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Eighteenth Century History : 1750 – 1799

1751 The Encyclopedie published in France, planned by publisher Andre Le Breton, co-operating with some of the most eminent scholars of his time: mathematician Jean D’Alembert; writer and philosopher Denis Diderot; social critic Jean-Jacques Rousseau; essayist Voltaire; and financier Jacques Necker. (17 volumes were published from 1751 to 1765; and 11 volumes of illustration plates were issued from 1762 to 1772. 5 more volumes were published in 1776 and 1777, followed by an index in 1780.) Benjamin Franklin sent up a kite during a thunderstorm and discovered that lightning is a form of electricity. Upholsterer and cabinet maker Thomas Chippendale publishes the first English book on furniture designs. A Belgian creates roller skates by replacing the blades of ice skates with wheels.

1752 Britain adopts Gregorian calendar. The first eraser put on the end of a pencil. Benjamin Franklin invents the lightening rod.

1755 Samuel Johnson publishes Dictionary. US Postal Services established. The Frankist Affair: a Jew called Jacob Frank announced himself as the successor to Shabbetai and claims to be the Messiah. His followers indulged in sexual orgies and other open forms of sin announcing that this was permissible in the messianic time. They are excommunicated by the Jews and finally baptized into Christianity, continuing as a sect for a few decades.

1756 John Smeaton invents hydraulic cement.

1758 Dolland invents a chromatic lens.

1759 Voltaire publishes Candide. Haydn composes his Symphony No. 1. British capture Quebec from French.

1760 George III becomes King of Britain. Benjamin Franklin invents bifocal spectacles.

1761 First street lights in New York.

1762 Jean Jacques Rousseau publishes Du Contrat Social. Harrison invents the chronometer. Mozart tours Europe as 6-year-old prodigy. Catherine the Great (Catherine II) becomes Czarina of Russia.

1763 First publication of the Almanac of Gotha, which lists births, unions, successions, fortunes and misfortunes of the royals. also recording the family links between royals.

1764 James Hargreaves invents the Spinning Jenny. Jesuits expelled from France.

1765 Stamp Act passed in Britain. The age of steam power arrives with James Watt’s rotary steam engine, a modification of the reciprocating Newcomen engine of 1712.

1766 Oliver Goldsmith publishes Vicar of Wakefield.

1767 Spain expels Jesuits. Tea and other duties imposed by British on America. Frenchman Johann Friedrich Oberlin organizes the first creche, calling it the “hall of refuge.” (The word creche means “cradle” in French.)

1768 Corsica bought by France from Gonoa, where jeans originated. Richard Arkwright invents the water frame.

1769 Nicolas Cugnot builds the motorized carriage, a steam-driven tractor. Slavery was forbidden in England. Shoelaces invented in England. Captain James Cook becomes first person to cross the Antarctic Circle. Americans pours boxes of tea into Boston harbor to protest against British rule: Boston Tea Party. James Watt improves his steam engine. William Arkwright patents a spinning machine.

1770 James Cook discovers New South Wales. Edmund Burke publishes Thoughts on the Present Discontents.

1772 Joseph Priestley and Daniel Rutherford independently discover nitrogen. Priestley invents soda water.

1773 Jesuit order suppressed by Pope Clement XIV.

1774 Louis XVI becomes King of France. Karl Wilhelm Scheele discovers chlorine. Joseph Priestly discovers oxygen. The United Colonies changes name to The United States. Georges Louis Lesage patents the electric telegraph.

1775 Alexander Cummings invents the flush toilet. Jacques Perrier invents a steamship. David Bushnell builds a submarine. Paul Revere’s ride. Joseph Prietley discovers hydrochloric and sulfuric acids. Benjamin Franklin named first Postmaster General of the United States.

1776 Declaration of Independence by American colonies. Adam Smith publishes Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations. David Bushnell build the first military submarine. Edward Gibbon publishes Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. Mozart composes Haffner Serenade.

1778 Oliver Pollock, a New Orleans businessman, creates the $ symbol. Franz Mesmer uses hypnotism; it’s from his name we get the word mesmerized.

