Many rare books have had a long and exciting journey on their way to a safe haven in a library. These works have for example seen continuous change in ownership and travelled through many countries over the centuries. The fate of these ‘travelling books’ has often been documented: thus handwritten notes, stamps and labels have assumed the role of storyteller, in many cases leaving unsolved mysteries in their wake. Read more
Today, 125 years ago on 23 February 1893, Rudolf Diesel received the patent for the diesel engine in Berlin. What is interesting from a Swiss point of view, is the connection between Rudolf Diesel and Maschinenfabrik Sulzer AG in Winterthur, where the young inventor had already completed two internships.
Many thousands of frogs fell victim to Luigi Galvani’s scientific curiosity, and all because the anatomist observed how the leg of a dissected frog began to twitch as if from nowhere. This occurrence took place in Bologna in 1780 and led to one of the most important discourses in scientific history – and to the birth of the novel Frankenstein. Read more
Thirty years ago, on 28 January 1988, the tower chimney built in 1964/65 for the heating centre of ETH Zurich at Hönggerberg was blown up in a spectacular operation. Previously, a strong eccentricity had been measured in the 80-metre high concrete chimney and visible damage had been detected, which led to the decision to demolish. The new, lower chimney system with three steel chimneys Read more
At the beginning of February 2008 the first post on this weblog was published. Ten years later, ETHeritage is an established and popular platform for insights into the holdings of the ETH Zurich’s collections and archives. This first decade of the weblog was marked by dedicated bloggers and continuous development.
There are only two days left of the old year. We would like to thank our readers for their loyalty and wish everyone a happy and fulfilled 2018. Read more
Entomological research collections are often contact points for all manner of questions. In many cases an answer is close at hand, but sometimes extensive literature research, exchange with specialists and queries on internet forums are necessary. This summer, ETH Read more
Few natural phenomena are as spectacular to the observer as the aurora with its arcs of light. While it was known in antiquity as band of fire, beam or opening, metaphorical expressions prevailed in the Middle Ages such as fiery lances or burning red. It is now Read more
The Swiss animal catcher Peter Ryhiner (1920-1975) had christened the blue-eyed python Serata (Sanskrit for “beauty”) and brought it from the vicinity of Kolkata to the USA and later to Switzerland. The picture was taken by a Comet photographer on the occasion of the opening of the travel agency Jacky Maeder at Sihlstrasse 38 in Zurich.
On 27 August 1883 the volcano known as Krakatoa, itself part of an island archipelago of the same name, was destroyed in an enormous explosion. The detonation’s blast is said to have been heard thousands of kilometres away, sending shock waves round the world several times. Read more