The ESP Timeline (one of the site's most popular features) has been completely updated to allow the user to select (using the timeline controls above each column) different topics for the left and right sides of the display.
New Left Column
New Left Column
New Right Column
New Right Column
On July 4, boxer Jack Johnson defeats Jim Jeffries in Reno, Nevada, to become the first African-American world heavyweight champion.
Three companies merge to become C-T-R
A few years after the find of some isolated teeth from the same species, British paleontologist Clive Forster Cooper finds better specimens of what will later be identified as Paraceratherium in an area that will later be part of Pakistan. A century later, Paraceratherium will still hold the title of the biggest land mammal yet discovered.
While digging the foundation for an imposing home, two laborers, Mercer and Crittenden, discover the remains of a cremation from the Iron Age, including a Neolithic axe and a fossil echinoid.
A fire inside the Triangle Shirtwaist Company factory in New York City's garment district kills 146 workers, mostly immigrant Jewish and Italian women in their teens and early 20s. Most women could not escape the burning building because the doors to the stairwells and exits were locked to keep the workers from stealing linen from the factory. It is the deadliest workplace incident in the city's history until 9/11.
Winston Churchill is appointed First Lord of the Admiralty.
A chance discovery turns up the astonishingly well-preserved Clacton Spear. Made of yew and over 400,000 years old, it's one of the world's oldest wooden artifacts.
Charles Dawson discovers the Piltdown skull in southern England. Excavations of faked fossils will continue for years.
The US flag is modified to have forty-eight stars, reflecting the addition of two new states: Arizona and New Mexico.
Thomas Edison introduces a short-lived 22 mm home motion picture format using acetate "safety" film manufactured by Kodak.
Vest Pocket Kodak using 127 film.
On April 10, the RMS Titanic — the largest, most advanced, and most luxurious passenger ship in the world — set off on her maiden voyage from Southampton, England to New York City. Four days later, this unsinkable marvel of modern engineering rammed an iceberg and sank in the North Atlantic, resulting in the deaths of 1,517 people.
The Republic of China is a nationally proclaimed with Sun Yat-sen as president. He appoints Chiang Kai-shek as his military advisor.
Alfred Wegener proposes the theory of continental drift. His ideas will be almost completely ignored until the late 1960s.
On April 11, President Woodrow Wilson initiates the racial segregation of workplaces, restaurants, and lunchrooms and all federal offices across the nation.
Roland Garros, a French aviator, becomes the first person to fly across the Mediterranean. Garros' original plan was to fly from St. Raphael in France to Bizerta, Tunisia, with the possibility of a fueling stop on Sardinia. En route, the trip seemed to be going well, so he skipped the refueling stop and flew directly to Bizerta, where he arrived at 1:45pm, with about five liters of fuel left in his tank.
Oskar Barnack develops a prototype camera for testing 35mm movie film. This device, now often referred to as an UR-Leica, was quickly recognized as a miniature camera for producing still images. A dozen years later, the first commercially available 35mm still camera was marketed as the Leica I.
Kodak makes 35 mm panchromatic motion picture film available on a bulk special order basis.
Hans Geiger unveils his radiation detector.
The federal income tax is introduced in the United States with the 16th amendment.
A. H. Sturtevant, an undergraduate working with Morgan at Columbia, provides the experimental basis for the linkage concept in Drosophila and produces the first GENETIC MAP.
Geologist-physicist Arthur Holmes concludes that the breakdown of radioactive isotopes in igneous rocks can be used to determine when the rocks solidified. The ability to determine the absolute ages of rocks will enable scientists to better date fossils.
Thomas J. Watson Sr. joins C-T-R
Kodak introduces the Autographic film system.
The World, the Flesh and the Devil, made in Kinemacolor, is the first dramatic feature film in color released.
World War I begins after Archduke Francis Ferdinand, heir to the Austrian throne, and his wife are assassinated in Sarajevo, Bosnia, on June 28 by a Serbian nationalist.
Charles Doolittle Walcott identifies fossil bacteria in Cryptozoon-like structures (stromatolites).
Peyrony finds the remains of Neanderthal baby in southwestern France. Because no one knows the bones are Neanderthal, they are not examined closely and are later believed lost. They will be rediscovered and described nearly 90 years later.
(no entry for this year)
Calvin Bridges identifies strains of mutant fruit flies with extra pairs of wings. Decades later, these strains will help biologists understand Hox genes that control the head-to-toe anatomy of widely varying animals.
Frederick Twort discovers a virus capable of infecting and destroying bacteria.
Thomas Hunt Morgan, Alfred Henry Sturtevant, Calvin Blackman Bridges, and Hermann Joseph Muller publish The Mechanism of Mendelian Heredity. This monograph provides the first systematic description of the actual mechanisms that control inheritance as evidenced in the Mendelian model. Here, for the first time, the gene is made real.
The Sykes–Picot Agreement (a secret agreement between the governments of the UK and France defining their respective spheres of influence and control in the Middle East after the expected downfall of the Ottoman Empire during World War I) is drawn up and signed by Sir Mark Sykes and François Georges-Picot.
