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Louis Pasteur B. December 27, 1822, Dole, Jura, Franche-Comté, France D. September 28, 1895 (aged 72) Marnes-la-Coquette, Hauts-de-Seine, France

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Autochrome Plates. The most improbable object imaginable—the lowly, lumpy potato—played a leading role in the Great Leap Forward of color photography. In 1903 two imaginative French inventors, Auguste and Louis Lumière, seized the pomme de terre and made it the basis for a dazzling new imaging process they called the autochrome, an innovation that would transform a monochromatic world into one gleaming with color.

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Rear-Admiral Richard Kempenfelt (1718–1782), 1782, by Tilly Kettle. Wearing a flag officer's undress uniform of c.1774–1783. A fighting sword is by his left side and he leans on a long telescope that rests on his left foot. Kempenfelt was also the inventor of a numeral signal code that helped to revolutionize naval tactics. The portrait was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1782.National Maritime Museum

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French inventor, photographic pioneer, and filmmaker Auguste Lumiere.

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In 1844, Alexandre Dumas père wrote The Three Musketeers. He is the grandson of a Haitian Marie-Cessette Dumas, and his father remains the highest ranking African descent soldier in any European army. The lack of prejudice reflects the equality-liberty-fraternity motto of France. He is one of the most widely read French Authors and his works have been made into over 200 movies.

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Evening dress

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Coco Chanel, French Fashion Designer ("inventor" of the term..."little black dress") -

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World's First Helicopters: On 13 November 1907 French inventor Paul Cornu managed to lift to 1 foot off the ground for 20 seconds in his Cornu helicopter. This was reported to be the first truly free flight with pilot, but it wasn't until the 1920s that early development of helicopters really took off. This image is actually ground testing of the de Bothezat quadrotor helicopter at McCook Field in 1921.