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Nineteenth Century History : 1875 – 1899

1875 Telephone invented (see 1876). Electric dental drill patented by George Green. Siegfried Marcus patents an internal combustion engine. While using paraffin in an attempt to invent and improve telegraphy tape, Thomas Alva Edison discovers a way to make duplicate copies of documents instead.

1876 Alexander Graham Bell receives patent for the invention of the telephone one hour before Elisha Gray would apply for it. (There is evidence that Gray’s invention came first.) Gray sends music down the phone line before speech. Rutherford Hayes elected US President. Emily Tassey patents apparatus for raising sunken vessels. Melville Bissell patents a carpet-sweeper. British beer Bass Pale Ale becomes the first product to receive a trademark. Nikolaus A Otto and Francis and William Crossley introduce a gas-motor engine. A horse named Comanche is s the only survivor from the losing side at the Battle of Little Big Horn.

1877 Thomas Edison invents the phonograph. Chester Greenwood receives a patent for earmuffs. Otto Lilienthal builds a working glider.

1878 Leo XIII becomes Pope. Lillian Moller Gilbreth, mother of 12, invents the foot-lever lid lifter and the electric food mixer. CF Brush invents arc lamp.

1879 Henry George publishes Progress and Poverty. Auguste Bartholdi granted patent for the design of the Statue of Liberty. William Lincoln patents a lamp. James Ritty invents cash register. Thomas Edison invents incandescent lamp. William Crookes invents cathode ray tube.

1880 William Glastone elected British Prime Minister. James Garfield elected US President. RG Rhodes improves the ear trumpet to introduce the hearing aid.

1881 US President Garfield killed. Chester Arthur becomes US President. Houston and Thomson granted patent for a centrifugal separator, the creamer. Frederick Allen patents a life raft. Francis Blake patents the speaking phone. John Carty, a Bell engineer, invents the two-wire local loop.

1882 Electric lights were first used on a Christmas tree. Cornerstone for the Statue of Liberty laid. First automobile race takes place between Paris and Rouen, France. Leroy Firman receives patent for the telephone switchboard. Schuyler Skaats Wheeler invents electric fan, a two-bladed desk fan, produced by the Crocker and Curtis electric motor company.

1883 National Insurance begins, in Germany. Jan E Matzeliger patents a “lasting device for shoes,” making possible the mass production of inexpensive shoes. Swedish engineer De Laval invents steam turbine. In August, Krakatoa volcano erupts.

1884 Steven Grover Cleveland elected US President. John Golding patents process for metallic screening. LN Thompson, founder of Coney Island Luna Park, introduces Thrill Ride, the roller coaster, calling it Switchback. Edward Butler patents motorcycle.

1885 Gottlieb Daimler invents petrol engine. World’s first skyscraper, the 10-storey Home Insurance office, built in Chicago. Charles Cretors of Chicago invents popcorn popping machine, powered by steam. Karl Benz build gasoline-powered car. Fayette Brown patents the blast furnace charger. John Mitchel patents the “ready light”, or taper. William Stanley invents transformer. The first modern hamburger created by Charlie Nagreen of Seymour, WI. The Apocrypha removed from the King James Bible, leaving 66 books. The “Revised Version” Bible, the first major English revision of the King James Bible, appears.

1886 Josephine Cochran invents first practical dishwasher. Gold discovered in South Africa. Canadian Pacific Railway completed.

1887 Jubilee of Queen Victoria. The first beauty contest held in Belgium. Swiss Dr. Eugen Frick makes first set of contact lenses. Heinrich Herz produces the first man-made radio waves. JP Dunlop invents air-inflated rubber tire. AA Michelson and EW Morley experimentally demonstrate the constancy of the speed of light. Charles Vernon Boys describes concept of guiding light through glass fibers. Dr John Stith Pemberton’s Coca-Cola label registered. (The drink was named by Frank Robinson and he created its signature script logo. Asa Griggs Candler born in this year: Candler was a businessman who bought Coca-Cola from the original inventor and made the soft drink famous.)

1888 William Henry Harrison elected US President. First production of the ballet Sleeping Beauty, which was published in 1697 by Charles Perrault. Granville Woods receives patent for the “tunnel construction for electric railways.” John Loud invents ballpoint pen. George Eastman patents the roll film camera, the Kodak. introducing the hand-held box camera.

