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Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Rubik's Cube

The Rubik's Cube is a 3-D mechanical puzzle invented in 1974 by Hungarian sculptor and professor of architecture Ernő Rubik. It is widely considered to be the world's best-selling toy.

Rubik's actual purpose for coming up with the cube was solving the structural problem of moving the parts independently without the entire mechanism falling apart. He did not realize that he had created a puzzle until he scrambled it the first time. It took Rubik a month to restore his cube to its original set up.

Ernő Rubik applied for a patent for his puzzle on January 30, 1975, and obtained Hungarian patent HU170062 later in the year.

Rubik introduced the toy as the Magic Cube in Hungary, named for his theory of "magic cubology," but the Ideal Toy Corp. dubbed it the Rubik's Cube in 1979.

Packaging of Rubik's Cube, 1980–Ideal Toy Corp.. By Jpacarter 
The Rubik's Cube reached its height of mainstream popularity in the 1980s. In the early 2000s interest in the Cube began increasing again and in the USA sales doubled between 2001 and 2003.

In 2008, Rubik's Cubes sales hit a high of 15 million globally thanks to a scene in the movie The Pursuit of Happyness.

There are 54 colored squares on a Rubik’s Cube — nine on each of the six sides

There are 43,252,003,274,489,856,000 different color combinations possible on a Rubik's Cube. That's a greater number than inches that light travels in a century.

The World Rubik Cube championship was held in Budapest on June 5, 1982. Nineteen National Champions took part. Minh Thai, the US Champion, won by solving the Cube in 22.95 seconds.

First Rubik's Cube World Championship,  Stamp of Hungary, 1982
The world record, in competitive conditions, has grown progressively lower. Lucas Etter, was the first person to solve a Rubik’s cube in less than 5 seconds in a sanctioned competition. The 15-year-old solved the cube in 4.904 seconds in 2015.

The current record now stands at 4.69 seconds. It was set by Patrick Ponce of United States on September 2, 2017 at the Rally In The Valley 2017 competition.

Monday, 18 September 2017

Helena Rubinstein

Cosmetics entrepreneur Helena Rubinstein was born on December 25, 1872, in the Kazimierz district of Krakow in Poland.

Polish-American cosmetics industrialist Helena Rubinstein (1870-1965)

She was the oldest of eight daughters to shopkeeper Horace – Naftoli Hertz Rubinstein and Gitte (Gitel) Shaindel Rubinstein née Silberfeld.

Helena's mother took a unique approach with raising her daughters: She told them they would wield influence in the world through the powers of beauty and love. To this end, her mother even made her own beauty creams.

Helena Rubinstein's birth house (green) in Kraków. By Zygmunt Put Zetpe0202

Helena Rubenstein was diminutive at 4 ft. 10 in. (147 cm) with a milky complexion thanks to her mother's face creams.

She attended medical school in Cracow for two years. She liked the lab work but was averse to being in a hospital and in the 1890s Rubenstein moved from her native Poland to live with her uncle in Australia.

Helena brought along to Australia a dozen bottles of her mother’s face cream, made from combinations of herbs, almonds and Carpathian fir tree extract.

She started selling her own face creams based on her mother's recipe. Costing ten pence and selling for six shillings, the creams were a huge success with regional women.

Rubenstein opened the country's first beauty salon in Melbourne's fashionable Collins Street in 1902. Sydney followed a few years later.

In 1905 she headed to Europe to study advances in skin treatments. Rubenstein studied with European dermatologists and opened further salons in London (1908) and Paris (1912).

Helena Rubinstein by Paul César Helleu (1908)

When World War I began, Rubenstein emigrated to New York and launched an international business empire.

"Madame" set cosmetic trends, introducing waterproof mascara, foundation make-up, and all- day spa treatments. She borrowed the idea of color-shaded eyes from the French stage. Rubeinstein stressed the scientific preparation of her products and instruction of clients in their use.

