James Watt FRS FRSE

Scottish inventor, mechanical engineer, and chemist James Watt FRS FRSE was born 30 January 1736 (19 January 1736 OS in Greenock, Renfrewshire. His father was a shipwright, ship owner and contractor, and served as the town’s chief baillie,while his mother, Agnes Muirhead, came from a well educated distinguished family. Watt’s grandfather, Thomas Watt, was a mathematics teacher and baillie to the Baron of Cartsburn. Watt did not attend school regularly; initially he was mostly schooled at home by his mother but later he attended Greenock Grammar School. He exhibited great manual dexterity, engineering skills and an aptitude for mathematics, but is said to have suffered prolonged bouts of ill-health as a child.

When he was eighteen, his mother died and his father’s health began to fail. Watt travelled to London to study instrument-making for a year, then returned to Scotland, settling in Glasgow intent on setting up his own instrument-making business. He made and repaired brass reflecting quadrants, parallel rulers, scales, parts for telescopes, and barometers, among other things. However Because he had not served at least seven years as an apprentice, the Glasgow Guild of Hammermen (which had jurisdiction over any artisans using hammers) blocked his application, despite there being no other mathematical instrument makers in Scotland. However the arrival of astronomical instruments, bequeathed by Alexander Macfarlane to the University of Glasgow which required expert handling, Allowed Watt to bypass this stalemate. These instruments were eventually installed in the Macfarlane Observatory. He was offered the opportunity to set up a small workshop within the university by two of the professors, the physicist and chemist Joseph Black and Adam Smith. At first he worked on maintaining and repairing scientific instruments used in the university, helping with demonstrations, and expanding the production of quadrants. In 1759 he formed a partnership with John Craig, an architect and businessman, to manufacture and sell a line of products including musical instruments and toys. This partnership lasted for the next six years, and employed up to sixteen workers.

While working as an instrument maker at the University of Glasgow, Watt became interested in the technology of steam engines After noticing the steam from a boiling kettle forced the lid to move. His friend, John Robison, then suggested steam could be used as a source of motive power. He realized that contemporary steam engine designs wasted a great deal of energy by repeatedly cooling and reheating the cylinder. Watt introduced a design enhancement, the separate condenser, which avoided this waste of energy and radically improved the power, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness of steam engines. Eventually he adapted his engine to produce rotary motion, greatly broadening its use beyond pumping water. Watt dramatically improved on the efficiency of Thomas Newcomen’s 1712 Newcomen steam engine with his Watt steam engine in 1781, which was fundamental to the changes brought by the Industrial Revolution in both his native Great Britain and the rest of the world.

The design of the Newcomen engine, in use for almost 50 years for pumping water from mines, had hardly changed from its first implementation. Watt began to experiment with steam, though he had never seen an operating steam engine. He tried constructing a model.  He realised the importance of latent heat—the thermal energy released or absorbed during a constant-temperature process—in understanding the engine, which, unknown to Watt, his friend Joseph Black had previously discovered some years before. In 1763, Watt was asked to repair a model Newcomen engine belonging to the university. Even after repair, the engine barely worked. After much experimentation, Watt demonstrated that about three-quarters of the thermal energy of the steam was being wasted heating the engine cylinder on every cycle. Watt decided to condense the steam in a separate chamber apart from the piston, and to maintain the temperature of the cylinder at the same temperature as the injected steam by surrounding it with a “steam jacket.Thus very little energy was absorbed by the cylinder on each cycle, making more available to perform useful work. Sadly Watt had financial difficulties constructing a full scale engine to demonstrate his findings. Luckily backing came from John Roebuck, the founder of the celebrated Carron Iron Works near Falkirk, with whom he now formed a partnership. Roebuck lived at Kinneil House in Bo’ness, during which time Watt worked at perfecting his steam engine, however the Piston and cylinder could not be manufactured with sufficient precision. Watt also worked first as a surveyor, then as a civil engineer for eight years to finance his work. Sadly

