Linda Hall Library
Science Engineering Technology

Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar

Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, an Indian physicist, was born Oct. 19, 1910. Chandra, as he was universally known, came to Trinity College, Cambridge, at the age of 20 to work on his PhD (second image), following in the footsteps of the brilliant Indian mathematician Ramanujan. Chandra worked on the physics of stars…

Salomon Andrée

Salomon Andrée, a Swedish balloonist, was born Oct. 18, 1854. On July 11, 1897, Andrée and two fellow Swedes set off in a hydrogen balloon from Danes Island, in the Svalbard archipelago, an island group belonging to Norway that lies about 400 miles north of Scandanavia and north of the Arctic Circle as well. Their goal: to fly over the North Pole…

Robert Stephenson

Robert Stephenson, a British civil and mechanical engineer, was born Oct. 16, 1803. Robert was the son of the equally notable engineer, George Stephenson, and when George was bidding to supply the locomotives for the Liverpool and Manchester Railway in 1829, son Robert designed the famous Rocket, which won the Rainhill Trials and secured his father’s successful bid…

William Swainson

William Swainson, an English ornithologist and artist, was born Oct. 8, 1789. In the 1820s, several English expeditions tried to reach the Arctic Ocean by trekking north through what is now Canada. John Richardson was the surgeon and naturalist on two of these expeditions, both of which were led by John Franklin. Afterwards, Richardson set out to compile a natural history of the animals, birds, insects, and fish of the North…

James Ellsworth De Kay

James Ellsworth De Kay, an American physician and naturalist, was born Oct. 12, 1792. De Kay came to the U.S. as a child from Portugal, studied at Yale and Edinburgh, and took up residence in New York City, where he affiliated himself with the recently founded Lyceum of Natural History. In 1825, De Kay read two papers to the Lyceum, both of which were vital in the founding of invertebrate paleontology in the United States.