<< 1890-1899
A >>
Date Event Subjects
1900 Sherburne Wesley Burnham (1838-1921) capped years of astronomical observation with A General Catalogue of 1290 Double Stars Discovered from 1871 to 1899 by S. W. Burnham, Arranged in Order of Right Ascension with All the Micrometrical Measures of Each Pair (Publications of the Yerkes Observatory, no. 1) (Chicago). [0749] Astronomy
1900 The spiral character of some nebulae was discovered by James Edward Keeler (b.1857) through photographic evidence. Keeler, director of the Lick Observatory, died at San Francisco on 12 August of this year. [0750] Astronomy
1900 Mathematician George Abram Miller (1863-1951) was given a prize for his work in group theory by the Academy of Sciences of Cracow, reportedly the Academy's first prize in pure mathematics to an American. [0751] Awards and Prizes / Mathematics
1900 Moses Gomberg (1866-1947) produced the earliest stable free radical, triphenylmethyl. Organic chemists at the time assumed free radicals were not likely to exist. The report of the event appeared in Berichte der Deutschen chemischer Gesellschaft 33 (1900): 3150-3163, and Journal of American Chemical Society 22 (1900): 757-771. [0752] Chemistry
1900 William Hallock Park (1863-1939) discovered the role of healthy humans in the transmission of typhoid fever. [0753] Medicine / Disease
1900 Walter Reed (1851-1902) was appointed head of an army Yellow Fever Board to investigate the causes of an outbreak of the Disease among United States forces in Cuba. He was accompanied by James Carroll (1854-1907), Jesse W. Lazear (1866-1900), and Aristides Agramonte y Simoni (1868-1931). Aided by work done from as early as 1881 by Carlos Finlay (1833-1915), the Board concluded that yellow fever was spread by a mosquito of the genus Aedes. The discovery was reported in "The Etiology of Yellow Fever, A Preliminary Note," Philadelphia Medical Journal 6 (October 27, 1900): 790-796. In 1901, Reed established that the Disease was caused by a filterable virus, the first such human Disease shown to be caused by such an agent. Their studies of the course of the infection helped to lead to its control. Lazear died as a result of his involvement in the study. [0754] Medicine / Disease
1900 The first biochemical research laboratory in a hospital was established at McLean Hospital for the Insane (Waverley, Massachusetts), with Otto K.O. Folin (1867-1934) in charge. [0755] Organizations—Hospitals / Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
1900 The General Electric Company's research laboratory was established at Schenectady, New York. It was perhaps the first such industrial research facility in the United States. [0756] Organizations—Industry / Electricity and Electronics
1900-1901 State Audubon societies affiliated under the National Committee of Audubon Societies of America. In 1905, it became the National Association of Audubon Societies for the Protection of Wild Birds and Animals, and in 1940 the National Audubon Society. (The first Audubon Society was organized in 1886.) [0757] Organizations—Societies and Associations / Environment and Conservation
1900 The Transactions of American Mathematical Society began publication as a research outlet. [0758] Periodicals and Publishing / Mathematics
1900 American Museum Journal was established. It was published by the American Museum of Natural History. In 1919, it became Natural History. [0759] Periodicals and Publishing / Natural History
1900 Science, owned and edited by James McKeen Cattell (1860-1944), became the official journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Upon his death, ownership was vested in the Association. [0760] Periodicals and Publishing / Organizations—Societies and Associations
1900 Wallace Clement Ware Sabine (1868-1919) published "Reverberation," The American Architect (republished in his Collected Papers on Acoustics, Cambridge, Mass., 1922), that delineated the basic components of an acoustically effective auditorium. Sabine's proposed acoustical law related the reverberation time to the volume of the room and amount of absorbent material it contained. [0761] Physics / Acoustics
1901 Jokichi Takamine (1854-1922) isolated a substance from the adrenal glands that later was known as adrenaline or epinephrine. Although eventually credited with having been the first to isolate a pure hormone, the concept of hormones was not known at the time. [0762] Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
1901 Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) became president, the first since John Quincy Adams (1767-1848) with a personal interest and knowledge in science. [0763] General or Miscellaneous
1901 The American Chemical Society conducted a census. In this survey, there were more than 22,000 enrollees in college chemistry courses, of which physical chemistry accounted for only 2.5%. Inorganic chemistry courses had 59% of the total, analytical chemistry 24%. Organic chemistry enrollment accounted for 12% of the total. [0764] General or Miscellaneous / Chemistry
1901 Thomas Harrison Montgomery, Jr. (1873-1912) presented research results that contained the kernel of the idea of inheritance from two parents by way of the chromosomes. A report of this work appeared in "A Study of the Chromosomes of Germ Cells of Metazoa," Transactions of American Philosophical Society, new series 20:154-236. [0765] Genetics
1901 Funds were appropriated for construction of the Hygienic Laboratory in Washington, D.C. The laboratory, associated with the Marine Hospital Service, had started on a small scale on Staten Island in 1887 and had moved to Washington in the early 1890s. [0766] Government—Federal / Public Health