Sadly Roebuck went bankrupt, however salvation came in the form of Matthew Boulton, who owned the Soho Manufactory works near Birmingham, and acquired his patent rights. Through Boulton, Watt finally had access to some of the best iron workers in the world.  The difficulty of the manufacture of a large cylinder with a tightly fitting piston was solved by John Wilkinson, who had developed precision boring techniques for cannon making at Bersham, near Wrexham, North Wales. Watt and Boulton formed a hugely successful partnership (Boulton and Watt) which lasted for the next twenty-five years.In 1776, the first engines were installed and working in commercial enterprises. These first engines were used to power pumps and produced only reciprocating motion to move the pump rods at the bottom of the shaft. The design was commercially successful, and for the next five years Watt installed more engines, mostly in Cornwall for pumping water out of mines. These early engines were not manufactured by Boulton and Watt, but were made by others according to drawings made by Watt, who served in the role of consulting engineer. The field of application for the invention was greatly widened when Boulton urged Watt to convert the reciprocating motion of the piston to produce rotational power for grinding, weaving and milling. Although a crank seemed the obvious solution to the conversion Watt and Boulton were stymied by a patent for this, whose holder, James Pickard, and associates proposed to cross-license the external condenser. Watt adamantly opposed this and they circumvented the patent by their sun and planet gear in 1781.

Watt made a number of other improvements and modifications to the steam engine. Such as A double acting engine, in which the steam acted alternately on the two sides of the piston. He also described methods for working the steam “expansively” (i.e., using steam at pressures well above atmospheric). He designed A compound engine, which connected two or more engines, a steam indicator which prevented these primative boilers from exploding and parallel motion which was essential in double-acting engines as it produced the straight line motion required for the cylinder rod and pump, from the connected rocking beam, whose end moves in a circular arc. He also created a throttle valve to control the power of the engine, and a centrifugal governor, all of which made his Steam Engines far more efficient than the Newcomen Engine. In order to minimaze the risk of exploding boilers, Watt restricted his use of high pressure steam and all of his engines used steam at near atmospheric pressure. Watt entered a partnership with Matthew Boulton in 1775. The new firm of Boulton and Watt was eventually highly successful and Watt became a wealthy man.

Watt retired in 1800, the same year that his fundamental patent and partnership with Boulton expired. The famous partnership was transferred to the men’s sons, Matthew Robinson Boulton and James Watt Jr. Watt continued to invent other things before and during his semi-retirement though none was as significant as his steam engine work. He invented and constructed several machines for copying sculptures and medallions. He maintained his interest in civil engineering and was a consultant on several significant projects. He proposed, for example, a method for constructing a flexible pipe to be used for pumping water under the Clyde at Glasgow. He and his second wife travelled to France and Germany, and he purchased an estate in mid-Wales at Doldowlod House, one mile south of Llanwrthwl. In 1816 he took a trip on the paddle-steamer Comet, a product of his inventions, to revisit his home town of Greenock. James Watt’s improvements to the steam engine converted it from a prime mover of marginal efficiency into the mechanical workhorse of the Industrial Revolution. The availability of efficient, reliable motive power made whole new classes of industry economically viable, and altered the economies of continents. This brought about immense social change, attracting millions of rural families to the towns and cities.

English novelist Aldous Huxley (1894–1963) wrote of Watt; “To us, the moment 8:17 A.M. means something – something very important, if it happens to be the starting time of our daily train. To our ancestors, such an odd eccentric instant was without significance – did not even exist. In inventing the locomotive, Watt and Stephenson were part inventors of time.”

