Find science on or your birthday

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “Environmental extremists ... wouldn’t let you build a house unless it looked like a bird’s nest.”
more quiz questions >>
< 26 Jul | 28 Jul >
JULY 27 – BIRTHS – Scientists born on July 27th
  Allen K. Breed
baby icon  Born 27 Jul 1927; died 13 Dec 1999 at age 72.
American engineer and inventor of the "ball-in tube" or electromechanical crash sensor (EMS). He formed Breed Corp. in 1961 to develop and manufacture safety and arming devices for the military. Later, he recognized that these safety devices could be applied toward the development of crash sensors for automotive airbag systems. Breed developed his first airbag sensor design in 1968. His persistence within the automotive industry and with Congress helped bring airbags to the forefront of the US automotive market in the early 1980s. In 1984 passive restraint led to the birth of the airbag industry.
  Kenneth Tompkins Bainbridge
baby icon  Born 27 Jul 1904; died 14 Jul 1966 at age 61.  quotes button quotes
American nuclear physicist who directed the first atom bomb test of the Manhattan Project in 1945.
  Sir Geoffrey De Havilland
baby icon  Born 27 Jul 1882; died 21 May 1965 at age 82.
English aircraft designer, manufacturer, and pioneer in long-distance jet flying. In 1909, he constructed his first machine and through trial and error and taught himself to fly. Since then De Havilland has been carried aloft by more than fifty aircraft. Notable were the DH-2 fighter of World War I, and the DH-4 light bomber. He established the new De Havilland Company at Stag Lane near London in 1920, beginning the long line of DH commercial and sport aircraft. De Havilland's triumph in World War II was the Mosquito light bomber, the fastest aircraft of its time. In 1943, he was one of the first to make jet-propelled aircraft, producing the Vampire jet fighter. De Havilland led the world in entering the era of jet passenger flight with its first turbine powered aircraft, the Comet in 1949.
  Hans Fischer
baby icon  Born 27 Jul 1881; died 31 Mar 1945 at age 63.
German biochemist who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1930 for research into the constitution of haemin, the red blood pigment, and chlorophyll, the green pigment in plants and especially for his synthesis of haemin (1929), non-protein part of haemoglobin that gives blood its red colour. He further showed that chlorophylls are porphyrins and that they share a similar structure with haemin, but with subtle differences. Following the destruction of his laboratory during WWII air raids, dispair led to suicide, just one month before Germany surrendered.
  Bertram Borden Boltwood
Thumbnail - Bertram Borden Boltwood
baby icon  Born 27 Jul 1870; died 15 Aug 1927 at age 57.
American chemist and physicist whose work on the radioactive decay of uranium and thorium was important in the development of the theory of isotopes. Boltwood studied the "radioactive series" whereby radioactive elements sequentially decay into other isotopes or elements. Since lead was always present in such ores, he concluded (1905) that lead must be the stable end product from their radioactive decay. Each decay proceeds at a characteristic rate. In 1907, he proposed that the ratio of original radioactive material to its decay products measured how long the process had been taking place. Thus the ore in the earth's crust could be dated, and give the age of the earth as 2.2 billion years. [DSB gives date of death 14/15 Aug 1927. EB gives 15 Aug 1927.]
  John Hopkinson
three phase
three phase
(source)
baby icon  Born 27 Jul 1849; died 27 Aug 1898 at age 49.
British physicist and electrical engineer who worked on the application of electricity and magnetism in devices like the dynamo and electromagnets. Hopkinson's law (the magnetic equivalent of Ohm's law) bears his name. In 1882, he patented his invention of the three-wire system (three phase) for electricity generation and distribution. He presented the principle the synchronous motors (1883), and designed electric generators with better efficiency. He also studied condensers and the phenomena of residual load. In his earlier career, he became (1872) engineering manager of Chance Brothers and Co., a glass manufacturer in Birmingham, where he studied lighthouse illumination, improving efficiency with flashing groups of lights.«
  Friedrich Ernst Dorn
baby icon  Born 27 Jul 1848; died 13 Jun 1916 at age 67.
