July - 25 years ago; 70 years ago; 85 years ago; 150 years ago;
25 years ago
Robert Burns Woodward, American organic chemist died. Expelled from MIT in 1934, Woodward went on to be awarded the 1965 Nobel prize in chemistry for his synthetic work with natural products including chlorophyll and many antibiotics.
70 years ago
Marie Curie, pioneer in the field of radiation, died. Marie Curie was the first woman to be awarded a Nobel prize, the 1903 prize in physics, and the first person to win two Nobel prizes being awarded the prize in chemistry in 1911. In 1995 Marie Curie was re-interred at France’s National Mausoleum, the Pantheon, Paris, the first woman to be interred there on her own merit.
85 years ago
The author Primo Levi was born in Turin, Italy. Levi trained as a chemist, was arrested during the second world war as a member of the anti-Fascist resistance and deported to Auschwitz in 1944. In his book The Periodic Table, Levi used the elements as metaphors to create a cycle of linked, somewhat autobiographical tales, including stories of the Jewish community he came from, and of his response to the Holocaust.
150 years ago
George Eastman, founder of the US company, Kodak, was born in Waterville, New York. Eastman invented dry, transparent, and flexible photographic film and cameras that could use the new rolled film.With the slogan ’you press the button, we do the rest,’ he made the first simple camera available to consumers in 1888.