1901 Edwin Bidwell Wilson (1879-1964) published Vector Analysis (New York). The textbook was based on the lectures of Josiah Willard Gibbs (1839-1903). [0767] Mathematics
1901 Gary Nathan Calkins (1869-1943) published The Protozoa (New York), an early English-language work on that subject. [0768] Microbiology and Microscopy / Zoology
1901 Theodore William Richards (1868-1928) was offered a professorship in physical chemistry at the University of Goettingen, which he did not accept. In order not to lose him, Harvard University promoted him, reduced his teaching, and built a new laboratory (Wolcott Gibbs Laboratory). It was a distinct honor to be offered such a foreign professorship, however, and greatly promoted his position among American chemists. [0769] Organizations—Academic / Chemistry
1901 The Monsanto corporation was established by John Francisco Queeny (1859-1933) in St. Louis, Missouri. [0770] Organizations—Industry / Chemistry
1901 The Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research was founded by John D. Rockefeller. In 1965, it became Rockefeller University. [0771] Organizations—Research Institutions / Zoology—Human
1901 The American Journal of Anatomy was established by Franklin Paine Mall (1862-1917), Charles S. Minot (1852-1914), and George S. Huntington (1861-1927). [0772] Periodicals and Publishing / Anatomy
1901 American Botanist was established. [0773] Periodicals and Publishing / Botany
1901 The mercury vapor arc lamp was invented by Peter C. Hewitt (1861-1921). An improved and commercially viable version appeared in 1903. [0774] Technology and Invention
1901 Florence Rena Sabin (1871-1953) published An Atlas of the Medulla and Midbrain (Baltimore). [0775] Zoology / Neurobiology
1901 For what was probably the first time, the use of leg bands for the study of bird migrations was suggested. It appeared in Leon Jacob Cole (1877-1948), "Suggestions for a Method of Studying the Migration of Birds," Michigan Academy of Science Report 3 (1902): 67-70. [0776] Zoology / Ornithology
1901 (March 3) The U.S. Congress voted to establish the National Bureau of Standards (after 1903, in the new Department of Commerce and Labor). Much of the promotion for the new agency had been done by Samuel Wesley Stratton (1861-1931) who, in 1899, had been made head of the federal government's work on weights and measures. Stratton was made first director of the Bureau, and had modeled his concept of a national laboratory on the German Physikalisch-Technische Reichsanstalt. Among the new Bureau's functions was to conduct research. In 1988, it was renamed the National Institute of Standards and Technology. [0777] Government—Federal / Physical Sciences—General
1901 (April 16) Physicist Henry Augustus Rowland (b.1848) died in Baltimore, Maryland. [0778] General or Miscellaneous / Physics
1901 and 1902 In these years, Clarence Erwin McClung (1870-1946) published work on the accessory or X chromosome in insects and its possible linkage to sex determination, and was among the first to give substantive evidence for the association of particular characteristics and a specific chromosome. The results were presented in: "Notes on the Accessory Chromosome," Anatomischer Anzeiger 20 (1901): 220-226; and "The Accessory Chromosome: Sex Determinant?," Biological Bulletin 3 (1902): 43-84. [0779] Genetics
1901-1905 Edward Bradford Titchener (1867-1927) published Experimental Psychology (New York), in four volumes. It consisted of two student and two teacher manuals. [0780] Psychology
1901-1913 Ira Remsen (1846-1927) served as second president of Johns Hopkins University and continued as professor of chemistry. [0781] General or Miscellaneous / Chemistry
1901-1919 Robert Ridgway (1850-1929) published "The Birds of North and Middle America," Bulletin of United States National Museum no. 50, in eight parts (1901, 1902, 1904, 1907, 1911, 1914, 1916, 1919). [0782] Zoology / Ornithology
1902 Charles Augustus Young (1834-1908) published Manual of Astronomy (Boston), a well-known textbook. [0783] Astronomy
1902 Arthur Amos Noyes (1866-1936) published The General Principles of Physical Science (New York). Later editions appeared, with the collaboration of Miles Sherrill (1877-1965), under the eventual title of A Course of Study in Chemical Principles. The work was of great importance in the teaching of physical chemistry. [0784] Chemistry
1902 Albert Hassall (1862-1942) and Charles Wardell Stiles (1867-1941) began publication of Index-catalogue of Medical and Veterinary Zoology (Washington, D.C.). Publication went on over a period of years. [0785] Information Access / Zoology
1902 The Nantucket Maria Mitchell Association was founded. It came to include an observatory, science library, and natural science museum. [0786] Organizations
1902 The General Education Board (Rockefeller) was founded. It was active in science especially during the 1920s. [0787] Organizations—Foundations
1902 The Carnegie Institution of Washington was founded with a ten- million-dollar endowment from Andrew Carnegie (between 1902 and 1911, Carnegie gave an additional 12 million dollars). At first there were grants for individual researchers, but in time the Institution came to concentrate its efforts in support of its own research facilities. As of 1902, when the Institution was chartered, the total American endowment for the support of scientific research was less than three million dollars. About 80% was at the Smithsonian Institution and Harvard University. [0788] Organizations—Research Institutions / Funds and Funding
1902 The American Anthropological Association was founded. [0789] Organizations—Societies and Associations / Anthropology and Ethnology
