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Alexander the Great

[Na] Leader of the Macedonians. Born in 356 bc, Alexander was tutored in his early years by Aristotle before succeeding his father Philip as king of Macedonia and the mainland of ...

Bache, Alexander Dallas

Bache, Alexander Dallas (1806–1867)   Reference library

Hugh Richard Slotten

The Oxford Encyclopedia of the History of American Science, Medicine, and Technology

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2015

...Alexander Dallas ( 1806–1867 ), geophysicist , educator , and science administrator . A great-grandson of Benjamin Franklin, Bache received specialized scientific training from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, where he graduated first in his class in 1825 . After serving in the Corps of Engineers for two years, he was appointed professor of natural philosophy and chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania. He conducted not only basic physical and geophysical research but also practical research, including, most importantly, a federally...

National Academy of Sciences

National Academy of Sciences   Reference library

Daniel Lee Kleinman and Hugh Richard Slotten

The Oxford Encyclopedia of the History of American Science, Medicine, and Technology

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2015

...of Sciences The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) was the brainchild of three nineteenth-century figures prominent in the American scientific community: Joseph Henry; Alexander Dallas Bache, superintendent of the U.S. Coast Survey; and Charles Henry Davis, a naval officer and scientist. These men hoped to create a body analogous to Great Britain’s Royal Society and the French Academy. In 1863 they obtained a government charter for this organization, which they hoped would centralize control over American science, recognize the achievements of the scientific...

Bell, Alexander Graham

Bell, Alexander Graham (1847–1922)   Reference library

David Hochfelder

The Oxford Encyclopedia of the History of American Science, Medicine, and Technology

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2015

...Alexander Graham ( 1847–1922 ), inventor and scientist best known for his invention of the telephone . Born in Scotland, his family immigrated to Canada in 1870 . Two years later Bell moved to Boston as a teacher of the deaf. At that time, he began researching methods to transmit several telegraph messages simultaneously over a single wire. This line of research ultimately led to his invention of a version of the telephone in 1876 . In the mid-1870s Thomas Edison invented the quadruplex, a system for sending four simultaneous telegraph messages over...

Boas, Franz

Boas, Franz (1858–1942)   Reference library

Vernon J. Williams Jr.

The Oxford Encyclopedia of the History of American Science, Medicine, and Technology

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2015

...ushered in the modern conceptions of race and cultural relativism. In his research studying the Indians in northwestern America, Boas focused on their folklore and art; he introduced the innovation of relying on trained native speakers to document unwritten languages. In addition, Boas had a profound influence on the Harlem Renaissance. He worked with both the great novelist and folklorist Zora Neale Hurston and the cultural critic Alain L. Locke, as well as opening the pages of the Journal of American Folklore , one of the major journals that he...

Bartram, John

Bartram, John (1699–1777)   Reference library

Marc Rothenberg and Elspeth Knewstubb

The Oxford Encyclopedia of the History of American Science, Medicine, and Technology

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2015

...John Jr., William refused offers to become professor of botany at the University of Pennsylvania and to join the Freeman Red River Expedition in 1806 . He remained at his family’s garden, where he provided encouragement and training to the succeeding generation of American naturalists, including Thomas Say and Alexander Wilson. The careers of the Bartrams, father and son, demonstrate the importance of European patronage for American science during the Colonial Era. [ See also Botanical Gardens ; Botany ; Say, Thomas ; and Science: Overview .] Bibliography...

Bell Laboratories

Bell Laboratories   Reference library

Sheldon Hochheiser

The Oxford Encyclopedia of the History of American Science, Medicine, and Technology

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2015

... Bardeen, John ; Bell, Alexander Graham ; Computer Science ; Electronic Communication Devices, Mobile ; Engineering ; Internet and World Wide Web ; Military, Science and Technology and the ; National Aeronautics and Space Administration ; Nobel Prize in Biomedical Research ; Physics ; Radio ; Research and Development (R&D) ; Satellites, Communications ; Shockley, William ; Solid-State Electronics ; Telegraph ; and Telephone .] Bibliography Fagan, M. D. , et al., eds. A History of Engineering and Science in the Bell System , 7 vols....

