1850 Thomas Cook, one of the world’s first travel agencies is founded. Millard Fillmore becomes US President. Rabbits introduced to Australia and soon became pests. Phineas Quimby issued patent for a steering machine. Beer first sold in glass bottles (before then beer was poured into a bucket or cup the patron would bring along).
1851 Catholic hierarchy restored in Britain and Holland. The London-to-Paris telegraph opened. Herman Melville publishes Moby Dick. Big Ben, the tower clock of the House of Parliament in London, built. Gail Borden invents evaporated milk. John Gorrie invents a refrigerating machine. William Kelly introduces the Bessemer converter. 6,039,195 visitors attend the first universal exhibition, London’s Hyde Park, which featured 14,000 exhibitors.
1852 Harriet Beecher Stower publishes Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Franklin Pierce elected US President. Wells Fargo Bank founded by Henry Wells and William Fargo. H. Giffard builds a nonrigid airship. WG Armstrong invents the breech-loading cannon. Elisha Graves Otis invents a stopping mechanism, using steam power, for elevators, making modern elevators possible (see 1743 for earlier elevators).
1853 Levi Strauss begins making trousers out of tough material for California gold miners. Karl Gerhardt develops aspirin. Gail Borden invents condensed milk.
1854 Charge of the Light Brigade at the Battle of Balaklava. Horace Smith and Daniel Wesson patents a firearm. Issac Von Bunschoten patents a rosin-oil lamp.
1855 William S Burroughs patents adding machine that prints lists of added numbers. (Burroughs is an experimental novelist. The following year he founds the American Arithmometer Company, renamed the Burroughs Adding Machine Company after his death in 1898. Burroughs is the only adding machine company from this time that successfully will make the transition to computers in the 1950s.)
1856 James Buchanan elected US President. Covent Garden Royal Opera House constructed in London. Henry Bessemer invents steel converter.
1857 James Gibbs patents the chain-stitch single-thread sewing machine. Albert Douglas patents a ladies bustle. William Kelly patents the blast furnace for manufacturing steel. The words and music to “Jingle Bells” registered by Oliver Ditson and Co. under the title One Horse Open Sleigh. Elisha Graves Otis dramatically demonstrates his passenger safety elevator at the Crystal Palace Exposition in New York by cutting the elevator’s cables as it ascends a 300 foot tower. George M Pullman introduces the sleeping car coach.
1858 Government of India transferred to British crown. John Mason patents the screw neck bottle, the Mason Jar. William Siemens introduces the open-hearth steel process. Edwin T. Holmes begins to sell electric burglar alarms in Boston. (Later, his workshop will be used by Alexander Graham Bell used his workshop to work on the invention of the telephone. Holmes will be the first person to have a home telephone.)
1859 Charles Darwin publishes Origin of Species. “Colonel” Edwin Drake strikes oil at a depth of 69.5 ft at Titusville, Pennsylvania.
1860 US Civil war. Charles Dickens writes Great Expectations. Étienne Lenoir invents the gas engine. Linus Yale invents the cylinder lock. Mass production of watches began. Quicksilver or mercury, discovered in the Mayacamas. Sven Foyn invents harpoon cannon for whaling. B. Tyler Henry, chief designer for Oliver Fisher Winchester’s arms company, adapts a breech-loading rifle invented by Walter B. Hunt and creates a new lever action repeating rifle, first known as the Henry, becoming famous as the Winchester. On April 9, the first phonorecord produced, a 10 seconds recording of the French folksong Au Clair De La Lune.
1861 Kingdom of Italy declared. Samuel Goodale patents the first moving picture peep show machine. William Siemens introduces the electric furnace. John Ericsson build Ironclad steamboat. Richard J Gatling invents the machine gun, the Gatling gun.
1862 Bismarck becomes Prime Minister of Germany. Battle of Fredericksburg in US. Alessandro Volta demonstrated the electric pile or battery. Alfred Nobel invents blasting cap.