1902 The Wild Flower Preservation Society of America was founded. (Among those primarily responsible for the establishment was Elizabeth Knight Britton, 1858-1934.) [0790] Organizations—Societies and Associations / Botany
1902 Josiah Willard Gibbs (1839-1903) published Elementary Principles in Statistical Mechanics Developed with Special Reference to the Rational Foundation of Thermodynamics (New Haven). [0791] Physics
1902 Russell Henry Chittenden (1856-1943) began his studies of protein requirements of men, the result of which was a lower daily requirement than was thought to be true at the time. A related work was his Physiological Economy in Nutrition with Special Reference to the Minimal Proteid Requirements of the Healthy Man, An Experimental Study (New York, 1904). [0792] Zoology—Human / Physiology
1902 The Marine Hospital Service was renamed the Public Health and Marine Hospital Service. In 1912, the name was changed to Public Health Service. [0793] Government—Federal / Public Health
1902 Arthur Edwin Kennelly (1861-1939) postulated that a discontinuity in the upper atmosphere could reflect radio waves and thus account for the trans-Atlantic radiotelegraph transmission of Guglielmo Marconi. In England, Oliver Heaviside made a similar suggestion and it came to be called the Kennelly-Heaviside layer. The layer of electrically charged particles later was designated the ionosphere. [0794] Physics / Meteorology and Climatology
1902 (September 23) Geologist and ethnologist John Wesley Powell (b.1834) died in Haven, Maine. [0795] General or Miscellaneous / Geology
1902-1903 Graduate student Walter Stanborough Sutton (1877-1916) published two papers in this period that put forth and supported his idea of the pairing of chromosomes as the basis of Mendel's concepts. The papers were: "Morphology of the Chromosome Group in Brachystola magna," Biological Bulletin 4 (1902): 24-39; and "The Chromosomes in Heredity," ibid. 4 (1903): 231-251. [0796] Genetics
1902-1904 Edward W. Morley (1838-1923) and Dayton Clarence Miller (1866-1941) carried out repetitions of the 1887 Michelson-Morley experiments to detect the stationary luminiferous ether. [0797] Physics
1903 Edward Charles Pickering (1846-1919) issued the first-ever Photographic Map of the Entire Sky, based on work of the Harvard College Observatory in Cambridge and in Arequipa, Peru. [0798] Astronomy
1903 Henry Stephens Washington (1867-1934) published Chemical Analyses of Igneous Rocks Published from 1884 to 1900 (Washington, D.C.); an enlarged edition appeared in 1917. [0799] Geology / Chemistry
1903 C(harles) Whitman Cross (1854-1949), Joseph Paxson Iddings (1857-1920), Louis V. Pirsson (1860-1919), and Henry S. Washington (1867-1934) published Quantitative Classification of Igneous Rocks, Based on Chemical and Mineral Characters, With Systematic Nomenclature (Chicago). The classification of rocks by quantitative chemical composition became known as the C.I.P.W. system, for the four authors. [0800] Geology / Chemistry
1903 President Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) appointed a Committee of Organization of Government Scientific Work. Charged with the examination of duplicate efforts in government science, they concluded that there was little. The Committee reports were not published and little resulted from its work. [0801] Government—Federal
1903 The Carnegie Institution of Washington's Department of Plant Biology was founded. [0802] Organizations—Research Institutions / Botany
1903 The Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine was established. [0803] Organizations—Societies and Associations / Biology—General, Medicine
1903 The American Mycological Society was established. In 1906, it combined with other organizations to form the Botanical Society of America. [0804] Organizations—Societies and Associations / Botany
1903 Albert Abraham Michelson (1852-1931) published Light Waves and Their Uses (Chicago). The book was based on his 1899 Lowell lectures. [0805] Physics
1903 The American Society for Horticultural Science was founded. Liberty Hyde Bailey, Jr. (1858-1954) of Cornell University was the first president. [0806] Organizations—Societies and Associations / Botany
1903 (April 28) Mathematician and theoretical physicist Josiah Willard Gibbs (b.1839) died in New Haven, Connecticut. [0807] General or Miscellaneous / Physics
1903 (December 17) Orville Wright (1871-1948) and Wilbur Wright (1867-1912) conducted four flights from level ground near Kill Devil Hills, south of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. The longest flight was more than a half mile airborne. These were the first successful flights with a powered heavier-than-air device. [0808] Technology and Invention / Aeronautics
ca.1903 DuPont chemical company, as part of a general reorganization, created a small department for research on explosives, the company's primary business. [0809] Organizations—Industry / Chemistry
1904 Edmund Duncan Montgomery (1835-1911) published The Vitality and Organization of Protoplasm (Austin, Texas). [0810] Biology—General
1904 Bertram Borden Boltwood (1870-1927) began his research in radiochemistry, work which eventually won him high rank among early investigators of the chemical identity and sequencing of the radioelements that followed the discovery of radioactivity by Henri Becquerel in 1896. About this time, Boltwood, as well as Herbert McCoy, and Robert Strutt in England, confirmed that radium was a product of uranium decay. [0811] Chemistry / Physics
