Christmas and New Year’s Message from the President
Dear members and friends of the International Rasmus Malling-Hansen Society!
Denmark is presently experiencing a surge of interest in historical matters, with a particular focus on the mid 19th century, - the period of emerging democracy, scientific discoveries and industrialism. This was also very much the most important period of Rasmus Malling-Hansen’s life: Particularly from 1865, when he was nominated principal of the Royal Institute for the Deaf-Mute and also started working on the keyboard of his first prototype of the writing ball. Those of us who have seen his brilliant placement of the letters deplore the fact that the competitors in the market – Remington and others – chose a completely different placement (Qwerty). Since then billions of people all over the world have had to live with this – and to type considerably slower, and more awkwardly, than they would have done with the Malling-Hansen system.
While his genius in this area is evident to all connaisseurs of writing/typing devices, evidence is gradually also growing about Malling-Hansen’s ground-breaking contributions in the field of research into the physical growth of the child as related to influences of the Sun (or other celestial bodies). Last year the German version of his 1886 Magnus Opus: ”Periods in the Growth of Children and Solar Heat” Fragment III.A. (text) and Fragment III.B. (diagrams) was re-printed by a German company and is now available to purchase on-line.
The Danish version has not been reprinted, however. I am in the process of transcribing this important book, and it will be included on our website early next year.
In March 2015, we will also rejoice in the issue of a Danish stamp featuring one of the most beautiful versions of the writing ball.
2015 marks several Malling-Hansen anniversaries:
- 180 years since he was born (September 5, 1835)
- 150 years since he graduated from uninversity, married Georgia Cathrine Heiberg, started work on his first writing ball and was appointed principal of the Royal, Institute for the Deaf-Mute in Copenhagen
- 125 years since his death (on Sept. 27, 1890)
Our website is continuously growing in quantity and quality. However, much research is yet to be carried out – there are still several Danish public archives which we have not explored and where we are confident that we will find important Malling-Hansen related documentation.
I would like to request members to make sure that you pay our very modest membership fee (40 Euro)for 2015 – it is our only source of income!
And those of you who are friends of the Society – please join us as full members! For details of membership and payment of fees, kindly contact our Treasurer, Lars Mathiesen (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Last, but certainly not least, I would like to wish all members and friends of the International Rasmus Malling-Hansen Society a merry Christmas 2014 and a wonderful new year!
Jørgen Malling Christensen