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Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “Truth is ever to be found in simplicity, and not in the multiplicity and confusion of things.”
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< 2 Jul | 4 Jul >
JULY 3 – BIRTHS – Scientists born on July 3rd
  Samuel P. Massie
baby icon  Born 3 Jul 1919.
Samuel Proctor Massie is a Black American chemist who was the U.S. Naval Academy's first African-American professor. He graduated from high school at age 13, and received his B.S. degree at age 18. In 1943, while working on his Ph.D., Massie joined a team of scientists working for the Manhattan Project on the development of the atomic bomb. He was asked to develop liquid compounds of uranium, though this research later proved to be a dead end. His major contributions include studies in silicon chemistry, the chemistry of phenothiazine, antimalarial-antibacterial agents, and studies on environmental agents. He is recognized for encouraging disadvantaged students into science careers
  Jesse Douglas
baby icon  Born 3 Jul 1897; died 7 Oct 1965 at age 68.
American mathematician who was awarded one of the first two Fields Medals in 1936 for solving the Plateau problem. which had first been posed by the Italian-French mathematician Joseph-Louis Lagrange in 1760. The Plateau problem is one of finding the surface with minimal area determined by a fixed boundary. Experiments (1849) by the Belgian physicist Joseph Plateau demonstrated that the minimal surface can be obtained by immersing a wire frame, representing the boundaries, into soapy water. Douglas developed what is now called the Douglas functional, so that by minimizing this functional he could prove the existence of the solution to the Plateau problem. Douglas later developed an interest in group theory.
  Alfred Korzybski
baby icon  Born 3 Jul 1879; died 1 Mar 1950 at age 70.  quotes button quotes
Polish-born American scientist and philosopher. Korzybski was the originator of general semantics, a system of linguistic philosophy that attempts to increase humanity's capacity to transmit ideas from generation to generation (what Korzybski called man's "time-binding capacity") through the study and refinement of ways of using and reacting to language.
  Johan Gunnar Andersson
baby icon  Born 3 Jul 1874; died 29 Oct 1960 at age 86.
Swedish geologist and archaeologist whose work laid the foundation for the study of prehistoric China. In 1914, he accepted the offer to become adviser to the Geological survey of China, where he stayed until 1924 and became deeply involved in the excavations at Chou-k'ou-tien outside Peking. In 1921, at a cave near there, on the basis of bits of quartz that he found in a limestone region, he predicted that a fossil man would be discovered. Six years later, the first evidence of the fossil hominid Sinanthropu (Peking man) was found there. In 1923-24, he organized an expedition to Gansu province in Western china where he localised and examined some 50 sites of prehistoric China.
  Charles Schuchert
baby icon  Born 3 Jul 1858; died 20 Nov 1942 at age 84.
American invertebrate paleontologist who was a leader in the development of paleogeography, the study of the distribution of lands and seas in the geological past. During the 1880s he made a living drawing fossil illustrations for state geological surveys, while continuing to search for specimens for his own growing collection. After serving as curator of the U.S. National Museum (1894-1904) Charles Schuchert joined the Yale University faculty following their first invertebrate paleontologist, Charles E. Beecher.
  Pierre Berthier
baby icon  Born 3 Jul 1782; died 24 Aug 1861 at age 79.
French mineralogist and mining engineer who discovered bauxite (aluminium ore) on 23 Mar 1821 near the village Les Baux de Provence in southern France. On 24 May 1806, he joined the central laboratory at the Board of Mines. From 1816, he was chief of the laboratory at the École des Mines, and professor of assaying. Berthier analyzed kaolin along with dozens of other minerals and ores. He sought out phosphate deposits valuable for agriculture. He published a treatise (1943) of practical analytical procedures that were widely used by other mineralogists. In another field, Berthier noticed - before Mitscherlich - that isomorphism occurred whereby chemically different substances can have the same crystalline form and even co-crystallise.«  read more button more
  André Parmentier
Thumbnail - André Parmentier
baby icon  Born 3 Jul 1780; died 26 Nov 1830 at age 50.
(Anglicized name: Andrew Parmentier) Belgian-American, André Joseph Ghislain Parmentier, born in Enghien, Belgium, was a horticulturist, responsible for exhibiting many plant species in America. He was the second of four sons of a linen merchant. Little is known about his early life. In 1824 Parmentier emigrated to America where he lived for only six years until his untimely death in 1830. Soon after arriving he established a nursery in Brooklyn from which he supplied seeds and root stock he had imported or propagated himself. In 1825, he established the first botanic garden in Brooklyn, at Atlantic and Carleton Avenues. His work is also preserved at the Vanderbilt Mansion, Hyde Park, NY, the most impressive of the four known Parmentier designs.


