube used in Röntgen's experiment. Given his own background and interest in luminescence, Becquerel wondered whether the production of x rays might always be associated with luminescence.

To test this hypothesis Becquerel wrapped photographic plates in thick layers of black paper and placed a known luminescent material, potassium uranyl sulfate, on top of them. When this assemblage was then placed in sunlight, Becquerel found that the photographic plates were exposed. He concluded that sunlight had caused the uranium salt to luminesce, thereby giving off x rays. The x rays then penetrated the black paper and exposed the photographic plate. He announced these results at a meeting of the Academy of Sciences on February 24, 1896.

Through an unusual set of circumstances the following week, Becquerel discovered radioactivity. As usual, he began work on February 26 by wrapping his photographic plates in black paper and taping a piece of potassium uranyl sulfate to the packet. However, because it wasn't sunny enough to conduct his experiment, Becquerel set his materials aside in a dark drawer. He repeated the procedure the next day as well, and again a lack of sunshine prompted him to store his materials in the same drawer. On March 1 Becquerel decided to develop the photographic plates he had prepared and set aside. It isn't clear why he did this—for, according to his hypothesis, little or no exposure would be expected. Lack of sunlight had meant that no luminescence could have occurred; hence, no x rays could have been emitted.

Surprisingly, Becquerel found that the plates had been exposed as completely as if they had been set in the sun . Some form of radiation—but clearly not x rays—had been emitted from the uranium salt and exposed the plates. A day later, according to Oliver Lodge in the Journal of the Chemical Society, Becquerel reported his findings to the academy, pointing out: "It thus appears that the phenomenon cannot be attributed to luminous radiation emitted by reason of phosphorescence, since, at the end of one-hundredth of a second, phosphorescence becomes so feeble as to become imperceptible."

With the discovery of this new radiation Becquerel's research gained a new focus. His advances prompted his graduate student, Marie Curie, to undertake an intensive study of radiation for her own doctoral thesis. Curie later suggested the name radioactivity for Becquerel's discovery, a phenomenon that had until that time been referred to as Becquerel's rays.

Becquerel's own research continued to produce useful results. In May 1896, for example, he found uranium metal to be many times more radioactive than the compounds of uranium he had been using, and he began to use it as a source of radioactivity. In 1900 he also found that at least part of the radiation emitted by uranium consists of electrons, particles that were discovered only three years earlier by Joseph John Thomson. For his part in the discovery of radioactivity Becquerel shared the 1903 Nobel Prize in physics with Curie and her husband Pierre.

Honors continued to come to Becquerel in the last decade of his life. On December 31, 1906, he was elected vice president of the French Academy of Sciences, and two years later he became president of the organization. On June 19, 1908, he was elected one of the two permanent secretaries of the academy, a post he held for less than two months before his death on August 25, 1908, at Le Croisic, in Brittany. Among his other honors and awards were the Rumford Medal of the Royal Society in 1900, the Helmholtz Medal of the Royal Academy of Sciences of Berlin in 1901, and the Barnard Medal of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences in 1905.

It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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## #98 2016-03-01 23:55:01

ganesh
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 28,171

### Re: crème de la crème

76. Paul Julius Reuter

Reuter was born on July 21, 1816 in Kassel, in the Electorate of Hesse in Germany. His Jewish parents named him Israel Beer Josaphat. As a young man he worked as a clerk at his uncle's bank in Gottingen, Germany. At the bank he became acquainted with Carl Friedrich Gauss, a well-known mathematician and physicist who was a pioneer at applying mathematical theory to electricity and magnetism. At the University of Gottingen, Gauss was a professor and director of the observatory. Gauss was experimenting with the electric telegraph, and Josaphat developed a keen interest in telegraphy. Josaphat began to consider how to use the new technology to improve communications throughout the world.

