FYI January 25, 2017
On this day:
1755 – Moscow University is established on Tatiana Day.
Lomonosov Moscow State University (MSU; Russian: Московский государственный университет имени М. В. Ломоносова, often abbreviated МГУ) is a coeducational and public research university located in Moscow, Russia. It was founded on January 25, 1755 by Mikhail Lomonosov. MSU was renamed after Lomonosov in 1940 and was then known as Lomonosov University. It also claims to house the tallest educational building in the world. It is rated among the universities with the best reputation in the world. Its current rector is Viktor Sadovnichiy.
1858 – The Wedding March by Felix Mendelssohn is played at the marriage of Queen Victoria’s daughter, Victoria, and Friedrich of Prussia, and becomes a popular wedding processional.
Felix Mendelssohn’s “Wedding March” in C major, written in 1842, is one of the best known of the pieces from his suite of incidental music (Op. 61) to Shakespeare’s play A Midsummer Night’s Dream. It is one of the most frequently used wedding marches, generally being played on a church pipe organ.
At weddings in many Western countries, this piece is commonly used as a recessional, though frequently stripped of its episodes in this context. It is frequently teamed with the “Bridal Chorus” from Richard Wagner’s opera Lohengrin, or with Jeremiah Clarke’s “Prince of Denmark’s March”, both of which are often played for the entry of the bride.
The first time that Mendelssohn’s “Wedding March” was used at a wedding was when Dorothy Carew wed Tom Daniel at St Peter’s Church, Tiverton, England, on 2 June 1847 when it was performed by organist Samuel Reay. However, it did not become popular at weddings until it was selected by Victoria, The Princess Royal for her marriage to Prince Frederick William of Prussia on 25 January 1858. The bride was the daughter of Queen Victoria, who loved Mendelssohn’s music and for whom Mendelssohn often played while on his visits to Britain.
An organ on which Mendelssohn gave recitals of the “Wedding March”, among other works, is housed in St Ann’s Church in Tottenham.
Franz Liszt wrote a virtuoso transcription of the “Wedding March and Dance of the Elves” (S. 410) in 1849-50. Vladimir Horowitz transcribed the Wedding March into a virtuoso showpiece for piano and played it as an encore at his concerts.
1944 – Florence Li Tim-Oi is ordained in China, becoming the first woman Anglican priest.
Florence Li Tim-Oi (Chinese: 李添嬡 Cantonese Lei Tim’oi, Mandarin Li Tian’ai; 5 May 1907 in Hong Kong – 26 February 1992 in Toronto) was the first woman to be ordained to the priesthood in the Anglican Communion.
In 1931, Florence Li was present at the ordination of Deaconess Lucy Vincent at St. John’s Cathedral in Hong Kong when the preacher had asked for women to give their lives to work for Christian ministry. Being inspired by this, Li would eventually go to Canton Union Theological College to receive her theological education before returning to Hong Kong in 1938. After working for two years in All Saints Church, in Kowloon, helping refugees in Hong Kong who fled mainland China in the midst of the Second Sino-Japanese War, Li was sent by Bishop Ronald Hall to help with refugees in Macau at the Macau Protestant Chapel. Six months into her new post, she returned to Hong Kong to be ordained as a deaconess on 22 May 1941 by Bishop Hall at St. John’s Cathedral, where she received her first call.
Already appointed as a deaconess to serve in the colony of Macau, Florence Li was ordained priest on 25 January 1944, by Bishop Hall in response to the crisis among Anglican Christians in China caused by the Japanese invasion. Since it was to be 30 years before any Anglican church regularised the ordination of women, her ordination was controversial and she resigned her licence (though not her priest’s orders) after the end of the war.
When Hong Kong ordained two further women priests (Joyce M. Bennett and Jane Hwang) in 1971, she was officially recognised as a priest in the diocese.
She was appointed an honorary (nonstipendiary) assistant priest in Toronto in 1983, where she spent the remainder of her life.
In 2003, the Episcopal Church fixed 24 January as her feast day in Lesser Feasts and Fasts, based on the eve of the anniversary of her ordination. In 2007, the Anglican Communion celebrated the centennial of her birth.
1947 – Thomas Goldsmith Jr. files a patent for a “Cathode Ray Tube Amusement Device”, the first ever electronic game.
Thomas Toliver Goldsmith Jr. (January 9, 1910 – March 5, 2009) was an American television pioneer, the co-inventor of the first arcade game to use a cathode ray tube, and a professor of physics at Furman University.
