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Historical Anecdotes: W
Posted on Jun 09, 2002 - 11:11 PM 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 Visitors. 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.

This series of articles will present occasional anecdotal, amusing and factual notes behind the people and events in history digests. 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.
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. That also appears on this page. 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 the introduction page whose main content is an alphabetic list of the complete set of entries. From here, you will be able to browse the titles of the individual entries and jump directly to those that interest you.

Links to Entries by Index Letter

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.

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

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.

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 Z rich. 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.

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