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– 16th May -22nd May


EDWARD JENNER – Born 17th May 1749


English physician and surgeon who discovered vaccination for smallpox. There was a common story among farmers that if a person contracted a relatively mild and harmless disease of cattle called cowpox, immunity to smallpox would result. On 14 May 1796 he removed the fluid of a cowpox from dairymaid Sarah Nelmes, and inoculated James Phipps, an eight-year-old boy, who soon came down with cowpox. Six weeks later, he inoculated the boy with smallpox. The boy remained healthy, proving the theory. He called his method vaccination, using the Latin word vacca, meaning cow, and vaccinia, meaning cowpox. Jenner also introduced the word virus.

BERTRAND RUSSELL- Born 18th May 1872


(3rd earl) Bertrand Arthur William Russell was a Welsh mathematical logician, analytical philosopher and writer. He worked to establish foundations of mathematics and developed contemporary formal logic. He is known for Russell’s paradox (concerning the set of all sets that are not members of themselves), his theory of types, and his contributions to the first-order predicate calculus. He believed in logicism, the theory that mathematics was in some important sense reducible to formal logic. With Alfred Whitehead, he co-authored Prinicpia Mathematica (1910). Russell is regarded as one of the most important logicians of the twentieth century. He was active in social and political campaigns, and advocated pacifism and nuclear disarmament. The Nobel Prize for Literature was awarded to Russell in 1950.


Reserpine  17 May


In 1955, the American psychiatrist, Nathan Kline, appeared before the U.S. Congress to explain his work with the drug reserpine. He is credited with founding the field of psychopharmacology with his discovery and use of reserpine to treat the mental disorder psychosis. His testimony before congress influenced the passage of the Mental Health Studies Act of 1955. Kline then used his Washington connections to write research grants to study antidepressant medications. By summer 1956, he gained two million dollars in congressional funding for psychopharmacological research by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). The purified alkaloid reserpinewas isolated in 1952 from the root of Rauwolfia plants found extensively in Africa.

Apollo X launch  18 May


In 1969, the Apollo 10 was launched to be a complete staging of the Apollo 11 mission without actually landing on the Moon. The mission was the second to orbit the Moon and the first to travel to the Moon with the entire Apollo spacecraft configuration. It made a successful eight-day dress rehearsal for the first manned moon landing. Astronauts Thomas Stafford and Eugene Cernan descended inside the Lunar Module to within 14 kilometers of the lunar surface (achieving the closest approach to the Moon beforeApollo 11 landed two months later). Apollo 10 splashed down at 12:52 pm on 26 May, less than 4 miles (6.4 km) from the target point and the recovery ship.

Halley’s Comet 19 May


In 1910, the Earth passed through the tail of Halley’s Comet, the most intimate contact between the Earth and any comet in recorded history. The event was anticipated with dire predictions. Since a few years earlier, astronomers had found the poisonous gas cyanogen in a comet, it was surmised that if Earth passed through the comet’s tail everyone would die. Astronomers explained that the gas molecules within the tail were so tenuous that absolutely no ill effects would be noticed. Nevertheless, ignorance bred opportunists selling “comet pills” to the panicked portion of the public to counter the effects of the cyanogen gas. On 20 May, after Earth had passed through the tail, everyone was still alive – with or without taking pills! [Image: Halley’s Comet and Venus, 1910]

Simplon Tunnel opened 19 May


In 1906, the Simplon Tunnel was officially opened as the world’s longest railroad tunnel. Cutting through the Alps between Italy and Switzerland, it was officially opened by the King of Italy and the president of the Swiss Republic. The construction of the 12-mile Simplon Tunnel, one of the world’s longest rail tunnels was undertaken in the 1890s by Alfred Brandt, head of a German engineering firm, and inventor of an efficient rock drill. The total length of the tunnel is 64,972 feet cut through the solid rock of the Simplon Mountain between the Rhone and the Diveria valley. As a direct route under the mountain, it considerably shortened the surface distance for an important European trade route between Brig, Switzerland and Iselle, Italy.

Earhart Atlantic solo flight departure 20 May


In 1932, Amelia Earhart took off for Ireland from Habor Grace, Newfoundland, to become the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. She later landed her plane in Ireland after a thirteen-hour, thirty-minute flight from Canada. Four years earlier, she had already become the first woman to fly across the Atlantic when she travelled as a passenger on 17 Jun 1928 for a 21-hour flight.

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