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Short Stories of Science and Invention

A Collection of Radio Talks by
Charles F. Kettering


20.  Lady of the Lamp

     By working at times for 20 hours at a stretch, Florence Nightingale and her nurses brought order out of chaos. First came cleanliness, a novel thing in those days before Lister's antiseptics and Pasteur's germ theory.

    One of her first orders was for 200 scrub brushes to clean the floors. Then came a laundry and a hospital kitchen - a kitchen that could supply the right kind of food for the patients. And when her supplies began to run low, she proceeded to cut the red tape to get more.

    In less than six months, she had set up an entirely new system and established a storehouse to receive and distribute supplies. The death rate fell in less than six months after her coming from 420 in a thousand to less than twenty-two, a reduction of almost 95%.

Florence Nightingale     But her greatest contribution was in the role of ministering angel. Long after the hospital had settled down for the night, the Lady of the Lamp could be seen making her solitary rounds through the endless rows of wounded - a smile here, a word of comfort there, or a cool hand on a fevered brow. To the soldiers she was an angel, she called them "her children" and would spend hours writing messages back home to their relatives and loved ones. This was the beginning of the spirit of the Red Cross.


- 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
Ralph Emerson
Robert Bunsen
Frederick Banting
Andre Ampere
Winston Churchill
- 80 -
John Locke
Bronislaw Malinowski
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
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
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
Michael Faraday
Srinivasa Ramanujan
Francis Bacon
Galileo Galilei
- 10 -
John Watson
Rosalind Franklin
Michio Kaku
Isaac Asimov
Charles Darwin
Sigmund Freud
Albert Einstein
Florence Nightingale
Isaac Newton

by Ian Ellis
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