Starting a farmhand, this clock-maker invented things, revolutionized mining & virtually contributed to Swedish development!!!

Christopher Polhammar (18 December 1661 – 30 August 1751), better known as  Christopher Polhem was a Swedish scientist, inventor and industrialist. He made significant contributions to the economic and industrial development of Sweden, particularly mining. Polhem was born on the island of Gotland in the small village of Tingstäde, situated northeast of Visby.

When Polhem was 8, his father died and his mother, Christina Eriksdotter Schening from Vadstena, Östergötland remarried. As a result of conflicts with his stepfather, his private tuition was no longer paid for and Polhem was sent to live with his uncle in Stockholm. In Stockholm he attended a German school until the age of 12 when his uncle died; once again Polhem was left without the possibility of education. He took a job as a farmhand on Vansta, a property in Södertörn, Stockholm. Read more…

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One of the earliest inventors who reinvented the wheel in two & added pedals and crank mechanism to it!!!

Pierre Lallement (October 25, 1843 – August 29, 1891) is considered by some to be the inventor of the bicycle. In 1862 while Lallement was employed building baby carriages in Nancy he saw someone riding a dandy horse(The dandy horse is a human-powered vehicle that, being the first means of transport to make use of the two-wheeler principle, is regarded as the forerunner of the bicycle. The dandy horse was invented by Baron Karl Drais in MannheimGermany and patented in January 1818), a forerunner of the bicycle that required the rider to propel the vehicle by walking. Lallement modified what he had seen by adding a transmission comprising a rotary crank mechanism and pedals attached to the front-wheel hub, thus creating the first true bicycle. Read more…

Fascinated by electric gadgets in childhood, he applied his skills develop a CT scanner; a good tool for physiology & medicine!!

Sir Godfrey Newbold HounsfieldCBEFRS, (28 August 1919 – 12 August 2004) was an English electrical engineer who shared the 1979 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine with Allan McLeod Cormack for his part in developing the diagnostic technique of X-ray computed tomography (CT). His name is immortalised in the Hounsfield scale, a quantitative measure of radio density used in evaluating CT scans. The scale is defined in Hounsfield units (symbol HU), running from air at −1000 HU, through water at 0 HU, and up to dense cortical bone at +1000 HU and more.Read more…

Aspiring actor in youth, this mycologist published novel to pay for education & revolutionized breweries by his work on yeast!!

Emil Christian Hansen (May 8, 1842 – August 27, 1909) was a Danish mycologist and fermentation physiologist. Born in Ribe, Hansen’s large family and poor circumstances often made it necessary for Emil Hansen to help his father. In 1850 he entered school and showed himself to be a diligent pupil and an avid reader. He wished to become an actor, but his father would not allow it. In 1860 he became a journeyman house painter; he also sought to become an artist, but the Academy of Fine Arts refused his application for admission.

Hansen became a private tutor in 1862 at the estate of Holsteinborg, where he prepared to become a teacher. During his stay at Holsteinborg the botanist Peder Nielsen, at that time schoolmaster in Ørslev, aroused Hansen’s interest in botany and gave him emotional and financial support. In spite of illness Hansen completed a three-year teaching course at Copenhagen Polytechnical High School in 1869, earning money by publishing novels. Read more…

The duo invented & pioneered to fly with hot air in eighteenth century!!!

Joseph-Michel Montgolfier (26 August 1740 – 26 June 1810) and Jacques-Étienne Montgolfier (6 January 1745 – 2 August 1799) were the inventors of the Montgolfière-style hot air balloon, globe aérostatique. The brothers succeeded in launching the first manned ascent, carrying Étienne into the sky.  The brothers were born into a family of paper manufacturers in Annonay, in Ardèche, France. Their parents were Pierre Montgolfier (1700–1793) and his wife, Anne Duret (1701–1760), who had sixteen children. 

Of the two brothers, it was Joseph who first contemplated building machines as early as 1777 when he observed laundry drying over a fire incidentally form pockets that billowed upwards. Joseph made his first definitive experiments in November 1782 while living in the city of Avignon. He reported some years later that he was watching a fire one evening while contemplating one of the great military issues of the day—an assault on the fortress of Gibraltar, which had proved impregnable from both sea and land. 

Joseph mused on the possibility of an air assault using troops lifted by the same force that was lifting the embers from the fire. He believed that contained within the smoke was a special gas, which he called Montgolfier Gas, with a special property he called levity. Read more…

The blacksmith & bookbinder’s apprentice; despite a nervous breakdown became one of the most influential scientists in history!!

Michael FaradayFRS (22 September 1791 – 25 August 1867) was an English scientist who contributed to the fields of electromagnetism and electrochemistry. His main discoveries include those of electromagnetic inductiondiamagnetism and electrolysis.

Faraday was born in Newington Butts, which is now part of the London Borough of Southwark, but which was then a suburban part of Surrey. His family was not well off. James Faraday moved his wife and two children to London during the winter of 1790 from Outhgill in Westmorland, where he had been an apprentice to the village blacksmith. The young Michael Faraday, who was the third of four children, having only the most basic school education, had to educate himself. 

At fourteen he became the apprentice to George Riebau, a local bookbinder and bookseller in Blandford Street. During his seven-year apprenticeship he read many books, including Isaac Watts‘ The Improvement of the Mind, and he enthusiastically implemented the principles and suggestions contained therein. At this time he also developed an interest in science, especially in electricity. Faraday was particularly inspired by the book Conversations on Chemistry by Jane Marcet. Read more…