Celebrating 20 Years on the Web
TODAY IN SCIENCE HISTORY ®
Find science on or your birthday

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “I have no satisfaction in formulas unless I feel their arithmetical magnitude.”
more quiz questions >>
Thumbnail of Charles Francis Brush (source)
Charles Francis Brush
(17 Mar 1849 - 15 Jun 1929)

American inventor and industrialist.


A Town Lighted by Electricity.

from Cleveland Herald (1880)

WABASH, Ind., March 31.—As the clock struck 8 four Brush lamps of 8,000-candle power each put forth a noonday light for one mile in circumference. The lamps, suspended midway of the iron flagstaff on the Court-house, which towers 100 feet above the business part of the town, were furnished with electricity by a No.5 generator, driven by a 7-horse power engine. According to contract, the light was to equal a gas-burner 2,640 feet from the light. The Council placed men at different parts of the city to observe, and they reported satisfactorily. At Urbana, five miles north, the light was said to be beautiful. The test has given general satisfaction. Excursion trains on the Cincinnati, Wabash and Michigan had brought in hundreds from Marion and southern points, while the northern section, including Elkhart, was largely represented. Fully 10,000 people arrived by 7 o'clock, among whom were the Councils of 19 adjacent towns and the Mayors of Marion and North, who came in the interest of their people, and they declared the light to be beyond their expectations. Mr. F. C. Phillips, electrician, who superintended the construction of the apparatus, had grave doubts about the temporary engine being equal to the task, but it answered the purpose. Many who came expecting to see the lamps distributed in various parts of the town were disappointed; otherwise their expectations were realized. It may be three or four weeks before Wabash will be permanently lighted up, as it will require that time to get a stationary engine in place and the necessary arrangements completed, but, according to the report of the Council, steps will be taken to put everything in shape for its immediate use.


From a Cleveland Herald article reprinted in The New York Times (11 Apr 1880). (source)


See also:
  • 17 Mar - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of Brush's birth.
  • Progress of the Brush System, article from Scientific American (1881) on industry's adoption of Brush lighting.
  • 31 Mar - births, deaths and events on date Wabash, Indiana, became first U.S. city lighted by electricity.
  • Electrifying America: Social Meanings of a New Technology, 1880-1940, by David E. Nye. - book suggestion.

Nature bears long with those who wrong her. She is patient under abuse. But when abuse has gone too far, when the time of reckoning finally comes, she is equally slow to be appeased and to turn away her wrath. (1882) -- Nathaniel Egleston, who was writing then about deforestation, but speaks equally well about the danger of climate change today.
Carl Sagan Thumbnail Carl Sagan: In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) ...(more by Sagan)

Albert Einstein: I used to wonder how it comes about that the electron is negative. Negative-positive—these are perfectly symmetric in physics. There is no reason whatever to prefer one to the other. Then why is the electron negative? I thought about this for a long time and at last all I could think was “It won the fight!” ...(more by Einstein)

Richard Feynman: It is the facts that matter, not the proofs. Physics can progress without the proofs, but we can't go on without the facts ... if the facts are right, then the proofs are a matter of playing around with the algebra correctly. ...(more by Feynman)
Quotations by: • Albert Einstein • Isaac Newton • Lord Kelvin • Charles Darwin • Srinivasa Ramanujan • Carl Sagan • Florence Nightingale • Thomas Edison • Aristotle • Marie Curie • Benjamin Franklin • Winston Churchill • Galileo Galilei • Sigmund Freud • Robert Bunsen • Louis Pasteur • Theodore Roosevelt • Abraham Lincoln • Ronald Reagan • Leonardo DaVinci • Michio Kaku • Karl Popper • Johann Goethe • Robert Oppenheimer • Charles Kettering  ... (more people)

Quotations about: • Atomic  Bomb • Biology • Chemistry • Deforestation • Engineering • Anatomy • Astronomy • Bacteria • Biochemistry • Botany • Conservation • Dinosaur • Environment • Fractal • Genetics • Geology • History of Science • Invention • Jupiter • Knowledge • Love • Mathematics • Measurement • Medicine • Natural Resource • Organic Chemistry • Physics • Physician • Quantum Theory • Research • Science and Art • Teacher • Technology • Universe • Volcano • Virus • Wind Power • Women Scientists • X-Rays • Youth • Zoology  ... (more topics)

- 100 -
Sophie Germain
Gertrude Elion
Ernest Rutherford
James Chadwick
Marcel Proust
William Harvey
Johann Goethe
John Keynes
Carl Gauss
Paul Feyerabend
- 90 -
Antoine Lavoisier
Lise Meitner
Charles Babbage
Ibn Khaldun
Euclid
Ralph Emerson
Robert Bunsen
Frederick Banting
Andre Ampere
Winston Churchill
- 80 -
John Locke
Bronislaw Malinowski
Bible
Thomas Huxley
Alessandro Volta
Erwin Schrodinger
Wilhelm Roentgen
Louis Pasteur
Bertrand Russell
Jean Lamarck
- 70 -
Samuel Morse
John Wheeler
Nicolaus Copernicus
Robert Fulton
Pierre Laplace
Humphry Davy
Thomas Edison
Lord Kelvin
Theodore Roosevelt
Carolus Linnaeus
- 60 -
Francis Galton
Linus Pauling
Immanuel Kant
Martin Fischer
Robert Boyle
Karl Popper
Paul Dirac
Avicenna
James Watson
William Shakespeare
- 50 -
Stephen Hawking
Niels Bohr
Nikola Tesla
Rachel Carson
Max Planck
Henry Adams
Richard Dawkins
Werner Heisenberg
Alfred Wegener
John Dalton
- 40 -
Pierre Fermat
Edward Wilson
Johannes Kepler
Gustave Eiffel
Giordano Bruno
JJ Thomson
Thomas Kuhn
Leonardo DaVinci
Archimedes
David Hume
- 30 -
Andreas Vesalius
Rudolf Virchow
Richard Feynman
James Hutton
Alexander Fleming
Emile Durkheim
Benjamin Franklin
Robert Oppenheimer
Robert Hooke
Charles Kettering
- 20 -
Carl Sagan
James Maxwell
Marie Curie
Rene Descartes
Francis Crick
Hippocrates
Michael Faraday
Srinivasa Ramanujan
Francis Bacon
Galileo Galilei
- 10 -
Aristotle
John Watson
Rosalind Franklin
Michio Kaku
Isaac Asimov
Charles Darwin
Sigmund Freud
Albert Einstein
Florence Nightingale
Isaac Newton


by Ian Ellis
who invites your feedback
Thank you for sharing.
Today in Science History
Sign up for Newsletter
with quiz, quotes and more.