Rubenstein's success was spiced by a 50-year feud with arch-rival Elizabeth Arden.

She created the Helena Rubinstein Foundation in 1953 to fund organizations for children's health.

Her many other philanthropies included the endowment of a contemporary art museum in Tel Avivv, Israel.

Helena Rubinstein 1959 Tel Aviv Museum of Art

A lifelong advocate for healthy living and self-care, Rubinstein died in New York City on April 1, 1965, at age 94.

A year later, her autobiography, My Life for Beauty, was published.

Sources Biography, Europress Family Encyclopedia 1999

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Rubber duck

The earliest rubber ducks were made from hard rubber in the mid to late 19th century. after manufacturers began using engineer Charles Goodyear's vulcanized rubber. The ducks were solid and could not float. They were used as chew toys.

Sculptor Peter Ganine created an "uncapsizeable duck" in the 1940s, then patented it and reproduced it as a floating toy, of which over 50,000,000 were sold.

In 1970, Jim Henson performed the song "Rubber Duckie" as Ernie on Sesame Street, and the rubber duck bath toy has been an iconic American symbol ever since.

In 2001, a British tabloid reported that Queen Elizabeth II had a rubber duck in her bathroom that wore an inflatable crown. Sales of the toy surged 80 percent following the announcement.

In 2002, the Great Singapore Duck Race set a world record of 123,000 rubber ducks taking part in the same event. The last such race was in 2007.

The world's largest rubber duck was created by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman in 2007, measuring 16.5 m × 20 m × 32 m (54 ft × 66 ft × 105 ft) and weighing about 600 kilograms (1,300 lb).

The world record for the largest collection of rubber ducks is held by Charlotte Lee of Seattle, who had 5,631 of them as at April 10, 2011.

In 2013 rubber ducks were inducted into the Toy Hall of Fame.


Rubber is a material which can stretch and shrink. It can be harvested in the form of the latex from the rubber tree or can be synthesized on a industrial scale.

Latex being collected from a tapped rubber tree, Cameroon. By PRA 

Ancient Mesoamericans discovered how to produce rubber around 1600BC, more than 3000 years before Charles Goodyear invented vulcanization.

The Mayas used balls made of solid rubber to play a game in ceremonial ballcourts.

Early Spanish conquistadors reported the utilization of rubber in combination with textiles for waterproofing purposes in the New World: "rubber-coated rain capes were worn by the Indians of Escuintla on the Pacific coast of Guatemala, a region of heavy rainfall".

Early records dating to the early 1520s describe "an attendant wearing a rubber-coated poncho" and Aztec soldiers "clad in garments woven from the fiber of the henequen coated with indiarubber gum".

In 1738 Frenchman Francois Fresneau, a botanist and scientist sent to Cayenne in French Guiana, discovered rubber trees and smeared latex on some old fabric to create a rainproof material.

Rubber was given its present English name by the British chemist Joseph Priestley in about 1770.

In 1770 Edward Nairne, an English engineer, inadvertently picked up a piece of rubber instead of bread and in doing so discovered rubber's erasing properties. Nairne sold natural rubber erasers for the high price of three shillings per half-inch cube.

In 1818 a British medical student named James Syme used rubber to waterproof cloth to make the first raincoats. Six years later, Scottish chemist Charles Macintosh (1766-1843) patented the process to produce waterproof cloth for raincoats, after experimenting with waste rubber products from Glasgow's new gas works.

American chemist Charles Goodyear received a patent for vulcanization, a process to strengthen rubber on June 15, 1844. Goodyear is credited with inventing the modern chemical process to create and manufacture pliable, waterproof, moldable rubber, which was to be of great importance for vehicle tires.

Stephen Perry of the London-based rubber manufacturing company Messrs Perry & Company, patented the world's first elastic bands in 1845. Sleeves of vulcanised rubber chopped into bands, they were invented to hold papers or envelopes together.