Penicillin

Penicillin   Reference library

Robert Bud

The Oxford Encyclopedia of the History of American Science, Medicine, and Technology

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2015

... 1929 , the London-based bacteriologist Alexander Fleming reported the antibacterial effects of the liquid produced by a culture of the penicillium mold. Over the next few years flickers of interest in his results were shown by both academic and industrial scientists both in Britain and in the United States. Neither Fleming nor others, however, succeeded in extracting whatever was responsible for the destruction of bacteria. Only in March 1940 did a scientist in wartime Oxford University, Ernst Chain, successfully extract the active principal from the small...

Iron and Steel Production and Products

Iron and Steel Production and Products   Reference library

Jonathan Rees

The Oxford Encyclopedia of the History of American Science, Medicine, and Technology

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2015

...the amount of carbon it contained. Whereas Bessemer first did this in 1858 , the American William Kelly obtained a patent for a similar process that he developed earlier, independent of Bessemer. Unfortunately, he went bankrupt before doing anything with his invention. The first commercially successful production facilities with Bessemer converters appeared in the mid-1860s and early 1870s. Designed primarily by the American engineer Alexander Holley, they were arranged with the blast furnace very close to the Bessemer converter to make the process as...

Maritime Transport

Maritime Transport   Reference library

Joshua M. Smith

The Oxford Encyclopedia of the History of American Science, Medicine, and Technology

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2015

...the industrializing American economy. For example, Great Lakes ore boats provided iron ore to the nation’s rapidly growing steel industry, and coasting schooners moved the coal and other materials that fueled industrialization and urban growth. World War I marked massive federal intervention into the maritime industry. During the phase of American neutrality, the withdrawal of British-flagged shipping nearly caused the collapse of the American export economy. With American entry came an enormous shipbuilding effort and the nationalization of the merchant...

birth control

birth control   Reference library

Science, Technology, and Society

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2006

...includes two subentries Male Contraception The Pill Male Contraception For most of modern history, contraception research and development has focused mainly on women, who literally bear the most immediate consequences of technological failure. This is not the only reason for the gynocentric history of the technology, however. As Nancy Alexander expressed it in 1994 , “Turning off the continuous production of 200 million sperm per day presents tougher problems than stopping the development of one egg a month.”. The twin obstacles to development of effective...

Railroads

Railroads   Reference library

Steven W. Usselman

The Oxford Encyclopedia of the History of American Science, Medicine, and Technology

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2015

...to capture the efficiencies of repetitive learning by doing, while retaining sufficient flexibility to meet the variable conditions faced by individual lines. Since they supplied variants to so many lines, the locomotive suppliers became vital clearinghouses for technical information, a role filled as well by trade journals such as the American Railroad Journal , edited by Alexander Lyman Holley. As a trusted technical intermediary, Holley gained the confidence of executives such as J. Edgar Thomson of the Pennsylvania. During the Civil War, the two would...

telephone, the

telephone, the   Reference library

Science, Technology, and Society

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2006

...during the half century of its existence, had been worked up into a complex and sophisticated network, especially in large cities. In fact, the technique of telegraphy had indirectly led to that of telephony, because Alexander Graham Bell developed the telephone while working on the harmonic telegraph. An application for a patent that made Bell the sole inventor and only developer of the telephone was filed on February 14, 1876 . As a result, for years Bell Telephone Company ( BTC ) in Canada and American Telephone and Telegraph ( AT&T ) in the United...

indigenous knowledge

indigenous knowledge   Reference library

Science, Technology, and Society

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2006

...tubocurarine and the toxiferines. Curare acts as a neuromuscular junction—blocking agent, producing paralysis of skeletal muscles. The toxin causes death by paralysis of respiratory muscles. Walter Raleigh is believed to have taken samples of curare to Europe in the late sixteenth century. Without the Native American source, he could never have noticed or come into contact with curare, made from a few of the thousands of plant species of the Amazon. Later, Charles Marie de la Condamine introduced curare to the French Academy, and Alexander von Humboldt , in...

