100 Years Ago Today

A History Of Events And Happenings From Exactly One Hundred Years Ago

Archive for the category “Science”

Two Psychologists End Their Friendship


Sigmund Freud was born in Pribor, Moravia in the Austrian Empire in May 1856. After moving to Vienna, Austria Freud excelled at school and entered the University of Vienna at age 17.He graduated with an MD in 1881. In October 1885, Freud went to Paris on a fellowship to study with Jean-Martin Charcot, a renowned neurologist who was conducting scientific research into hypnosis. Charcot specialized in the study of hysteria and susceptibility to hypnosis, which he frequently demonstrated with patients on stage in front of an audience. Freud began using hypnosis in his clinical work. One particular patient was invited to talk about her symptoms whilst under hypnosis. This led Freud to encourage patients to talk freely about whatever ideas or memories occurred to them without recourse to hypnosis. He also started to interpret their dreams. In 1899 he published The Interpretation of Dreams which introduced the concept of the Unconscious.


Carl Gustav Jung was born in Kesswil, Thurgau, Switzerland in July 1875. In 1895, Jung studied medicine at the University of Basel. In 1900, he began working in a psychiatric hospital in Zurich. In 1906, he published “Studies in Word Association” and later sent a copy of this book to Sigmund Freud. They first met in person in Vienna in February 1907, and the two became fast friends. Jung later described his initial impressions of Freud as “…extremely intelligent, shrewd, and altogether remarkable.” They corresponded extensively over the next seven years, with Freud viewing Jung as protégé and heir to psychoanalysis.

As their friendship grew, Freud viewed Jung as the most innovative and original of his followers but was unhappy with Jung’s disagreement with some of the basic tenets of Freudian theory. Jung believed that Freud was too focused on sexuality as a motivating force. He also felt that Freud’s concept of the unconscious was limited and overly negative. Instead of simply being a reservoir of repressed thoughts and motivations, as Freud believed, Jung argued that the unconscious could also be a source of creativity. By 1912 their disagreements had become frequent and pronounced. When Jung resigned from the International Psychoanalytic Congress, the hostility growing between the two was readily apparent in the letters they exchanged. At one point, Jung scathingly wrote, “…your technique of treating your pupils like patients is a blunder. In that way you produce either slavish sons or impudent puppies… I am objective enough to see through your little trick.”

On January 3, 1913 the break between Freud and Jung was complete. Freud wrote a letter to Jung in which he makes clear :

“Your allegation that I treat my followers as patients is demonstrably untrue. . . . It is a convention among us analysts that none of us need feel ashamed of his own neurosis. But one [meaning Jung] who while behaving abnormally keeps shouting that he is normal gives ground for the suspicion that he lacks insight into his illness. Accordingly, I propose that we abandon our personal relations entirely.”

Sigmund Freud's letter of January 3, 1913 ending his relationship with Carl Jung

Sigmund Freud’s letter of January 3, 1913 ending his relationship with Carl Jung

Issued December 14, 1912

December 14, 1912

Whaling Expedition In Korea
Charles Dana Gibson was born in Roxbury, Massachusetts in September 1867. He was enrolled by his parents in New York’s Art Students League and sold his first illustration to LIFE magazine in 1886.He quickly became popular and contributed to every major New York publication such as Harper’s Weekly, Scribners and Collier’s as well as major newspapers. In 1890 he began developing “The Gibson Girl”, an iconic female face and figure that typified the style of women at the time based on his wife Irene Langhorne and her sister.

On December 14, 1912 Gibson drew the cover art for COLLIER’S FOR CHRISTMAS.


Underwater Breathing Apparatus Proves Successful In France

Maurice Fernez was born in Paris, France in August 1885. After a near drowning as a child, Fernez was driven to develop an underwater breathing device that would aid drowning victims and save their lives. Underwater diving was done by a tethered diving helmet and suit. Fernez went from a small balloon connect to the diver to a surface-mounted tube. But inhaling air down the tube and exhaling it thorough the exhaust valve became impossible because of the pressure of water compressing the chest. Air needed to be supplied to the diver under sufficient pressure to balance the pressure of the water. Fernez came up with a a T shaped mouthpiece with one side connected to the air hose through a one way non-return valve and the other side to an exhaust. Air was pumped continuously down the tube and flowed out of the exhaust valve of the mouthpiece, causing the pressure in the mouthpiece to be exactly the same as the external water pressure. The diver could breathe in and out from this stream of air without difficulty.

On October 27, 1912 the French Rescue Society organized an experiment in a swimming pool in Paris where a volunteer remained under water for 35 minutes and was then examined a doctor. Respiratory and cardiac rhythms were normal and the diver said that he hadn’t felt any discomfort and could stay underwater indefinitely.

Maurice Fernez demonstration of his diving equipment
October 1912

Breakthrough In Stainless Steel In Germany

Iron’s main drawback and an industrial metal is its tendency to corrode. Many alloys, a mixture of two or more metals attempted to solve this problem. The corrosion resistance of iron-chromium alloys was first recognized in 1821 by French metallurgist Pierre Berthier. In the late 1890s a process for producing carbon-free chromium was developed in Germany and between 1904 and 1911 several researchers prepared alloys that would today be considered stainless steel.

Krupp Works in Essen, Germany

On October 17, 1912, Krupp engineers patented austenitic stainless steel which promises to makes it manufacture cheap and plentiful.

