Category: Science & Technology

Catherine Littlefield Greene

A Rhode Island aristocrat who became a widowed plantation owner in the Reconstruction Era South may have been more instrumental to the invention of the cotton gin than Eli Whitney.


In a case of collateral damage during the early PC wars, a revolutionary font, alternately loved and hated, is overtaken on the web by an inferior copycat.


Word processing – the world’s first “killer app” – enabled Wang Laboratories to threaten IBM’s decades of dominance in the computing world. The rise of the PC, and a troubled dynastic succession, led to the once high-flying company’s rapid demise.

Antoine Bechamp

Louis Pasteur’s bitter rival staked everything on a discredited theory of the role that germs play in the body. If his theories regain a measure of respectability, as many believe they already have, will statues of Antoine Bechamp appear beside those of Pasteur?

Broad Gauge Rail

In an early standards war played out across the fields of Industrial England, an engineering genius loses out to a more widely adopted, though possibly inferior, system.

Alfred Russel Wallace

The naturalist whose contemporaneous insights into “the transmutation of species” may have shared top billing with Darwin had he not been immersed in field work in Southeast Asia at the time of Darwin’s first coming out party.


The determining factor in this classic standards war came down to, of all things, American’s love for movies and sports.