German physicist who followed Madame Curie's discoveries with his own study of radioactivity and discovered that radium not only emitted radiation, but released a colourless gas that was also itself radioactive. At first called radium emanation or niton. Since 1923, this element is named radon, and found to be the heaviest so-called inert gas. The experiment provided the first clearly demonstrated example of one element transmuting to another through the process of releasing radiation. This work was continued by Boltwood and Soddy. Although radon was originally believed to be chemically inert, since 1962, chemists have been able to make radon compounds.
  Baron Roland von E๖tv๖s
baby icon  Born 27 Jul 1848; died 8 Apr 1919 at age 70.
Roland Baron von E๖tv๖s was a Hungarian physicist who studied at Heidelberg where he was taught by Kirchhoff, Helmholtz and Bunsen. Eötvös introduced the concept of molecular surface tension and published on capillarity (1876-86). For the rest of his life he concentrated on study of the Earth's gravitational field. He developed the Eötvös torsion balance, long unsurpassed in precision, which gave experimental proof that inertial mass and gravitational mass, to a high degree of accuracy, are equivalent - which later was a major principle of Albert Einstein.
  Thomas George Bonney
baby icon  Born 27 Jul 1833; died 10 Dec 1923 at age 90.  quotes button quotes
English geologist.
  Sir Andrew Clarke
baby icon  Born 27 Jul 1824; died 29 Mar 1902 at age 77.
British military engineer and politician with scientific interests, who became surveyor-general of Victoria, Australia (Mar 1853) where he planned railways, installed telegraph communication and initiated the Museum of Natural History there (1854). While governor of the Straits Settlements (1873-75), he negotiated the Pangkor Treaty (1874) providing for British political control of Perak and later the other peninsular Malay States. In Perak, he developed a communication system by which state roads were constructed between the principal mining towns. In 1885, a railway line 12.8 km long joined Taiping, the distribution centre for the Larut tin fields, to Port Weld for shipping tin back to the United Kingdom. Thus, it was with the provision of infrastructure to support tin mining, that Malaysia began its develoment.«
  Sir George Biddell Airy
baby icon  Born 27 Jul 1801; died 2 Jan 1892 at age 90.  quotes button quotes
English astronomer and mathematician who became the seventh Astronomer Royal (1836-92). In his life he studied interference fringes in optics, made a mathematical study of the rainbow and computed the density of the Earth by swinging a pendulum at the top and bottom of a deep mine, determined the mass of the planet Jupiter and its period rotation, calculated the orbits of comets and cataloged stars. He designed corrective lenses for astigmatism (1825), the first that worked. His motivation was his own astigmatism. Airy had a long-standing battle with Babbage. In 1854, the conflict continued between the two during the battle of the incompatible railway gauges in England. Airy championed the railway narrow gauge and Babbage for the wide gauge.
  Thomas Say
baby icon  Born 27 Jul 1787; died 10 Oct 1834 at age 47.
American naturalist who was self-taught, yet often considered to be the founder of descriptive entomology in the United States. His taxonomic work was quickly recognized by European zoologists. Say was a founding member of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia. He was chief zoologist of Major Stephen Long's exploring expedition to the tributaries of the Missouri River in 1819 and in 1823 for the expedition to the headwaters of the Mississippi. During the 1819 expedition, Say first described the coyote, swift fox, western kingbird, band-tailed pigeon, Say's phoebe, rock wren, lesser goldfinch, lark sparrow, lazuli bunting, and orange-crowned warbler. His important work, American Entomology, remains a classic. He also wrote on paleontology and conchology. [Note: EB and DAB give birth date as 27 June 1787*.]


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)

Quotations about: • Atomic  Bomb • Biology • Chemistry • Deforestation • Engineering • Anatomy • Astronomy • Bacteria • Biochemistry • Botany • Conservation • Dinosaur • Environment • Fractal • Genetics • Geology • History of Science • Invention • Jupiter • Knowledge • Love • Mathematics • Measurement • Medicine • Natural Resource • Organic Chemistry • Physics • Physician • Quantum Theory • Research • Science and Art • Teacher • Technology • Universe • Volcano • Virus • Wind Power • Women Scientists • X-Rays • Youth • Zoology  ... (more topics)
< 26 Jul | 28 Jul >
JULY 27 – DEATHS – Scientists died on July 27th
  William J. Hamilton
gravestone icon  Died 27 Jul 1990 at age 87 (born 11 Dec 1902).