Watt Sadly died on 25 August 1819 at his home “Heathfield” in Handsworth, Staffordshire (now part of Birmingham) at the age of 83. He was buried on 2 September in the graveyard of St Mary’s Church, Handsworth. However he received many honours for his pioneering work during his lifetime. In 1784 he was made a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and was elected as a member of the Batavian Society for Experimental Philosophy, of Rotterdam in 1787. In 1789 he was elected to the elite group, the Smeatonian Society of Civil Engineers. In 1806 he was conferred the honorary Doctor of Laws by the University of Glasgow. The French Academy elected him a Corresponding Member and he was made a Foreign Associate in 1814. The watt is named after James Watt for his contributions to the development of the steam engine, and was adopted by the Second Congress of the British Association for the Advancement of Science in 1889 and by the 11th General Conference on Weights and Measures in 1960 as the unit of power incorporated in the International System of Units (or “SI”).Boulton and Watt also feature on a Bank of England £50 note. the two industrialists pictured side by side with images of Watt’s steam engine and Boulton’s Soho Manufactory. Quotes attributed to each of the men are inscribed on the note: “I sell here, sir, what all the world desires to have—POWER” (Boulton) and “I can think of nothing else but this machine” (Watt). In 2011 he was one of seven inaugural inductees to the Scottish Engineering Hall of Fame.

Jenson Button MBE

Formula One racing Driver Jenson Button MBE was born 19 January 1980. He is currently signed to McLaren, and was the 2009 World Drivers’ Champion. He began karting at the age of eight and achieved early success, before progressing to car racing in the British Formula Ford Championship and the British Formula Three Championship. He first drove in Formula One with the Williams team for the 2000 season. The following year he switched to Benetton, which in 2002 became Renault F1, and then for the 2003 season he moved to BAR. They were subsequently renamed Honda for the 2006 season, during which Button won his first Grand Prix in Hungary, after 113 races.

Following the withdrawal of Honda from the sport in December 2008, he was left without a drive for the 2009 season, until Ross Brawn led a management buyout of the team in February 2009, and Button suddenly found himself in a highly competitive, Mercedes-engined car. He went on to win a record-equalling six of the first seven races of the 2009 season, and secured the 2009 World Drivers’ Championship at the Brazilian Grand Prix, having led on points all season; his success also helped Brawn GP to secure the World Constructors’ Championship. For 2010, he moved to McLaren, partnering fellow British racer and former world champion Lewis Hamilton. After finishing fifth for the team in 2010, Button finished the 2011 season as runner-up to World Champion Sebastian Vettel.

Button remained at McLaren for the 2012 season, again partnering Hamilton. Button qualified second to Hamilton, Winning the 2012 Australian Grand Prix And went on to qualify second to Hamilton at the following race in Malaysia, eventually finishing14th after a collision with the HRT of Narain Karthikeyan.bButton finished second in the Chinese Grand Prix two weeks later. Button qualified fourth behind his team mate Lewis Hamilton at the 2012 Bahrain Grand Prix Button, But and retired on lap 55 due to an exhaust failure. Button qualified in 11th position At the 2012 Spanish Grand Prix Button qualified in 11th and finished 3rd at the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim but was later promoted to second after Sebastian Vettel was penalised. He started in Pole Position for the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa Francorchamps eventually winning after leading the whole race. He qualifies second at the Italian Grand Prix in Monza, but retired. Button qualified in fourth position for the Singapore Grand Prix, eventually finishing second behind Vettel and qualified third for the Japanese Grand Prix but received a five place penalty starting Eighth eventually finishing fourth behind Kabui Kobayashi. Button retired from the Korean Grand Prix after colliding with Kobiyashi and Nico Rosberg. Button finished fifth at the Indian Grand Prix, behind team-mate Hamilton and fourth atheist Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Button won the Brazillian Grand Prix after Lewis Hamilton and Nico Hülkenberg collided, and finished fifth in the Championship.

In 2013 Button announced his intention to stay with McLaren until his retirement, partnering Mexican driver Sergio Perez, and finished ninth at the Australian Grand Prix. He sadly retired form the Malaysian Grand Prix. Button finished Forth at the Brazilian Grand Prix after a disappointing season. Danish driver Kevin Magnussen replaced Sergio Perez for the 2014 season. For 2014 The rules changed enabling drivers to pick a car number lasting for their Formula One career. Button picked number 22 which was the car number he raced under during his World Championship winning year for Brawn GP in 2009. Button finished the Australian Grand Prix in 4th place being promoted to third after Daniel Ricciardo was disqualified for rule-breaking. He went on to finish the season Eighth in in Drivers Championship. Button stayed with McLaren for the 2015 Season.

