In a time marked by immense scientific progress, it is easy to forget the smaller things that paved the way for such discoveries. Take the blackberry for example. Though it may be seen as a mere fruit today, this incredible berry was responsible for aiding in some of the most significant breakthroughs of its time. From early medicinal uses to its influence on one of history’s most celebrated mathematicians, the blackberry played a pivotal role in scientific discovery during what is now referred to as the “Golden Age.”
Though small in size, the blackberry made a big impact during the Golden Age of Scientific Discovery. This impact is first seen in its medicinal uses. At a time when medicines were not nearly as effective or advanced as they are today, blackberries were often used as a home remedy for a number of ailments including colds, diarrhea, and even cancer. While these claims have not been backed by modern science, many believe that the high vitamin C content in blackberries helped to boost immunity and fight infection during this time.
In addition to its medicinal uses, the blackberry also influenced one of history’s most celebrated mathematicians. When mathematician Pierre-Simon Laplace was working on his groundbreaking work Mécanique Céleste, he reportedly ate so many blackberries that his hands stained purple from their juice. It is said that this inspired him to use purple ink when writing out his equations, which helped him to better visualize his work and ultimately led to his success.
Though often forgotten, the blackberry played an important role in scientific discovery during what is now referred to as the Golden Age. From its early medicinal uses to its influence on one of history’s most celebrated mathematicians, this incredible berry left its mark on an era that would change the world forever.
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