William John Hamilton, Jr. was an American mammalogist and environmentalist was an American mammalogist and environmentalist who stressed the vital ecological role of predators and the importance of conserving fur-bearing populations. His interest in plants and animals began in childhood, and working while a teenager for three summers for Daniel C. Beard (a naturalist, artist, and cofounder of the Boy Scouts of America). Hamilton's research dealt with mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and horticulture, with a major interest was in life histories and ecology. He wrote books, including American Mammals (1939), and over 200 papers. He also made some pioneering studies of microtine life cycles.«
  Frank J. Zamboni
gravestone icon  Died 27 Jul 1988 at age 87 (born 16 Jan 1901).
American inventor known for his invention of the Zamboni ice resurfacer used in ice skating rinks. In 1939, Zamboni was a partner in building Iceland Skating Rink in California, when maintaining the ice surface was very labor instensive and slow. At the time, a tractor dragging a scraper was used, with several workers removing shaving and manually finishing the surface. From Mar 1942, Zamboni began experimenting to find a better way. After several prototypes, by 1949, he had made improvements and had his Model A machine worthy of patenting (23 Jun 1953, U.S. No. 2,642,679). It combined the processes of scraping, removing shaving, and applying a wash water system. His idea drew requests from other rink operators. He began manufacturing, with continuing improvements in his design, and it became a familiar sight for ice hockey games.«
  Salim Ali
gravestone icon  Died 27 Jul 1987 at age 90 (born 12 Nov 1896).
Indian ornithologist, the “birdman of India,” who championed conservation of India's biological diversity. His fieldwork provided scientific guidance for the Indian government's conservation efforts. His love of birds began at age 10, when he began writing his observations. Eventually, he undertook professional education in ornithology. In 1930 he began a bird survey of Hyderabad State. By 1976, he had published several popular regional field guides of Indian birds for which he is famous. These surveys were based on extensive travels throughout India and Pakistan. The title of his autobiography “The Fall of a Sparrow” (1987) recalls the first sparrow that drew his interest as a boy.«
book icon The Book of Indian Birds, by Salim Ali. - book suggestion.
  Garrett Augustus Morgan
gravestone icon  Died 27 Jul 1963 at age 86 (born 4 Mar 1877).
Black-American inventor and businessman who established the Cleveland Call newspaper (1920), invented a hair straightening cream, woman's hat fastener, an automobile clutch, a safety hood breathing device (1912) which he improved as a gas mask used by some soldiers in WW I, and a traffic signal. By age 30, he had spent time working as a handyman and taught himself enough about repairing sewing machines to start a repair business. Two years later, he started a tailoring shop with 32 employees. He developed and was successful selling G.A. Morgan Hair Refining Cream to straighten hair. When he invented a traffic signal in 1922 (not the red-yellow-green lights type), several other traffic signals had already been previously patented by other inventors. He was nearly blind from 1943 due to glaucoma.«
  Conrad Arnold Elvehjem
gravestone icon  Died 27 Jul 1962 at age 61 (born 27 May 1901).
American biochemist who identified that nicotinic acid was a vitamin which when absent from diet resulted in the disease pellegra. In 1937, working with dogs having the canine equivalent of pellegra (blacktongue), he showed that giving a dog 30 milligrams of nicotinic acid resulted in substantial improvement. Continuing doses to correct the diet deficiency led to complete recovery. It worked as well in humans. Niacin is one of the B vitamins. His later work was on the trace minerals such as zinc and cobalt which are essential to life as component parts of enzymes.
  Auguste-Henri Forel
gravestone icon  Died 27 Jul 1931 at age 82 (born 1 Sep 1848).