Nature bears long with those who wrong her. She is patient under abuse. But when abuse has gone too far, when the time of reckoning finally comes, she is equally slow to be appeased and to turn away her wrath. (1882) -- Nathaniel Egleston, who was writing then about deforestation, but speaks equally well about the danger of climate change today.
Carl Sagan Thumbnail Carl Sagan: In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) ...(more by Sagan)

Albert Einstein: I used to wonder how it comes about that the electron is negative. Negative-positive—these are perfectly symmetric in physics. There is no reason whatever to prefer one to the other. Then why is the electron negative? I thought about this for a long time and at last all I could think was “It won the fight!” ...(more by Einstein)

Richard Feynman: It is the facts that matter, not the proofs. Physics can progress without the proofs, but we can't go on without the facts ... if the facts are right, then the proofs are a matter of playing around with the algebra correctly. ...(more by Feynman)
Quotations by: • Albert Einstein • Isaac Newton • Lord Kelvin • Charles Darwin • Srinivasa Ramanujan • Carl Sagan • Florence Nightingale • Thomas Edison • Aristotle • Marie Curie • Benjamin Franklin • Winston Churchill • Galileo Galilei • Sigmund Freud • Robert Bunsen • Louis Pasteur • Theodore Roosevelt • Abraham Lincoln • Ronald Reagan • Leonardo DaVinci • Michio Kaku • Karl Popper • Johann Goethe • Robert Oppenheimer • Charles Kettering  ... (more people)

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< 2 Jul | 4 Jul >
JULY 3 – DEATHS – Scientists died on July 3rd
  Jacob Schick
gravestone icon  Died 3 Jul 1937 at age 59 (born 16 Sep 1877).
American inventor and manufacturer of the first successful electric dry razor. He started in the razor business in 1925 to design and manufacture his invention of the Magazine Repeating Razor. By 1926, he was selling clips of blades that could be loaded into a safety razor without touching the blade to avoid cuts during handling. While this product was successful, he turned his attention to developing a dry razor. By 1927 he had designed a dry razor with a reciprocating head powered by a flexible drive shaft to an external motor. Although he marketed this model from 1929, it was not until 1931 that he had improved the idea as a new one-handed electric shaver with self-contained motor that sales took off. He lived only six year after that.«.
  André-Gustave Citroën
gravestone icon  Died 3 Jul 1935 at age 57 (born 5 Feb 1878).
French engineer and industrialist who introduced Henry Ford's methods of mass production to the European automobile industry. In 1908 he helped the Mors automobile firm increase its production from 125 cars to 1,200 cars per year. At the outbreak of World War I Citroën persuaded the French army of the need to mass-produce munitions. In 1915 he built a munitions plant whose production of shells reached 55,000 per day. Upon this success he was given the responsibility of organizing the supplying of all French munitions plants with certain vital raw materials. After the war Citroën converted his original arms factory into a plant to mass-produce a small, inexpensive automobile; the first Citroën car came off the assembly line in 1919.
  William Crawford Gorgas
gravestone icon  Died 3 Jul 1920 at age 65 (born 3 Oct 1854).
Major William Crawford Gorgas was a U.S. Army surgeon who contributed greatly to the building of the Panama Canal by introducing mosquito control to prevent yellow fever and malaria. Originally, Gorgas doubted the conclusion of Walter Reed's Yellow Fever Commission in Cuba (1900) that the mosquito was the only means by which the disease spread. Nevertheless, Gorgas supported the new policy and eventually became the most active proponent of the mosquito theory in the United States. In Cuba, he assisted in eliminating mosquito breeding grounds. In 1904, Gorgas led the ten-year anti-mosquito campaign to wipe out yellow fever in Panama.

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< 2 Jul | 4 Jul >
JULY 3 – EVENTS – Science events on July 3rd
  Comet Nucleus Tour
calendar icon   In 2002, NASA launched Contour (Comet Nucleus Tour), a U.S. unmanned satellite on a mission to get within 60 miles of a comet nucleus to study frozen samples of the solar system from its infancy. It was launched aboard a Boeing Delta 2 rocket from Cape Canaveral. After orbiting Earth until 15 Aug 2002, the satellite's onboard rockets sent it toward an encounter with Comet Enke in 2003, then Comet Schwassman- Wachman 3 in 2006. It is equipped with a special debris shield so it can navigate closer to the comets and survive bombardment from the minute particles of dust and frozen water that form a comet's most distinctive feature, the tail. The shield includes a layer of Kevlar, the material used in bullet-proof vests.
