The Sumerians, who inhabited the region between the Tigris and Euphradis rivers and possessed a highly developed culture with their own language and writing, had already produced soap in 2500B.C. They used soap for the washing of woolen clothing. The Sumerians also used their soap for medical purposes.
Seventeenth century Flemish painters show children blowing bubbles with clay pipes. Generations of 18th and 19th century mothers gave their children their leftover washing soap to blow bubbles. At the beginning of the 20th century, street peddlers and pitchmen were among the first to sell bubbles as a toy.
In 1918, J. L Gilchrist filed a patent for a style of bubble pipes that can be produced quickly and easily. Bubble pipes were one of the first and original mass productions of bubble blowers that became popular so that kids could imitate an adult smoker.
During the early 1940’s, a chemical company, Chemtoy, which sold cleaning supplies, revolutionized the toy world by systematically bottling bubble solution. Tootsietoy Company later acquired the small chemical company and put bubble solution into full retail distribution by the late 1940s.
During the 1960s, bubbles became a symbol of peace and harmony to hippies and flower children and further popularized the sport of bubble blowing.
The names aluminium and aluminum are derived from the word alumine, an obsolete term for alumina, a naturally occurring oxide of aluminium. Alumine was borrowed from French, which in turn derived it from alumen, the classical Latin name for alum, the mineral from which it was collected. The Latin word alumen stems from the Proto-Indo-European root *alu- meaning “bitter” or “beer”.
The history of aluminium has been shaped by usage of alum. The first written record of alum, made by Greek historian Herodotus, dates back to the 5th century BCE. The ancients are known to have used alum as a dyeing mordant and for city defense. After the Crusades, alum, an indispensable good in the European fabric industry, was a subject of international commerce; it was imported to Europe from the eastern Mediterranean until the mid-15th century.
The nature of alum remained unknown. Around 1530, Swiss physician Paracelsus suggested alum was a salt of an earth of alum.In 1595, German doctor and chemist Andreas Libavius experimentally confirmed this. In 1722, German chemist Friedrich Hoffmann announced his belief that the base of alum was a distinct earth. In 1754, German chemist Andreas Sigismund Marggraf synthesized alumina by boiling clay in sulfuric acid and subsequently adding potash.
Attempts to produce aluminium metal date back to 1760. The first successful attempt, however, was completed in 1824 by Danish physicist and chemist Hans Christian Ørsted. He reacted anhydrous aluminium chloride with potassium amalgam, yielding a lump of metal looking similar to tin. He presented his results and demonstrated a sample of the new metal in 1825. In 1827, German chemist Friedrich Wöhler repeated Ørsted’s experiments but did not identify any aluminium. (The reason for this inconsistency was only discovered in 1921.) He conducted a similar experiment in the same year by mixing anhydrous aluminium chloride with potassium and produced a powder of aluminium. In 1845, he was able to produce small pieces of the metal and described some physical properties of this metal. For many years thereafter, Wöhler was credited as the discoverer of aluminium.
The origin of the term cloud can be found in the old Englishclud or clod, meaning a hill or a mass of rock. Around the beginning of the 13th century, it was extended as a metaphor to include rain clouds as masses of evaporated water in the sky because of the similarity in appearance between a mass of rock and a cumulus heap cloud. Over time, the metaphoric term replaced the original old English weolcan to refer to clouds in general.
Ancient cloud studies were not made in isolation, but were observed in combination with other weather elements and even other natural sciences. In about 340 BC the Greek philosopher Aristotle wrote Meteorologica, a work which represented the sum of knowledge of the time about natural science, including weather and climate. For the first time, precipitation and the clouds from which precipitation fell were called meteors, which originate from the Greek word meteoros, meaning ‘high in the sky’. From that word came the modern term meteorology, the study of clouds and weather. Meteorologica was based on intuition and simple observation, but not on what is now considered the scientific method. Nevertheless, it was the first known work that attempted to treat a broad range of meteorological topics.
In 1525, the area was purchased by the Bürgerspital, a hospital that gave its name to the neighbourhood – Spittelberg means “Hospital Hill”. The area was used for agricultural purposes well into the 17th century. After 1675, Sigmund Freiherr von Kirchberg was the landlord of the Spittelberg, which developed into a village with a pridominantly Croatian population (Crobotendoerfl). The village was demolished in 1683 in the course of the Second Siege of Vienna through the Ottoman Empire. First by withdrawing Austrians who wanted to destroy potential hides and shelters for the Turks, then by the very Turks themselves.
In the end, barely a house of the Spittelberg had survived. Nevertheless, the cellars of the Spittelberg houses even today often pre-date 1683. The village was rebuilt after the defeat of the Turks and earned itself a dubious reputation as a place for shabby inns and brothels. In 1850, the Spittelberg became part of Vienna, combined with other neighbourhoods into the district of Neubau. Until WWII, the area remained known as a red light district.