Swiss neuroanatomist, psychiatrist, and entomologist known for his investigations of brain structure. Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Zürich and director of the world-famous Burghölzli Hospital, Forel was Adolf Meyer's teacher. Interested in ants from childhood, he became engrossed in the psychology of ants and contributed greatly to the study of their social instincts, leading to his magnum opus in 5 volumes of The Social World of the Ants (1921-23). He was the first to describe the phenomena of parabiosis and lestobiosis in ants.
  Raoul Pierre Pictet
gravestone icon  Died 27 Jul 1929 at age 83 (born 4 Apr 1846).
Swiss chemist who was a pioneer of cryogenics. His original interest in the artificial production of ice (for refrigeration) led him to study the production of extremely low temperatures. He produced liquid oxygen, working independently of the French scientist, Louis Paul Cailletet, who is also credited with its discovery in 1877. However, Pictet used more elaborate equipment and was able to produce greater volumes of liquified gases. Pictet used a cascade method, in which he evaporated liquid sulfur dioxide to liquefy carbon dioxide, which in turn was allowed to evaporate and to cool oxygen to below its critical temperature. The oxygen could then be liquefied by pressure. This was also easier to apply to other gases.
  Theodor Kocher
gravestone icon  Died 27 Jul 1917 at age 75 (born 25 Aug 1841).
Theodor Emil Kocher was a Swiss surgeon who did pioneering work on the physiology, pathology and surgery of the thyroid gland for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1909. The gland is of great importance in the general nutrition of the adult, and especially in individuals still undergoing development. The loss of thyroid function results in serious disturbances in this nutrition. Metabolism is significantly diminished; growth ceases; the skin and the subcutaneous tissues are the site of mucous infiltration; degenerative processes occur in internal organs; serious disturbances make their appearance in the functions of the nervous system and muscles.
  Walter Channing
gravestone icon  Died 27 Jul 1876 at age 90 (born 15 Apr 1786).
U.S. physician and one of the founders of the Boston Lying-In Hospital (1832), brother of the clergyman William Ellery Channing; he was the first (1847) to use ether as an anesthetic in obstetrics and the first professor of obstetrics at Harvard University (1815).
  John Dalton
Thumbnail - John Dalton
1825
(source)
gravestone icon  Died 27 Jul 1844 (born c. 6 Sep 1766).  quotes button quotes
English chemist, physicist, meteorologist and teacher who, from investigating the physical and chemical properties of matter, deduced an Atomic Theory (1803) whereby atoms of the same element are the same, but different from the atoms of any other element. In 1804, he stated his law of multiple proportions by which he related the ratios of the weights of the reactants to the proportions of elements in compounds. He set the atomic weight of hydrogen to be identically equal to one and developed a table of atomic weights for other elements. He was the first to measure the temperature change of air under compression, and in 1801 suggested that all gases could be liquified by high pressure and low temperature. Dalton recognised that the aurora borealis was an electrical phenomenon.ซ
book icon John Dalton and the Atomic Theory: The Biography of a Natural Philosopher, by Elizabeth C. Patterson. - book suggestion.
booklist icon Booklist for John Dalton.
  Pierre-Louis Moreau de Maupertuis
gravestone icon  Died 27 Jul 1759 at age 60 (born 28 Sep 1698).  quotes button quotes
French mathematician, biologist, and astronomer. In 1732 he introduced Newton's theory of gravitation to France. He was a member of an expedition to Lapland in 1736 which set out to measure the length of a degree along the meridian. Maupertuis' measurements both verified Newton's predictions that the Earth would be an oblate speroid, and they corrected earlier results of Cassini. Maupertuis published on many topics including mathematics, geography, astronomy and cosmology. In 1744 he first enunciated the Principle of Least Action and he published it in Essai de cosmologie in 1850. Maupertuis hoped that the principle might unify the laws of the universe and combined it with an attempted proof of the existence of God.

Sitewide search within all Today In Science History pages:
Custom Quotations Search - custom search within only our quotations pages:
Visit our Science and Scientist Quotations index for more Science Quotes from archaeologists, biologists, chemists, geologists, inventors and inventions, mathematicians, physicists, pioneers in medicine, science events and technology.

