Wednesday, November 25, 2020

November 25th in stamps Julius Robert von Mayer, Andrew Carnegie, Karl Benz, Haakon VII, general relativity, Alfonso XII

Here are some events that happened on November 25th. It could be an event or a person that died or was born on that day


1814 Born: Julius Robert von Mayer, German physician and physicist (d. 1878)

Julius Robert von Mayer (25 November 1814 – 20 March 1878) was a German physician, chemist and physicist and one of the founders of thermodynamics. He is best known for enunciating in 1841 one of the original statements of the conservation of energy or what is now known as one of the first versions of the first law of thermodynamics, namely that "energy can be neither created nor destroyed". In 1842, Mayer described the vital chemical process now referred to as oxidation as the primary source of energy for any living creature. His achievements were overlooked and priority for the discovery of the mechanical equivalent of heat was attributed to James Joule in the following year. He also proposed that plants convert light into chemical energy.

German stamp and First Day Cover commemorating Julius Robert von Mayer

BRD 2014, Julius Robert von Mayer

200 birthday of Julius Robert von Mayer FDC



1835 Born: Andrew Carnegie, Scottish-American businessman and philanthropist (d. 1919)

Andrew Carnegie (November 25, 1835 – August 11, 1919) was a Scottish-American industrialist and philanthropist. Carnegie led the expansion of the American steel industry in the late 19th century and became one of the richest Americans in history. He became a leading philanthropist in the United States and in the British Empire. During the last 18 years of his life, he gave away $350 million (conservatively $65 billion in 2019 dollars, based on percentage of GDP) to charities, foundations, and universities – almost 90 percent of his fortune. His 1889 article proclaiming "The Gospel of Wealth" called on the rich to use their wealth to improve society, and stimulated a wave of philanthropy.

Carnegie was born in Dunfermline, Scotland, and emigrated to the United States with his parents in 1848 at age 12. Carnegie started work as a telegrapher, and by the 1860s had investments in railroads, railroad sleeping cars, bridges, and oil derricks. He accumulated further wealth as a bond salesman, raising money for American enterprise in Europe. He built Pittsburgh's Carnegie Steel Company, which he sold to J. P. Morgan in 1901 for $303,450,000. It became the U.S. Steel Corporation. After selling Carnegie Steel, he surpassed John D. Rockefeller as the richest American for the next several years.

Carnegie devoted the remainder of his life to large-scale philanthropy, with special emphasis on local libraries, world peace, education, and scientific research. With the fortune he made from business, he built Carnegie Hall in New York, NY, and the Peace Palace and founded the Carnegie Corporation of New York, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Carnegie Institution for Science, Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland, Carnegie Hero Fund, Carnegie Mellon University, and the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, among others.

US stamp depicting Carnegie

4c Andrew Carnegie



1844 – Karl Benz, German engineer and businessman, founded Mercedes-Benz (d. 1929)

Karl Friedrich Benz (25 November 1844 – 4 April 1929) was a German engine designer and automobile engineer.
The Benz Patent-Motorwagen ("patent motorcar"), built in 1885, is widely regarded as the world's first production automobile, that is, a vehicle designed to be propelled by an internal combustion engine. The original cost of the vehicle in 1885 was 600 imperial German marks, approximately 150 US dollars (equivalent to $4,183 in 2018). The vehicle was awarded the German patent number 37435, for which Karl Benz applied on 29 January 1886. Following official procedures, the date of the application became the patent date for the invention once the patent was granted, which occurred in November of that year.

Here are some stamps depicting Benz or his car from Germany and Hungary

Benz car Hungary

Benz car Germany

Karl Friedrich Benz German Reich

1885 Died: Alfonso XII of Spain (b. 1857)

Alfonso XII (Alfonso Francisco de Asís Fernando Pío Juan María de la Concepción Gregorio Pelayo; 28 November 1857 – 25 November 1885), also known as El Pacificador or the Peacemaker, was King of Spain, reigning from 1874 to 1885. After a revolution that deposed his mother Isabella II from the throne in 1868, Alfonso studied in Austria and France. His mother abdicated in his favour in 1870, and he returned to Spain as king in 1874 following a military coup against the First Republic. Alfonso died aged 27 in 1885, and was succeeded by his son, Alfonso XIII, who was born the following year. To date, he is the last monarch of Spain to have died whilst on the throne.

Spanish and Spanish Philippines stamps depicting Alfonso XII

Alfonso XII  Year 1879

Spain 1876 King Alfonso XII

Spain 1879, King Alfonso Xii

Spanish Philippines 1874 King Alfonso XII 2c Rose Imperf Proof



1905 – Prince Carl of Denmark arrives in Norway to become King Haakon VII of Norway.

Haakon VII (born Prince Carl of Denmark; 3 August 1872 – 21 September 1957) was the King of Norway from 1905 until his death in 1957.

