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The Van Vleck Observatory: A Reflection of Environmental Conditions

Designers of the Van Vleck Observatory overcame numerous environmental and geographical challenges to help Wesleyan University make an impact on the world’s understanding of the universe.

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Benjamin Silliman

Benjamin Silliman and the Collection That Inspired the Yale Peabody Museum

In early July of 1779, a pregnant Mary Silliman watched…

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Map of the 1761 transit of Venus

Transit of Venus: German Scientists Visit Hartford

December 6, 2019 • Hartford, Science

In the 18th and 19th centuries, the transit was an important opportunity for scientists to calculate the distance between the earth and the sun—the basis for the astronomical unit.

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Hiram Bingham

Hiram Bingham III: Machu Picchu Explorer and Politician

November 19, 2019 • Exploration and Discovery, Salem, Science

Hiram Bingham III was a distinguished scholar and public servant…

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Asaph Hall, August 1899

Goshen’s Asaph Hall Becomes an Astronomical Success

Asaph Hall was a world-famous astronomer and mathematician from Goshen….

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Penguins, 1933-35, Antarctic

Sixty Degrees Below Zero: Connecticut Man Explores Antarctica

September 25, 2019 • Bolton, Exploration and Discovery, Science, Work

John Henry Von der Wall, a life-long resident of Bolton, took part in Rear Admiral Richard E. Byrd’s famed expeditions to the South Polar regions.

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David Bushnell and his Revolutionary Submarine

How a farmer’s son became the Father of Submarine Warfare during the American Revolution.

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Postcard of Dinosaur State Park, ca. 1960s

Discovered Dinosaur Tracks Re-Route Highway and Lead to State Park

Some 200 million years ago, carnivorous dinosaurs roamed Rocky Hill leaving the three-toed tracks that would become our state fossil.

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First American Medicine Patent – Today in History: April 30

On April 30, 1796, Samuel Lee Jr. of Windham, Connecticut,…

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Triceratops prorsus skull

Paleontologist Othniel Marsh dies – Today in History: March 18

March 18, 2019 • New Haven, Science

On March 18, 1899, America’s first professor of paleontology, Othniel…

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A Civil War Soldier Engineers an Iconic Career

Horatio Wright was a Connecticut native who served with distinction…

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Artist’s rendering of the Connecticut Yankee Power Company Plant

Connecticut Yankee and Millstone: 48 Years of Nuclear Power

In 1968 the prospect of nuclear power energized those hoping to find an alternative to coal, oil, and other fossil fuels.

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Hiram Percy Maxim

A Diversified Mind: Hiram Percy Maxim

No matter his field of endeavor—from automotive design and acoustics to wireless radio and aviation—this multitalented creator had a hand in key developments of the early 1900s.

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Dinosaur Tracks

Dinosaur Tracks Found – Today in History: August 23

On August 23, 1966, hundreds of dinosaur tracks were uncovered…

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Discovery of mastodon bones on the farm of Ms. Theodate Riddle

Mastodon Bones Unearthed – Today in History: August 13

On August 13, 1913, workmen unearthed the skeleton of a…

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Edwin Land Inventor of the Polaroid Born – Today in History: May 7

On May 7, 1909, Edwin Herbert Land, founder of the…

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William C. Redfield

William Redfield Born – Today in History: March 26

On March 26, 1789, William C. Redfield, the noted American…

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Total eclipse by Frederick E. Turner, Willimantic, January 24, 1925

The Astronomical Event of the Century

Church bells chimed and factory whistles blew and automobiles, trains, and trolleys throughout the state came to a standstill.

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Artist’s rendering of the Connecticut Yankee Power Company Plant

Connecticut Yankee and Millstone: 48 Years of Nuclear Power

In 1968 the prospect of nuclear power energized those hoping to find an alternative to coal, oil, and other fossil fuels.