Robert Palmer

Award-winning English singer-songwriter Robert Palmer was born 19 January, 1949 in Batley, Yorkshire. He was known for his distinctive voice and the eclectic mix of musical styles on his albums, combining soul, jazz, rock, pop, reggae and blues. He found success both in his solo career and in the musical act Power Station, and had Top 10 songs in both the US and the UK. His iconic music videos by Terence Donovan for the hits “Simply Irresistible” and “Addicted to Love”, featured identically dressed dancing women with pale faces, dark eye makeup and bright red lipstick, which resembled the women in the art of Patrick Nagel, an artist popular in the 1980s. Sharp-suited, his involvement in the music industry commenced in the 1960s, covered five decades and included a spell with Vinegar Joe.

He released his first album “Pressure Drop” in 1975, which infused with his interests in reggae and rock music. In 1978, he released Double Fun, a collection of Caribbean-influenced rock. Palmer’s next album was an artistic departure, concentrating on pure rock, 1979′s Secrets produced his second Top 20 single “Bad Case of Loving You (Doctor, Doctor)”.The 1980s saw Palmer find an increasing amount of commercial success with his next album Clues, which contained the synth pop stylings of New Wave and gave him much needed exposure to a younger audience. The album contained the singles “Looking for Clues” and “Some Guys Have All the Luck”. In April 1983 Pride was released, which not as commercially successful as Clues did feature the title song and Palmer’s cover of The System’s “You Are In My System”. later that year Palmer also performed at Duran Duran’s charity concert at Aston Villa football ground where he struck up friendships with members of Duran Duran which would spawn the supergroup Power Station, and The subsequent album spawned two hit singles “Some Like It Hot” and a cover of the T.Rex song “Get It On (Bang a Gong)”

In 1985 Palmer recorded the album Riptide which featured the single “Addicted to Love“. which has a memorable and much-parodied music video, directed by Terence Donovan, and In 1987, he won the Grammy Award for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance for “Addicted to Love”.The album also contained The singles “Hyperactive!” and his cover of Cherrelle’s “I Didn’t Mean to Turn You On”. In 1987 Palmer set up his own recording studio and released Heavy Nova in 1988, Palmer again returned to experimenting, this time with bossa nova rhythms, heavy rock and white-soul balladeering.

He repeated his previous success of “Addicted to Love” with the video of “Simply Irresistible“, again with a troupe of female “musicians”. The ballad “She Makes My Day” also proved to be a hit in the UK. In 1989, he won a second Grammy for “Simply Irresistible” which would later be featured in the Tony Award winning musical Contact. Rolling Stone magazine voted Palmer the best-dressed rock star for 1990. The same year Palmer expanded his range even further for his next album, Don’t Explain, which featured the Bob Dylan penned single “I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight”, in a collaboration with UB40. Marvin Gaye cover “Mercy Mercy Me”. Throughout the 1990s, Palmer ventured further into diverse material and his 1992 album Ridin’ High was a tribute to the Tin Pan Alley era. Sadly Palmer, who was a heavy smoker, died in Paris, France, from a heart attack on 26 September 2003 at the age of 54. He was survived by his parents, Leslie and Anna Palmer, his girlfriend Geraldine Edwards, his brother, Mark Palmer, and his children, James, Jane, Anthony, Anna and Martin.

Dolly Parton

Often referred to as “The Queen of Country Music,” The American singer-songwriter, author, multi-instrumentalist, actress and philanthropist Dolly Parton was born January 19 in 1946. Aside from singing Country Music she has also appeared in many movies such as 9 to 5, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Steel Magnolias and Straight Talk and is one of the most successful female country artists of all time.Dolly Parton was born in Sevierville, Tennessee, and began performing as a child, singing on local radio and television programs in the Eastern Tennessee area.

