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Pamela C. Edwards

inventor, lived in New Haven, Connecticut, in the early 1890s. Little is known of her early life; it is not known who her parents were or where she was born. She was, however, one of the first African American women to receive a patent from the United States Patent Office in the nineteenth century. On 26 April 1892 Sarah Boone received her patent for an improved ironing board. As a result, Boone became the fourth African American woman to apply for and receive a patent for a new invention and the first person to receive a patent for an ironing board design.

Those who have written about Boone and her improved ironing board note that her invention was a significant improvement over existing devices According to James Brodie before Boone s ironing board this task normally required taking a plank and placing it between two chairs or simply using the ...

Article

Raymond Dumett

treaty maker, cartographer, and one of the great West Africans of his generation, was born to an African mother and a Scottish father in the central coastal town of Anomabu in the Gold Coast’s Fanti region in present-day Ghana. Like several prominent members of the African middle class, he was educated at the famous Wesleyan School of Cape Coast. He also attended school in Sierra Leone. On the basis of strong recommendations, Ferguson was selected to join the colonial government as a clerk in 1881. In 1884 he began his career as a mapmaker by drawing a map of the Gold Coast Colony and Protectorate which was of assistance to the governor in showing the approximate boundaries of various linguistic groups their states and chieftaincies Ferguson proceeded from strength to strength and with each new job effectively completed he was rewarded with greater responsibilities by the colonial government ...

Article

David Killingray

Fantesurveyor and colonial agent born on the Gold Coast and educated in Freetown, Sierra Leone. He became a teacher and then a civil servant. As an employee of the Gold Coast colony he accompanied the Governor on a mission inland, producing a map that showed the ethnic divisions of the colony. He was entrusted with a further mission to the interior that resulted in Akwamu becoming part of the British protectorate. Ferguson's surveying skills were developed by his work with the British–German Boundary Commission of 1886. In 1887 he came to London and studied mining and surveying at the School of Mines, graduating with a first‐class certificate. During the 1890s Ferguson led important political missions to Asante and to the northern hinterland of what is now modern Ghana. By 1894 he had signed eighteen treaties of trade and friendship with northern rulers Ferguson s reports and precise ...

Article

Abdelhamid I. Sabra

Egyptian scientist, was known in his lifetime as al-Basri, where he was first in Basra, Iraq, and as al-Misri, since he ended his life in Cairo, having escaped from the “widespread plagues” described in some detail by the Christian physician Ibn Butlan (d. AH 458/1066 CE). Ibn Butlan witnessed the plagues while he traveled to Aleppo, al-Fustat, and al-Qustantiniyya, and he lists Ibn al-Haytham among “the men of science” who fell victim to the plague.

Ibn al-Haytham’s education is known mainly from his extant writings, which luckily are many, most of them original and impressive, with continuous interest in astronomy, and especially a new significant emphasis on the study of light as a clear branch of “physics”: “light,” he noted, in his Optics book 5 does not behave in the way it does for the sake of the eye He was not an atomist but he accepted ...

Article

Allen J. Fromherz

early Moroccan scientist, was born near the Spanish city of Saragossa toward the end of the eleventh century. His full name was Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Yayha hin al-Sa’igh al Tujibi al Andalusi al Sarakusti ibn Bajja, and he is known as Avempace in medieval Latin. According to some accounts, Ibn Bajjah’s ancestors were Andalusi or Safardic Jews. Ibn Bajjah’s connection to Africa began in 1110 when the city of Saragossa fell to the Almoravids of the Saharan Desert. As a wazir or minister to various Almoravid governers Ibn Bajjah traveled frequently between North Africa and Al Andalus Muslim Spain Indeed it was the Almoravid capture of al Andalus that united the Sahara North Africa and al Andalus as one political unit He is known primarily for his deeply philosophical works on the nature of the divine and the individual soul works that would became widely popular in translation ...

Article

Allen J. Fromherz

philosopher, scientist, and theologian, was born Abu al Walid Muhammad bin Ahmad bin Muhammad bin Rushd. Known in the Medieval Latin West as Averroes, he was one of the most influential commentators on Aristotle and on Plato’s Republic. A philosopher, scientist, and theologian of remarkable ability, Ibn Rushd famously stated that there was no inherent inconsistency between Greek rational thought and Islam. Born in 1120 in Cordoba Ibn Rushd wrote and studied in North Africa as well as in Muslim Spain al Andalus Although his life has often been portrayed as a struggle between rational thought and the tyranny of the African Almohad rulers who reigned in al Andalus Ibn Rushd s thinking was influenced as much by his time in Africa as his time in Spain Popular depictions of Ibn Rushd as an oppressed liberal thinker and as a European stifled by the close mindedness of the ...

Article

Jeremy Rich

Burundian scientist and educator, was born on 1 January 1958 in the Burundian capital of Bujumbura. Her father was Gaston Kadima Muende Kanumayi (1916–1981), from the Kasai Occidental province in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Her mother, Jacqueline Girinka Kibogora (1936– ), was born to a Congolese father, Kibogora Rutera Munzi. Her family moved to Kinshasa, the capital of the DRC, in 1962. Kadima then attended elementary school in Kinshasa and Kananga. Her middle school years were spent at the Catholic girls school Institut Janua Caeli in Kananga. To further her interests in mathematics and science, she transferred to a predominately male Catholic high school, where she concentrated on biology and chemistry. The girls’ school offered little in the way of science education, and her father strongly supported her decision to search out better opportunities. Kadima graduated from high school in 1975 having scored extremely well in ...

Article

Gary L. Frost

Malawian inventor, was born on 5 August 1987 in Dowa, Central Region, Republic of Malawi, to Trywell and Agnes Kamkwamba. He is the second of their seven children and the only son. Kamkwamba’s father is a member of the Chewa people, and his mother belongs to the Yao ethnic group. When Kamkwamba was one year old, his family began living in Dowa as subsistence farmers, raising tobacco, maize, and other food crops.

At an early age Kamkwamba began to investigate electrical phenomena by examining everyday technologies When thirteen years old he tinkered with radios for example in an attempt to understand how they worked Malawi had only two broadcast stations but radio constituted the principal means of contact with the larger world for farmers so battery powered receivers were ubiquitous even in rural areas Although he had only trial and error to learn by he nevertheless acquired sufficient knowledge to make ...