Category: germany

The Failed Periodic Tables of Chemistry

A Close Look At The First Use Of The Word “Ame…

This is the famous Waldseemüller map, from 1507. It is believed to be the first use of the word “America” as a name for the newly-encountered continents. Waldseemüller was apparently impressed with the stories of Amerigo Vespucci, and bestowed the name on today’s South America in honor of Vespucci.

Waldseemüller

also named North America “Parias” on this map. Parias came directly from a passage in the Four Voyages of Amerigo Vespucci: the expedition arrives at a region that was “situated in the torrid zone directly under the parallel which describes the Tropic of Cancer. And this province is called by them [the inhabitants] Parias.” The (possibly) indigenous name did not stick. (I had not heard the word “Parias” before writing this post, and you probably hadn’t either.) Instead, the two continents are called after a random Italian explorer because a random German mapmaker was a fan of the explorer’s book. But that’s history for you.

The Waldseemüller map was intended for a well-educated, elite audience. It was large, made of twelve panels, each 18 by 24.5 inches (46 cm by 62 cm). The entire map could be hung on a wall, or kept folded for when one wanted to reference a particular panel. One thousand copies of the map were printed, and unfortunately, there remains only one survivor in its entirety. It is now housed at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC.

The construction of the Berlin Wall, 1961.

The construction of the Berlin Wall, 1961.

The First Photo Taken In Space

Germany developed the V-2 rocket to bomb England during World War II. After the war ended, the US seized unused V-2s and transported them to New Mexico. On October 24, 1946, scientists there place a 35-millimeter motion picture camera on the nose of a V-2, and launched the rocket vertically into space. The camera automatically captured a new image every few seconds while the rocket climbed to an altitude of 65 miles. Conventionally, space begins at 62 miles (100 km) from sea level.

Once it ran out of fuel the V2 fell back to earth. When the wreckage was found, the camera itself had been destroyed, but the film, in a steel cassette, survived unharmed. Range scientists apparently “were jumping up and down like kids” according to enlisted soldier Fred Rulli, 19, who was on the wreckage recovery team. “The scientists just went nuts.”

30 fabulous photos show the beauty of a German girl in the…

30 fabulous photos show the beauty of a German girl in the 1920s.

Woman waiting in Frankfurt, 1928.

Woman waiting in Frankfurt, 1928.

Competition for decorated trams, Germany, 1908.

Competition for decorated trams, Germany, 1908.

The first spherical building in the world: 16 amazing photos of…

The first spherical building in the world: 16 amazing photos of the “Ball House” Kugelhaus in Dresden, Germany from the late 1920s.

The destruction of the city of Köln in 1945, …

The destruction of the city of Köln in 1945, Germany. What remains is the Cathedral

via reddit

Just after WWII, 48 amazing photos document everyday life of…

Just after WWII, 48 amazing photos document everyday life of Berlin in 1946.