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On This Day

  • 7-31-1669

    Newton became known. Lucasian professor Isaac Barrow sent John Collins a manuscript of Newton's De analysi and thereby Newton's anonymity began to dissolve. De analysi was a summary of Newton's work on the calculus and was written after Newton saw Nicholas Mercator's Logarithmotechnia (1668), which contained a series for log(1 + x), in order that Newton would not lose credit for his work on infinite series. Collins immediately recognized Newton's genius. Although this manuscript was not published until 1704, it led to Newton's appointment as Lucasian professor on 29 October 1669.

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    Isaac Newton
    Isaac Barrow
    John Collins
    Nicolaus Mercator
  • 7-31-1704

    Gabriel Cramer born in Geneva, Switzerland. Best known for Cramer's Rule for solving systems of equations, he worked primarily in analysis.

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    Gabriel Cramer
  • 7-31-1790

    First patent issued. The U.S. Patent Office issued its first patent to Samuel Hopkins of Vermont for his "process for making pot and pearl ashes" (potash and soap, respectively). Since George Washington and Thomas Jefferson signed Hopkins's patent, more than 4 million have been issued.

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    Samuel Hopkins