H. L. Mencken

Henry Louis “H.L.” Mencken, an American journalist, was born Sep. 12, 1880. Mencken wrote for the Baltimore Sun for most of his working life, and he was noted for authoring a study of the U.S. version of English, called The American Language (1919), but he is best...

Robert Jameson

Robert Jameson, a Scottish geologist and professor of natural history at Edinburgh University, was born July 11, 1774. Jameson has always had a slightly sour reputation, primarily because of Charles Darwin’s reminiscences about his days at Edinburgh and Jameson’s’ “incredibly dull” lectures. Jameson was also one of the last…

William Charles Wells

William Charles Wells, an American-born Scottish physician, was born May 24, 1757. Wells is hardly ever honored in anniversary notices like these because of the dearth of relevant graphic material–there is no known portrait of Wells, no gravestone, no blue plaque. He published hardly anything during his lifetime, and the posthumous publications do not include a single illustration…