Dry cleaning is the process of cleaning fabrics without water. Special solvents and soaps are used so as not to harm fabrics. The practice began in France in the middle of the 19th century, after a dye-works owner noticed that his tablecloth became cleaner after his maid spilled kerosene on it. Early solvents were extremely flammable and led to many fires and explosions. Newer chlorinated hydrocarbon synthetic solvents, such as perchlorethylene, are nonflammable but pose what other dangers?
Jerome K. Jerome
Back in the day
On March 3, 1513, Ponce de LeÃ³n set out from Puerto Rico and sailed NE through the Bahamas. He sighted the Florida peninsula, which he took to be an island, late in March and landed near the site of St. Augustine early in April. His arrival coincided with the Easter feast, Pascua Florida, which is probably why he named the land he claimed for Spain "La Florida." What is thought to be the source of the claim that Ponce de LeÃ³n was searching for the Fountain of Youth?
Born on a day like today
Ernst was a German painter who joined the Dada movement in Paris after WWI and became a founder of surrealism. A note of whimsy often characterizes his dreamlike landscapes, while other works reveal an allegorical imagination. Ernst developed the medium of collage and other devices to express his vision. In frottage, he rubbed black chalk on paper held against materials like wood and fabric to achieve bizarre effects. He also pioneered grattage, which is a technique consisting of what?