Science Birthdays, January 21

1/21/1743        Fitch John                   inventor           Had little schooling, a harsh father and a nagging wife. He eventually deserted her. The money he made during the Revolution was worthless after it. During the end of the revolution he was a British prisoner. He built a steamship that operated between Trenton and Philly in 1790, but it lost money and was destroyed in a storm in 1792. He tried again in 1793 but went bankrupt, into depression and possibly committed suicide 9 years before Fulton got credit for the steamship. He died in 1798 at age 55.

1/21/1847        Le Bel Joseph              chemist            had a theory like Van’t Hoff that the optical activity was related to molecular structure. He died in 1930 at age 83.

1/21/1887        Kohler Wolfgang        biologist          Got stuck on an African colony during World War I and started studying Chimpanzees.  He found that they were able to reason like humans. He died in 1967 at age 80.

1/21/1912        Bloch Konrad             chemist            In 1951 he showed how fatty acid chains grew in 2 carbon fragments by complexing with coenzyme A. He died in 2000 at age 88.

 

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