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John Logie Baird
Baird’s inventions didn’t always work as well as his televisions.

IN 1923, John Logie Baird pressed an old hatbox, a pair of scissors, some darning needles, a handful of lenses taken from bicycle lights, a tea chest, and some glue into service, and made the world’s first working tv set.

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The ‘Ladies’ Diary’
Music: Ann Sheppard Mounsey
A long-lived annual of riddles, rhymes and really hard maths aimed specifically at Georgian Britain’s hidden public of clever women.

THE ‘Ladies’ Diary’, published annually in London from 1704 to 1841, offered an almanack of useful dates, astronomical events, rhyming riddles and readers’ queries, such as

“I should be glad to know, what is the composition of the India rubber; and how and where it is made”.

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Grammar and Composition

Distinguish using sentences: Regular. Frequent.

Use as a noun and also as a verb: Feature. Offer. Name.

Use together in one sentence: Front. Calculus. Rubber.

More games: Confusables. Spinner. Opposites. Verb or Noun? Active or Passive? Subject and Object. Adjectives. Word Classes.

John Dalton
Music: Jan Ladislav Dussek
At fifteen John Dalton was a village schoolmaster in Kendal; at forty he had published the first scientific theory of atoms.

JOHN Dalton, a weaver’s boy, began his teaching career at fifteen, helping his elder brother to run a Quaker school in Kendal. He deepened his education by contributing maths problems to The Ladies’ Diary, and reading scientific works to Kendal’s distinguished natural philosopher John Gough, who was blind, in exchange for lessons in Latin and Greek.

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Grammar and Composition

Distinguish using sentences: Teacher. Lecturer. Professor.

Use as a noun and also as a verb: Pressure. Reward. Post.

Use together in one sentence: Distinguished. Which. Weaver.

More games: Confusables. Spinner. Opposites. Verb or Noun? Active or Passive? Subject and Object. Adjectives. Word Classes.

Alan Blumlein
Music: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Railway enthusiast, music lover, and the man who gave us stereo sound.

IN 1935 Alan Blumlein, an avid railway enthusiast, made a five-minute film of trains running through Hayes in Middlesex.

There was a serious purpose to Blumlein’s subject. A maddening feature of early talkies was that as actors moved around the screen, the sound of their voices and movements appeared rooted to one spot.

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Grammar and Composition

Distinguish using sentences: Till. Until.

Use as a noun and also as a verb: Train. Test. Move.

Use together in one sentence: Technique. Industry. Evolution.

More games: Précis. Sevens. Jigsaw. Confusables. Spinner. Opposites. Verb or Noun? Active or Passive? Subject and Object. Adjectives. Word Classes.

Dr Wollaston
Music: Johann Baptist Cramer
William Hyde Wollaston discovered new elements and helped Faraday to greatness, all from the top of a tea-tray.

AFTER graduating in medicine from Gonville and Caius in 1793, and practising as a rural doctor in Cambridgeshire for a few years, William Wollaston came into family money and settled in London, free to indulge his passion for chemistry.

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Grammar and Composition

Distinguish using sentences: Device. Devise.

Use as a noun and also as a verb: Keep. Close. Draw.

Use together in one sentence: Fortune. Evaporate. Both.

More games: Précis. Sevens. Jigsaw. Confusables. Spinner. Opposites. Verb or Noun? Active or Passive? Subject and Object. Adjectives. Word Classes.

Mr Faraday
Music: Jan Ladislav Dussek
Faraday’s work on electromagnetism made him an architect of modern living, and one of Albert Einstein’s three most revered physicists.

YOUNG Michael Faraday worked in a bookshop, so he had plenty to read. He did not spurn his good fortune, and was especially fascinated by science and electricity.

One customer, the eminent pianist William Dance, spotted Michael’s enthusiasm and sent him tickets to Sir Humphrey Davy’s famous public lectures.

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Grammar and Composition

Distinguish using sentences: Notorious. Famous.

Use as a noun and also as a verb: Read. Process. Spot.

Use together in one sentence: Discover. Discovery. Fortune.

More games: Précis. Sevens. Jigsaw. Confusables. Spinner. Opposites. Verb or Noun? Active or Passive? Subject and Object. Adjectives. Word Classes.