  Transatlantic hot-air balloon crossing
calendar icon   In 1987, British millionaire Richard Branson and Per Lindstrand became the first to cross the Atlantic by hot-air balloon, named Virgin Atlantic Flyer. They jumped into the sea as their craft went down off the Scottish coast. They travelled a distance of 2,900 miles from from Sugarloaf Mountain, Maine, in 33 hours to set a new record for hot air ballooning. At the time, the balloon was the largest ever flown having 2.3 million cubic feet of capacity. Three years later, they crossed the Pacific in another balloon from Japan to Arctic Canada, a distance of 6,700 miles, breaking all existing records with speeds of up to 245 miles per hour.
  First fatal nuclear accident in the U.S.
calendar icon   In 1961, three men were killed in the first fatal nuclear accident in the U.S. when an experimental reactor exploded. The Stationary Low-Power Plant No.1 (SL-1), was part of the National Reactor Testing Station (NRTS), near Idaho Falls, Idaho. An 80-lb control rod was lifted by hand beyond its safe position, causing a core meltdown and explosion of the reactor. Four days were spent to devise a safe method to recover one of the corpses. All three bodies were extremely radioactivity, causing problems for their burial. Clean-up took 18 months. Investigators were never able to determine why this “abnormal act” occurred. Two decades later, a documentary speculated one of the men had marital problems and sabotaged the reactor.«
book icon Idaho Falls: The Untold Story of America's First Nuclear Accident, by William McKeown. - book suggestion.
  Heart surgery
Thumbnail - Heart surgery
calendar icon   In 1952, the first surgical operation in the U.S. to expose the heart's mitral valve for a prolonged time was undertaken by Dr Forest Dewey Dodrill at the Harper Hospital, Detroit, Mich. The patient, a 41-year-old man, was provided with The Michigan Heart as a substitute for the lower left ventricle.
  Fastest steam locomotive
calendar icon   In 1938, the Mallard was documented as the world's fastest steam locomotive travelling at 126 mph (202-km/h) at milepost 90¼, on straight, slightly downhill tracks, between Little Bytham and Essendine, on the East Coast Main line of the London and North Eastern Railway, in England. It was hauling six coaches and a dynamometer car recording the speed, with a total tare of 240 tons. The Mallard was designed as a streamlined express locomotive with an aerodynamic body, 70-ft long, weighing 165 tons with tender. Its build date was 3 Mar 1938, and it was used in service until it was retired 1963. After restoration in the 1980's it made a few special runs, and is now in the National Railway Museum, York.
  Foam rubber
Thumbnail - Foam rubber
calendar icon   In 1929, foam rubber was developed at the Dunlop Latex Development Laboratories in Birmingham. British scientist E.A. Murphy whipped up the first batch in 1929, using an ordinary kitchen mixer to froth natural latex rubber. His colleagues were unimpressed - until they sat on it. Within five years it was everywhere, on motorcycle seats, on London bus seats, Shakespeare Memorial Theatre seats, and eventually in mattresses.
  Transpacific cable
Thumbnail - Transpacific cable
calendar icon   In 1903, the first cable across the Pacific Ocean between Hawaii, Midway, Guam and Manila was completed and spliced at Manila, Philippine Islands. After testing, the first official message was sent the next day. The first section of the cable across the Pacific Ocean between San Francisco and Hawaii had already been established at the beginning of the same year, with its first official message sent on 1 Jan 1903. That technological event ended Hawaii's isolation by connecting it to the mainland U.S. and the rest of the world. The cable was a mainstay of communications into the early 1950s when newer technology rendered it obsolete. (The 1902 all-British telegraph line from Canada to Australia and New Zealand was the first line to cross the Pacific Ocean.)
  First Benz car public drive
Thumbnail - First Benz car public drive
Benz
(source)
calendar icon   In 1886, Karl Benz drove the first automobile in the world in Mannheim, Germany, reaching a top speed of 16 km/h (10 mph) powered by a 0.75-hp one-cylinder four-stroke gasoline engine. The motorwagen was a carriage-like three-wheeler with tubular framework, with tiller steering and a buggy-like seat for two. The engine was a refinement of the four-stroke engine designed by Nikolaus Otto (another German), who had refined his from Étienne Lenoir's two-stroke engine. Though the vehicle was awkward and frail, it incorporated some essential elements that would characterize the modern vehicle: electrical ignition, differential, mechanical valves, carburetor, engine cooling system, oil and grease cups for lubrication, and a braking system.«
  Linotype newspaper
calendar icon   In 1886, the first U.S. newspaper page set by Linotype was the New York Daily Tribune for this day's editorial page. Ottmar Mergenthaler (born in Württemberg, Germany on 11 May 1854) had produced the world's first linecasting machine; the time-consuming process of setting type by hand was eliminated. The machine was originally called "Blower" and later renamed "Linotype" (short for "Line of type"). Within six years of this day's demonstration, 1,000 Linotype machines had been made. By 1904, worldwide there were 10,000 Linotype casting machines in service.
