Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Blast From the Past: How Harvard Was Hatched


Harvard has long been a citadel of affluence and prestige, but its frontier beginnings should not go overlooked. 

HARVARD UNIVERSITY, the oldest institution of learning in the United States, was founded in Cambridge, Mass., in 1636. At a meeting of the General Court of the colony of Massachusetts Bay, convened on 8 September, six years after its first settlement, it was voted to give £400 toward a “schoale or colledge,” for the purpose of educating the “English and Indian youth in knowledge and Godliness.” The ensuing year 12 of the eminent men of the colony, including John Winthrop and John Cotton, were authorized “to take order for a college at New Towne.” The name Cambridge was adopted soon afterward in recognition of the English university where many of the colonists had been educated. In 1638 John Harvard, a young Non-Conformist minister, died in Charlestown, leaving to the college £750 and his entire library of 300 volumes. The institution was opened soon after and was named Harvard in honor of its first benefactor.

Painting of the Day: 'Coast of Capri' by John William Godward

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Coast of Capri by John William Godward, 1913

Monday, November 19, 2018

Book Review: 'How to Be Happy at Work' by Annie McKee

Book Review: 'The Strategic Leader's Roadmap' by Harbir Singh and Michael Useem

Book Review: 'Elite Minds' by Stan Beecham

Book Review: 'Disruptive Marketing' by Geoffrey Colon

Book Review: 'Rejuvenaging: The Art and Science of Growing Older with Enthusiasm' by Dr. Ron Kaiser

 Rejuvenaging by Dr. Ron Kaiser

Person of the Day: Eli Whitney

WHITNEY, Eli, American inventor: b. Westboro, Mass., 8 Dec. 1765; d. New Haven, Conn., 8 Jan. 1825. He was graduated at Yale in 1792; while there having paid his expenses partly by teaching, partly by mechanical labor. He went to Georgia as a teacher, but finding a patron in the widow of General Nathaniel Greene, of the Revolutionary army, he resided on her estate and studied law. The cotton culture at this period, especially that of the best kind, the green-seed cotton, was limited by the slow and difficult work of separating the cotton from the seed by hand. 
Whitney set to work to remedy this by inventing a machine, but worked under great disadvantages, for he had to make his own tools. Reports of his success prompted some lawless people to break into his workshop and steal his machine, and get others made before he could secure a patent. He formed a partnership with one Miller in 1793 and went to Connecticut to manufacture cotton gins; but the lawsuits in defense of his rights carried off all his profits and $50,000 voted him by the State of South Carolina. Finally in 1798 he got a government contract for the manufacture of firearms, and was the first to effect the division of labor by which each part was made separately. 
He made a fortune by this manufacture, carried out with ingenious machinery at Whitneyville, Conn.; while he received little credit for the perfection of the gin, one of the most important of the whole series of inventions connected with the cotton manufacture.
Encyclopedia Americana, 1920 

Painting of the Day: 'Girl in a Peach Dress' by John William Godward

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Girl in a Peach Dress by John William Godward, 1913