Who is Eunice Newton Foote? Why Google is celebrating her birthday with a doodle slideshow?

Posted By: Shweta Khandal

Posted On: July 17, 2023


Google Doodle: Google, a big company that makes technology, is happy because it’s the 204th birthday of Eunice Newton Foote. They made a special picture that changes and shows different things to celebrate her.

She was a scientist who discovered that certain gases get warmer when sunlight shines on them. She also said that if there’s more carbon dioxide in the air, it could change the temperature of the Earth’s atmosphere and maybe even the climate. This discovery is now called the “Greenhouse effect.”

Foote was born on July 17, 1819, in Goshen, Connecticut, in the United States. She was an American scientist, inventor, and someone who fought for women’s rights.

Back when Foote was growing up, women didn’t have many chances to learn about science or be part of it. But she didn’t let that stop her from pursuing her love for science.

According to the official Google Doodle website, during that time, women were not really allowed in the scientific community. However, Foote didn’t give up.

She did her own experiments. Foote put mercury thermometers in glass cylinders and found out that the cylinder with carbon dioxide got the hottest when it was in the sun.

Foote was the first scientist to see the connection between increasing carbon dioxide levels and the warming of the atmosphere.

Eunice Newton Foote: Inventions

In 1856, Foote did some tests to see what happens when different gases are exposed to sunlight. She used glass cylinders and filled them with different gases like carbon dioxide and air.

Then she put them in the sun. Foote noticed that the cylinder with carbon dioxide kept more heat than the one with air.

She figured out that carbon dioxide can trap heat and make the air around it hotter. This is the basic idea behind the greenhouse effect.

In 1857, Foote started doing tests on something called “static electricity,” which she called “electrical excitation.” She wanted to find out how much moisture was in the air and which gases in the atmosphere could make static electricity happen.

Foote and her husband Elisha were really smart and creative. In 1860, Foote applied for a patent (a legal protection for an invention) for a special kind of rubber shoe insert that could stop shoes and boots from making squeaky noises.

The Emporia News wrote a story in 1868 about a skate that didn’t need any straps, and it was thanks to Foote’s invention. In 1864, she also made a completely new kind of machine that could make paper in a cylinder shape.

Eunice Newton Foote: Awards & Recognition

Elizabeth Cady Stanton was a friend of Eunice Foote, and they lived close to each other. Stanton invited Foote to go with her to a meeting called the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848. It was an important event for women’s rights, the first of its kind.

Foote and her husband Elisha were part of the group that wrote and signed a paper called the Declaration of Sentiments at the convention.

Stanton, who wrote the document, wanted women to have the right to vote and to be treated the same as men in society and the law.

Foote, along with Stanton and a few other women, helped get the convention’s discussions and decisions published for everyone to read.

In 1856, Foote shared her work at a big meeting called the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

She wrote a paper called “Circumstances Affecting the Heat of the Sun’s Rays,” which was read there.

But, sadly, because of the unfair opinions people had back then about women and how they should be treated, Foote’s research didn’t get much attention. Her discoveries weren’t published in a scientific journal, so not many people knew about them.

Eunice Newton Foote: Death

Eunice Newton Foote died in 1888, but in recent years, people have started to appreciate her important role in climate science.

Her story was rediscovered and people now recognize her contributions. She shows us that many women scientists in the past were overlooked and not given enough credit.

Even though Foote didn’t get a lot of recognition, she kept working on her scientific interests. She was part of different scientific groups and actively joined movements for women’s rights.

Foote’s experiments on the greenhouse effect were groundbreaking. They laid the foundation for more research on climate science, which is really important for understanding how our planet’s climate is changing.

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