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Historical Anecdotes: W

Historical Anecdotes: W
by Anthony Waldstock

This is a series of articles that has grown out of the daily listings of what happened “On This Day”. Many of the events, particularly those related to science, seemed to us to need some more information than is possible in the daily listing format. Still others had amusing or informative anecdotes associated with them that we felt were worth sharing with our readers. The series is designed for browsing and dipping into and we have therefore set up a comprehensive system of links to make this as easy and as enjoyable as possible.

Historical Anecdotes: W

by Anthony Waldstock

This series of articles will present occasional anecdotal, amusing and factual notes behind the people and events on the This Day in History digests. Entries are determined by the daily posting of events in history with the first entries appearing for March 10th and are arranged alphabetically. With the steady increase of material, each letter of the alphabet now (April 17th 2002) has its own page. People are indexed according to their family or surnames whereas kings, popes, emperors etc. are listed according to their regnal names– e.g. Charles Boycott would be found under B, Pope Gregory under G and Queen Mary Tudor under M. Other items are indexed by the most significant word in the title, for example Artificial Ice will be found under I but Sad Iron will be found under S.

Links back to the monthly digests for “This Day in History” can be found at the bottom of the introductory page but each of the entries on the other pages will have a link to take you back to the specific date with which it is associated. Note that if you have come here from the Background Briefings link on the Home page, you can go back there by clicking on the site Masthead above. When appropriate, there are additional links back to other referring pages on the site such as the People of London page.

Within the series there are two sets of links. At the top of each page there will be a table of links to the other indexing letters to allow browsing by individual pages. At the bottom of each page you will also find a set of links which will allow you to scroll backward (Previous) and forward (next) through the pages. The pages are looped so the “Previous” link from A will be to Z and the “Next” link from Z will be to A. There will also be a central link back to this introduction page whose main content is an alphabetic list of the complete set of entries. From there, you will be able to browse the titles of the individual entries and jump directly to those that interest you. By definition, the number of entries will augment on a daily basis so it is worth checking back there frequently.


Links to Entries by Index Letter
[A][B][C][D][E][F][G][H][I][J][K][L][M][N][O][P][Q][R][S][T][U][V][X][Y][Z]

Washateria

The first Launderette was opened on April 18th 1934 in Fort Worth, Texas by J F Cantrell. He called his establishment a Washateria and installed four electric washing machines in it. He charged by the hour for their use. The first self-service launderette was opened at 184 Queensway, London on May 9th 1949. It was operated by Bendix Homes Ltd and equipped with their coin-operated automatic machines. This was also the first Laundromat in Europe.Return to This Day in History

Wave mechanics

In 1926, the term wave mechanics was coined by the nuclear physicist Erwin Shrodinger in a letter he sent to Einstein. The term was applied to the newly emerging branch of physics which interprets the behaviourof subatomic particles according to a mathematical description in terms of a wave, as opposed to particle, motion.Return to This Day in History

Pierre-Ernest Weiss

Weiss was French physicist who investigated magnetism and determined the Weiss magneton unit of magnetic moment. His chief work was on ferromagnetism in which he suggested that a molecular magnetic field acted on individual atomic magnetic moments. Using this hypothesis, he was able to construct mathematical descriptions of ferromagnetic behaviour, including an explanation of such magnetocaloric phenomena as the Curie point (the temperature at which a magnetic material loses its magnetism). His hypothesis also succeeded also in predicting a discontinuity in the specific heat of a ferromagnetic substance at the Curie point and suggested that spontaneous magnetization could occur in such materials. This phenomenon was later found to occur in very small regions of magnetic materials and are now known as Weiss domains.Return to This Day in History

Wettingen Bridge

Hans Ulrich Grubenmann and his brother Johannes were Swiss carpenters and bridge builders. In 1758 they built a bridge over the Limmat River at the town of Wettingen, near Zürich. This is believed to be the first timber bridge to employ a true arch in its design. The brothers’ ingenious combination of the arch and truss principles made it possible to construct longer and better timber bridges than ever before. Their most famous bridge, also built in 1758, was over the Rhine at Schaffhausen and had a length of 120 m.Return to This Day in History

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