U.S. Patent 2,455,992, filed by Goldsmith and Estle Ray Mann in 1947, describes the world’s first cathode ray tube based game, the “Cathode-ray tube amusement device”. It was inspired by the radar displays used in World War II. Goldsmith and Mann were granted their patent in 1948 making it the first ever patent for an electronic game. Entitled “Cathode Ray Tube Amusement Device”, the patent describes a game in which a player controls the CRT’s electron gun much like an Etch A Sketch. The beam from the gun is focused at a single point on the screen to form a dot representing a missile, and the player tries to control the dot to hit paper targets put on the screen, with all hits detected mechanically. By connecting a cathode ray tube to an oscilloscope and devising knobs that controlled the angle and trajectory of the light traces displayed on the oscilloscope, they were able to invent a missile game that, when using screen overlays, created the effect of firing missiles at various targets. To make the game more challenging, its circuits can alter the player’s ability to aim the dot. However, due to the equipment costs and various circumstances, the Cathode-Ray Tube Amusement Device was never released to the marketplace. Only handmade prototypes were ever created.
Awards and honors
Goldsmith was awarded five patents essential to the improvement of television production and broadcasting. Goldsmith was a Life Fellow of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers. In 1949, he won an Institute of Radio Engineers Award “For his contributions in the development of cathode-ray instrumentation and in the field of television.” In 1979, the Radio Club of America honored Goldsmith with the first Allen B. DuMont Citation for “important contributions in the field of electronics to the science of television”. In 1999, Goldsmith won the first Dr. Charles Townes Individual Achievement Award as part of the Innovision Technology Awards competition honoring innovation in the upstate South Carolina area. A comprehensive collection of artifacts and ephemera of his life and his inventions is housed in the Library of Congress. In 1967, he was selected as an honorary member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, the national men’s music fraternity, by Furman University’s Gamma Eta chapter, which confers an annual award, in Goldsmith’s honor, to the university’s rising senior non-music major student who does the most to advance music in America.
Born on this day:
1783 – William Colgate, English-American businessman and philanthropist, founded Colgate-Palmolive (d. 1857)
William Colgate (January 25, 1783 – March 25, 1857) was an English manufacturer who founded in 1806 what became the Colgate toothpaste company.
William Colgate came to New York City in 1804. He there obtained employment as an apprentice to a soap-boiler, and learned the business. Young as he was, he showed even then that quickness of observation, which distinguished him later in life. He closely watched the methods practiced by his employer, noting what seemed to him to be mismanagement, and learned useful lessons for his own guidance. At the close of his apprenticeship he was enabled, by correspondence with dealers in other cities, to establish himself in the business with some assurance of success. William established a starch, soap and candle business in Manhattan, on Dutch Street in 1806. In 1820, he started a starch factory across the Hudson in Jersey City, leading to a long involvement of the company in Jersey City.
William followed his goal of prosperity through life, and became one of the most prosperous men in the city of New York. This circumstance, together with his great wisdom in counsel, and his readiness to aid in all useful and practicable enterprises, gave him a wide influence in the community, and especially in the denomination of which he was from early life an active and honored member.
Of the occurrence which led to his connection with that denomination he gave the following account. For some time after coming to New York, he attended worship with the congregation of the Rev. Dr. Mason, then one of the most eminent preachers of the Presbyterian Church. Writing to his father, an Arminian Baptist, of his purpose to make a public profession of his Christian faith in connection with the Presbyterian Church, he stated the chief points of his religious belief, quoting a “thus saith the Lord” for each. He received a kind reply cordially approving of that course, and asking for a “thus saith the Lord” in proof of sprinkling as Christian baptism, and of the baptism of infants as an ordinance of Christ. Happening to read the letter in an evening company of Christian friends, members of the church he attended, he remarked on leaving them that he must go home and answer his father’s questions. “Poor young man,” exclaimed an intelligent Christian lady when he was gone, “he little knows what he is undertaking!” He found it so. And he found it equally hard to be convinced, by Dr. Mason’s reasoning, that something else than a “thus saith the Lord” would do just as well.
The Rev. William Parkinson, pastor of the First Baptist church in New York, baptized him in February, 1808. In 1811 he transferred his membership to the church in Oliver Street. In 1838 he became a member of the church worshipping in the Tabernacle, to the erection of which he had himself largely contributed.
Philanthropy and family
He annually subscribed money to assist in defraying the current expenses of Hamilton Literary and Theological Institution (later Madison University and Theological Seminary); and he was among the most strenuous opponents of their removal to the city of Rochester. He was a regular contributor to the funds of the Baptist Missionary Union, and took upon himself the entire support of a foreign missionary.
He married Mary Gilbert and had three sons, Robert, James and Samuel. James and Samuel were both benefactors of Madison University and Theological Seminary. After seven decades of the Colgates’ involvement, the school was renamed Colgate University in 1890. His son Robert purchased Stonehurst at Riverdale-on-Hudson in The Bronx about 1859 shortly after it was built; it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.