1904 Army surgeon William Gorgas (1854-1920) was given charge of Disease control during the building of the Panama Canal. Through the control of mosquitoes, he essentially eradicated malaria and yellow fever in the canal region. [0812] General or Miscellaneous / Disease
1904 Henry Stephens Washington (1867-1934) published the textbook, Manual of the Chemical Analysis of Rocks (New York and London). A fourth edition appeared in 1930. [0813] Geology / Chemistry
1904 An International Congress of Arts and Sciences was held at the St. Louis World's Fair. [0814] Organizations—Fairs and Expositions
1904 During this year, several research facilities supported by the Carnegie Institution of Washington came into being. George Ellery Hale (1868-1938) achieved funding for the Mount Wilson Observatory at Pasadena, California. Louis Agricola Bauer (1865-1932) established and became head of the Carnegie Institution's Department of Terrestrial Magnetism. (Bauer's most substantial achievement related to the mapping of magnetic fields upon the oceans.) Charles Benedict Davenport (1866-1944) became director of the Station for Experimental Evolution at Cold Spring Harbor, New York, having arranged for support of the facility by the Carnegie Institution. [0815] Organizations—Research Institutions
1904 The Association of American Geographers was founded. In 1948, it absorbed the American Society of Professional Geographers. [0816] Organizations—Societies and Associations / Geography and Cartography
1904 A group of psychologists formed "The Experimentalists" under the direction of Edward B. Titchener (1867-1927). In 1929, it became the Society of Experimental Psychologists. [0817] Organizations—Societies and Associations / Psychology
1904 The Journal of Infectious Diseases was established. (The editor from its founding until 1941 was Ludvig Hektoen, 1863-1951.) [0818] Periodicals and Publishing / Medicine
1904 The Journal of Experimental Zoology was founded. From this year until 1946, Ross Granville Harrison (1870-1959) served as managing editor. [0819] Periodicals and Publishing / Zoology
1904 Arthur Gordon Webster (1863-1923) published the textbook, The Dynamics of Particles and of Rigid, Elastic, and Fluid Bodies (Leipzig). [0820] Physics
1904 DeWitt Bristol Brace (1859-1905) experimentally tested the Lorentz-Fitzgerald contraction hypothesis, using optical methods. Contrary to Brace's interpretation, it was later demonstrated that this result did not disprove the contraction hypothesis. Relevant is his paper, "Double Refraction in Matter Moving Through the Ether," Philosophical Magazine, new series 7 (1904): 317-328. [0821] Physics
1904 Granville Stanley Hall (1846-1924) published Adolescence: Its Psychology, and Its Relations to Physiology, Anthropology, Sociology, Sex, Crime, Religion, and Education (New York). He presented there the idea that maturation progressed through the historical stages of the human race itself. [0822] Psychology
1904 and 1905 Charles Dillon Perrine (1867-1951) discovered the sixth and seventh satellites of Jupiter. [0823] Astronomy
1904-1908 Work carried out by Alexis Carrel (1873-1944) during these years laid the basis for future progress in heart and blood vessel surgery and in organ transplant. He came to the United States in 1904. [0824] Medicine / Surgery
1905 Percival Lowell (1855-1916) predicted the existence of a ninth planet, beyond Neptune, and began a search for the object from his observatory at Flagstaff, Arizona. [0825] Astronomy
1905 Lafayette Benedict Mendel (1872-1935), of Yale University and Thomas B. Osborne (1859-1929), of the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station at New Haven, began a long period of collaboration on studies in nutrition from which in excess of 100 papers resulted. In 1909, they began their studies of the nutritional effects of proteins, which over the years received financial support from the Carnegie Institution of Washington. [0826] Chemistry / Nutrition
1905 John Thomas Gulick (1832-1923) published Evolution, Racial and Habitudinal (Washington, D.C.). [0827] Evolution
1905 Edmund Beecher Wilson (1856-1939) and Nettie Maria Stevens (1861-1912), working separately, published on the likelihood of a chromosomal determination of sex (i.e., XX chromosomes for female and XY for male). Their work also was the first research support for the idea that hereditary characteristics are associated with particular chromosomes. Wilson's work was in "The Chromosomes in Relation to the Determination of Sex in Insects," Science 22:500-502; that of Stevens was "Studies in Spermatogenesis with Especial Reference to the `Accessory Chromosome'," Publications of Carnegie Institution of Washington, no. 36. [0828] Genetics
1905 Thomas Chrowder Chamberlin (1843-1928) published "Fundamental Problems of Geology," Yearbook [1904] of Carnegie Institution of Washington, no. 3. The work contained the important planetesimal hypothesis, on the origins of the earth, which superseded the then-current theory of Laplace. Chamberlin's report represented work on which Forest Ray Moulton (1872-1952) was a collaborator. In 1916, Chamberlin published on the planetesimal ideas in his The Origin of the Earth (Chicago). [0829] Geology
1905 The meteor origin of Great Barringer Meteor Crater in Arizona was proposed by Daniel Barringer (1860-1929). His contention argued against volcanic origin of the site. [0830] Geology
1905 The U.S. Forest Service was first referred to by that designation at the time of transfer of the federal forest reserves from the Department of the Interior to the Department of Agriculture. [0831] Government—Federal / Botany
1905 The first direct transfusion of blood was carried out by George Washington Crile (1864-1943). [0832] Medicine
