Claude-François-Dorothée, marquis de Jouffrey d'Abbans (1751–1832) Invented the first steamboat.
John Hadley and Thomas Godfrey developed the octant navigational tool (1730) in England and America respectively. See picture (right).
Joseph-Michel Montgolfier (26 August 1740 – 26 June 1810) and Jacques-Étienne Montgolfier (6 January 1745 – 2 August 1799) launched the first flight of a hot air balloon in the late 1700's. They revolutionized transportation technology that was used throughout the 1800s.
Edward Jenner (1749-1823) was a British physician who is credited with the discovery of vaccinations. In the context of a Smallpox outbreak, Jenner discovered that administering cowpox to a possible victim immunized the patient from Smallpox altogether. He called this procedure “vaccination” after the Latin word for cowpox ‘vaccinia’.
Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit (1686-1736) was a German physicist. As you can gather from his last name, Fahrenheit came up with the temperature grade system that we still use today. Prior to his discoveries, temperature systems were based off of the coldest and hottest days of the year. Fahrenheit's
invention was a thermometer that used Mercury as a substance to expand and contract with heat and cold, thus rising and falling along the device. His thermometer had set marks based on freezing and boiling temperatures- both of which were consistent (unlike hottest/coldest days).
<--He was one of three inventors whose contributions have contributed greatly to an unappreciated device that has aided in scientific discoveries past, present, and future.
George Hadley (1685-1768) was a British physicist and meteorologist. Hadley expanded on Edmond Halley’s theory of circulation of air by asserting that trade winds played a role in global air circulation. Hadley saw the bigger picture, and was able to conclude that the rotation of the earth and differing temperatures caused air circulation to vary according to the location. His work got him elected to the Royal Society where he was in charge of keeping all official meteorological observations.
<-- James Bradley (1693-1762) was an English astronomer that made great strides in his time. He discovered the aberration of light which explained why light seemingly came offset of where it physically came in the atmosphere. He attributed this discovery to his findings on the speed of light and earth's rocking motion around the sun (also called "nutation"). His works also established the well known and widely used practice of scientific method that is still used today.
Isaac Newton (1643-1727) was an English mathematician and physicist and undoubtedly the most significant man of the scientific realm of his time. Influenced by lectures on calculus while studying at Cambridge, Newton chose to pursue the study of integral and differential calculus.
In the sphere of mathematics, Newton discovered Calculus as we know today, and the binomial theorem. But that wasn't enough for this incredible man. He went on to discover the universal law of gravitation and an accurate theory of optics. Because of his importance in the scientific community,
<--Newton became a member of parliament for his university, and ultimately served as the President of the Royal Society until the day he died.
Stephen Hales (1677-1761) was an English chemist and inventor. He studied air and it's role in plant and animal life. He discovered that stale air was dangerous to breathe. In order to remedy this problem, Hales invented the ventilator. His invention helped improve the quality of life in close quarters such as on ships, and in hospitals and prisons.
Joseph Guillotin (1738-1814) was a French physician who is credited with the invention of Guillotine. A guillotine is a decapitating device that Guillotin foresaw being used for mass executions. Prior to his invention, executions were cruel and painful affairs that could take up to 30 seconds to be carried out. His new machine would put the criminal to death in the blink of an eye. "Now, with my machine, I cut off your head in the twinkling of an eye, and you never feel it!" Ironically, Guillotin was opposed to the death penalty altoghether. He invented the machine because he wished to make executions more humane.
Eli Whitney (1765-1825) was an American who invented the cotton gin. His invention led to cotton being extremely profitable, and the American economy boomed. As the workload increased, more slaves were employed in mass numbers to meet higher demands.
Jacques Bernoulli (1654-1705) was a prominent Swiss mathematician. He learned about new discoveries by other mathematicians through traveling, and came to understand correspondence through colleague Gottfried Leibniz for whom the "Leibniz's law" is named. Bernoulli discovered numerous calculus equations, and made progress great progress. He then founded a school of math, and spent the rest of his life as a professor at the University of Basel.
James Watt (1736-1819) was a Scottish inventor and medical engineer. Watt made a vital improvements to the Newcomen steam engine of a separate condenser that saved major energy. By doing so, steam engines became more practical and efficient. Watt also conceptualized the idea of horsepower, and the watt that we know today is named after him.
<--Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) was, among many things
an american scientist and inventor. His most important inventions include the lightning rod, catheters, and bifocal glasses. Other than his tangible inventions, Franklin was the first to discover the Gulf Stream's existence, and named it. Franklin also had an accurate idea of the wave theory of light which was, during his time, ignored.