In 1888, a Scottish vet called John Dunlop fitted his son's tricycle wheels with inflated rubber hoses instead of solid rubber tires in order to make it more comfortable to ride. The invention handily coincided with the new bicycle craze and his company, formed in 1889, became known as the Dunlop Rubber Co in 1900.

James Colquoun. Date(s) of creation: [ca. 1896- ca. 1904)

The natural color of rubber is white – tires were white for the first 25 years of their existence as a byproduct of Zinc Oxide being added to the rubber to add strength. Black tires only started being made after in the early 1900s when, Binney & Smith began selling their carbon black chemicals to Goodrich Tire Company. This was because they found that the use of carbon black in rubber manufacturing significantly increased certain desirable qualities for rubber intended to be turned into tires.

In 1890 William Halsted, the professor of surgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, introduced rubber surgical gloves for use in the operating theater. They were not for the patient's sake but to protect the operating-room nurse, his fiancée, whose hands were allergic to antiseptics.

Humphrey O'Sullivan, an Irish printer in Lowell, Massachusetts, patented his invention of the rubber heel for shoes on January 24, 1899. It was his custom to stand on a rubber mat to ease his tired feet as he set type. It was inconvenient to carry the mat from place to place, so O'Sullivan nailed pieces of it to the heels of his shoes. To keep the nails from working loose, he molded washers into the rubber. O'Sullivan's invention of rubber heel for shoes outlasted the leather heel then in use.

Sneakers Keds® were first mass-marketed as canvas-top "sneakers" in 1917.  The word "sneaker" was coined by Henry Nelson McKinney, an advertising agent for N. W. Ayer & Son, because the rubber sole made the shoe stealthy or quiet, all other shoes, with the exception of moccasins, made noise when you walked.


The primary source of natural rubber is the Pará rubber tree, which initially grew only in the Amazon rainforest.

By 1898, a rubber plantation had been established in Malaya, and today, most rubber tree plantations are in South and Southeast Asia.

Rubber tree plantation in Thailand. By 松岡明芳 - Sukanya,

The first rubber polymer synthesized from butadiene was created in 1910 by the Russian scientist Sergei Vasiljevich Lebedev.

The first rubber plant in Europe SK-1 was established (Russia) by Sergei Lebedev in Yaroslavl under Joseph Stalin's First Five-Year Plan on July 7, 1932.

Sheet of synthetic rubber coming off the rolling mill at the plant of Goodrich (1941)

During the 20th century world production of rubber increased a hundred-fold.

The top rubber producing countries in 2011 were Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, India and Vietnam.

About 15 billion kilograms (5.3×1011 oz) of rubbers are produced annually, and of that amount two thirds are synthetic.


Lego makes more than 300 million rubber tires a year — making it the world's biggest manufacturer of tires.

A ball of glass will bounce higher than a ball of rubber.

The game of squash gets its name from the sound that the rubber ball makes when it strikes a wall.

The little rubber thingy at the end of a toothbrush is called a "stimulator tip."

The tiny bits of rubber sticking out of tires are called "nubbins" and they formed in the holes used to pump rubber into the tire mold.

Bubble gum contains rubber.

Rubber bands last longer when refrigerated.

Source Comptons Enyclopedia

Thursday, 14 September 2017

J. K. Rowling


Joanne Kathleen Rowling was born July 31, 1965 in Chipping Sodbury, near Bristol, England.

Her father Peter James Rowling, a Rolls-Royce aircraft engineer and mother Anne Rowling (née Volant), a science technician, first met on a train from King's Cross Station. Rowling later used King's Cross as a gateway into the Wizarding World.

J.K. Rowling (2010) By Daniel Ogren,

She grew up in Tutshill, Gloucestershire, and went to school at Wyedean Comprehensive.

Rowling earned a degree in French and Classics at the University of Exeter.