1779 Samuel Crompton invents the spinning mule. Mozart writes his first “operaIdomeneo,” but it is performed only two years later.

1780 Gervinus invents the circular saw. Samuel Harrison invents the steel pen.

1781 Performance of Mozart’s first opera, operaIdomeneo,” John Hanson elected as first President of the United States. Réné-Théophile Laënnac invents the stethoscope.

1782 James Watt patents the steam engine he invented earlier (first thought of by Heron in 50 BC). Robert Aitken prints first English Bible in US (King James Version).

1783 French brothers Joseph and Jacques Montgolfier demonstrate their hot-air balloon in a 10-minute flight. Sebastien Lenomand (Louis Sebastien) demonstrates the first parachute, which designed as a means of saving people who had to jump from burning buildings. (Leonardo da Vinci sketched a pyramid shaped chute in 1495.) Benjamin Hanks patents the self-winding clock. Elias Boudinot elected President of the US. Henry Cort invents the steel rolling mill. . Peace of Paris: Britain recognizes US independence. Moses Mendelssohn publishes translation of the Torah in German.

1784 Andrew Meikle invents the threshing machine. Joseph Bramah invents the safety lock. Thomas Mifflin elected President of the US. Henry Shrapnel invents the shrapnel shell. John Wesley publishes the basic work of Methodism, Deed of Declaration.

1785 Edmund Cartwright invents the power loom. Claude Berthollet invents chemical bleaching. Charles Augustus Coulomb invents the torsion balance. Richard Henry Lee elected President of the US. Frenchman JP Blanchard is said to have been the first to actually use a parachute by dropping a dog in a basket, to which the parachute was attached, from a balloon high in the air.

1786 Robert Burns publishes Poems Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect. John Fitch invents a steamboat. Andrew Meikle invents the thresher. Nathan Gorman elected President of the US.

1787 Arthur St. Clair elected as President of the US. The 7 articles of the Constitution of the United States signed in Philadelphia. Mozart composes Don Giovanni.

1788 The first US steamboat patent was issued to Briggs & Longstreet. Cyrus Griffin elected President of the US. Through the Operation of Penal Law, Australia is founded.

1789 French Revolution. The first US presidential election under the Constitution: George Washington elected US President. US Post Office established. Mutiny on the Bounty, a British ship. Tobias Schmidt builds the first guillotine. N Leblanc makes soda from salt.

1790 The cornerstone of the mansion known as the White House is laid. The US produced its first penny. Nathaniel Briggs patented a washing machine. The US population is about 4 million.

1791 Thomas Paine publishes Rights of Man. John Barber invents the gas turbine. Early bicycles invented in Scotland. US Bill of Rights ratified.

1792 Mary Wollstonecraft publishes Vindication of the Rights of Women. William Murdoch invents gas lighting. The first ambulance used in France.

1793 JP Blanchard (see 1785) claimed in 1797 that he was the first human to descend in a parachute in this year. Jeanne Manon Roland, madame Roland, utters last words at the foot of the guillotine: “Oh liberty! What crimes are committed in your name!”

1794 Eli Whitney patents the cotton gin. The first official record of keep-right road rule introduced in Paris.

1795 Orange Society founded in Ireland. Francois Appert invents the preserving jar for food. Joseph Bramah invents the hydraulic press.

1796 Paul I becomes Tsar of Russia. John Quincy Adams elected US President. Edward Jenner creates a smallpox vaccination. Alois Senefelder invents lithography. Edward Jenner discovers vaccination for small pox.

1797 Wittemore patents a carding machine. Charles Newbold invents the cast-iron plow. The first parachute jump by human made from a hot air balloon by Andre-Jacques Garnerinthe in France. (JP Blanchard claims he did so in 1793.)

1798 Income tax introduced by British parliament. Thomas Malthus publishes Essay on Population. The first soft drink invented. NL Robert invents the papermaking machine.

1799 Napoleon Bonaparte declares himself dictator of France. French troops under Napoleon discover Rosetta Stone. Alessandro Volta invents the battery. Louis Robert invents the Fourdrinier Machine for sheet paper making.

1700 – 1749 | 1750 – 1799

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