If you could travel back in time thousands of years, you’d find that astrology and astronomy were once closely connected fields of study. Early astronomers in ancient civilizations were often also astrologers, observing the position and movements of the sun, moon, planets and stars to make predictions about earthly events. Throughout this history, astrologers developed complex systems that associated celestial happenings with human affairs and natural events.
Through important developments in modern science, we no longer regard astrology as a legitimate science. However, many people still enjoy making connections to these ancient predictions and considering what celestial bodies might forecast for our future. We can explore astrology today through the 12 zodiac signs (or star signs) that bear the name of their respective constellations and are assigned to us based on our birthdays.
September and star signs include Virgo and Libra, each with their own symbols and characteristics. If your birthday falls within these zodiac dates, you share a sign with some of the extraordinary innovators below, each one a National Inventors Hall of Fame® Inductee. Read on to check them out!
In Latin, Virgo means “maiden.” Historically represented by the goddess of wheat and agriculture, this sign is often associated with persistence and a drive to improve skills and knowledge through diligence and consistent practice. If you were born between Aug. 23 and Sept. 22, you share a star sign with these loyal and hardworking world-class inventors:
Born on Aug. 24, 1885, Elizabeth Lee Hazen created the first useful antifungal antibiotic with co-inventor and fellow Hall of Famer Rachel Brown through long-distance scientific collaboration. As researchers for the New York State Department of Health, the pair shared tests and samples between New York City and Albany through the U.S. mail, proving the power of teamwork. They named their antibiotic “nystatin,” and it would go on to cure numerous fungal infections as well as balance the effects of antibacterial drugs.
Born on Aug. 28, 1919, Godfrey Hounsfield developed computer-assisted tomography, better known as CAT scanning. Designed through his understanding of electronics and radar, this improved form of diagnostic imaging creates 3D images that help us to understand the internal functions of the human head. Still widely used today, CAT scanners revolutionized medical care by providing physicians with valuable patient information without the need for exploratory surgery.
Paul Terasaki, born on Sept. 10, 1929, transformed the field of transplantation science with his work in organ matching. He invented a tissue-typing test that became an international standard for matching potential organ donors with recipients. His procedure, used for kidney, heart, liver, pancreas, lung and bone marrow donors and recipients, was the most common method of HLA antibody screening for decades. His developments greatly contributed to the success of organ transplants, in addition to his founding of the first kidney transplant registry.
Libra is Latin for “balance” and represented by scales that reflect stability and harmony. This sign has connections with a desire to create equilibrium in all areas of life. If your birthday falls between Sept. 23 and Oct. 22, you share a star sign with these well-balanced, influential inventors:
Born on Oct. 10, 1892, Earle Dickson invented what would become a staple in first-aid kits and bathroom cabinets everywhere – BAND-AID® Brand Adhesive Bandages. Creating a practical solution to an everyday problem, his work resulted in the first commercial dressing for small wounds that could be applied with ease. The first BAND-AID® Brand Adhesive Bandages were handmade, measuring 18 inches long and 2.5 inches wide with a center inch-wide strip of gauze. Improvements soon followed that brought about the size and style we’re familiar with today.
Born on Oct. 8, 1872, Mary Engle Pennington was a pioneer in the safe preservation, handling, storage and transportation of perishable foods. A chemist, scientist and engineer, she devoted her career to studying refrigeration and how it could be applied to food freshness. She worked at what is now known as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), developing standards for the safe processing of chicken and milk, and her work made a major impact on the health and well-being of generations of Americans.
Born on Oct. 21, 1833, in Stockholm, Sweden, Alfred Nobel is the inventor of dynamite and is credited with numerous other advancements in the field of explosives, making mining, railroad building and other construction safer, cheaper and more efficient. He earned patents for 355 inventions in different countries in the fields of electrochemistry, optics, biology and physiology. Most notably, he willed the bulk of his fortune to The Nobel Foundation, which awards prizes annually for advancements in Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, Literature and Peace.
Stay tuned as we feature other zodiac signs on our blog! For more exceptional stories about our visionary Hall of Famers, you’re invited to visit our website.