After graduating from Exeter in 1986, Rowling moved to London to work as a researcher and bilingual secretary for Amnesty International.

Rowling secretly wrote stories on her work computer and daydreamed about her characters. Her Amnesty employers finally got fed up and dismissed her from her job.

She moved to Portugal to teach English as a foreign language in 1990.


The original concept for Harry Potter came to Rowling in 1990 on a Manchester to London train that was delayed for four hours. She was staring out of the train's window of the train when the idea, plot and characters came to her.

Rowling began writing as soon as she reached her Clapham Junction flat. She completed the manuscript of her first Harry Potter story, called Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, in 1995, having written some of it in local cafés in Edinburgh, Scotland, where she was an unemployed single mother living on state benefits.

She mainly wrote in Nicolson's Café (owned by her brother-in-law) and the Elephant House. Rowling wrote in cafés because taking her baby out for a walk was the best way to make her fall asleep.

After being rejected by a series of publishers, Barry Cunningham, then of Bloomsbury publishers, signed up Rowling and the author and company never looked back.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (British version) (American version: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone) was first published in the United Kingdom in 1997.

JK Rowling was offered £2,000 as the advance for her first Harry Potter book. She has subsequently gone on to become a billionaire from further book deals and films about the young wizard, his adventures at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and his battles with the evil Voldemort.

Rowling told U.S. television talk show host Oprah Winfrey in October 2010 that she cried uncontrollably when she finished the last of her best-selling Potter books.

Michael Jackson wanted to do a Harry Potter musical – but Rowling wasn't keen.


J.K. Rowling married Portuguese television journalist Jorge Arantes on October 16, 1992.

Their child, Jessica (named after Jessica Mitford), was born on July 27, 1993 in Portugal.

The marriage ended in divorce and Rowling moved to Edinburgh, Scotland to be near her sister with three chapters of what would become Harry Potter in her suitcase.

Rowling married Dr. Neil Murray on December 26, 2001 in a private ceremony at her home, Killiechassie House, near Aberfeldy. She had a second child, David, in 2003, and a third, Mackenzie, in January 2005.

In 2004, Forbes named Rowling as the first person to become a U.S.-dollar billionaire by writing books. In 2012, Forbes removed Rowling from their rich list, claiming that her US$160 million in charitable donations and the high tax rate in the UK meant she was no longer a billionaire.

Rowling has received honorary degrees from St Andrews University, the University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh Napier University, the University of Exeter which she attended, the University of Aberdeen and Harvard University, for whom she spoke at the 2008 commencement ceremony.

Rowling, after receiving an honorary degree from the University of Aberdeen

Rowling suffers from Arachnophobia – a fear of spiders. She included giant man-eating spiders in her Harry Potter series.

Source The Montreal Gazette


Rowing involves two or more people, each rower having one oar. It is believed that rowing contests belonged to early Greek festivals, such as the Isthmian and Panathenaean Games.

Archaeology Wing in the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. By yoav dothan 

One of the earliest descriptions of rowing is included by Virgil who, in The Aeneid (completed in 19 BC), vividly pictured boat-races as part of the funeral games arranged by Aeneas for his father Anchises.

Another tradition tells how Ulysses, on his return to Ithaca, was entertained by the islanders' taking part in a spectacular boat race.

In the 13th century, Venetian festivals called regata included boat races among others.

As an organised sport, rowing can be traced to August 1, 1715, when the first rowing of the Doggetts Coat and Badge race took place on the River Thames. The Doggett's Coat and Badge course runs four miles and five furlongs (7443 m) from London Bridge to Chelsea, and is established as an annual event continuing into the 21st century.

The finish of the Doggett's Coat and Badge. Painting by Thomas Rowlandson.

The famous Boat Race between Oxford University and Cambridge University first took place in 1829,

Rowing races which take place annually on the River Thames at Henley-on-Thames in England were inaugurated in 1839. The course has varied over the years, but is now approximately 2 km 112 m / 1 mile 550 yd. It is as much an elegant social occasion for the public as a sporting one.