Doctors Will Not Operate On Roosevelt

On September 6, 1901 US president William McKinley was at the Buffalo International Exposition in Buffalo, New York. He was shot by self-proclaimed anarchist Leon Czolgosz. The bullet entered the abdomen. Until recently a gunshot to the abdomen was considered fatal with death by gangrene or infection inevitable. Surgeons worked with difficult lighting, inappropriate tools and primitive procedures. The bullet was never found and the wound itself had not been thoroughly cleaned or traced. Precautions against infections were negligently handled. After initially rallying, McKinley died on September 14, 1901. Vice President Theodore Roosevelt became president and McKinley became a cherished martyr hero.


Yesterday ex-president Theodore Roosevelt was shot while campaigning for president on the third party Progressive platform in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.


On October 15, 1912 after determining that probes and x-ray showed that the bullet had traversed three inches (76 mm) of tissue and lodged in Roosevelt’s chest muscle but did not penetrate the pleura, doctors stated their opinion that it would be more dangerous to attempt to remove the bullet than to leave it in place. Remembering what happened to McKinley after his operation, Roosevelt heartily agrees.

1912 book “The Attempted Assassination of Ex-President Theodore Roosevelt” :http://www.gutenberg.org/files/21261/21261-h/21261-h.htm

X-Ray showing bullet as it remains in Theodore Roosevelt

First Radio Transmission From Antarctica

The Australasian Antarctic Expedition was an Australasian scientific team that set out to explore part of Antarctica led by the Australian geologist Douglas Mawson, a veteran of other Antarctic voyages. The expedition departed for Macquarie Island in December 1911 aboard the Newfoundland sealing vessel Aurora.

On September 25, 1912 the first radio transmissions from Antarctica were made from a station on Macquarie Island set up by the Australasian Antarctic Expedition.

Australasian Antarctic Expedition – 1912

The First Regenerative Circuit

Edwin Howard Armstrong was born in New York City in December 1890. Illness as a child left him withdrawn and he was attracted to engineering. He attended Columbia University and was attracted to the new field of Radio which was in it’s infancy. Tesla had experimented in the 1890 and Marconi copied his work and was beginning to work in wireless transmissions. In 1906 Lee De Forest invented the Audion, a vacuum tube that greatly electrical signals for radio. De Forest made the first ship to shore radio transmission in 1907 and the first public radio broadcast of the opera TOSCA from the New York Metropolitan Opera in 1910. De Forest invented the term “Radio” based on the “radiating signals” of the device.

Armstrong, a 21 year old electrical engineering student, was working at Columbia University’s School of Engineering on the Audion when he realized that he could amplify faint radio signals by repeatedly feeding current through the relatively new Audion grid and boost their power dramatically. This was called Positive Feedback. This was the first regenerative circuit.

On September 22, 1912 Edwin Armstrong made the first successful test of the regenerative circuit. It is revolutionary in the way it amplifies radio waves and promises to make the reception of voice messages without wires a practical, affordable reality.

Original drawing of Regenerative Circuit by Edwin Armstrong

Oil Tanker Launched In Pennsylvania

The SS GULFOIL was the first American oil tanker built using the British design system of longitudinal framing, which allowed for the hull to better withstand the demands of heavy cargo.

 It was built by the New York Shipbuilding Corporation, Camden, New Jersey.

On August 29, 1912 the SS Gulfoil was launched from the Delaware Valley Shipyards, Pennsylvania.

Wonderful website – Ladies Who Launch :http://www.phillyseaport.org/web_exhibits/ladies_who_launch/records/uss_sonoma_1912.html

Unidentified sponsor, SS Gulfoil,
August 29, 1912

Nursing School Opens In Canada

In 1911 Dr Herbert Bruce founded the Wellesley Hospital in Toronto, Canada. It served both wealthy and poor with affordable health care funded through wealthy patrons. The Wellesley Hospital became known for both excellent patient care and for affordable health care. It was to be a teaching hospital as well.

On August 27, 1912 the Wellesley Hospital School of Nursing opened. 10 women have enrolled as nursing students. They will finish their schooling in 1915.

The first class at Wellesley Hospital School of Nursing

Pure Food And Drug Act Amended

Patent medicine are medical compounds sold under a variety of names. Very few were ever patented though many were trademarked. They were unregulated until recently and made various health claims that were questionable. Patent medicine advertising often talked up exotic ingredients such as snake oil and the term “snake oil salesman” meant a charlatan or fake. They often contain a strong amount of alcohol (who doesn’t feel better after a swig of “medicine”?)

In 1906 in COLLIER’S Weekly Samuel Hopkins Adams wrote an 11-part series “The Great American Fraud,” analyzing the contents of popular patent medicines. Adams pointed out that the companies producing these medicines were making false claims about their products and some were health hazards. This article had a powerful impact and led to the first Pure Food and Drug Act. But the wording in the 1906 act pertained only to false statements as to the identity of the drug in the medicine and not to false statements or claims as to the curative or therapeutic qualities stated by the advertiser. In 1910 the Bureau of Chemistry attempted to prosecute the promoter of “Dr. Johnson’s Mild Combination Treatment for Cancer.” The Supreme Court ruled that the 1906 Pure Food and Drugs Act did not prohibit false “therapeutic” claims on drug labels – only false statements about drug composition. Congress responded with the Sherley Amendments which made it a crime to label drugs with false and fraudulent claims of therapeutic effectiveness.

On August 23, 1912  the Pure Food and Drug Act was amended to prohibit false and fraudulent claims of health benefits. Unfortunately it required proof of fraudulent intent which made it difficult to enforce effectively.

“Dr. Johnson’s Mild Combination Treatment for Cancer”

Post Navigation