Henry Cavendish (time-time) was a British scientist whose discoveries were not appreciated until long after his death. However, he did make great strides in the discovery of hydrogen and carbon dioxide. He also successfully combined hydrogen with the air to create water without the accompaniment of by-products.
Using your KCLS card number and pin, check out these sites hyperlinked to the important people's names above. Here are my thoughts on three of them (annotations):
This article gives a short and concise background on Jenner’s life prior to his major work that was vaccinations. It then clearly explains a detailed account of his experiment and it’s groundbreaking nature in the context of his time, and the ramifications that it had for those all people who feared Smallpox. It includes a glimpse into his personal life and his love and study of birds as well.
This article on George Hadley not only discusses the discoveries that Hadley made about trade winds and the physics of circumvention, but it also briefly discusses the physics of it all for a reader who may not be well versed in physics. The article mentions works that Hadley authored, his awards he won at the time, and his lasting impression he’s made on the scientific world even today.
Fahrenheit, Daniel Gabriel
This article on Daniel Fahrenheit begins by delving a bit deeper into Gabriel’s upbringing, and his strange fixation with thermometers. It gives a very detailed summary of temperature devices prior to, during, and after Fahreheits life. By doing so, you see a clear picture of how his invention was truly groundbreaking, and just how little it has changed since he instituted it.
Also, above I've linked 3 more names to a KCLS database biographies of:
James Watt, Benjamin Franklin, and Henry Cavendish
Abstract on “The History of Vaccines and Immunization: Familiar Patterns, New Challenges”
Stern, Alexandra Minna and Markel, Howard, Health Affairs, Vol 24, Iss. 3, May/June 2005, p. 611-622
Alexandra Stern writes a compelling and in-depth article about the history of Vaccines beginning in 1790 with enlightenment biologist Edward Jenner. She begins by relating to modern times and hooks the reader by urging them to imagine a scene merely a century ago, when vaccines did not exist. To kick off the significance of Jenner’s discoveries, Stern says, “In short, the vaccine represents the single greatest promise of biomedicine: disease prevention.”
Stenn explores the history of vaccinations through the life of Edward Jenner. Jenner had an “aha!” moment when a milkmaid told him, “I shall never have small-pox for I have had cowpox.” He then spent years exploring the validity of her statement, and after his work, was able to confirm her assertion, successfully “laying the foundation for modern vaccinology.” By discovering that within cows lied a secret smallpox fighting weapon, Jenner bridged the gap between humans and other species, and their intertwining manner.
Jenner became a celebrity of his time, as many countries adopted his practices and praised his discovery for saving mass lives and improving general welfare. He was granted a royal patronage of what would have equalled 1 million dollars today. Countries went so far as to require, as a measure of national security, that their citizens were vaccinated- a practice still implemented today.
The craze for vaccinations lead to funding by private organizations such as the World Health Organization and UNICEF. In turn, government spending has quelled. They have been taken for granted just as we have all become so dependant- a costly predicament. Because vaccination companies have become privatised, critical questions rise such as “whats our back-up plan if one company goes under?” We are realizing that times have changed since Jenner’s time when everyone was excited about vaccinations, royal patronages were divvied out, and countries were prideful of the new technology. A contemporary solution to this problem may be financial incentives through tax cuts.
Because vaccines employ biologic agents as opposed to chemical agents, there is more room for error, and more need to be careful. Antivaccinationists argue that atop safety issues, vaccines pose an intrusion of privacy when required by the government. Proponents of required vaccinations argue that in order to protect public health, privacy need be overlooked. These opponents of vaccinations have for years been cast aside as crazy, but their skepticism has helped to increase quality control checks and made practices safer over all.
Even after as far as we have come in vaccination technology, there are still gaps in the science today. The newest vaccination for Malaria protects only 30% of those who are vaccinated, and scientists are happy with this due to its difficulty to produce, and the amount of people it will save (albeit it’s only 30%, 30% of 1 million deaths a year is huge). HIV is another example of a gap in vaccines today. This preemptive medicine has not yet been discovered, and millions await the day that it is.
Some things are out of our control, we cannot predict the future, but looking at our past gives us insight. History shows us that vaccines pose major problems of funding, ethics, and effectiveness. Without funding, vaccines will not be produced, and lives will be put at risk. Stern encourages the reader at the end to realize, “If we could match the enormous scientific strides of the twentieth century with the political and economic investments of the nineteenth century, the world’s citizens might be much healthier....It would be exceedingly foolish to squander one of preventive medicine’s greatest assets because of a neglected public health system and an inability to adequately coordinate market forces and regulatory demands with basic health needs.” More plainly, she urges the reader to not hesitate and to get a flu shot and be a part of the movement to ensure a healthy supply of vaccines for years to come.