It was in the early years of the nineteenth century that rowing became a popular sport in America. The sport experienced a temporary decline when betting and suspicion of foul play gave it a bad name.

The establishment of the New York Castle Garden Boat Club in 1834 was the real beginning of amateur rowing in the USA.

Competition between American universities dates back to 1852, when the Harvard-Yale race was first rowed, on Lake Winnepeasaukee, New Hampshire. It is the oldest intercollegiate athletic contest of any type in the United States.

Lewis Carroll told Alice Liddell and her sisters a story in a rowing boat on the River Thames from Oxford to Godstow in 1862. The tale would eventually form the basis for his book Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.

The Australian rower Bobby Pearce once stopped during a rowing race in the 1928 Olympics to allow a family of ducks pass, and still won out of eight competitors in that round.

Source Europress Encyclopedia

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Jean-Jacques Rousseau


Jean Jacques Rousseau was born on June 28, 1712 at 40, Grand Rue, Geneva. At the time Geneva was a city-state and a Protestant associate of the Swiss Confederacy.

The house where Rousseau was born at number 40, Grand-Rue.

Jean Jacques' father Isaac Rousseau, followed his grandfather, father and brothers into the watchmaking business. Isaac, notwithstanding his artisan status, was well educated and a lover of music.

Jean Jacques' mother, Suzanne Bernard Rousseau, died of puerperal fever a week after his birth, He and his older brother François were brought up by their father and a paternal aunt, also named Suzanne.

When Rousseau was 10, his father got into trouble with the civil authorities by brandishing the sword that his upper-class pretentions prompted him to wear. To avoid certain defeat in the courts, he moved away to Nyon in the territory of Bern. Jean-Jacques was left with his maternal uncle where he lived for six years as a poor relation, patronized and humiliated.

His maternal uncle packed him away to board for two years with a Calvinist minister in a hamlet outside Geneva. Here, Jean Jacques picked up the elements of mathematics and drawing.

Jean Jacques left Geneva aged 16 and traveled around France, where he met his benefactress, the Baronnesse de Warens. She furthered his education to such a degree that the boy who had arrived on her doorstep having never been to school developed into a philosopher, a man of letters, and a musician.


At age 13, Rousseau was apprenticed first to a notary and then to an engraver who beat him heavily for his childish pranks.

One Sunday evening on March 28, 1728, Rousseau returned late from an evening walk and found Geneva's city gates closed due to the curfew. Instead of waiting there till morning and resuming his duties with the engraver, Rousseau decided to try his luck elsewhere and ran away.

Rousseau was fortunate in finding in the province of Savoy his benefactor, the baroness de Warens, who provided him with a refuge in her home and employed him as her steward. Rousseau lived with Mdm. de Warens until 1742, where under her guidance, he developed his political and social philosophy.

In 1742, Rousseau moved to Paris in order to present the Académie des Sciences with a new system of numbered musical notation he believed would make his fortune. Believing the system was impractical, the Academy rejected it.

From 1743 to 1744, Rousseau had an honorable but ill-paying post as a secretary to the Comte de Montaigue, the French ambassador to Venice. Rousseau's employer routinely received his stipend as much as a year late and paid his staff irregularly. After 11 months, Rousseau left the job, taking from the experience a profound distrust of government bureaucracy.

Rousseau returned to Paris, where he became friends with the French philosopher Diderot and contributed several articles to his Encyclopédie, including an important article on political economy.

During 1745-1751, Louise Dupin, the wife of a rich farmer, appointed Jean-Jacques Rousseau as secretary and tutor of her son.

In 1762 Rousseau's treatise Émile; ou, de l’education (Emile; or, On Education), was published. It propagated controversial views on religion and monarchy. and Rousseau was forced into exile. He became a fugitive, spending the rest of his life moving from one refuge to another.