1905 The American Sociological Association was founded. [0833] Organizations—Societies and Associations / Sociology
1905 The Journal of Biological Chemistry was established by John Jacob Abel (1857-1938) and Christian A. Herter (1865-1910). [0834] Periodicals and Publishing / Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
1905 The journal Economic Geology was established. [0835] Periodicals and Publishing / Geology
1905 Robert Williams Wood (1868-1955) published Physical Optics (New York and London), particularly notable for its experimental features. There were three editions of the work. [0836] Physics
1905 The American Public Health Association published Report of the Committee on Standard Methods of Water Analysis (Chicago). The committee was under the leadership of W.H. Welch. [0837] Public Health
1905-1914 Erwin Frink Smith (1854-1927) published Bacteria in Relation to Plant Diseases (Washington, D.C.), in three volumes. [0838] Botany / Pathology
1906 Simon Newcomb (1835-1909) published A Compendium of Spherical Astronomy with Its Applications to the Determination and Reduction of Positions of the Fixed Stars (New York). [0839] Astronomy
1906 Percival Lowell (1855-1916) published Mars and Its Canals (New York). In 1908, he published Mars as the Abode of Life (New York). [0840] Astronomy
1906 Graham Lusk (1866-1932) published Elements of the Science of Nutrition (Philadelphia). A fourth edition appeared in 1928. [0841] Chemistry / Nutrition
1906 The first edition of American Men of Science was published by James McKeen Cattell (1860-1944) and with support from the Carnegie Institution of Washington. [0842] General or Miscellaneous
1906 Eugene Woldemar Hilgard (1833-1916) published Soils, Their Formation, Properties, Composition, and Relations to Climate and Plant Growth in the Humid and Arid Regions (New York). [0843] Geology
1906 The U.S. Department of Agriculture first established a biophysical research laboratory. It was organized and directed by Lyman James Briggs (1874-1963), who remained with the Department until 1917. [0844] Government—Federal / Agriculture
1906 The U.S. Food and Drug Act was passed and became effective 1 January 1907, prohibiting the interstate sale of adulterated or unlabeled products. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Bureau of Chemistry, which in 1902 had begun studies of the human effects of food additives, was given charge of enforcement. Harvey Washington Wiley (1844-1930) was head of the Bureau, having held that position since 1883. The Food and Drug Administration, under that name, was provided for in 1930. [0845] Government—Federal / Chemistry
1906 Howard Taylor Ricketts (1871-1910) published Infection, Immunity, and Serum Therapy (Chicago). [0846] Medicine / Disease
1906 The Carnegie Institution of Washington established a meridian astrometry department with Dudley Observatory director Lewis Boss (1846-1912) in charge. The project had the object to refine knowledge of positions and proper motions of stars. [0847] Organizations—Research Institutions / Astronomy
1906 The Carnegie Institution of Washington's Geophysical Laboratory was founded. [0848] Organizations—Research Institutions / Geophysics and Geodesy
1906 The American Society of Biological Chemists was founded. In 1987, it became the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. [0849] Organizations—Societies and Associations / Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
1906 The Botanical Society, Society for Plant Morphology and Physiology, and American Mycological Society combined to form the Botanical Society of America. [0850] Organizations—Societies and Associations / Botany
1906 The Entomological Society of America was established. [0851] Organizations—Societies and Associations / Entomology
1906 The Seismological Society of America was founded. [0852] Organizations—Societies and Associations / Seismology
1906 The National Electric Signalling Company, based on inventions of Reginald Aubrey Fessenden (1866-1932), sent the first long-distance voice (radio) message from a station at Brant Rock, Massachusetts. [0853] Technology and Invention / Electricity and Electronics
1906 Ernst Frederik Werner Alexanderson (1878-1975) invented a high-frequency alternator that had a significant impact on radio communications. [0854] Technology and Invention / Electricity and Electronics
1906 Neurologist Henry Herbert Donaldson (1857-1938) published an early paper that used the white rat as experimental animal (rather than the frog). From that point, Donaldson, as director of the Wistar Institute of Anatomy and Biology (Philadelphia), developed a Wistar Institute strain of rat that was widely used in experimentation. [0855] Zoology
1906 Herbert Spencer Jennings (1868-1947) published Behavior of the Lower Organisms (New York). Among the implications of the book was an effective challenge to the idea of physicochemical tropisms in animals promoted especially by Jacques Loeb (1859-1924). [0856] Zoology
1906 (February 27) Astronomer and physicist Samuel Pierpont Langley (b.1834) died in Aiken, South Carolina. [0857] General or Miscellaneous / Astronomy, Physics
1907 Albert Abraham Michelson (1852-1931) became the first American to win a Nobel Prize in science. In receiving the physics prize, he was honored for "his optical precision instruments and the spectroscopic and metrological investigations carried out with their aid." [0858] Awards and Prizes / Physics
1907 Ross Granville Harrison (1870-1959) first reported on his pioneering in vitro experimental work on developing nerve fiber in embryos, presenting an innovative technique in tissue culture (hanging drop method) that had applications in a number of other areas of biological research. [0859] Biology—General