In October 1845, Josaphat moved to England, where he at first called himself Joseph Josaphat. Within a few weeks he converted to Christianity and, at his baptism on November 16, 1845, took the name Paul Julius Reuter during a ceremony at St. George's German Lutheran Chapel in London. Seven days later, Reuter married Ida Maria Elizabeth Clementine Magnus at the same church.

Bridging the Gap

Reuter soon returned to Germany. In 1847 he became a partner in a Berlin bookshop, Reuter and Stargardt, and joined a small publishing company. Reuter published several political pamphlets that provoked the wrath of German authorities. Under pressure from German leaders, he moved to Paris in 1848.

In Paris, Reuter began translating newspaper and business articles into German and dispatching short excerpts to Germany. This news agency failed after several months due to tight regulations by the French government. He then worked in Paris as a translator for the Havas news agency.

By 1850, Reuter was back in Germany, where he founded another news agency at Aachen. In April 1850, he entered into an agreement with Heinrich Geller to start a carrier pigeon service to transmit news and stock prices between Aachen, where German telegraph lines ended, and Belgium. Although his service was known as a "pigeon-post," he used both central telegraphic transmission and carrier pigeons. The service operated for a year until the telegraphic gap between the two nations was closed.

In June 1851, Reuter moved back to London with his family and soon became a naturalized British citizen. On October 10, 1851, he established a telegraph office at the I Royal Exchange Buildings, near the London stock exchange. From this location he transmitted stock market quotations between London and Paris, using the new Calais-Dover telegraph cable under the English Channel. Recognizing the need for a news service, Reuter spent the next seven years working hard to build the agency and promote his services to newspapers. At first, most of his work was confined to commercial telegrams. In 1858 he convinced the London Times and several other English papers to subscribe to his service and publish his news dispatches. Soon his news agency, known as Reuters, became indispensable to the British press.

International Success

Reuter rapidly built a strong reputation for his service by reporting several exclusive stories. In 1859 he transmitted the text of a speech given by Napoleon III prior to the Austro-French Piedmontese war in Italy. The agency soon extended its service to include the entire British press. Reuter's continuing successes brought him to the attention of the highest levels of government. In 1861 Reuter was presented at the Court of Queen Victoria by Prime Minister Lord Palmerston.

On April 26, 1865, Reuters was the first news agency to bring the news of President Abraham Lincoln's assassination in the United States to the European public. Later that year, Reuter opened the first news agency office outside of Europe in Alexandria, Egypt. With his services rapidly expanding throughout Europe, Reuter laid his own telegraph cables across the North Sea to reach Germany and France. Reuters then began to serve the United States. By 1872 the agency reached the Far East, and in 1874 it expanded into South America.

As the world of news transmission grew, Reuter found himself battling with two main competitors, the Havas agency of France and Wolff of Germany. On January 17, 1870, after many years of rivalry, Reuters and its competitors set ground rules for the worldwide exchange of news by dividing up turf. The territorial divisions allowed Reuters, Havas and Wolff exclusive control over their own countries and assigned to each of them parts of Europe and South America. For many years, the three agencies enjoyed a shared monopoly on global news service.

In 1871, Reuter was named a baron by the Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. Later he was given the same rank in England. Reuters converted his news agency into a joint stock company, and he remained its managing director until 1878, when he retired and was replaced by his son Herbert.

Foresaw the Future of News

Even after his retirement, Reuter remained active as the news agency he founded continued to grow and flourish. In 1883, Reuter began transmitting messages electrically to London newspapers using a column printer—an early version of a "news wire" or "ticker" which would become a common feature in newsrooms worldwide.

Reuter's sense of the importance of clear, concise and timely dissemination of the news is summed up in an 1883 memo he dispatched to his correspondents and agents. In the memo he requested that news be transmitted that included "fires, explosions, floods, inundations, railway accidents, destructive storms, earthquakes, shipwrecks attended with loss of life, accidents to war vessels and to mail steamers, street riots of a grave character, disturbances arising from strikes, duels between, and suicides of persons of note, social or political, and murders of a sensational or atrocious character. It is requested that the bare facts be first telegraphed with the utmost promptitude, and as soon as possible afterwards a descriptive account, proportionate to the gravity of the incident." With this memo he established the ground rules which future news agencies followed.