Oceanography

Oceanography   Reference library

Craig Biegel

The Oxford Encyclopedia of the History of American Science, Medicine, and Technology

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2015

...British dominance in physical oceans science. The peak of nineteenth-century American involvement in ocean research occurred during the tenures of Alexander Dallas Bache and his great rival, Matthew Fontaine Maury, at two agencies, one funded directly through Congress and the other reliant upon limited naval funding. Through these agencies, Bache and Maury dominated American ocean research in the late antebellum period. The first agency, the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey, which was authorized during the Jefferson administration, initially limited its...

Mathematics and Statistics

Mathematics and Statistics   Reference library

Karen Hunger Parshall

The Oxford Encyclopedia of the History of American Science, Medicine, and Technology

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2015

...professors of mathematics had tended to draw, however, from Great Britain, a country that had fallen behind the continent—especially France—relative both to pedagogical innovations and to original research. This had begun to change by the 1820s. Beginning in 1817 , the U.S. Military Academy at West Point (opened in 1802 ) followed the example of France’s state-of-the-art École polytechnique, incorporating into its curriculum not only the calculus in the form it had taken in the hands first of the seventeenth-century German mathematician, Gottfried Leibniz,...

Societies and Associations, Science

Societies and Associations, Science   Reference library

Daniel Goldstein

The Oxford Encyclopedia of the History of American Science, Medicine, and Technology

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Current Version:
2015

...that was diverse, but tended to include the more committed and experienced segment of the scientifically active population. Initially divided into just two sections, natural history and general physics, the society created many more subdivisions by the century’s end, reflective of both growing numbers and the increasing specialization of American science. The National Academy of Sciences established by an act of Congress in 1863 was fundamentally different in almost all respects. Created at the instigation of Alexander Dallas Bache and other politically...

Engineering

Engineering   Reference library

Ann Johnson

The Oxford Encyclopedia of the History of American Science, Medicine, and Technology

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Current Version:
2015

...in the Corps—men like Alexander Dallas Bache, who headed both the Franklin Institute and the U.S. Coast Survey over his distinguished career ( Slotten, 1994 ). Although occasionally under attack for its elitist attitudes, West Point and the Corps of Engineers were the central institutions for building the nation before the railroad boom in the 1830s. Before the Civil War, a majority of formally educated engineers came from West Point, making it the most important generator of engineering experts in the United States. In this period one of the main jobs...

Ecology

Ecology   Reference library

Joel B. Hagen

The Oxford Encyclopedia of the History of American Science, Medicine, and Technology

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2015

...The development of modern ecology was strongly shaped by the earlier tradition of plant geography rooted in Alexander von Humbolt’s explorations in South America and continuing throughout the nineteenth century as European botanists attempted to systematically map and classify vegetation. This interest in mapping and classifying flora and fauna later served as the central focus of a nascent ecology in America, in part because of the wide variety of habitats and the realization that nature was quickly being altered by human activities. In 1889 the U.S....

Internet, The

Internet, The   Reference library

Science, Technology, and Society

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Subject Reference
Current Version:
2006

...and Policy in the Wired World , edited by Les Pal and Cynthia Alexander . Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1998: 132–145. Daly, Peter H. “IT's Place in US History: Information Technology as a Shaper of Society.” Cambridge, MA: Program on Information Resources Policy, 2002. Eisenach, Jeffrey , Thomas Lenard , and Stephen McGonegal . The Digital Economy Fact Book , Third Edition, Washington, DC: The Progress and Freedom Foundation, 2001. Galston, William A. “The Impact of the Internet on Civic Life,” In Governance.com: Democracy in the Information Age...

invention in history and culture

invention in history and culture   Reference library

Science, Technology, and Society

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Current Version:
2006

...well known and society readily takes up an invention. Since railroads in the mid-nineteenth century needed stronger rails and armies wanted stronger cannons, there was a ready demand for Henry Bessemer's new steel process in 1856 . In other situations, though, there is no preexisting need and an inventor must convince society of an invention's value. For example, when Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone in 1876 , he found few people willing to buy it; indeed, it took the Bell Telephone Company decades to convince Americans that every home should...

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