Rousseau returned to France under the name "Renou," although officially he was not allowed back in until 1770. As a condition of his return, he was not allowed to publish any books, but after completing his Confessions, Rousseau began to offer group readings of certain portions of the work. In 1771 he was forced to stop this, and the book was not published until after his death in 1782.


Rousseau was brought up a Protestant, converted in his teens to Catholicism but later became a deist, and part of the Enlightenment movement teaching trust in the power of human reason.

The deist philosopher once admitted, "I must confess to you that the majesty of the Scriptures astonishes me, the holiness of the Evangelists speaks to my heart and has such striking characters of truth and is moreover, so perfectly inimitable that if it had been the invention of men, the inventors would be greater than the greatest heroes."

Rousseau was part of the Enlightenment movement teaching trust in the power of human reason. A free thinker with heretical views at the time, he felt the two most valuable things in life are liberty and equality. His advocation of romanticism included being influenced by ones desires.

His dismissal of the social order in favor of a simple return to nature annoyed many of the French chattering classes.

Rousseau recommended the keeping of children away from the corrupting influence of society and letting them learn naturally what they want to learn by asking questions. He felt a youngster's intellect did not begin to develop until they'd reached their teens and until then they should stick to the cultivation of their body and senses (writing and drawing. The cultivation of their intellect (science etc) should be from 12 onwards. Rousseau's theories left their lasting mark on modern progressive education.


Rousseau left Geneva in 1728 and lived with and was supported by Françoise-Louise de Warens, a French Catholic woman. Although she was twelve years older than him and married, they became lovers, and Rousseau converted to Catholicism. He called Madame de Warens his first love of his life. He nicknamed her "Mama" and she called him "Little Cat".

At the age of 31, while in Paris, Rousseau began his association with illiterate seamstress Therese La Vaseur who had been an inn servant. She was apparently without beauty, education or intelligence and was hopelessly vulgar and immoral as well as a taker of many liberties. Therese became Rousseau's mistress before marrying him at Bourgoin on August 29, 1768. The Swiss philosopher treated her well and she lived to be 79.

Portrait of Marie-Thérèse Le Vasseur by E. Charryère

Jean-Jacques Rousseau gave all five of his children by Therese to a foundling hospital so they wouldn’t interfere with his work. As a result of his theories on education and child-rearing, Rousseau has often been criticized by Voltaire and modern commentators for putting his offspring in an orphanage as soon as they were weaned. In his defense, Rousseau explained that he would have been a poor father, and that the children would have a better life at the foundling home.

After returning to Geneva in 1754, Rousseau pursued an unconsummated romantic attachment with the 25-year-old Sophie d'Houdetot. Sophie was the cousin and houseguest of Rousseau's patroness and landlady Madame d'Épinay, whom he treated rather highhandedly. Letters between them were carried by Rousseau's concubine servant Therese and were intercepted by the jealous but married Mme d'Epinay.

Rousseau promoted the idea that women are inferior to men and that a woman's role in life was to give pleasure to the male.


In 1750, Rousseau published his first major work, Discours sur les sciences et les arts (A Discourse on the Sciences and the Arts). In it he established that man had become corrupted by society and civilization. It was the first expression of his influential views about nature vs. society, to which Rousseau would dedicate the rest of his intellectual life.

Discours sur l'origine et les fondements de l'inégalité parmi les hommes (Discourse on the Origin and Basis of Inequality Among Men), also commonly known as the "Second Discourse" was written by Rousseau in 1754 in response to a prize competition of the Academy of Dijon answering the prompt: What is the origin of inequality among people, and is it authorized by natural law? Rousseau did not win with his treatise but it now recognized as his second major work. Having returned to Geneva, he realized that he would not be able to publish his works under his own name freely in the city, therefore, in 1755, he had Second Discourse published from Holland.

