The Great Westmen

The Great Westmen

The terms Westernkind and Westmen are used here as all encompassing, to include both the men and women that make up Westernkind.

This series is dedicated to those who have never known or never considered that their people have made magnificent contributions to the betterment of Western Civilization and mankind as a whole. The story is told through people and what they have achieved. The peoples of Western Civilization are bound together by a bio-spiritual force that expresses itself through creative works; in short through a unique cultural expression.

But what is culture? We hear the term often and the typical person just equates culture with food. Spaghetti, pizza, chicken cacciatore, marinara sauce. Is that all there is to culture? No.

Culture: the customs, dress, works of art, literature, music, engineering, architecture, science, language, social, legal, and religious customs of a people.

Bio-spirit: The force unique to each people and further nuanced among individuals of that people group. Crudely defined as instinct, bio-spirit is the expected natural and historic thought, and behavioral patterns, distinct to a people.

Culture is an expression of the biospirit of a people upon their environment.

The story of Western Civilization is, if anything, the story of men, Westmen. These are a few of their stories.

Science and Technology

Danish physicist and chemist
Born: August 14, 1777, Rudkøbing, Denmark
Died: March 9, 1851, Copenhagen, Denmark
Featured Accomplishment: Discovery that an electric current creates a magnetic force.
Hans Christian Oersted began a new scientific epoch when he discovered that electricity and magnetism are linked. He showed by experiment that an electric current flowing through a wire could move a nearby magnet. The discovery that an electric current could create a magnetic force set the stage for the eventual development of our modern technology-based world. Oersted also discovered the chemical compound piperine and achieved the first isolation of the element aluminum. The unit of magnetic field strength, the Oersted, (in the centimeter-gram-second system of units) is named in his honor.
English physicist and chemist
Born: September 22, 1791 Newington, Surrey, England
Died: August 25, 1867 Hampton Court, Surrey, England
Featured Accomplishment: Discovery of electromagnetic induction.
Michael Faraday was an English scientist who contributed to the study of electromagnetism and electro-chemistry. His main discoveries include the principles underlying electromagnetic induction, diamagnetism and electrolysis. He is responsible for proposing the existence of lines of force as the essence of a field. This revolutionized the way forces were thought of in physics. Besides his discoveries in the field of electrodynamics Faraday also invented the electric motor using a magnet and a rotating wire. He created the first generator. He discovered two chlorides of carbon and discovered benzene and the law of electrolysis. Although Faraday received little formal education, he was one of the most influential scientists in history. The unit of capacitance, the Farad, is named in his honor.
Scottish mathematical physicist
Born: June 13, 1831, Edinburgh, UK
Died: November 5, 1879, Cambridge, UK
Featured Accomplishment: The equations that bear his name.
James Clerk Maxwell was a Scottish scientist in the field of mathematical physics. His most notable achievement was to formulate the classical theory of electromagnetic radiation, bringing together for the first time electricity, magnetism, and light as different manifestations of the same phenomenon (as formulated in the equations that bear his name). Maxwell was the first to accurately describe the composition and the reason for the stability of the rings of Saturn. Maxwell also showed that color blindness was due to individuals being unable to recognize red light and he conclusively proved the theory of three primary colors: that any natural color could be produced from red, green and blue. Maxwell’s work in optics led to color matching experiments and Colorimetry, the science and technology that is used to quantify and describe physically human color perception. Maxwell also applied the theory of color perception in photography. He reasoned that if any three lights could reproduce any perceivable color, then color photographs could be produced with a set of three colored filters. In 1861 he created the first color photograph.

He was the first to apply the methods of probability and statistics in describing the properties of gases. Maxwell is also recognized as the father of control theory, being the first to understand the importance of feedback to control theory.

The unit of magnetic flux, the Maxwell (in the centimeter-gram-second, cgs unit system) is named in his honor.
German physicist
Born: February 22, 1857, Hamburg, German Confederation
Died: January 1, 1894 (aged 36) Bonn, Germany
Featured Accomplishment: Experimental demonstration of the reality of electromagnetic waves.
Heinrich Rudolf Hertz was a German physicist who first conclusively proved the existence of the electromagnetic waves as predicted by James Clerk Maxwell’s equations of electromagnetism. At a time before the electron was discovered Hertz proved that the carrier of electric current must have negligible mass. Hertz discovered the photo electric effect. Hertz was the first to demonstrate that cathode rays could penetrate very thin metal foil (such as aluminium). This led to the invention of the cathode ray tube by one of Hertz’s students. Hertz also published seminal papers on contact mechanics. Contact mechanics is the study of the deformation of solids that touch each other at one or more points. The unit of frequency, the Hertz, is named in his honor.
Italian
Born: April 25, 1874, Bologna, Italy
Died: July 20, 1937, Rome, Italy
Awards: Nobel Prize in Physics
Featured Accomplishment: Development of radio science and practice.
The invention of radio communication spanned many decades of experimental investigation of radio waves, the establishment of theoretical underpinnings, engineering and technical developments. Marconi and Tesla can both given credit for the invention of the radio. Marconi’s historical radio transmission utilized a Heinrich Hertz spark arrester, a Popov antenna, and an Edouard Branly coherer for the simple device that was to go on to become the modern radio. Russians will claim that Popov was the actual inventor, and there are articles that even speculate that Chandra Bose who developed an improved version of the Branly coherer invented radio. Regardless, Marconi’s achievements and commercialization of radio are unparalleled.

“The Road to Radio” is a short summary of the discoveries of Westmen, who layered knowledge of the
new science of electricity and magnetism, culminating in the development and commercialization of
radio technology.

Polish
Born: village of Kaczanówka in Galicia, (then in the Austrian partition of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy)
Died: Date and place unknown. Probably sometime in the 1920s
Featured Accomplishment: Invention of the bullet proof vest.
Każimierz Żegleń, or Casimir Zeglen as the anglicized version of his name is spelled is one of those interesting stories from what seems like the back waters of Western Civilization. He is the inventor of the bullet proof vest yet his name and story is virtually unknown. To me it highlights the breadth of our Western Civilization. Zeglen became neither rich nor famous for his invention, he died in relative obscurity, like most of us will. But he is part of the grand mosaic that built our modern civilization.
American of Swedish descent
Born: February 27, 1910, Ishpeming, MI
Died: December 21, 1990, Los Angeles, CA
Featured Accomplishment: Known as the father of the U2 and SR-71 supersonic spy planes.

Kelly Johnson came from humble beginnings, born in a small mining town in the upper peninsula of
Michigan. He rose to become a legend in the aviation industry. His designs were cutting edge state of
the art. He created the “skunk works” and ran it with his own unique set of rules, Kelly’s rules as they
were known. His resume of accomplishments reads like a list of the most iconic airplanes in aviation
history. He exemplifies what can be done when a person is able to fulfill of his Potential to Power,
that is: to achieve all the he can be through the full application of his God-given talents.