Originally a Danish prince, he was born in Copenhagen as the son of the future Frederick VIII of Denmark and Louise of Sweden. Prince Carl was educated at the Royal Danish Naval Academy and served in the Royal Danish Navy. After the 1905 dissolution of the union between Sweden and Norway, Prince Carl was offered the Norwegian crown. Following a November plebiscite, he accepted the offer and was formally elected King of Norway by the Storting. He took the Old Norse name Haakon and ascended to the throne as Haakon VII, becoming the first independent Norwegian monarch since 1387. 

Norway was invaded by Nazi Germany in April 1940. Haakon rejected German demands to legitimise the Quisling regime's puppet government and refused to abdicate after going into exile in Great Britain. As such, he played a pivotal role in uniting the Norwegian nation in its resistance to the invasion and the subsequent five-year-long occupation during the Second World War. He returned to Norway in June 1945 after the defeat of Germany.

He became King of Norway when his grandfather, Christian IX was still reigning in Denmark; and before his father and older brother became kings of Denmark. During his reign he saw his father, his elder brother Christian X, and his nephew Frederick IX ascend the throne of Denmark, in 1906, 1912, and 1947 respectively. Haakon died at the age of 85 in September 1957, after having reigned for nearly 52 years. He was succeeded by his only son, who ascended to the throne as Olav V.

Stamps from Norway depicting King Haakon VII

Norway 1911-1918 Haakon VII

Norway 1951 King Haakon VII

Norway 1952 King Haakon VII


1915 – Albert Einstein presents the field equations of general relativity to the Prussian Academy of Sciences.

Albert Einstein (14 March 1879 – 18 April 1955) was a German-born theoretical physicist who developed the theory of relativity, one of the two pillars of modern physics (alongside quantum mechanics). His work is also known for its influence on the philosophy of science. He is best known to the general public for his mass–energy equivalence formula E = mc2, which has been dubbed "the world's most famous equation". He received the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics "for his services to theoretical physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect", a pivotal step in the development of quantum theory.

The son of a salesman who later operated an electrochemical factory, Einstein was born in the German Empire but moved to Switzerland in 1895 and renounced his German citizenship in 1896. Specializing in physics and mathematics, he received his academic teaching diploma from the Swiss Federal Polytechnic School (German: eidgenössische polytechnische Schule) in Zürich in 1900. The following year, he acquired Swiss citizenship, which he kept for his entire life. After initially struggling to find work, from 1902 to 1909 he was employed as a patent examiner at the Swiss Patent Office in Bern.

Near the beginning of his career, Einstein thought that Newtonian mechanics was no longer enough to reconcile the laws of classical mechanics with the laws of the electromagnetic field. This led him to develop his special theory of relativity during his time at the Swiss Patent Office. In 1905, called his annus mirabilis (miracle year), he published four groundbreaking papers, which attracted the attention of the academic world; the first outlined the theory of the photoelectric effect, the second paper explained Brownian motion, the third paper introduced special relativity, and the fourth mass-energy equivalence. That year, at the age of 26, he was awarded a PhD by the University of Zurich.

Although initially treated with skepticism from many in the scientific community, Einstein's works gradually came to be recognised as significant advancements. He was invited to teach theoretical physics at the University of Bern in 1908 and the following year moved to the University of Zurich, then in 1911 to Charles University in Prague before returning to ETH (the newly renamed Federal Polytechnic School) in Zürich in 1912. In 1914, he was elected to the Prussian Academy of Sciences in Berlin, where he remained for 19 years. Soon after publishing his work on special relativity, Einstein began working to extend the theory to gravitational fields; he then published a paper on general relativity in 1916, introducing his theory of gravitation. He continued to deal with problems of statistical mechanics and quantum theory, which led to his explanations of particle theory and the motion of molecules. He also investigated the thermal properties of light and the quantum theory of radiation, the basis of the laser, which laid the foundation of the photon theory of light. In 1917, he applied the general theory of relativity to model the structure of the universe.

In 1933, while Einstein was visiting the United States, Adolf Hitler came to power. Because of his Jewish background, Einstein did not return to Germany. He settled in the United States and became an American citizen in 1940. On the eve of World War II, he endorsed a letter to President Franklin D. Roosevelt alerting FDR to the potential development of "extremely powerful bombs of a new type" and recommending that the US begin similar research. This eventually led to the Manhattan Project. Einstein supported the Allies, but he generally denounced the idea of using nuclear fission as a weapon. He signed the Russell–Einstein Manifesto with British philosopher Bertrand Russell, which highlighted the danger of nuclear weapons. He was affiliated with the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, until his death in 1955.

He published more than 300 scientific papers and more than 150 non-scientific works. His intellectual achievements and originality have made the word "Einstein" synonymous with "genius". Eugene Wigner compared him to his contemporaries, writing that "Einstein's understanding was deeper even than Jancsi von Neumann's. His mind was both more penetrating and more original".

Stamps from various countries depicting Albert Einstein

1966  ¢.08 Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein US 15c

Germany DDR 1979 Albert Einstein

Italy 1979 Birth Centenary of Albert Einstein

Monaco 1979 Birth Centenary of Albert Einstein

San Marino 1979 Birth Centenary of Albert Einstein

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