Reuter died on February 25, 1899, at his mansion, the Villa Reuter, in Nice, France. His company continued to build on his initial success after his death. In 1923 Reuters pioneered the use of radio to send news internationally. In 1925 the British press agency, the Press Association, took charge of a majority holding in Reuters, Ltd. In 1941 the Reuter Trust was formed to ensure the neutrality and independence of Reuters. On February 25, 1999, the Reuters News Agency commemorated the 100th anniversary of the death of its founder by launching a university award in Germany.

It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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## #99 2016-03-02 22:57:27

ganesh
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 28,171

### Re: crème de la crème

77. Christopher Latham Sholes

Christopher Latham Sholes (1819-1890) has been called the "Father of the Typewriter." Although he did not invent it, he did develop the first practical commercial machine. Sholes also developed the Qwerty keyboard that is still in use today.

Sholes was born on February 14, 1819, near Mooresburg Pennsylvania. On his mother's side, his ancestry could be traced back to John and Priscilla Alden, the famous Pilgrims. His paternal grandfather had commanded a gunboat during the Revolutionary War. Sholes' father, Orrin, served in the War of 1812 and was rewarded for his service with a gift of land in Pennsylvania. In 1823, when Sholes was four, Orrin moved his family to Danville, Pennsylvania, were he ultimately apprenticed all four of his sons to become printers.

At the age of eighteen, Sholes went to Green Bay, Wisconsin to work for his brothers Henry and Charles, publishers of the Wisconsin Democrat. Two years later, when Charles bought a share of the Wisconsin Enquirer, Christopher Sholes moved to Madison to assume the post of editor. The next year, at the age of 21 and at his brother's bidding, he moved to Southport, Wisconsin, and founded the Southport Telegraph, a weekly newspaper. Southport was a new town on the Lake Michigan shoreline south of Madison, (incorporated as the city of Kenosha in 1850.) Sholes soon became owner and publisher of the Telegraph.

Sholes the Newspaperman

Settling in Southport, Sholes married Mary Jane McKinney in 1840. He and his family lived there until 1857. Sholes published his paper and became involved in politics, both reflecting his drive for social reform. The Telegraph took stands against capital punishment and war, and supported the growing movement for women's rights. A fight between two members of the territorial government in Wisconsin resulted in one member being killed in the council chamber. Sholes was an eyewitness and reported the incident in his paper. His article was reprinted across the country and Charles math related the tale in his American Notes as an example of law making in the United States.

Sholes was a firm believer in mass communication. He felt that people could not reach their full potential until they could be brought closer together in thought. Sholes approved of every new way of communicating that came along. The Telegraph would give free ad space to any itinerant teacher of handwriting-shorthand or longhand-that came to Kenosha.

Politically, Sholes was a good Democrat. He supported the platform of his party, which included the condemnation of the anti-slavery abolitionists. He was rewarded with an appointment to local postmaster. In 1848, Sholes was elected to the first senate of the newly admitted state of Wisconsin. He then served as city clerk in Kenosha, and returned to Madison as an assemblyman.

In January 1853, Sholes met James Densmore, an editor from Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Where Sholes was mild-mannered and poetic, Densmore was aggressive and possessed a temper. He did not make a good first impression on Sholes. Yet the two men shared many political views and quickly formed a partnership.

The first collaboration of the two men was the Kenosha Daily Telegraph. By using the wire news services of the Associated Press, they would have enough content to fill a paper every day. In the first year of their publication, they had taken on new causes. Sholes had undergone a change of heart and now supported the work of the abolitionists and the congressional candidate of the newly formed Republican Party.

