FYI August 23, 2017

1904 – The automobile tire chain is patented.
Snow chains, or tire chains, are devices fitted to the tires of vehicles to provide maximum traction when driving through snow and ice.

Snow chains attach to the drive wheels of a vehicle or special systems deploy chains which swing under the tires automatically. Although named after steel chain, snow chains may be made of other materials and in a variety of patterns and strengths. Chains are usually sold in pairs and often must be purchased to match a particular tire size (tire diameter and tread width), although some designs can be adjusted to fit various sizes of tire. Driving with chains reduces fuel efficiency, and can reduce the allowable speed of the automobile to approximately 50 km/h (30 mph), but increase traction and braking on snowy or icy surfaces. Some regions require chains to be used under some weather conditions, but other areas prohibit the use of chains, as they can deteriorate road surfaces.

Snow chains were invented in 1904 by Harry D. Weed in Canastota, New York. Weed received U.S. Patent Number 768495 for his “Grip-Tread for Pneumatic Tires” on August 23, 1904.[3] Weed’s great-grandson, James Weed, said that Harry got the idea of creating chains for tires when he saw drivers wrap rope, or even vines, around their tires to increase traction on muddy or snowy roads, which were very common at the turn of the 20th century (although at this time, most people in rural Northern regions wouldn’t bother driving automobiles in the winter at all, since roads were usually rolled for use with horse-drawn sleighs, rather than plowed, so automobiles were generally not winter vehicles, for a variety of reasons; this was true until the 1930s or 40s in some areas. Only in urban areas was it feasible to remove snow from streets.). He sought to make a traction device that was more durable and would work with snow as well as mud.[4]

In July 1935, the Canadian Auguste Trudeau obtained a patent for his tread and anti-skidding chain.[5]

In snowy conditions, transportation authorities may require that snow chains or other traction aids be installed on vehicles, or at least supplied for them. This can apply to all vehicles, or only those without other traction aids, such as four-wheel drive or special tires. Local requirements may be enforced at checkpoints or by other type of inspection. Snow chains should be installed on one or more drive axles of the vehicle, with requirements varying for dual-tire or multi-driven-axle vehicles that range from ‘one pair of tires on a driven axle’ to ‘all tires on all driven axles’, possibly also one or both steering (front) wheels, requiring snow chains whenever required by signage or conditions.

More on wiki:


1847 – Sarah Frances Whiting, American physicist and astronomer (d. 1927)
Sarah Frances Whiting (August 23, 1847 – September 12, 1927), American physicist and astronomer, was the instructor to several astronomers, including Annie Jump Cannon.

Whiting graduated from Ingham University in 1865.

Whiting was appointed by Wellesley College president Henry Fowle Durant, one year after the College’s 1875 opening, as its first professor of physics. She established its physics department and the undergraduate experimental physics lab at Wellesley, the second of its kind to be started in the country. At the request of Durant, she attended lectures at MIT given by Edward Charles Pickering.[1] He invited Whiting to observe some of the new techniques being applied to astronomy, such as spectroscopy. [2] In 1880, Whiting started teaching a course on Practical Astronomy at Wellesley.

In 1895, as told by biographer Annie Jump Cannon,

An especially exciting moment came when the Boston morning papers reported the discovery of the Rontgen or X-rays in 1895. The advanced students in physics of those days will always remember the zeal with which Miss Whiting immediately set up an old Crookes tube and the delight when she actually obtained some of the very first photographs taken in this country of coins within a purse and bones within the flesh.

Between 1896 and 1900, Whiting helped Wellesley College trustee Sarah Elizabeth Whitin to establish the Whitin Observatory, of which Whiting became the first director.

Tufts College bestowed an honorary doctorate on Whiting in 1905. She was also known for supporting prohibition.

Whiting retired from Wellesley in 1916 and was a Professor Emeritus until her death in 1927. She is buried in Machpelah Cemetery in Le Roy, New York, near her now-defunct alma mater.

Whiting wrote textbook Daytime and evening exercises in astronomy, for schools and colleges.[4]

She was also author of several articles in Popular Astronomy, including:

“Use of Graphs in Teaching Astronomy”,[5] “Use of Drawings in Orthographic Projection and of Globes in Teaching Astronomy”,[6] “Spectroscopic Work for Classes in Astronomy”,[7]”The Use of Photographs in Teaching Astronomy”,[8] “Partial Solar Eclipse, June 28, 1908”,[9] Solar Halos,[10] “A Pedagogical Suggestion for Teachers of Astronomy”,[11] “Priceless Accessions to Whitin Observatory Wellesley College”,[12] “The Tulse Hill observatory diaries (abstract)”,[13] and “The Tulse Hill observatory diaries”,[14] as well as the obituary for Margaret Lindsay Huggins, “Lady Huggins”.[15]

She described her experience as a “woman physicist” in the Wellesley College News article “The experiences of a woman physicist”[16]

1883 Member, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
1905 Honorary doctorate, Tufts College

1876-1912 Professor of Physics, Wellesley College
1900-1916 Director, Whitin Observatory, Wellesley College
1916-1927 Professor Emeritus, Wellesley College

AB Ingham University 1865


The scar reducers are interesting. I have used the Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay Deep Pore Cleansing.
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It would be interesting to hear a follow-up discussion with your fellow GMG writer and Deadspin contributor Patrick Wyman. For those reading that are not aware of him, he has 2 excellent podcasts about Rome, Tides of History and The Fall of Rome.

Yeah, but the Romans loved Sugar of Lead, Lead(II) acetate:


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