50 Years Ago

When reindeer were introduced into Scotland some ten years ago, a significant factor was that the various ground, rock and tree lichens eaten by reindeer play little part in the diet of red deer, roe deer, sheep, or other indigenous animals... In northern Scandinavia there are more than 600,000 domesticated reindeer and in the northern USSR approximately two million, valued for their meat, skins, milk and hair, and for transport. These benefits have led to imports of reindeer in Alaska, Canada and South Georgia... There were many reindeer in Scotland in prehistoric times, and these were probably hunted with red deer. Why the wild reindeer died out while the red deer remained is unknown...reindeer meat was probably more popular, and the pre-firearm techniques of the chase were not adequate to eliminate the fleeter red deer.

From Nature 15 June 1957.

100 Years Ago

The closing months of 1906 and the opening months of 1907 are likely to be long remembered by electrical engineers as a period of a remarkable recrudescence of interest in the subject of incandescent electric lamps. For many years the familiar carbon filament lamp has been the only commercial incandescent electric lamp, in spite of its threatened extinction by the invention of the Nernst lamp in 1897–1898. The feeling of uncertainty caused by this discovery was short-lived...the electrical world settled down with the conviction that the threatened revolution was not destined to be achieved. But in the meantime inventors were busy... The tungsten lamp appears to have a brilliant future before it. A lamp working at a little more than 1 watt per candle brings electric lighting almost to the level of gas for cheapness...a radical improvement has long been wanting, and there seems every reason to believe that it has at last been made.

From Nature 13 June 1907.