By age nine, she was appearing on The Cas Walker Show on both WIVK Radio and WBIR-TV in Knoxville, Tennessee. At thirteen, she recorded the single “Puppy Love”, on a small Louisiana label, Goldband Records, and appeared at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee.It was at the Opry where she first met Johnny Cash who encouraged her to go where her heart took her, and not to care what others thought. The day after she graduated from high school in 1964, Parton moved to Nashville taking many traditional elements of folklore and popular music from East Tennessee with her. Parton’s initial success came as a songwriter, writing two top ten hits with her uncle Bill Owens: Bill Phillips’s “Put it Off Until Tomorrow” and Skeeter Davis’ 1967 hit “Fuel to the Flame”. She also wrote a minor chart hit for Hank Williams Jr during this period. She had signed with Monument Records in late 1965, where she was initially pitched as a bubblegum pop singer, earning only one national-chart single, “Happy, Happy Birthday Baby,” . The label agreed to let Parton sing country music after her composition, “Put It Off Until Tomorrow,” as recorded by Bill Phillips went to number six on the country music charts in 1966. Her first country single, “Dumb Blonde” reached number twenty-four on the country music charts in 1967, followed the same year with “Something Fishy,” which went to number seventeen. The two songs anchored her first full-length album, Hello, I’m Dolly.

In 1967, country entertainer Porter Wagoner invited Parton to join his organization, offering her a regular spot on his weekly syndicated television program The Porter Wagoner Show. He encouraged Dolly to sign to his label, RCA Victor. RCA released her first single as a duet with Wagoner. That song, “The Last Thing on My Mind,” was released in late 1967, reached the country top ten in January 1968, launching a six-year streak of virtually uninterrupted top ten singles for the pair. Parton’s first solo single for RCA, “Just Because I’m a Woman,” was released in 1968 and was a moderate chart hit. For the remainder of the decade, none of her solo efforts were as successful as her duets with Wagoner. The duo were named Vocal Group of the Year in 1968 by the Country Music Association. in February 1971,

For the next two years, she had a number of solo hits including her first number-one single, “Joshua.” and her signature song “Coat of Many Colors”, in addition to her duets she had successful singles, including “Jolene”. which was eleased in 1973 and topped the singles chart in February 1974, reaching No. 7 in the UK in 1976. From 1974 to 1980, she consistently charted in the country Top 10, with no fewer than eight singles reaching number one, and she also had her own syndicated-television variety show, Dolly! (1976–1977). It was also during this period that Parton began to embark on a high profile crossover campaign, attempting to aim her music in a more mainstream direction outside country music.

In Her 1976 album All I Can Do, Parton began taking more of an active role in production, and began specifically aiming her music in a more mainstream, pop direction. Her first entirely self-produced effort, 1977′s New Harvest … First Gathering, highlighted Parton’s pop sensibilities and contained covers of the pop and R&B classics “My Girl” and “Higher and Higher”. In 1978 Parton won a Grammy Award for Best Female Country Vocal Performance for her Here You Come Again album. She continued to have hits with “Heartbreaker” (1978), “Baby I’m Burning” and “You’re the Only One” (both 1979), all of which charted in the pop singles Top 40, and all of which also topped the country-singles chart.

Parton’s commercial success continued to grow during 1980, with three number-one hits in a row: the Donna Summer-written “Starting Over Again”, “Old Flames Can’t Hold a Candle to You”, and “9 to 5,” which topped the country and pop charts in early 1981 and was the theme song to the feature film Nine to Five (1980) in which Parton starred alongside Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin. Parton’s singles continued to appear consistently in the country Top 10 between 1981 and 1985. She also explored new business and entertainment ventures such as her Dollywood theme park, that opened in 1986 in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. By the mid-1980s, her record sales were still relatively strong, in 1987 she released the album Trio (1987) to critical acclaim. The album spent five weeks at number one on Billboard’s Country Albumschart. Throughout the 1980′s 90′s and 2000 ownwards Dolly has continue to enjoy ongoing success.