Two duckbill dinosaur fossils, with extremely rare skin impressions, sink to the bottom of the Atlantic when the ship carrying them to London — the SS Mount Temple — is stopped by the German military vessel, the SMS Möwe. The German ship takes the passengers prisoner and then sinks the Mount Temple.
Lucy Diggs Slowe wins the championship in the first national tennis tournament sponsored by the American Tennis Association. With her victory she becomes the first African-American woman to win a major sports title.
The Balfour Declaration (dated 2 November 1917) — a formal statement of policy by the British government, written by Arthur Balfour, stating that "His Majesty's government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object" — is issued. The anniversary of the declaration, 2 November, is widely commemorated in Israel and among Jews in the Jewish diaspora as Balfour Day. This day is also observed as a day of mourning in Arab countries still today.
The October Revolution occurs in Russia, followed by the Russian Civil War.
The United States enters World War I; Gen. Pershing goes to Paris to lead American forces.
Stone tools discovered at Bir el Ater in eastern Algeria include triangular objects that might have been arrowheads or spear points. The tools will be dubbed Aterian, but their age will be underestimated for decades.
British polymath D'Arcy Wentworth Thompson publishes On Growth and Form arguing that the forms Darwinian natural selection can produce through evolution are constrained by physical and mathematical laws, and that organic structures often emulate inorganic natural structures. His analysis led the way for the scientific explanation of morphogenesis, the process by which patterns and body structures are formed in plants and animals. Thompson's description of the mathematical beauty of nature and the mathematical basis of the forms of animals stimulated thinkers as diverse as Julian Huxley, Conrad Hal Waddington, Alan Turing, Claude LTvi-Strauss, Eduardo Paolozzi, Le Corbusier, and Mies van der Rohe.
C. B. Bridges discovers the first chromosome deficiency in Drosophila.
Felix Hubert D'Herelle, independently of Frederick Twort, discovers a virus capable of infecting and destroying bacteria, which he calls a BACTERIOPHAGE.
Core memory inventor Jay Forrester is born
A worldwide influenza epidemic strikes. By 1920, 50 to 100 millions are dead, including Mark Sykes, the author of the British half of the Sykes-Picot Treaty.
(no entry for this year)
By the beginning of 1919, the Ku Klux Klan (revived in 1915 at Stone Mountain, Georgia) operates in 27 states. Eighty-three African Americans are lynched during the year, among them a number of returning soldiers still in uniform.
ENIAC Designer Presper Eckert Is Born
C. B. Bridges discovers chromosomal duplications in Drosophila.
T. H. Morgan calls attention to the equality in Drosophila melanogaster between the number of linkage groups and the haploid number of chromosomes.
Swedish geologist Johann Andersson discovers a major "dragon bone works" in northern China. Otto Zdansky also examines the works several years later, discovering that the fossils are referred to as dragons even though the workers recognize them as more pedestrian species such as horses and deer.
In the early 1990's, Robert Robbins was a faculty member at Johns Hopkins, where he directed the informatics core of GDB — the human gene-mapping database of the international human genome project. To share papers with colleagues around the world, he set up a small paper-sharing section on his personal web page. This small project evolved into The Electronic Scholarly Publishing Project.
In 1995, Robbins became the VP/IT of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, WA. Soon after arriving in Seattle, Robbins secured funding, through the ELSI component of the US Human Genome Project, to create the original ESP.ORG web site, with the formal goal of providing free, world-wide access to the literature of classical genetics.
Although the methods of molecular biology can seem almost magical to the uninitiated, the original techniques of classical genetics are readily appreciated by one and all: cross individuals that differ in some inherited trait, collect all of the progeny, score their attributes, and propose mechanisms to explain the patterns of inheritance observed.
In reading the early works of classical genetics, one is drawn, almost inexorably, into ever more complex models, until molecular explanations begin to seem both necessary and natural. At that point, the tools for understanding genome research are at hand. Assisting readers reach this point was the original goal of The Electronic Scholarly Publishing Project.
Usage of the site grew rapidly and has remained high. Faculty began to use the site for their assigned readings. Other on-line publishers, ranging from The New York Times to Nature referenced ESP materials in their own publications. Nobel laureates (e.g., Joshua Lederberg) regularly used the site and even wrote to suggest changes and improvements.
When the site began, no journals were making their early content available in digital format. As a result, ESP was obliged to digitize classic literature before it could be made available. For many important papers — such as Mendel's original paper or the first genetic map — ESP had to produce entirely new typeset versions of the works, if they were to be available in a high-quality format.
Early support from the DOE component of the Human Genome Project was critically important for getting the ESP project on a firm foundation. Since that funding ended (nearly 20 years ago), the project has been operated as a purely volunteer effort. Anyone wishing to assist in these efforts should send an email to Robbins.
With the development of methods for adding typeset side notes to PDF files, the ESP project now plans to add annotated versions of some classical papers to its holdings. We also plan to add new reference and pedagogical material. We have already started providing regularly updated, comprehensive bibliographies to the ESP.ORG site.
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