Sholes traveled to Kansas, where a struggle had broken out after the United States Congress passed the Kansas-Nebraska Act. It was determined that the residents of new territories would decide the question of slavery. Sholes returned to Wisconsin and the newspaper business. This time, he worked at Republican papers, the Milwaukee Free Democrat and then the Milwaukee Daily Sentinel and News. He visited the Wisconsin soldiers in the Union Army of the Potomac during the Civil War. In this capacity, Sholes represented the governor of Wisconsin, but paid his own expenses. He supported the Republican Party and President Abraham Lincoln throughout the war. As a reward, Sholes was given a federal post, serving as collector of customs for the Port of Milwaukee in 1863.

Sholes the Inventor

Despite his long career in journalism and politics, Sholes was an inventor at heart. Tired of addressing newspapers to subscribers with pen and ink, he invented a machine that would do the task using preset type and a treadle, variations of which were in use until the advent of computers. While living in Milwaukee, Sholes would often spend time at C.F. Kleinsteuber's machine shop, which was a meeting-place and workshop for amateur inventors. Working with another printer, he developed a machine that consecutively numbered railway tickets and bank notes. Sholes was trying to adapt it to automatically number the pages of books. Another amateur inventor in the workshop, lawyer Carlos Glidden, was working on a mechanical plow. Both Sholes and Glidden were interested in the work others were doing on typing machines. As an outgrowth of Sholes' page-numbering device, the two began work on a typing machine of their own.

The idea of a machine that would help people communicate with clarity must have appealed to Sholes. Many typing machines had come before. William Burt created the first typing machine in 1830. Fifty more people invented or re-invented machines before Sholes began his work in 1867. A plan for a machine in Scientific American inspired Sholes, but it seemed to be unnecessarily complex. The design called for a cast plate containing all the type. The plate would be adjusted to bring the desired letter into position and a hammer would force paper against the plate.

It took Sholes only a week to determine the basic premise of his typing machine. A single letter of type, carved onto a short metal bar could be made to strike upward against a glass plate. The first model came out with the help of Glidden and Samuel Soule, a draftsman and civil engineer. It only typed the letter "W", but its basic design would become the trio's first typing machine.

His First Typewriter

The three men set to work to make a complete machine. After much trial-and-error, a workable prototype was built by the fall of 1867. The design required that the paper be placed between the type and the inked ribbon, so only tissue paper could be used. After selling their first one, Sholes, Glidden, and Soule tried to raise enough capital to mass-produce the machine. Sholes typed a letter to his old partner James Densmore, who recognized the possibilities of their invention. He bought into the group and began promoting the machine. Densmore requested that the design be simplified so that it would be cheaper to produce.

Densmore spent a thousand dollars to manufacture a handful of machines before deciding that it was unworkable. The concept was good, but the execution, which had been largely in the hands of Soule, was faulty. He decided to try again, but with Sholes alone. Densmore requested that the machine be able to accommodate thicker, higher-quality paper. This led Sholes to develop a moving cylindrical carriage to hold the paper, and the inked belt, or ribbon, that would be located between the type and the paper.

Despite these changes, Sholes maintained his original concept of the type striking upward against the carriage. This differed from the front striking machines that would later become the standard. The great benefit of the front-striking typewriter was that the operator could see the type as is was being printed, with no delay.

Aside from his efforts to develop a machine that the public would accept, Sholes was also responsible for designing a typewriter keyboard. The earliest typing machines used many different styles of keyboards: circular or in rows with separate keys for upper-and lower-case letters. Almost all arranged the letters in alphabetical order, from a-to-z. As Sholes experimented with his new machine, he found that placing the keys in alphabetical order caused his machine to jam too often.

The Qwerty Keyboard

Many legends surround Sholes' development of the keyboard. It is not laid out based on the frequency of use of certain letters, nor are the most used letters placed under the strongest fingers. The most frequently quoted story, that it is based on the arrangement of the letters in the printers' type-case-in the days when every printed page was set individual letter and symbol by hand-is false. Most likely Sholes changed the order of the keys as he created prototype after prototype of his machine, trying to eliminate the most frequently occurring jams, when two nearby keys would meet. The layout kept frequently combined letters separated mechanically, which limited the number of possible collisions between type bars. It probably also slowed the rate a good typist could reach, further eliminating possible jams.