As well as her Successful Business Ventures, such as Dollywood, her many televison and film appearances and her varied charity work, she has also won many awards and honours, including eight Grammy Awards and a total of 45 Grammy Award nominations, At the 2011 Grammies she was given a Lifetime Achievement Award and at the American Music Awards she has won three awards, At the Country Music Association, she has received 10 awards and At the Academy of Country Music, she won seven awards and is one of only six female artists (including Reba McEntire, Barbara Mandrell, Shania Twain, Loretta Lynn, and Taylor Swift), to win the Country Music Association’s highest honor, Entertainer of the Year.

She has also been nominated for two Academy Awards and a Tony Award. She was also awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Recording in 1984. Dolly wasalso inducted into the Grand Ole Opry in 1969, and in 1986 was named one of Ms. Magazine’s Women of the Year. In 1999, Parton received country music’s highest honor, an induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame. She received an honorary doctorate degree from Carson-Newman College (Jefferson City, Tennessee) in 1990. This was followed by induction into the National Academy of Popular Music/Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2001. In 2002, Parton ranked number four in CMT’s 40 Greatest Women of Country Music. On December 3, 2006, Parton received the Kennedy Center Honors from the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts for her lifetime of contributions to the arts. On November 16, 2010, Parton accepted the Liseberg Applause Award, the theme park industry’s most prestigious honor, on behalf of Dollywood theme park during a ceremony held at IAAPA Attractions Expo 2010 in Orlando.

She is also a keen conservationist and In 2003, her efforts to preserve the bald eagle through the American Eagle Foundation’s sanctuary at Dollywood earned her the Partnership Award from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Parton also received the Woodrow Wilson Award for Public Service from the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars of the Smithsonian Institution at a ceremony in Nashville on November 8, 2007. For her work in literacy, Parton has received various other awards including: Association of American Publishers – AAP Honors Award in 2000, Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval in 2001, American Association of School Administrators – Galaxy Award in 2002, National State Teachers of the Year – Chasing Rainbows Award in 2002 and the Parents as Teachers National Center – Child and Family Advocacy Award in 2003.

Paul Cézanne

Prolific French Post-Impressionist painter Paul Cézanne was Born 19th January 1839 in Aix-en-Provence, France, At the age of ten Paul entered the Saint Joseph school, where he studied drawing under Joseph Gibert, a Spanish monk, in Aix. In 1852 Cézanne entered the Collège Bourbon (now Collège Mignet), where he met and became friends with Émile Zola, who was in a less advanced class, as well as Baptistin Baille—three friends who would come to be known as “les trois inséparables” (the three inseparables). He stayed there for six years. From 1858 to 1861, complying with his father’s wishes, Cézanne attended the law school of the University of Aix, while also receiving drawing lessons. Hhe committed himself to pursuing his artistic development and left Aix for Paris in 1861, encouraged by Zola, who was already living in the capital at the time. In Paris, Cézanne met the Impressionist Camille Pissarro and Over the course of the following decade they went on many landscape painting excursions together, in Louveciennes and Pontoise.Cézanne’s early work is often concerned with the figure in the landscape and includes many paintings of groups of large, heavy figures in the landscape, imaginatively painted.

Later in his career, he became more interested in working from direct observation and gradually developed a light, airy painting style, but was also interested in the simplification of naturally occurring forms to their geometric essentials.Additionally, Cézanne’s desire to capture the truth of perception led him to explore binocular vision graphically, rendering slightly different, yet simultaneous visual perceptions of the same phenomena to provide the viewer with a different aesthetic experience of depth than those of earlier ideals of perspective, in particular single-point perspective. Cézanne’s paintings were shown in the first exhibition of the Salon des Refusés in 1863, which displayed works not accepted by the jury of the official Paris Salon. Although in 1882 he exhibited Portrait of Louis-Auguste Cézanne, Father of the Artist, reading ‘l’Evénement his first and last successful submission to the Salon. Cézanne exhibited twice at the first Impressionist exhibition in 1874 and the third Impressionist exhibition in 1877). a few individual paintings were also shown at various venues, until 1895 when he had his first solo exhibition. He concentrated on a few subjects and was equally proficient in each of these genres: still lifes, portraits, landscapes and studies of bathers.

