PDF-to-Papyrus- ThisWeekThatYear

Here’s a Throwback-Thursday with a twist. This one comes on Wednesday. Why, you ask? Just for the heck of it.

In our blog’s this segment, we take you back in time.

We shall cover some scientists that were born and some prominent events that happened in scientific history.


Have a good read!


TIMELINE– 4th April-10th April




LORD JOSEPH LISTER– Born 5th April 1827




Lord Joseph Lister (Baron Lister, of Lyme Regis) was an English surgeon and medical scientist who was the founder of antiseptic medicine and a pioneer in preventive medicine. Influenced by Louis Pasteur’s germ theory, Lister resolved to keep such organisms away from wounds. His bookOn the Antiseptic Principle in the Practice of Surgery (1867), was the first treatise on the subject. While at the Royal Infirmary, Glasgow, Scotland, he introduced the use of carbolic acid (phenol) as a disinfectant used on bandages, ligatures, utensils, as well as for direct use on wounds and washing surgeon’s hands. His first such surgery was conducted on 12 Aug 1865. Modern medical practice continues to follow Lister’s principle that wounds must be kept free of bacteria, though sterilization has replaced most antiseptic use. Lister was the first medical person raised to the peerage.

JAMES WATSON- Born 6th April 1928


James Dewey Watson is an American biochemist and geneticist who shared the 1962 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine (with Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins) for the discovery of “the molecular structure of nucleic acids and its significance for information transfer in living material.” Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is the substance contained in cells that controls heredity. Crick and Watson began their collaboration in 1951, and published their paper on the double helix structure on 2 Apr 1953 in Nature. This accomplishment became a cornerstone of genetics and was widely regarded as one of the most important discoveries of 20th-century biology.


Vitamin C  4th April


In 1932, Professor C. Glen King of the University of Pittsburgh isolated vitamin C, a medical and scientific breakthrough, after five years of effort. By painstaking research extracting components from lemon juice – requiring untold thousands of lemons – King and his colleagues isolated a crystalline substance, identified, and later synthesized vitamin C. Their discovery meant prevention of the disease of scurvy, long a source of human suffering. During WW II, King was named chairman of the Nutrition Foundation, which funded research into the nutritional problems facing a country and an army at war. He continued his innovative work with vitamin C until his retirement from Columbia University in 1964.


Teflon 6th April


In 1938, Du Pont researcher Roy J. Plunkett and his technician Jack Rebok accidentally discovered the chemical compound polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), later marketed as Teflon. Plunkett was researching chemical reactions of the gas perfluoroethylene in order to synthesize new types of refrigerant gases. Rebok found an apparently defective cylinder of this gas, since no pressure was found when the valve was opened, even though the cylinder weight was the same as full cylinders. Rebok suggested sawing it open to investigate. Inside was a slippery white powder. Plunkett found it had unusual properties, a wonderful solid lubricant in powdered form, was chemically inert and had a very high melting point. He realized it was formed by an unexpected polymerization. It was patented on 4 Feb 1941.

TV Broadcast 7th April


In 1927, the first public display of a long distance television transmission was viewed by a group of newspaper reporters and dignitaries in the auditorium of AT&T Bell Telephone Laboratories, New York. The research at AT&T was led by Herbert Ives, who introduced the system to the audience, followed by a broadcast speech by the then Secretary of Commerce,Herbert Hoover from Washington, D.C.. Both the live picture and voice were transmitted by wire, over telephone lines. Hoover said,“Today we have, in a sense, the transmission of sight for the first time in the world’s history,” and also, “Human genius has now destroyed the impediment of distance in a new respect, and in a manner hitherto unknown.” The accomplishment was heralded with great acclaim by the press.« [Image: Before the demonstration began, tells the audience about the photoelectric cells, which served as the “eyes” of the television.]

Friction match 7th April


In 1827, John Walker, an English pharmacist, recorded his first sale of the friction matches he invented the previous year. His discovery on 27 Nov 1826 had been accidental while trying to produce a readily combustible material for fowling-pieces (a light shotgun). His first match was the wooden stirring stick he used in a mixture of potash and antimony sulfide. To remove a blob on the end of the stick, he had scraped it on the stone floor, and it ignited. He never patented the invention, and his production was limited to a sideline of his pharmacy business.




Metric system  7th April


In 1795, France adopted by law, the metre as the unit of length and the base of the metric system. Since there had been no uniformity of French weights and measures prior to the Revolution, the Academy of Sciences had been charged on 8 May 1790 to organise a better system. Jean Delambre and Pierre Méchain measured an arc of the meridian from Dunkirk to Barcelona, so that the metre could be defined as one ten-millionth part of the distance between the poles and the equator.


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