Browsing: Inventions

A Brief History The 17th century French physicist and mathematician, Blaise Pascal, is known for many important contributions to both fields, which is particularly impressive considering the fact that he died at the really quite young age of 39. Among his proudest achievements were inventing the early mechanical calculator, creating the mathematical theory now known as Pascal’s triangle, and major studies and research into fluids, with one particularly important experiment into hydraulics remembered today as Pascal’s barrel. But there was one other exceptional contribution he made to society as a whole, and one that he bizarrely isn’t remembered nearly as much for.…

A Brief History On October 16, 1916, Margaret Sanger (nee Higgins), nurse, writer, and sexual educator opened the first family planning (birth control) clinic in the United States.  While Sanger did not invent the idea of birth control or the methods, she was an activist for preventing unwanted pregnancy and was the first person to coin the phrase, “birth control.”  Humans, unlike any other known animal, have been trying to prevent unwanted pregnancies for thousands of years and have tried a variety of methods. Digging Deeper Probably the most simple methods of birth control came after it was realized that…

A Brief History On September 27, 1777, the Continental Congress, precursor to the United States Congress, fled the American capital of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (our first capital city) as British troops closed in.  The American government ended up in Lancaster, Pennsylvania for a mere one day stay, leaving an historical mark on the city by giving it claim to have been one of nine US capital cities.  Or one of eight.  Or one of three.  Confused?  Different sources use different criteria for deciding which cities deserve recognition as having been our “capital” city, so you can take your pick as to…

A Brief History On September 17, 1683, Dutch scientist Antonie van Leeuwenhoek presented a paper to the Royal Society (The President, Council and Fellows of the Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge) containing a description of the first scientific recognition of microbes/protozoa, a living thing he referred to as “animalcules” (single celled organisms).  Although van Leeuwenhoek had designed his microscope himself and is known as “The Father of Microbiology,” he was definitely not the inventor of the microscope.  In fact, exactly who is the inventor of this highly important contribution to science is not agreed upon by historians.…

A Brief History On August 29, 798 (AD), Japan minted copper coins for the first time in their history.  As you may guess from the date, these were certainly not the first coins minted and not by a long stretch the first coins ever minted. The distinction of minting the first known coins goes back to the 7th and 6th Century BC in Anatolia (modern Turkey) by King Alyattes of Lydia (sometimes given a date of 610 BC).  The earliest known coin is the Lydian Lion coin.  The practice of making coins quickly spread throughout the Persian and Greek empires,…

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