His work laid the foundations of the transition from the 19th century conception of artistic endeavour to a new and radically different world of art in the 20th century. Cézanne can be said to form the bridge between late 19th century Impressionism and the early 20th century’s new line of artistic enquiry, Cubism. Both Matisse and Picasso considered Cézanne “ the father of us all”. Cézanne’s often repetitive, exploratory brushstrokes are highly characteristic and clearly recognizable. He used planes of colour and small brushstrokes that build up to form complex fields. The paintings convey Cézanne’s intense study of his subjects. Cezanne sadly passed away, on 22nd October 1906 after he was caught in a rain storm for two hours while painting in a nearby field and contracted pneumonia. He is buried at the old cemetery in his beloved hometown of Aix-en-Provence.

Edgar Allan Poe

American author, poet, editor and literary critic Edgar Allan Poe was born January 19, 1809 in Boston, Massachusetts. He was orphaned young when his mother died shortly after his father abandoned the family & was taken in by John and Frances Allan, of Richmond, Virginia, but they never formally adopted him. He attended the University of Virginia for one semester but left due to lack of money. After enlisting in the Army and later failing as an officer’s cadet at West Point, Poe parted ways with the Allans’. His publishing career began humbly, with an anonymous collection of poems, Tamerlane and Other Poems (1827), credited only to “a Bostonian”. Poe switched his focus to prose and spent the next several years working for literary journals and periodicals, becoming known for his own style of literary criticism. His work forced him to move among several cities, including Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York City. In Baltimore in 1835, he married Virginia Clemm, his 13-year-old cousin.

In January 1845 Poe published his poem, “The Raven”, which tells of a talking raven’s mysterious visit to a distraught lover, who is lamenting the loss of his love, Lenore and it traces the man’s slow descent into madness. The poem has a supernatural atmosphere and also makes use of a number of folk and classical references and became a huge success. Poe claimed to have written the poem very logically and methodically, intending to create a poem that would appeal to both critical and popular tastes, as he explained in his 1846 follow-up essay “The Philosophy of Composition”. The poem was inspired in part by a talking raven in the novel Barnaby Rudge: A Tale of the Riots of ‘Eighty by Charles Dickens. Its publication made Poe widely popular in his lifetime, although it did not bring him much financial success. Soon reprinted, parodied, and illustrated, critical opinion is divided as to the poem’s status, but it nevertheless remains one of the most famous poems ever written. He began planning to produce his own journal, The Penn (later renamed The Stylus).

Tragically Edgar Allan Poe he sadly passed away On October 7, 1849, at age 40 in Baltimore; the cause of his death is unknown and has been variously attributed to alcohol, brain congestion, cholera, drugs, heart disease, rabies, suicide, tuberculosis, and other agents. Nevertheless Poe made a lasting impression and is considered part of the American Romantic Movement and is remebered for his tales of mystery and the macabre, Poe was one of the earliest American practitioners of the short story and is considered the inventor of the detective fiction genre. He is further credited with contributing to the emerging genre of science fiction.and his works influenced literature in the United States and around the world, as well as in specialized fields, such as cosmology and cryptography. Poe and his work appear throughout popular culture in literature, music, films, and television. A number of his homes are dedicated museums today. The Mystery Writers of America present an annual award known as the Edgar Award for distinguished work in the mystery genre. The award is named after this author. Many of Edgar Allan Poe’s macabre stories have also been adapted for stage, silver screen and television numerous times and his novels remain popular.