1889 Dr. Herman Hollerith patents the electric tabulating machine, which will be used in the 11th US census the next year. (In 1896, he founds the Tabulating Machine Company, which through a series of mergers, will become IBM.) Charles Hall introduces an inexpensive method for the production of aluminum, which brought the metal into wide commercial use. P von Mauser invents the bolt-action rife. Raffael Esposito, a baker from Naples, Italy, creates the modern pizza.

1890 Fall of Bismarck. Sherman Anti-Trust Act in US. First Japanese parliament. Charles Brady King invents pneumatic hammer. Undertaker Almon B Strowger invents automatic telephone exchange (some sources date it as 1892). George Cooke patents gas burner. Pharmacist Caleb Bradham produces”Brad’s Drink” as a digestive aid and energy booster; in 1898 it would be renamed Pepsi-Cola.

1891 Emile Berliner issued patent for a combined telegraph and telephone. Henry J Sayers registers the song “Ta-Ra-Ra-Boom-Der-E.” Jesse W Reno introduces a new novelty ride at Coney Island, a moving stairway that elevates passengers on a conveyor belt at an angle of 25 degrees (the device will be shown at the Paris Exposition of 1900, where it is called the escalator). Thomas Edison and William Dickson perfect their kinetoscope, a precursor of the movie projector. (Viewers watch through a small peephole as images pass between a lens and an electric light bulb at a rate of 46 frames per second.)

1892 Gladstone elected British Prime Minister. Rudolph Diesel invents diesel engine.

1893 New Zealand becomes first country to give women the right to vote. Whitcomb L Judson patents zipper. Frederic Ives patents process for half-tone printing. Julius Elster and Hans F Geitel invents photoelectric cell. Thomas Laine invents electric gas lighter. The melody for “Happy Birthday To You” (originally published as “Good Morning To All” in Mildred J. and Patty S. Hill’s “Song Stories for the Kindergarten”) is copyright registered.

1894 Nicholas II becomes Tsar of Russia. Coca-Cola sold in bottles for the first time. New Zealand passes world’s first minimum wage law. German physicist William Konrad Rontgen discovers x-rays. Mildred Lord granted patent for a washing machine.

1895 CE Duryea patents the petrol-driven car but the could not maintain control over the patent. (Gottlieb Diamler invented a petrol engine in 1885.) Italian inventor Guglielmo Marconi claims to have sent radio communication signals through the air (see radio history). “Lifebuoy” soap trademark registered. Charles Steinmetz invents “system of distribution by alternating current” (A/C power). Russell Penniman invents transparent photographic film. Lord Rutherford got radio signals to travel 1 mile in 1895. Charles Parsons improves de Laval’s turbine and builds the first turbine-driven ship, “Turbinia.” Charles Jenkins patents a motion picture machine. Louis Lumiere patents a motion picture machine. (Lumiere’s invention is a portable motion-picture camera, film processing unit and projector called the Cinematographe, three functions covered in one invention.)

1896 William Hadaway patents the electric stove. William McKinley elected US President. JJ Thompson discovers the electron. Tolbert Lanston issued patent for monotype. James Boyle invents the automatic tipping hat. SP Langley builds self-powered model airplane. Richard Outcault “Yellow Kid” character is published in the New York Journal – it is considered to be the first comic strip character.

1897 Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. Street car controller patented by Walter Knight and William Potter. Thomas Edison patents kinetographic camera. Edwin S Votey invents self-playing piano, which he calls the pianola.

1898 Radium discovered. Oscar Wilde publishes The Ballad of Reding Gaol, Henry James The Turn of the Screw, and HG Wells The War of the Worlds. Danish electrical engineer Valdemar Poulsen invents the telegraphone, the first practical magnetic sound recorder. JP Holland’s torpedo boat company launches first practical submarine, commissioned by the US Navy.

1899 Boer War against British in South Africa. Gold discovered in Kondyke. Edward Elgar published Enigma Variations. Felix Hoffmann patents aspirin.

1800 – 1824 | 1825 – 1849 | 1850 – 1874 | 1875 – 1899

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