Discourse on Inequality, Holland, frontispiece and title page.

Rousseau's unconsummated romantic attachment with Sophie d'Houdetot, partly inspired his 1761 epistolary novel, Julie, ou la nouvelle Héloïse. It was also based on memories of his idyllic youthful relationship with Mme de Warens).

In 1762, Jean Jacques Rousseau published A Treatise on the Social Contract or the Principles of Political Law in which he demanded a democratic society, where the will of the people is paramount. In his book Rousseau stated his belief that man in his primitive state was basically good but civilization has corrupted him, therefore it is better to go back to his old ways. He wrote, "Everything is good when it leaves the creator's hand. Everything degenerates in the hands of man."

Rousseau begun writing his autobiographical Confessions in 1765. In November 1770, these were completed, and although he did not wish to publish them at this time, though he began to read excerpts of his manuscript publicly at various salons and other meeting places.

Jean Jacques Rousseau's Confessions was not published until 1782, four years after Rousseau's death. The personal writings initiated the modern autobiography.


Jean Jacques Rousseau invented a new system of musical notation. His system, intended to be compatible with typography, was based on a single line, displaying numbers representing intervals between notes and dots and commas indicating rhythmic values. It was rejected by the Académie des Sciences as useless and unoriginal.

Rousseau wrote various arias and songs as well as prose. In 1752, he determined to compose an opera about people with dirty hands-the working class. His opera, Le Devin du village (“The Village Soothsayer”), which premiered on October 18, 1752, attracted much admiration from King Louis XV and remained popular in Paris until the mid 1800s. Mozart parodied it in his "Bastien and Bastienne."

Title page of Le Devin du village (libretto), words and music by Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Rouseeau wrote: "The French singing is endless squawking unbearable to the unbiased ear." Lettre sur la musique Francaise.


A snob with a genius for quarrelling, Rousseau. behaved childishly and meanly and was as full of joie de vivre as an arthritic aardvark. On top of that he had an increasingly progressive persecution mania. Rousseau was so amazingly touchy and easily offended that many believed he was probably insane.

Rousseau in 1753, by Maurice Quentin de La Tour


Between 1712-22 and 1724-28 Rousseau lived at 28 Rue due Coutance, Geneva after which he abandoned the city in disgust.

Les Charmettes, in Savoy, where Rousseau lived with Mme. de Warens in 1735–36, is now a museum dedicated to the philosopher.

Les Charmettes, where Rousseau lived with Mme. de Warens. By Chris Bertram 
He lived during the late 1740s at Chenonceaux Chateau in the Loire Valley as the cosseted guest of Mme Dupin.

After returning to Geneva in 1754, Rousseau lived on the grounds of his protectess Mme d'Epinais. and after he fell out with her, his accommodation was mainly supplied by the Marechal de Luxembourg all the time denouncing the evils of rank and wealth.

Once Rousseau's Emile had outraged the French parliament in 1762, he was forced to live in exile until his death. At first he stayed in Switzerland then in January of 1766, he took refuge with the philosopher David Hume in Great Britain, but after 18 months he returned to France because he believed Hume was plotting against him.


In his last years Rousseau continued to write, producing works such as Reveries of the Solitary Walker. In order to support himself he  alsoreturned to copying music.
A Portrait of Rousseau in later life
Rousseau spent his last days at Marquis Girardin’s cottage in his chateau in Ermenonville. He spent his time collecting botanical specimen, teaching botany to his host’s son and music to his daughter.
While taking a morning walk on the estate of the Marquis de Giradin at Ermenonville, Rousseau suffered a hemorrhage and died on July 2, 1778.

Rousseau was interred in The Panthéon in Paris in 1794, sixteen years after his death. The tomb was designed to resemble a rustic temple, to recall Rousseau's theories of nature.

The statue of Rousseau on the Île Rousseau, Geneva.

Sources Encyclopedia Britannica, FanousPeople