1907 The use of the decay of uranium as a means of gauging the age of rocks was discovered by Bertram Borden Boltwood (1870-1927). Boltwood's radioactive dating of rocks, based on lead, became the established procedure by the 1930s. [0860] Chemistry / Geology
1907 Mathematician William Fogg Osgood (1864-1943) published Lehrbuch der Funktiontheorie (Leipzig and Berlin). [0861] Mathematics
1907 The seven-volume work, Modern Medicine: Its Theory and Practice (Philadelphia and New York) was published. William Osler (1849-1919) was editor of the work. [0862] Medicine
1907 Francis Gano Benedict (1870-1957) was made director of the Boston Nutrition Laboratory, a facility established for him by the Carnegie Institution. He remained at its head until 1937. [0863] Organizations—Research Institutions / Nutrition
1907 The American Society of Agronomy was established. [0864] Organizations—Societies and Associations / Agriculture
1907 The American Federation of the Mathematical and the Natural Sciences was established and included a number of organizations of teachers of mathematics and science. [0865] Organizations—Societies and Associations / Education in science
1907 The American Association for Cancer Research was established. [0866] Organizations—Societies and Associations / Medicine
1907 William James (1842-1910) published Pragmatism: A New Name for Some Old Ways of Thinking (New York). [0867] Philosophy
1907 Leo H. Baekeland (1863-1944) produced bakelite, the first plastic that solidified upon heating. Produced from a chemical reaction between phenol and formaldehyde, the introduction of the substance in 1909 gave rise to the modern plastics industry. Baekeland published the first report on his achievement in "The Synthesis, Constitution, and Uses of Bakelite," Journal of Industrial and Engineering Chemistry 1 (March 1909): 149-161. [0868] Technology and Invention / Chemistry
1907 Lee deForest (1873-1961) patented the triode or three-element vacuum tube. Originally called the audion, it was a basic component of radio technology and is described in U.S. Patent Office, "841,387. A Device for Amplifying Feeble Electrical Currents. Lee de Forest, New York, N.Y.," Official Gazette 126 (January 15, 1907): 908. [0869] Technology and Invention / Electricity and Electronics
1907 Harry Gideon Wells (1875-1943) published Chemical Pathology (Philadelphia), which achieved a fifth edition in 1925. [0870] Zoology / Chemistry, Pathology
1907-1910 Frederick Webb Hodge (1864-1956) published Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico (Washington, D.C.). The work drew upon the efforts of the Bureau of American Ethnology as it had been formulated by John Wesley Powell (1834-1902). [0871] Anthropology and Ethnology
1908 The "Revised Harvard Photometry" was published as volumes 50 and 54 of the Annals of Harvard College Observatory, a summation of Observatory director Edward C. Pickering's (1846-1919) photometric studies. The catalogue included the magnitudes of more than 45,000 stars brighter than the seventh magnitude. [0872] Astronomy
1908 In "1777 Variables in the Magellanic Clouds," Annals of Harvard College Observatory, 60 no. 4, Henrietta Swan Leavitt (1868-1921) made an observation relating periods and luminosity of stars. This related to her discovery of the period-luminosity relation of Cepheid (pulsating) variable stars, and the discovery was further confirmed in work she did in 1912 on another group of stars. Her work made it possible to calculate the distance of the Cepheids. [0873] Astronomy
1908 George Ellery Hale (1868-1938) discovered magnetic fields in sunspots, the first extraterrestrial magnetic fields known. [0874] Astronomy
1908 A 60-inch reflecting telescope, then the largest in the world, was installed on Mt. Wilson. The disk was given by the father of George Ellery Hale (1868-1938). [0875] Astronomy / Instruments and Instrumentation
1908 Vernon Lyman Kellogg (1867-1937) published Inheritance in Silkworms (Stanford University Publications, series 1), an early American work on genetics. [0876] Genetics
1908 The work of chief chemist Frank Wigglesworth Clarke (1847-1931) at the U.S. Geological Survey was published in The Data of Geochemistry (Survey Bulletin no. 330). A fifth edition appeared in 1924, the year of Clarke's retirement. [0877] Geology / Chemistry
1908 A naval radiotelegraphy laboratory was established at the National Bureau of Standards; Louis Winslow Austin (1867-1932) was at its head. In 1923, it became part of the newly founded Naval Research Laboratory of the U.S. Navy (Austin remained with the NBS). [0878] Government—Federal / Physics
1908 General Motors Company was established in Flint, Michigan by William Crapo Durant (1861-1947). [0879] Organizations—Industry
1908 The American Phytopathological Society was established. [0880] Organizations—Societies and Associations / Botany
1908 The American Institute of Chemical Engineers was founded. [0881] Organizations—Societies and Associations / Chemistry, Engineering and Applied Science
1908 In the aftermath of antivivisection attacks on the Rockefeller Institute, a Defense Committee in Support of Medical Research was organized by the American Medical Association. Walter Bradford Cannon (1871-1945) was appointed to chair the Committee. [0882] Organizations—Societies and Associations / Medicine
1908 The American Nature Study Society was established. [0883] Organizations—Societies and Associations / Natural History