  Narrow-gauge locomotive
calendar icon   In 1871, the first U.S.-made, narrow-gauge locomotive - for mountain use - was built by the Baldwin Locomotive Works in Philadephia, Pa. On this day, it was first used by the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railway Company. Called the Montezuma, from a location it served, it had a 3-foot guage, a length of 30-ft, and a total weight of 25,000-lb. It had 9-in cylinders with a 16-in stroke. Narrow gauge was more adaptable to rough terrain, required less earthworks, permitted steeper gradients and sharper curves - as well as costing less to build than standard gauge lines. Narrow-gauge railroad could be used hauling passengers or freight. Logging, mining and industries and factories also operated narrow gauge lines.
  Pluto
Thumbnail - Pluto
calendar icon   In 1841, John Couch Adams decided to determine the position of an unknown planet by the irregularities it causes in the motion of Uranus. He entered in his journal; "Formed a design in the beginning of this week in investigating, as soon as possible after taking my degree, the irregularities in the motion of Uranus... in orderto find out whether they may be attributed to the action of an undiscovered planet beyond it..." In Sep 1845 he gave James Challis, director of the Cambridge Observatory, accurate information on where the new planet, as yet unobserved, could be found; but unfortunately the planet was not recognized at Cambridge until much later, after its discovery at the Berlin Observatory on 23 Sep 1846.
  Strawberry
Thumbnail - Strawberry
Keens Imperial
calendar icon   In 1806, Michael Keens, a market gardener of Isleworth near London, exhibited the first cultivated strawberry that combined size, flavor, and color at the Royal Horticultural Society. The 600 strawberry varieties found today stem from five or six original wild species, and are a member of the rose family. The wild, small, fragrant forest strawberry of Europe was available to the Romans in the Middle Ages. Europeans discovered wild strawberries in Virginia when their ships landed there in 1588, grown by local American Indians who had cultivated strawberries as early as 1643. When Virginia sent a better flavored, strawberry to England in 1642, and a large white strawberry from Chile was introduced in 1806, the big fruit we know today, emerged. Strawberries are unique, because they are the only fruit with seeds on the outside.

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- 100 -
Sophie Germain
Gertrude Elion
Ernest Rutherford
James Chadwick
Marcel Proust
William Harvey
Johann Goethe
John Keynes
Carl Gauss
Paul Feyerabend
- 90 -
Antoine Lavoisier
Lise Meitner
Charles Babbage
Ibn Khaldun
Euclid
Ralph Emerson
Robert Bunsen
Frederick Banting
Andre Ampere
Winston Churchill
- 80 -
John Locke
Bronislaw Malinowski
Bible
Thomas Huxley
Alessandro Volta
Erwin Schrodinger
Wilhelm Roentgen
Louis Pasteur
Bertrand Russell
Jean Lamarck
- 70 -
Samuel Morse
John Wheeler
Nicolaus Copernicus
Robert Fulton
Pierre Laplace
Humphry Davy
Thomas Edison
Lord Kelvin
Theodore Roosevelt
Carolus Linnaeus
- 60 -
Francis Galton
Linus Pauling
Immanuel Kant
Martin Fischer
Robert Boyle
Karl Popper
Paul Dirac
Avicenna
James Watson
William Shakespeare
- 50 -
Stephen Hawking
Niels Bohr
Nikola Tesla
Rachel Carson
Max Planck
Henry Adams
Richard Dawkins
Werner Heisenberg
Alfred Wegener
John Dalton
- 40 -
Pierre Fermat
Edward Wilson
Johannes Kepler
Gustave Eiffel
Giordano Bruno
JJ Thomson
Thomas Kuhn
Leonardo DaVinci
Archimedes
David Hume
- 30 -
Andreas Vesalius
Rudolf Virchow
Richard Feynman
James Hutton
Alexander Fleming
Emile Durkheim
Benjamin Franklin
Robert Oppenheimer
Robert Hooke
Charles Kettering
- 20 -
Carl Sagan
James Maxwell
Marie Curie
Rene Descartes
Francis Crick
Hippocrates
Michael Faraday
Srinivasa Ramanujan
Francis Bacon
Galileo Galilei
- 10 -
Aristotle
John Watson
Rosalind Franklin
Michio Kaku
Isaac Asimov
Charles Darwin
Sigmund Freud
Albert Einstein
Florence Nightingale
Isaac Newton