From the archive

How Nature reported the death of Theodore Roosevelt in 1919, and a collection of inventions in 1969.

50 Years Ago

The collection of inventions that was on show … last week involved the onlooker in frantic changes of mood, switching his attention one minute to practical mechanical devices and the next to the thrills of psychedelic lighting or the niceties of tea blending … Among the household items was a flower pot designed to maintain a steady trickle of water in the gardener’s absence, a new type of safety window for schools and hospitals, and for a wider audience a typewriter with keyboards in Japanese, musical notation or what you will.

From Nature 18 January 1969

100 Years Ago

The ex-President of the United States who died in the first week of 1919 was in many ways the most remarkable man … and combined with unusual qualities of intellect and co-ordinated development of bodily skill — for was he not a fine shot, a bold equestrian, an untiring marcher, an adept at most games and sports? — a kindness and sweetness of disposition, and a thoughtfulness for the happiness and well-being of all around him, very rare in great men of the world … Theodore Roosevelt was not only a great naturalist himself, but — what in its ultimate effect was even more important — he set, as President, the fashion in young America for preserving and studying fauna and flora until he had gone far to create a new phase of religion. Under his influence young men whose fathers and grandfathers had only studied the Bible, the sacred writings of the post-exilic Jews and Graeco-Syrian Christians, now realised that they had spread before them a far more wonderful Bible, the book of the earth itself. Geology, palaeontology, zoology, botany, ethnology, were part of Roosevelt’s religion.

From Nature 16 January 1919

Nature 565, 303 (2019)

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