1908 The Paleontological Society was established. [0884] Organizations—Societies and Associations / Paleontology
1908 The American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics was founded. [0885] Organizations—Societies and Associations / Pharmacology and Pharmacy
1908 Dayton Clarence Miller (1866-1941) invented a mechanical means of recording patterns of sound photographically. He called his device the phonodeik. [0886] Physics / Instruments and Instrumentation
1908 Henry Ford (1863-1947) introduced the Model T Ford. [0887] Technology and Invention
1908 Frank Rattray Lillie (1870-1947) published Development of the Chick, An Introduction to Embryology (New York). There was a second edition in 1919, and a third (by Howard L. Hamilton, 1916-) in 1952. [0888] Zoology / Embryology
1908 (December 9) Chemist Oliver Wolcott Gibbs (b.1822) died at Newport, Rhode Island, the last survivor of the original members of the National Academy of Sciences. [0889] General or Miscellaneous / Chemistry
1908-1910 The State Earthquake Investigation Commission published a two-volume report, The California Earthquake of April 18, 1906 (Carnegie Institution of Washington, Publication no. 87). Preparation of the report was supervised by Andrew Cowper Lawson (1861-1952). [0890] Geology / Seismology
1909 Vesto Melvin Slipher (1875-1969) discovered dust and gas in interstellar space. [0891] Astronomy
1909 Edward Tyson Reichert (1855-1931) contended that chemical differences in "vital substances" could account for all taxonomic and individual differences of organisms. Reichert drew on the differing forms of hemoglobin crystals of more than 100 animals. With mineralogist Amos Peaslee Brown (1864-1917), Reichert published The Differentiation and Specificity of Corresponding Proteins and Other Vital Substances in Relation to Biological Classification and Organic Evolution: The Crystallography of Hemoglobins (Washington, D.C., 1909). [0892] Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
1909 Phoebus Aaron Levene (1869-1940) concluded that a sugar, ribose, was contained in nucleic acids. Two decades later, he discovered that there was a second sugar, deoxyribose, that was present in other nucleic acids. (These two nucleic acids were what came to be known as ribonucleic acid or RNA, and deoxyribonucleic acid or DNA.) [0893] Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
1909 Frederic Edward Clements (1874-1945) published Genera of Fungi (Minneapolis). [0894] Botany
1909 Benjamin Minge Duggar (1872-1956) published Fungus Diseases of Plants (New York), the first such work on plant pathology published anywhere. [0895] Botany / Pathology
1909 William Ernest Castle (1867-1962), working with John C. Phillips (1876-1938), proved through the transplant of ovaries in a guinea pig that the differentiation between germ and somatic cells proposed by August Weismann to be true. "A Successful Ovarian Transplantation in the Guinea Pig, and Its Bearing on Problems of Genetics," with Phillips, Science 30 (1909): 312-313 is a presentation of research results on the topic. [0896] Genetics
1909 Charles Doolittle Walcott (1850-1927) discovered the Middle Cambrian Burgess Shale deposit, described by some as the most important of all fossil discoveries and notable especially because of its preservation of parts of soft-bodied specimens. [0897] Geology / Paleontology
1909 John Fillmore Hayford (1868-1925) published The Figure of the Earth and Isostasy from Measurements in the United States (Washington, D.C.). [0898] Geophysics and Geodesy
1909 (Francis) Peyton Rous (1879-1970) conducted experiments on cancer in chickens. In injecting a filtered solution of cancer tissue into healthy chickens, the chickens developed cancer, and Rous concluded that the introduced Disease was caused by a virus. The initial research was reported in 1910 and more definitive results in 1911, but it was not until 1966 that Rous's contribution was sufficiently recognized that he was given a Nobel Prize. [0899] Medicine / Pathology
1909 Newton Horace Winchell (1839-1914) and his son Alexander Newton Winchell (1874-1958) published Elements of Optical Mineralogy (New York). Under the authorship of A.N. Winchell, several subsequent editions were published. [0900] Mineralogy and Crystallography
1909 John D. Rockefeller established the Rockefeller Sanitary Commission for the Eradication of Hookworm Disease with a one- million-dollar grant. Concentrated in the southern states, the commission continued for five years; Charles Wardell Stiles (1867-1941) served as medical director. [0901] Organizations / Public Health
1909 The American Midland Naturalist was founded by Julius Arthur Nieuwland (1878-1936). He served as editor for much of the remainder of his life. [0902] Periodicals and Publishing / Natural History
1909 John Jacob Abel (1857-1938) founded the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. He served as editor until 1932. [0903] Periodicals and Publishing / Pharmacology and Pharmacy
1909 The first American publication on special relativity was published by Gilbert N. Lewis (1875-1946) and Richard Chace Tolman (1881-1948), "The Principle of Relativity and Non-Newtonian Mechanics," Proceedings of American Academy of Arts and Sciences 44:711-726. [0904] Physics
1909 (April 6) Robert E. Peary (1856-1920) and Matthew A. Henson (1866-1955) were the first to reach the North Pole. [0905] Exploration and Surveying
1909 (July 11) Astronomer Simon Newcomb (b.1835) died in Washington, D.C. [0906] General or Miscellaneous / Astronomy
1910 With support from the Carnegie Foundation, Abraham Flexner (1866-1959) issued an influential critical report on medical education that led to widespread change, including the closing of a number of substandard schools. [0907] General or Miscellaneous / Medicine
