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Archive for October, 2010

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Rontgen discovers X-rays

Posted in Anniversary, Medicine, Science on Thursday, 28 October 2010

picture, Wilhelm Rontgen, X-ray

Wilhelm Rontgen discovers X-rays at his laboratory in the University of Würzburg. Illustration by Wilf Hardy

8 November marks the anniversary of the discovery of X-rays in 1895. Wilhelm Röntgen, born in 1845, was a physicist and professor at various universities in Germany. Whilst studying the effects of electrostatic charges on vacuum tubes, he accidentally discovered a radiation was causing a faint shimmering on a screen nearby. Speculating that it was caused by some unknown ray, which he dubbed X-rays, he spent the next few days experimenting and, less than two weeks later, took the first X-ray photograph of his wife’s hand. News of his discovery was presented in a paper published in December.

Many more pictures relating to scientific discoveries throughout the ages can be found at the Look and Learn picture library.

The Mary Celeste’s mysterious voyage

Posted in Anniversary, History, Mystery on Wednesday, 27 October 2010

picture, Mary Celeste, Captain Briggs, lifeboat

Did Captain Briggs order the crew of the Mary Celeste to abandon ship feating an explosion? Illustration by Ken Petts

7 November marks the anniversary of the final, fateful voyage of the Mary Celeste, which departed from New York in 1872. The ship was discovered abandoned on 4 December by the crew of the Dei Gratia, still under sail and with nothing apparently wrong. Food and fresh water was plentiful and the ship still seaworthy, although water was found between decks and in the hold. The lifeboat was missing, as were the most of the ship’s papers, the sextant and chronometer.

Many theories have been put forward as to why the ship was abandoned, one of the most believable being that some of the cargo – 1,701 barrels of alcohol of which 9 were found empty – had ignited, blowing off the door to the hold. The Captain had ordered the ship abandoned, using a rope to attach the lifeboat to the ship which became severed (it was later found trailing in the ocean) in a storm.

Many more pictures relating to mysteries – from the Bermuda Triangle to why the dinosaurs disappeared – can be found at the Look and Learn picture library.

Birth of Marie Curie

Posted in Anniversary, Medicine, Science on Wednesday, 27 October 2010

picture, portrait, Marie Curie, Pierre Curie, laboratory

Marie and Pierre Curie in their laboratory. Illustration by Peter Jackson

7 November marks the anniversary of the birth of Marie Curie in 1867. Born Manya Sklodowska in Warsaw, she moved to Paris at the age of 24 to obtain her higher education at the Sorbonne and begin scientific research. Married to Pierre Curie in 1895, the two rarely left the laboratory. Marie Curie was a pioneer in the field of radioactivity and was the first person honored with two Nobel Prizes, one for physics and one for chemistry. She died in 1934, aged 66, from aplastic anemia, almost certainly caused by her long exposure to radiation.

Many more pictures relating to science and scientists throughout the ages can be found at the Look and Learn picture library.

Abraham Lincoln becomes President

Posted in Anniversary, History on Tuesday, 26 October 2010

picture, Abraham Lincoln, flag, stars and stripes

Despite being a fiery speaker, Lincoln made few speeches during the 1860 election. Illustration by Angus McBride

6 November marks the anniversary of the election in the United States which took Abraham Lincoln to the White House. The 1860 election was fought over the rights of individual states and over the question of slavery which Lincoln wanted to abolish. Lincoln himself made few speeches, leaving the campaign to the Republican faithful to enthuse supporters and sweep Lincoln to power with a high turnout. There was almost no campaigning in the South where, after Lincoln’s victory, a number of states seceded from the United States.

Many more pictures of Abraham Lincoln can be found at the Look and Learn picture library.

Diamonds discovered at Kimberley

Posted in Uncategorized on Tuesday, 26 October 2010

picture, Cecil Rhodes, diamonds, South Africa, natives

Cecil Rhodes, King of the Diamond Fields

6 November marks the anniversary of the discovery of diamonds at Kimberley, South Africa, in 1869. The diamond fields were claimed by the Cape Colony, Transvaal and Orange Free State but was, in 1871, put under the control of Nikolaas Waterboer and the area named Griqualand West.