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Benjamin Silliman

First Recorded Fall of Meteorites in the United States – Today in History: December 14

December 14, 2017 • Science, Weston

At the break of dawn on December 14, 1807, a…

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Captain Nathaniel B. Palmer

Nathaniel Palmer discovers Antarctica – Today in History: November 18

On November 18, 1820, Nathaniel Brown Palmer of Stonington, Connecticut,…

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Roger Tory Peterson

Roger Tory Peterson Dies – Today in History: July 28

July 28, 2017 • Arts, Old Lyme, Science

On July 28, 1996, ornithologist and artist Roger Tory Peterson…

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Video – Barbara McClintock Tribute Film

The Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame pays tribute to Hartford native Barbara McClintock, a famed geneticist and Nobel Prize winner.

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Bronze Hall of Fame medal of Josiah Willard Gibbs

Josiah Willard Gibbs’s Impact on Modern Science

February 15, 2017 • New Haven, Science

New Haven’s Josiah Willard Gibbs laid the groundwork for the development of physical chemistry as a science, to the point that Albert Einstein called him “the greatest mind in American history.”

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Edward Alexander Bouchet: The First African American to Earn a PhD from an American University

Edward Alexander Bouchet was a physicist who was among Yale’s first African American students, and reportedly became the first African American in the United States to earn a PhD.

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Total eclipse of the sun, Willimantic vicinity, January 24, 1925

A Total Eclipse of the Sun – Today in History: January 24

On January 24, 1925, Connecticut residents witnessed a full solar…

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Wood-cut representing Alexis St. Martin's wound

The Father of Gastric Physiology Born – Today in History: November 21

November 21, 2016 • Health and Medicine, Lebanon, Science

On November 21, 1785, physician and physiologist William Beaumont, who…

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Connecticut Revolutionized Geography – Who Knew?

August 30, 2016 • Education, Hartford, Science, Stratford, Union

…that in 1828 Jesse Olney published A Practical System of…

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United States Army dirigible with crowd of onlookers

Airborne Pioneers: Connecticut Takes Flight

Daring flights and first-of-a-kind inventions mark the state’s 200-plus-year history of taking to the skies.

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Video – Rudolph Zallinger’s Masterpiece, “The Age of Reptiles”

The Yale Peabody Museum is home to one of the world’s largest murals, which illustrates changes in the earth’s flora and fauna between the Devonian and Cretaceous periods.

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Heart Pump out of an Erector Set – Who Knew?

Yale medical student William Sewell Jr. built the first artificial heart (partly out of Erector Set pieces), and conducted successful bypass experiments in 1949.

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Copy of Map of Windsor, shewing the parishes, the roads, and houses by Seth Pease

Seth Pease Surveys New Lands

This Suffield native’s work in “New Connecticut” and other Western territories reveals how the new nation took stock of its expanding borders.

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Roger Tory Peterson, European starlings

Artist Roger Tory Peterson, a Champion for the Natural World

July 28, 2015 • Arts, Environment, Old Lyme, Science

“The philosophy that I have worked under most of my life is that the serious study of natural history is an activity which has far-reaching effects in every aspect of a person’s life,” said Roger Tory Peterson, an artist, author, and influential conservationist whose own life epitomized this belief.

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The Surprising Prevalence of Earthquake Activity in Connecticut

Connecticut has experienced thousands of earthquakes since European settled the area. The most active site for seismic activity is the village of Moodus in East Haddam.

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Benjamin Silliman and Soda Water – Who Knew?

…that Yale’s first professor of chemistry, Benjamin Silliman, was also…

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Nuclear power plant, Haddam Neck

Connecticut Yankee Brings Power to the People

For nearly 30 years the Connecticut Yankee Atomic Power Company…

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Conjectures upon the Nature and Motion of Meteors by Thomas Clap

America’s First Planetarium – Who knew?

…that in 1744 Thomas Clap, Rector and Yale College president…

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Inventor Charles F. Ritchel

Charles Ritchel and the Dirigible

An entrepreneur’s design for a lighter-than-air vehicle takes flight in the late 1800s and inspires a new state industry.

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