Names index: | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |

Categories index: | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
< 26 Jul | 28 Jul >
JULY 27 – EVENTS – Science events on July 27th
  First artificially inseminated Przewalski’s horse born
calendar icon   In 2013, the first female Przewalski’s horse foal was born via artificial insemination. The foal was the result of seven years of preparation by scientists at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute. They joined a worldwide effort to help increase reproduction and genetic variation in the species being reared in captivity to rebuild the wild herds that were believed extinct in 1969. By using artificial insemination, it would become possible to produce the result of mating without transporting geographically distant animals. This reduces the difficulty, costs and stress to the animals, while increasing diversity in the DNA of the resulting foals. This is important because the existing animals are all descended from 14 individuals surving in zoos. Successful breeding allowed some horses to be reintroduced to the wild in 2008.«
  Jet airliner
calendar icon   In 1949, the British De Havilland Comet, the world's first jet-propelled airliner, made its maiden flight in England. Before the time of the Comet. today's speed and comfort standards did not exist. Commercial transport used piston engines and most planes were akin to WW2 aircraft. Flying was made difficult by the bad weather of low cruising levels; the cruising speed was reduced making long trips a tough and exhausting matter. The development of jet-engines in WW2 led to a new milestone in commercial air transport. One of them was the De Havilland DH 106 Comet, a commercial aircraft designed for high cruise speed at high ceilings.
book icon De Havilland Comet, by Kev Darling. - book suggestion.
  Grasshopper plague
calendar icon   In 1931, a swarm of grasshoppers descended over Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota, destroying thousands of acres of crops. Those who experienced it said it was not an exaggeration to say they were so thick that you could scoop them up in a scoop shovel. Motor travellers had to roll down the windshield to keep them from raining in on their feet. The grasshoppers had eaten the corn down to the ground, leaving not a stalk standing. Because egg pods are laid in the soil, but susceptible to fungal diseases of wet soil, survival of eggs is best during dry years. Outbreaks are often related to periods of drought.
  Insulin
calendar icon   In 1921, insulin was isolated at Toronto University by Canadians Sir Frederick Banting and Charles Best. It proved an effective treatment for diabetes. While Banting had an established a surgical practise in London, Ontario, he conceived a technique which might permit isolation of the anti-diabetic component of the pancreas. He returned to the University of Toronto in 1921 to conduct experiments on the pancreas at the labs of Dr. J.J.R. MacLeod. By the time the summer had ended, he and Charles Best had isolated insulin. Image: The orginal insulin still designed by Dr. Banting and Best.
  Concrete barge
calendar icon   In 1918, Socony 200, the first concrete barge, was launched into Flushing Bay, N.Y. Its hull was made of steel-reinforced concrete by Fougner Concrete Shipbuilding Company and was designed to carry oil. The saving in cost of construction using concrete as a construction material offset the disadvantage of the increased structural weight of the material. The Socony name is the acronym of its owner, the Standard Oil Company of New York. The barge was 98 feet long, 31 feet wide and 9½ feet deep.«
  First U.S. electric auto
calendar icon   In 1888, the first U.S. electric automobile, designed by Philip W. Pratt, was demonstrated in Boston, a tricycle powered by six Electrical Accumulator Company cells, weighing 90 pounds. Pratt held a number of patents as an inventor, the most significant being the first practical automatic fire sprinkler system (1872). His other inventions included furniture pads for chair leg tips (1878), a spring toy gun (1892), glazed target for vacuum-tipped toy arrows (1890), crutch (1901) and a bath mitten (1889). Some years earlier than Pratt's tricycle, in 1874, a three-wheeled electric vehicle had been built earlier by Sir David Salomons in Tunbridge Wells, England. It was a 1 h.p. device powered by Bunsen cells. By 1895, the first British manufacturer of electric cars was Acme & Immisch Electrical Works at Chalk Farm, London.« [Documentation on the 1888 tricycle is hard to find; only brief recent references found so far. Please contact Webmaster if you know of a primary source.]
