Mary Mitchell Slessor (1848 – 1915). Scottish Presbyterian missionary to Nigeria. Once in Nigeria, Slessor learned Efik, one of the numerous local languages, then began teaching. Because of her understanding of the native language and her bold personality Slessor gained the trust and acceptance of the locals and was able to spread Christianity while promoting women's rights and protecting native children. She is most famous for having stopped the common practice of infanticide of twins in Okoyong, an area of Cross River State, Nigeria.
Wednesday, 31 March 2021
Monday, 29 March 2021
Reginald Aubrey Fessenden (1866 – 1932). Canadian-born inventor, who did a majority of his work in the United States. During his life he received hundreds of patents in various fields, most notably ones related to radio and sonar.
Fessenden is best known for his pioneering work developing radio technology, including the foundations of amplitude modulation (AM) radio. His achievements included the first transmission of speech by radio (1900), and the first two-way radiotelegraphic communication across the Atlantic Ocean (1906). In 1932 he reported that, in late 1906, he also made the first radio broadcast of entertainment and music, although a lack of verifiable details has led to some doubts about this claim.
Thomas Alva Edison (1847 – 1931). American inventor and businessman who has been described as America's greatest inventor. He developed many devices in fields such as electric power generation, mass communication, sound recording, and motion pictures. These inventions, which include the phonograph, the motion picture camera, and early versions of the electric light bulb, have had a widespread impact on the modern industrialized world. He was one of the first inventors to apply the principles of organized science and teamwork to the process of invention, working with many researchers and employees. He established the first industrial research laboratory.
Anna Case (1888/89 – 1984). American operatic soprano. She recorded with Thomas Alva Edison, who used her voice extensively in "tone tests" of whether a live audience could tell the difference between the actual singer and a recording. In addition to recordings for Edison Records on both phonograph cylinder and Diamond Disc, Case recorded for Victor and Columbia Records, and made sound film for Vitaphone.
Sunday, 28 March 2021
Charles Augustin Sainte-Beuve (1804 – 1869). French literary critic.
Sainte-Beuve published collections of poems and the partly autobiographical novel Volupté in 1834. After several books of poetry and a couple of failed novels, Sainte-Beuve began to do literary research, of which the most important publication resulting is Port-Royal.
Port-Royal, probably Sainte-Beuve's masterpiece, is an exhaustive history of the Jansenist abbey of Port-Royal-des-Champs, near Paris. It not only influenced the historiography of religious belief, but also the philosophy of history and the history of esthetics.
He was made Senator in 1865, in which capacity he distinguished himself by his pleas for freedom of speech and of the press. According to Jules Amédée Barbey d'Aurevilly, "Sainte-Beuve was a clever man with the temper of a turkey!"
- "... inheriting from his half-English mother his red hair and robust frame..." http://waltercosand.com/.../essaysbysaintebe00sain.pdf
- "... his hair pale red, very abundant, and at once stiff and fine." https://archive.org/.../charlesaugustins00harpuoft_djvu.txt
Charles Alexandre de Calonne (1734 – 1802), titled Count of Hannonville in 1759. French statesman, best known for his involvement in the French Revolution.
Realizing that the Parlement of Paris would never agree to reform, Calonne handpicked an Assembly of Notables in 1787 to approve new taxes. When they refused, Calonne's reputation plummeted and he was forced to leave the country.
Tuesday, 23 March 2021
Mary Helen Middleton (née Hering, 1772 - 1850).
Elizabeth Middleton Fisher (1815 - 1890).
John Rogers (c. 1505 - 1555). English clergyman and Bible translator. First English Protestant martyr under Mary I of England.
"Thus John Rogers, the martyr, had red hair, as appears from a painting of him now in Harvard College; and accordingly red or light hair and sandy whiskers will be found to prevail in his descendants in this country to the present day. So powerful was his constitution, that it stamped its own impress upon the great majority of his descendants. Compare the number of Rogerses who have more or less admixture of the red in the colour of their hair, with the community as a whole, and the force of this hereditary fact will be too apparent to be controverted."*
Works on Phrenology, Physiology, and Kindred Subjects by Orson Squire Fowler, 1873.
*At present we haven't ascertained if the above painting is the same as that referenced in the quote. Obviously in the above painting the hair looks somewhat dark, so we would guess that the reference is to another work.
Saturday, 6 March 2021
Agnes Smyth Baden-Powell (1858 – 1945). Younger sister of Robert Baden-Powell, 1st Baron Baden-Powell. She was most noted for her work in establishing the Girl Guide movement as a female counterpart to her older brother's Scouting Movement.
Lieutenant General Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell, 1st Baron Baden-Powell (1857 – 1941). British Army officer, writer, founder and first Chief Scout of the world-wide Scout Movement, and founder, with his sister Agnes, of the world-wide Girl Guide / Girl Scout Movement. Baden-Powell authored the first editions of the seminal work Scouting for Boys, which was an inspiration for the Scout Movement.