Rasmus Malling-Hansen - Timeline

Rasmus Malling-Hansen, photo from the Heiberg Museum in Sogndal, Norway

1835: Born in Hunseby, Denmark, as the first son of Johan Frederik Hansen and Juliane Hansen, born Matzen

1839: His father dies of typhoid fever, and the mother and her Three sons moves in with schoolteacher Rasmus Malling's family, and he becomes the boys' fosterfather

1850: Confirmation in Hunseby

1850-52: Trained to be a painter

1852-54: Student at the Jonstrup Teachers seminarium

1854-55: Teacher in Maglemer old school, Hunseby and private teacher at Knuthenborg and in the home of the minister in Hunseby     

1855-58: Own studies

1858-59: Student of theology at the University in Copenhagen

1859-61: Teacher at the Royal Institute for the deaf-mutes in Copenhagen

1861-62: Student - theology

1862-64: Teacher and later headmaster at the Royal Institute for the deaf-mutes in Schlesvig

1865: Final University examination

          Married to Cathrine Georgia Heiberg, 1841-1876

          Experimenting with the placement of the letters on a keyboard made of


1865-90: Principal at the Royal Institute for the deaf-mutes in Copenhagen

1866: First daughter: Juliane

1867: The official date of the invention of the writing ball. Probably it was the

          table model that was built as the first specimen.

1868: Second daughter: Engelke

            Went on a study tour around Europe to make researches about

            new methods and ways of organizing the teaching of the deaf

1869: Third daughter: Emma

           According to some sources the writing ball was exhibited in Altona either

           in the official exhibition or in the locals of a bussiness associale.

1870: Fourth daughter: Zarah

          First patent on the writing ball. Presentation of the box model to the press   

          in Denmark.

1871: New models of the writig ball: Open model with cylinder and ditto with flat

          flat carriage.

          The writing ball was exhibited at the South Kensington Exhibition in London.

1872: Invention of the Takygraf and the Xerografi

            First prize medal at the Scandinavian exhibition in Copenhagen

            Danish merit medal in gold for the invention of the writing ball

1873: Fifth daughter: Johanne 

            The Vortschritts medal - first prize at the World Exhibition in Vienna

            Austrian Goldmedal "pro literus et artibus"

1874: Sixth daughter: Karen

1875: Seventh daughter: Marie

          New model of the writing ball; the tall model without an electromagnetic


          Participated at the Yorkshire Exhibition in Leeds

1876: The death of his first wife: Cathrine Georgia Heiberg

           Knight of the Swedish Vasa order

           Elected as chairman on a large Internordic School Meeting in


           First prize medal at the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia.

1877: Starts a project of systematicly measurings of the hight of a group of children at the Institute to check if their fysical development is satisfactory

1878: New model of the writing ball; now with a colour ribbon

          First prize medal at the World exhibition in Paris

1880: Marriage to his second wife; Anna, born Steenstrup(1842-1897)

          Knight of the Danebrog, Denmark

          New model of the writing ball - developed by the mecanic Lyngbye - now 

          with a paper platen. 

1882-1883: Systematicly weighings on large weights several times every day of a large group of children at the Institute, to do researches about the development of their weight.

1883: Published the first report from his studies of the growth and encrease in weight of children, called Fragment I: Om Periodicitet af Børns Vægt.

1884: Lecture at an international science congress in Copenhagen, about the variations in the growth of children. Publication of Fragment II:

T ä g l i c h e   W ä g u n g e n  der 130 Zöglingedes Königlichen Taubstummen-Instituts in Kopenhagen.

1886: Publication of his book on the same topic, called Fragment III in Danish and German: Periods in Children´s Weight and the Heat of the Sun

1888: Receives the first prize medal at the Art and Industry exhibition in Copenhagen

Member and secretary of a public commettee - writes the final proposals of the commettee, concerning the organization of the teacing of the deaf-mutes in Denmark

1890: Seriously ill from a heart desease

1890: Lecture at an internordic teachers conference in Copenhagen about the development of the teaching of the deaf mutes

1890: Speech at the 100 years anniversary of the Jonstrup tachers seminar

1890: Dies of a heart attack


Oslo, 26.11.06

Sverre Avnskog