  Electric cable car
calendar icon   In 1884, the first electrically propelled street-car line in the U.S. was begun in direct competition with horse-cars at Cleveland, Ohio, on the Bentley-Knight system. In the same year, the first practical system in the U.S. of conveying electricity from overhead wires to a motor on the car by a trolley, or small groved pulley on the end of a flexible pole extending above the roof of the car, was made in Kansas City, Mo. Improvements in the apparatus made by Sprague in 1888 led to the first American installation of a large scale electrically propelled street-car system at Richmond, Va. The earliest commercially successful application of electricity to the traction of street-cars was made at Lichterfelde, near Berlin, by Siemens and Halske in 1881.« *[Vol VII, p.776]
  Coconut oil
calendar icon   In 1880, African-American inventor A.P. Abourne was awarded a patent for refining coconut oil.
  Transatlantic cable success
calendar icon   In 1866, Cyrus W. Field finally succeeded, after two failures, in laying the first underwater telegraph cable 1,686 miles long across the Atlantic Ocean between North America and Europe. Massachusetts merchant and financier Cyrus W. Field first proposed laying a 2,000-mile copper cable along the ocean bottom from Newfoundland to Ireland in 1854, but the first three attempts ended in broken cables and failure. Field's persistence finally paid off in July 1866, when the Great Eastern, the largest ship then afloat, successfully laid the cable along the level, sandy bottom of the North Atlantic. [Image: Commemorative print Eighth Wonder of the World. (compressed to thumbnail width)]
  Catalysis
calendar icon   In 1823, the effect of platinum as a catalyst was investigated by Johann Wolfgang Döbereiner, who found that hydrogen combined with air in the presence of platinum powder to form water, in a reacttion so vigorous that the filter paper holding the powder was charred. (It was later that the term catalysis was coined by Berzelius, in 1835.) Within a few days, on 3 Aug 1823, he invented the Döbereiner lighter process using the effect he had observed. He ignited a thin jet of hydrogen by passing it over spongy platinum in air. He designed a jar-type lighter using this method. Within three months, news of his discovery had been reported in some dozen European science journals. His lighter design was taken up by manufacturers to replace starting a fire with flint and tinder, and was in production for several decades.«
  D๖bereiner lighter
calendar icon   In 1823, the Döbereiner lighter process was invented by Johann Wolfgang Döbereiner. He directed a fine jet of hydrogen over platinum powder in air. The platinum glowed white hot and ignited the hydrogen. Within two days, he incorporated this effect to make a useful lighter. Zinc and sulphuric acid in a jar generated hydrogen. A valve released a gas jet that was ignited by passing it over spongy platinum. Just a few days earlier, on 27 Jul 1823, he had observed platinum powder facilitating the reaction of hydrogen with oxygen in a static mixture that formed water. His lamp design was quickly taken up by manufacturers to replace flint and tinder for fire-starting. It remained in use for several decades, despite the invention of the safety match in 1848. Berzelius gave the term catalysis, in 1835, to the effect of the metal.«
  Tobacco
calendar icon   In 1586, Sir Walter Raleigh brought the first tobacco to England from Virginia. [Image: Store display 12" x 11" Sir Walter Raleigh tobacco tin.]
  Potatoes
calendar icon   In 1586, potatoes were introduced to Britain by Sir Thomas Harriot, an English scientist and mathematician, according to one traditional—but doubtful—story. In fact, the origin of the potato is not definitively known, and there are other theories. It is known that Harriot was on a 1585 expedition to Virginia, where he stayed to survey and report on the resources there. That expedition returned to England, landing at Plymouth on 27 Jul 1586. Harriot may have brought back plant specimens, and the story suggests he gave a sample from Virginia to his patron, Sir Walter Raleigh, who grew it on his Irish estate. However, Harriot's report published in 1587 describes plants he observed, none named as a potato, nor that match the ordinary potato. Furthermore, the potato is not recognized as being indiginous in Virginia.«

Author Icon
who invites your feedback

Today in Science History

Most Popular

Thank you for sharing.
Today in Science History
Sign up for Newsletter
with quiz, quotes and more.
- 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