Category Archives: History of science

1895: Cats meddle in geophysics

Updated slightly to add even more cat goodness! The more I research, the more it becomes clear that cats caused all sorts of mischief in the scientific community in the late 1800s!  The source of this mischief is the feline … Continue reading

About these ads
Posted in Animals, History of science, Physics | Leave a comment

The Case of the Telephone in His Hat (1894)

The history of science provides me with a practically never-ending set of delightful surprises!  Case in point is a set of articles I found while browsing through volume 17 of Current Literature, “A Magazine of Record and Review,” published in … Continue reading

Posted in ... the Hell?, History of science | 2 Comments

1842: Jean-Daniel Colladon guides light with water

Big technological advances often start with very humble beginnings.  If you’re reading this post on the internet right now, it is almost certain that the information has come to you at some point in the journey in the form of … Continue reading

Posted in History of science, Optics, Physics demos | 4 Comments

Cat-turning: the 19th-century scientific cat-dropping craze!

One thing I’ve learn from studying the history of science is that scientists are human beings.  Often incredibly weird, weird human beings.  For example: in the mid-to-late-1800s, an exciting era in which the foundations of electromagnetic theory were set and … Continue reading

Posted in ... the Hell?, History of science, Physics | 10 Comments

Richard Le Gallienne’s “The Worshipper of the Image” (1899)

I have been arguing for some time that there is much more of a connection between horror  and science than is generally appreciated.  In fact, I explore this relationship in detail on my Tumblr, Science Chamber of Horrors.  Occasionally, however, … Continue reading

Posted in History of science, Horror | Leave a comment

George Stokes on science and knowledge (1877)

One thing I’ve learned about the great scientists in history is that they are almost all well aware of the collaborative progressive nature of science.  The most famous example of this is Isaac Newton’s quite-possibly-sarcastic “If I have seen further … Continue reading

Posted in History of science | Leave a comment

George Gabriel Stokes in love! (1857)

Been very busy the past few weeks with work, house buying and selling, and life in general.  Catching back up on blog posts; here’s a bit of sweetness connected to a prominent physicist. With the weather finally turning nice at … Continue reading

Posted in History of science, Silliness | Leave a comment

April 10, 1815: Mount Tambora blows up

Today is the 198th anniversary of the largest volcanic event in recorded history, the deadly and devastating eruption of Mount Tambora on the island of Sumbawa in Indonesia.  The eruption was four times as powerful as that of its later … Continue reading

Posted in General science, History of science | 3 Comments

The mirror that (didn’t really) make it rain! (1713)

In my last post, I talked about the remarkable career of Etienne-Gaspard Robert aka “Robertson”, who became famous in debunking the supernatural by revealing how ghosts and phantoms could be faked.  Remarkably, even today there are still places in the … Continue reading

Posted in ... the Hell?, History of science | Leave a comment

Phantasmagoria: How Étienne-Gaspard Robert terrified Paris for science

Scientists are so often imagined to be bland and unimaginative, slaving away at research and taking away the joy of nature.  I’m no longer so irritated by this perception as I used to be, but rather surprised by it: going … Continue reading

Posted in History of science, Horror, Optics | 5 Comments