William Colgate was a tither throughout his long and successful business career. He gave not merely one-tenth of the earnings of Colgate’s soap products; but he gave two-tenths, then three-tenths, and finally five-tenths of all his income to the work of God in the world. During the later days of his life he revealed the origin of his devotion to the idea of tithing. When he was sixteen years old he left home to find employment in New York City. He had previously worked in a soap manufacturing shop. When he told the captain of the canal boat upon which he was traveling that he planned to make soap in New York City the man gave him this advice: ‘Someone will soon be the leading soap maker in New York. You can be that person. But you must never lose sight of the fact that the soap you make has been given to you by God. Honor Him by sharing what you earn. Begin by tithing all you receive.’ William Colgate felt the urge to tithe because he recognized that God was the giver of all that he possessed, not only of opportunity, but even of the elements which were used in the manufacture of his products.
1794 – François-Vincent Raspail, French chemist, physician, physiologist, and lawyer (d. 1878)
François-Vincent Raspail, L.L.D., M.D. (25 January 1794 – 7 January 1878) was a French chemist, naturalist, physician, physiologist, attorney, and socialist politician.
Raspail was born in Carpentras, Vaucluse. A member of the republican Carbonari society, Raspail was imprisoned during Louis Philippe’s reign (1830–1848) and was a candidate for presidency of the Second Republic in December 1848. However, he was then involved in the attempted revolt of 15 May 1848 and in March 1849 was again imprisoned as a result. After Louis Napoleon’s 2 December 1851 coup his sentence was commuted to exile, from which he returned to France only in 1862. In 1869, during the liberal phase of the Second Empire (1851–1870), he was elected deputy from Lyons. He remained a popular republican during the French Third Republic, after the short-term Paris Commune in 1871.
Raspail was one of the founders of the cell theory in biology. He coined the phrase omnis cellula e cellula (“every cell is derived from a [preexisting] cell”) later attributed to Rudolf Karl Virchow. He was an early proponent of the use of the microscope in the study of plants. He was also an early advocate of the use of antiseptic(s) and better sanitation and diet. His “Manuel annuaire de la santé 1834” is portrayed in the painting “Nature morte avec oignons/Still life with a plate of onions” by Vincent van Gogh (1889 Kroller-Muller).
1923 – Arvid Carlsson, Swedish pharmacologist and physician, Nobel Prize laureate
Arvid Carlsson (born 25 January 1923) is a Swedish neuropharmacologist who is best known for his work with the neurotransmitter dopamine and its effects in Parkinson’s disease. For his work on dopamine, Carlsson was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2000, along with co-recipients Eric Kandel and Paul Greengard.
Carlsson was born in Uppsala, Sweden, son of Gottfrid Carlsson, historian and later professor of history at the Lund University, where he began his medical education in 1941. In 1944 he was participating in the task of examining prisoners of Nazi concentration camps, whom Folke Bernadotte, a member of the royal Swedish family, had managed to bring to Sweden. Although Sweden was neutral during World War II, Carlsson’s education was interrupted by several years of service in the Swedish Armed Forces. In 1951, he received his M.L. degree and his M.D. He then became a professor at the University of Lund. In 1959 he became a professor at the University of Gothenburg.
In 1957 Kathleen Montagu succeeded in demonstrating the presence of dopamine in the human brain; later that same year Carlsson also demonstrated that dopamine was a neurotransmitter in the brain and not just a precursor for norepinephrine. Carlsson went on to developed a method for measuring the amount of dopamine in brain tissues. He found that dopamine levels in the basal ganglia, a brain area important for movement, were particularly high. He then showed that giving animals the drug reserpine caused a decrease in dopamine levels and a loss of movement control. These effects were similar to the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. By administering to these animals L-Dopa, which is the precursor of dopamine, he could alleviate the symptoms. These findings led other doctors to try using L-Dopa on patients with Parkinson’s disease, and found it to alleviate some of the symptoms in the early stages of the disease. L-Dopa is still the basis for most commonly used means of treating Parkinson’s disease.
While working at Astra AB, Carlsson and his colleagues were able to derive the first marketed selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, zimelidine, from brompheniramine. Zimelidine preceded both Fluoxetine (Prozac) and Fluvoxamine as the first SSRI, but was later withdrawn from the market due to rare cases of Guillain–Barré syndrome.
Carlsson is opposed to the fluoridation of drinking water, and lobbied in Sweden to make water fluoridation illegal.
Still an active researcher and speaker at over 90 years of age, Carlsson, together with his daughter Maria, is working on OSU6162, a dopamine stabilizer alleviating symtoms of post-stroke fatigue.