Ultimately, Densmore sold the machine to Philo Remington, American manufacturer of arms, sewing machines and farm implements. Even after Sholes' hours of experimentation, the engineers and mechanics at Remington were able to improve on the machine. They solidified the layout of the keyboard into something very close to what is still used on all alpha-numeric keyboards in most English-speaking countries today.

This has come to be known as the Qwerty keyboard, after the first six letters at the upper left on the keyboard. A comparison of keyboards from around the world shows that most countries using the Roman alphabet (A, B, C, etc.) or some variation of it use basically the same layout of keys. Over time, typewriters advanced technologically. The mechanical aspects were supplemented first by electric assistance and finally by electronic devices. It was no longer necessary to use the key positions to keep the machines from jamming. Many people have developed more efficient keyboards, both easier to remember and better able to divide the work between the right and left hands. However, these have all been commercial failures. The public has refused to adopt them, preferring the Qwerty design instead.

Sholes finally agreed to sell his rights to Yost and Densmore in 1880. History does not record the price, but it was not very high. Sholes was tired of the machine, and was ready to invent something else. He took advantage whenever possible to turn his rights into ready cash, believing until almost the end of his life that the typewriter would never be a success.

When sales of the Remington typewriter increased, Sholes accused Densmore of cheating him. Densmore replied that Sholes had probably made more money than he did. Once Sholes totaled his receipts from the typewriter for the period of 1872 to 1882, it came to more than \$25,000. Densmore had not realized that much in that period, although he was to make much more in the coming years.

Sholes was quite proud of one social consequence of the typewriter—it opened office careers to women. Previously, business schools only trained men as secretaries. Since men were reluctant to give up communicating and corresponding in elegant handwriting, it became common for typewriter manufacturers to train women as typists. They frequently offered both machine and operator as a package to prospective clients. Women, who had been locked out of the office, suddenly had their foot in the door.

Sholes spent the end of his life in ever-increasing obscurity. He continued to tinker with various inventions, but none saw the light of day. Even as he neared his death in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on February 17, 1890, his bed was often crowded with models of inventions.

Because he had not associated his name with either the machine or its producers, he was forgotten. Whenever articles were written about the history of the typewriter, Sholes was only mentioned in passing. Often his innovations were judged to be unoriginal or hindrances. Yet he must be credited with contributing to the design of the typewriter. Even now, as typewriters fall into disuse, his legacy lives on. Remember him the next time you wonder "Who designed this stupid keyboard?"

It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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## #100 2016-03-04 00:21:17

ganesh
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 28,171

### Re: crème de la crème

78. Mark Elliot Zuckerberg (born May 14, 1984) is an American computer programmer, Internet entrepreneur, and philanthropist. He is the chairman, chief executive, and co-founder of the social networking website Facebook. His net worth is estimated to be \$46 billion as of December 2015.

Together with his college roommates and fellow Harvard University students Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz, and Chris Hughes, he launched Facebook from Harvard's dormitory rooms. The group then introduced Facebook to other campuses. Facebook expanded rapidly, with one billion users by 2012. Zuckerberg was involved in various legal disputes that were initiated by others in the group, who claimed a share of the company based upon their involvement during the development phase of Facebook.

In December 2012, Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan announced they would give the majority of their wealth over the course of their lives to "advancing human potential and promoting equality" in the spirit of The Giving Pledge. On December 1, 2015, they announced they would give 99% of their Facebook shares (worth about \$45 billion at the time) to the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.

Since 2010, Time magazine has named Zuckerberg among the 100 wealthiest and most influential people in the world as a part of its Person of the Year distinction.

It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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