1863 Fenian Secret Society founded in Ireland to set up Irish republic. James Plimpton of Medford, Massachusetts, invents four-wheeled roller skates. Thomas Henry Huxley proposed that humans and apes share a common ancestor (as apposed to humans being descendants of apes)- and suggests the theory of the “missing link.”
1864 International Working Men’s Association founded in London. Red Cross established. The US mints the first coin with “In God We Trust” on it. Robert Whitehead invents self-propelled torpedo.
1865 End of US Civil War as Gen. Robert Lee surrenders at Appomattox. US abolishes slavery through the Thirteenth Amendment. John Deere receives a patent for the plow. William Bullock invents Web Offset Printing (printing press that could feed paper on a continuous roll and print both sides of the paper at once. Bullock died when he fell into one of his presses). Jules Verne publishes From Here to the Earth, mentioning the exact velocity that the cannon shot the three travelers to the moon (an object must have a velocity of seven miles a second to escape the Earth’s gravity).
1866 First Atlantic cable laid.
1867 Karl Marx publishes Das Kapital.
1868 Shogunate abolished in Japan. William Gladstone becomes Prime Minister in Britain. Ulysses S Grant elected US President. William Hinds patents a candlestick.The world’s first traffic light came into use (before the automobile was in use) at an intersection in London. George Westinghouse invents railway air brakes. Georges Leclanché invents dry cell battery.
1869 Thomas Edison patents an electrographic vote recorder. Ives McGaffey invents the vacuum cleaner, the “sweeping machine.” Suez Canal opens. In France, Pierre and Ernest Michaux builds the first motorcycle, powered by a steam engine. Yataro Iwasaki founds the Mitsubishi Company in Japan. Russian Dmitri Mendeleev publishes the Periodic Table of the Elements. Isaac Hodgson invents roller skate. James Oliver invents the removable tempered steel plow blade.
1870 Franco-Prussian war. France proclaims Republic. The yen becomes currency of Japan. Euphemia Allen, aged 16, composes Chopsticks, a simple piano tune. The first New York City subway line opens. Gustavus Dows patents the soda fountain.
1871 German Empire created at Versailles. Trade Unions legalized in Britain. The first ballot voting in an election is held in England. Leo Tolstoy writes Anna Karenina. Mark Twain publishes Roughing It. Jules Verne publishes A Journey to the Center of the Earth. First practical typewriter manufactured and sold by Philo Remington. (The early model had only capital letters.) The game of snooker invented by Sir Neville Chamberlain. Darwin supports Huxley’s theory of evolution in The Descent of Man.
1872 Oscar II becomes King of Sweden and Norway. Luther Crowell patents a machine that manufactures paper bags. George Westinghouse, Jr patents the steam air brake.
1873 Mark Twain patents the scrapbook. Scotsman James Clerk Maxwell publishes A Treatise on Electricity and Magnetism, stating his electromagnetic theory. Eli Janney receives a patent for automatic railroad car couplings. French chemist Louis Pasteur patents the process of brewing beer and ale and treatment of yeast. (His “germ theory of disease” was one of the most important discoveries in medical history.) Christopher Latham Sholes invents his own typewriter, sells an improved prototype to Remington and Sons, who begin mass producing the machines. Among the first works to be produced on a typewriter is Mark Twain’s Adventures of Tom Sawyer.
1874 Benjamin Disraeli elected Prime Minister of Britain. Patronage Act repealed in Scotland. Thomas Leiper lays first railroad track, made from wood, in US. Oxford mathematician Charles Dodgson, known under the pen-name of Lewis Carroll, tells Alice Liddell the fairy tale he had made up for her; he later wrote it out as “Alice in Wonderland.” Victor Hugo published Les Miserables. Scottish explorer John McDougall Stuart crosses Australia, from Adelaide to Port Darwin. London’s Metropolitan becomes the world’s first underground passenger railway. Joseph Glidden invents barbed wire fencing. Captain James Buchanan Eads finishes the bridge across the Mississippi at St. Louis, the first structural steel bridge.
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