Cecil Rhodes and his brother Herbert arrived soon after and over the next 17 years, financed by Rothschild & Sons, bought up most of the smaller mining outfits giving them a virtual monopoly. A strategic partnership with the Diamond Syndicate in London also meant that supply could be controlled and the high price of diamonds maintained.

Many more pictures relating to the discovery and history of diamonds, can be found at the Look and Learn picture library.

Guy Fawkes is arrested

Posted in Anniversary, History on Monday, 25 October 2010

picture, Guy Fawkes, arrest, Westminster Palace

Guy Fawkes is arrested at Westminster Palace. Illustration by Ron Embleton

5 November marks the anniversary of the gunpowder plot in 1605, usually celebrated with fireworks and bonfires throughout Britain. In the early hours of the morning, soldiers searched Westminster Palace after receiving an anonymous tip-off. There they found Guy Fawkes, one of the plotters who wanted to kill King James I and return a Catholic monarch to the throne, guarding a stockpile of gunpowder. Fawkes was arrested, tortured and sentenced to execution. Fawkes jumped from the scaffold, breaking his neck.

Many more pictures relating to Guy Fawkes and bonfire night can be found at the Look and Learn picture library.

Battle of Inkerman

Posted in Anniversary, Famous battles, History on Monday, 25 October 2010

picture, Battle of Inkerman, Crimean War

The Battle of Inkerman was a turning point in the Crimean War. Illustration by C. L. Doughty

5 November marks the anniversary of the Battle of Inkerman during the Crimean War in 1854, a turning point in the war between the French and British Allies and the Russians.

Fought close to Sevastopol, the Russians attacked and attempted to outflank the Allies as dawn broke. Strong defence by the the British troops meant that French reinforcements arrived before the area was overwhelmed and the Russians were forced to withdraw. Although the Russians made no further large-scale attacks, the battle at Inkerman meant there was no quick victory for the Allies in taking Sevastopol.

More pictures relating to the Crimean War can be found here. Many more illustrations of wars and battles through the ages can be found at the Look and Learn picture library.

Discovery of Tutankhamen’s tomb

Posted in Anniversary, Exploration, History, Royalty on Sunday, 24 October 2010

picture, Howard Carter, Egypt, pharaoh

Howard Carter’s search for the tomb of the pharaoh. Illustration by Ferdinando Tacconi

4 November marks the anniversary of the discovery of  Tutankhamen’s tomb in 1922. The tomb – officially known as KV62  – was found by Howard Carter in Egypt’s Valley of the Kings near the entrance of the tomb of Ramesses VI. Carter contacted his patron, Lord Carnarvon, and the two men entered the tomb on 26 November. After months of careful excavation, they discovered the sarcophagus of the ancient Egyptian pharaoh.

picture, sarcophagus, Tutankhamen

The sarcophagus of Tutankhamen

Many more pictures relating to Tutankhamen can be found here. Many more illustrations relating to the history and culture of Ancient Egypt can be found at the Look and Learn picture library.

Nelson’s Column completed

Posted in Anniversary, Famous battles, History on Sunday, 24 October 2010

picture, Nelson's Column

Cleaning the 18 foot statue of Nelson which stands on a 151 foot column is no easy task. Illustration by Angus McBride

4 November marks the anniversary of the completion of Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square, built in 1840-43 to commemorate the death of Admiral Nelson at the Battle of Trafalgar. The granite column was designed by William Railton and constructed at a cost of £47,000. Four bronze lions designed by Sir Edwin Landseer were added in 1867.

Many more pictures relating to the life and achievements of Admiral Nelson can be found at the Look and Learn picture library.

Death of Annie Oakley

Posted in Adventure, Anniversary, Legend on Saturday, 23 October 2010

picture, Annie Oakley, gun, rifle

Markswoman Annie Oakley. Illustration by James E. McConnell

3 November marks the anniversary of the death of Annie Oakley in 1926. Born Phoebe Anne Mosey in Woodland, Ohio, on 13 August 1860, she grew up impoverished circumstances, ill-educated but a remarkable markswoman. She was hunting game for food and sale in her early teens and. with her husband Francis E. Butler, joined Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show in 1885 performing in America and Europe. She later became an actress, but continued to perform remarkable feats of marksmanship well into her sixties. She died aged 66. Her husband was so devastated, he died 18 days later.

More pictures relating to Annie Oakley can be found here. Many more illustrations relating to the history of the American Wild West can be found at the Look and Learn picture library.