1910 Edward Murray East (1879-1938) published the paper "A Mendelian Interpretation of Variation That Is Apparently Continuous," American Naturalist 44:65-82. This paper was important in the United States in helping to point out that Mendelian inheritance applied to all inherited characters. (Similar work also was done about the same time by H. Nilsson-Ehle in Sweden.) [0908] Genetics
1910 Thomas Hunt Morgan (1866-1945) found among the Drosophila with which he was working an individual with white eyes. His subsequent research for the first time found conclusive evidence of hereditary characteristics that are linked to specific chromosomes. The white eye characteristic was associated with the X or accessory chromosome and therefore sex-linked. [0909] Genetics
1910 Frank Bursley Taylor (1860-1938), independently of others, first published details of his theoretical ideas on continental drift in "Bearing of the Tertiary Mountain Belt on the Origin of the Earth's Plan," Bulletin of Geological Society of America 21:179-226. Taylor's proposal included the idea that South America and Africa once were joined. [0910] Geology
1910 Thomas Augustus Jaggar, Jr. (1871-1953) devised a volcano classification based on viscosity. His paper, "Japanese Volcanoes and Volcano Classification," M.I.T. Bulletin of the Society of Arts (February 1910), related to this achievement. [0911] Geology
1910 The Federal Insecticide Act was passed as protective regulatory legislation. Among those who contributed to its formulation was Ezra Dwight Sanderson (1878-1944). [0912] Government—Federal / Entomology
1910 The Bureau of Mines was established by Congress in the Department of Interior. Its focus was on Mining safety. After about 1915, a system of regional experiment stations developed in the West, generally located on university campuses. [0913] Government—Federal / Mining
1910 Hans Zinsser (1878-1940) and Philip H. Hiss, Jr. (1868-1913) published A Textbook of Bacteriology (New York and London) which eventually had eight editions in Zinsser's lifetime (Hiss died in 1913) and, in the hands of others, fourteen by 1968. [0914] Microbiology and Microscopy
1910 S. Henry Ayers (1884-?), of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, issued a report that was convincing evidence that pasteurized was safer than raw milk. [0915] Microbiology and Microscopy / Agriculture
1910 The University of Wisconsin recruited Leon Jacob Cole (1877-1948) to establish a department of experimental breeding (beginning in 1918, named genetics) which was the earliest of its kind in the United States. [0916] Organizations—Academic / Genetics
1910 William David Coolidge (1873-1975), at the General Electric Company, achieved success with his development of a means of making tungsten wire, changing the metal's grains from cubic to fiber form. Extensively used thereafter in incandescent light bulbs, the process was one of the earliest notable commercial successes from an American industrial research laboratory. Initially produced in 1908, it was described in Coolidge's "Ductile Tungsten," Transactions of American Institute of Electrical Engineers 29, part 2 (1910): 961-965. [0917] Organizations—Industry / Electricity and Electronics
1910 The Lick Observatory established a southern station in Chile. This was done under director William Wallace Campbell (1862-1938). [0918] Organizations—Observatories / Astronomy
1910 The Eugenics Records Office was established at Cold Spring Harbor, New York by Charles Benedict Davenport (1866-1944). Initially supported by Mary Averell (Mrs. E.H.) Harriman (1851-1932), after 1918 the facility was funded by the Carnegie Institution. [0919] Organizations—Research Institutions / Eugenics
1910 The Petrologists' Club, in Washington, D.C., was founded by Charles Whitman Cross (1854-1949) and others. The organizational as well as many other meetings thereafter took place in Cross's home. (Cross was with the U.S. Geological Survey.) [0920] Organizations—Societies and Associations / Geology
1910 Charles Schuchert (1858-1942) published the classic "Paleogeography of North America," Bulletin of Geological Society of America, vol. 20:427-606. [0921] Paleontology
1910 Robert A. Millikan (1868-1953) devised an oil drop method that allowed him to measure an electronic charge and to prove the existence of electrons. [0922] Physics
1910 George Washington Pierce (1872-1956) published Principles of Wireless Telegraphy (New York). [0923] Physics / Electricity and Electronics
1910 William Morton Wheeler (1865-1937) published Ants: Their Structure, Development and Behavior (Columbia University Biological Series, 9) (New York). [0924] Zoology / Entomology
1910 Edward Bradford Titchener (1867-1927) published A Text-Book of Psychology (New York). [0925] Psychology
1910 (August 26) Psychologist and philosopher William James (b.1842) died in Chocorua, New Hampshire. [0926] General or Miscellaneous / Philosophy, Psychology
1910-1912 The two-volume Manual of Human Embryology (Philadelphia) was published. Edited by Franklin Paine Mall (1862-1917) at Johns Hopkins University and Franz Keibel at Freiburg, it included contributions by American and German authors. [0927] Zoology—Human / Embryology
1910 and 1918 Oswald Veblen (1880-1960) and John Wesley Young (1879-1932) published Projective Geometry I (New York, 1910) and II (Boston, 1918). [0928] Mathematics


Created and Maintained by Dr. Clark A. Elliott Waltham, MA
clark_elliott at verizon dot net / Content updated 16 June 2008
Technical presentation by Andrew J. Elliott.