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Happy 150th Anniversary to the Periodic Table

This post was written by Science Reference Specialist Nate Smith. This year marks the 150th anniversary of one of the most important breakthroughs in the field of chemistry: the Periodic Table of Elements.  While there have been over 700 distinct iterations of the table (Scerri, 20), the first tables that explicitly showed periodicity were created […]

As Seen in the Appeal – St. Paul’s African American Business Community

The Western Appeal and the Appeal were noted African-American weekly newspapers published in St. Paul that covered news but also provided a way for African American businesses to advertise in the St. Paul area. The publication was celebrating their quarto-centennial (25th) anniversary and along with this souvenir edition, the paper held a celebration at the Junior Pioneer Hall that featured a number of speeches and musical performances.

Gold Miners, Circus Performers, and Hairdressers – Stories from the Occupational Folklife Project

This post was written by Nancy Groce, an ethnomusicologist and folklorist who is a Senior Folklife Specialist in the American Folklife Center.  After years of planning, research, fieldwork, and archiving, the American Folklife Center is excited to begin online posting of material from its Occupational Folklife Project, a major oral history initiative featuring in-depth interviews […]

Celebrate Innovators and Changemakers on National Inventors Day! Learn about Aviation Pioneers Orville and Wilbur Wright

This post was written by Michelle Cadoree Bradley, a Science Reference Specialist in the Science, Technology and Business Division. “For some years I have been afflicted with the belief that flight is possible to man,” wrote Wilbur Wright in a letter to Octave Chanute in May 1900.  (Octave Chanute Papers: Special Correspondence–Wright Brothers, 1900, in […]

Smallpox Pioneer Edward Jenner’s Dear Friend, Celebrated Physician Caleb Hillier Parry

This post was authored by Stephanie Marcus, Science Reference Librarian in the Science, Technology, and Business Division. We’ve all heard of Edward Jenner and his work with smallpox, but I wonder if anyone reading this has heard of Caleb Hillier Parry?  When Jenner wrote his Inquiry into the Causes and Effects of the Variolae Vaccinae, […]

On the Subject of Bourbon Whiskey: Charring Oak Barrels was no Accident – it was Science

This post was written by Michelle Cadoree Bradley, a Science Reference Specialist in the Science, Technology and Business Division. In a previous post I alluded to writing an additional Bourbon-related post. This follow-up looks at a century of early scientific advancements and the impact on bourbon distillation in America. We shall bend science “to the […]

BFU: Inspired by Ben Franklin

This post was written by Kelsey Diemand Librarian in Residence in the Science, Technology and Business Division. You may know Benjamin Franklin as a scientist and inventor, statesman and diplomat, or maybe you recognize him as the guy on the one-hundred dollar bill. Ben Franklin is famous for his role in the American Enlightenment and […]