Monday, 18 February 2008

Thursday Thirteen - 13 Italian Contributions to the World

I was looking at my old MySpace blogs and found this one - which I thought was nearly perfect as a Thursday Thirteen. :) ...

How many of you realized the following:

1) The founder of Planter's Peanuts was an Italian immigrant.

2) One of the most influential and important men in NASA's history was the son of Italian immigrants.

3) Want to relax in a hot tub? Thank the Jacuzzi brothers!

4) Enjoy the radio? Yup, you guessed it...

"Guglielmo Marconi, an Italian inventor, proved the feasibility of radio communication. He sent and received his first radio signal in Italy in 1895. By 1899 he flashed the first wireless signal across the English Channel and two years later received the letter "S", telegraphed from England to Newfoundland. This was the first successful transatlantic radiotelegraph message in 1902.

In addition to Marconi, two of his contemporaries Nikola Tesla and Nathan Stufflefield took out patents for wireless radio transmitters. Nikola Tesla is now credited with being the first person to patent radio technology; the Supreme Court overturned Marconi's patent in 1943 in favor of Tesla.

5) Even "cursive" handwriting is owed to the Italians.

From "Articles written by hand had resembled printed letters until scholars began to change the form of writing, using capitals and small letters, writing with more of a slant and connecting letters. Gradually writing became more suitable to the speed the new writing instruments permitted. The credit of inventing Italian 'running hand' or cursive handwriting with its Roman capitals and small letters, goes to Aldus Manutius of Venice, who departed from the old set forms in 1495 A.D. By the end of the 16th century, the old Roman capitals and Greek letterforms transformed into the twenty-six alphabet letters we know today, both for upper and lower-case letters."

6) Do you enjoy a good espresso from time to time? Thank Achilles Gaggia! He invented the modern form of the espresso machine back in 1946.

7) Need batteries for your camera? Or that iPod? Say "Grazie" to Alessandro Volta! (and yes, that's why we call power units "Volts"...)

8) Even the thrilling world of Accounting (where my hubby toils each day) owes much to the Italians. They invented the concept of "double entry" accounting - which has only changed a bit, since its inception in the Renaissance.

9) Want some wine? You might use a double-winged corkscrew, invented by Dominick Rosati, to pop it open.

10) Enjoy ice skating or hockey...? The Zamboni is called that for a reason. Want to guess why?

11) Pellegrino Turri invented carbon paper (the older readers might remember that one) in 1806. We dust our hands off in his memory.

12) Running a fever? Not sure? Santorio Santorio (no, that's not a typo) was the first to put numbers on the "Thermoscope" to gauge the rise in temperature. This evolved into the modern thermometer.

13) Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone? Don't be so sure, ya'll!

And a bonus!

14) CSI. The X-Files. Law and Order. Bones. None of these shows would have a forensic leg to stand on without the work of: "Italian doctor, Fortunatus Fidelis is recognized as being the first person to practice modern forensic medicine, beginning in 1598. Forensic medicine is the "application of medical knowledge to legal questions." It became a recognized branch of medicine in the early 19th century."

Of course, there are many, many more. But I've bored you long enough.

Here's your Caramella per gli Occhi, ladies!

Italian Actor Luca Argentero

Later, ya'll!


Barefootbelle said...

I would love to live in Italy, but the ESL schools there only take people with EU passports. BooHoo.

Tempest Knight said...

Very interesting facts! :) Happy T13!

Gina Ardito said...

Grazie, Italia! (Is that right? I took Spanish in high school.)

And Thank YOU for the yummy treat at the end.

R.G. ALEXANDER said...

Great List!

Adelle said...

Very Interesting. I'd have to totally disagree with the telephone one. Probably because I was born in the same town as Alexander Graham Bell lol
Happy T13!

Alice Audrey said...

I had no idea Italians were so inventive.

Thanks for the eye candy!!! *bg*

Paige Tyler said...

Great list! And very yummy pic!


My TT is at

Jennifer McKenzie said...

Mmmm Thank you, Italy. Especially for the last picture.

Shelley Munro said...

Interesting list. Italians have done well. ;)

Savannah Chase said...

Well what a great list, I did not know a lot of these...

Ohh and the eye candy...drool

Happy T13

Gwen Mitchell said...

Ah... very nice list! And that's not even counting artistic contributions, which are many. Lovely. Happy TT!