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The history of progress


Significant inventions of the human race

 
Before 1800

25’000 B.C.

   

Cloth is woven in Middle Europe.

23’000 B.C.

Bow and arrow are invented in the Mediterranean region.

10’000 B.C.

First pottery in Japan.

5000 B.C.

Copper mining in Egypt.

3500 B.C.

Potter’s wheel and wheeled vehicles appear in Mesopotamia.

3000 B.C.

The ploughshare is invented in Mesopotamia.

2000 B.C.

Beer first brewed in Egypt; acupuncture first practised in China.

1500 B.C.

The Egyptians produce glass vessels.

750 B.C.

Susutra invents cosmetic surgery in India.

700 B.C.

King Gyges of Lydia invents the standard coin.

200 B.C.

The Romans invent concrete.

100 B.C.

First water-powered mills in Illyria.

1 A.D.

Magnetic compass invented in China.

105 A.D.

Chinese courtier Ts’ai Lun invents paper.

190 A.D.

Porcelain invented in China.

600 A.D.

First windmills in Persia.

750 A.D.

Printing invented in China.

910 A.D.

First paper money issued in China.

1040

The Chinese develop gunpowder.

1045

Chinese blacksmith Bi Sheng invents movable type.

1288

First gun is made in China.

1310

Mechanical clocks begin to appear in Europe.

1340

Double-entry bookkeeping invented in Lombardy.

1440

Johannes Gutenberg introduces printing with movable type in Europe.

1490

The toothbrush is invented in China.

1590

The microscope is invented in Holland.

1596

John Harington builds the first flush toilet.

1605

First regular newspaper is published in Antwerp.

1608

The telescope is invented in Holland.

1642

Blaise Pascal builds the first calculating machine.

1680

Denis Papin invents the pressure cooker.

1698

Thomas Savery patents the first practical steam engine.

1701

Jethro Tull invents the seed drill.

1733

John Kay invents the flying-shuttle loom.

1743

The first known elevator is installed in Versailles on the order of Louis XV.

1765

James Watt builds a model of his improved steam engine.

1770

Nicolas Cugnot builds first steam-driven car.

1783

The Montgolfier brothers invent hot-air balloons.

1792

William Murdock is the first to use coal gas for lighting.

1793

Eli Whitney invents the cotton gin.

1796

Edward Jenner invents vaccination.

 
The nineteenth century

1800

Alessandro Volta builds first chemical battery.

1804

Nicolas-François Appert invents canning as a means to preserve food.

1807

Robert Fulton builds the first commercially successful steamboat.

1808

Pellegrini Turri invents the typewriter.

1812

Bryan Donkin invents the tin can.

1814

Humphry Davy invents the safety lamp for miners.

1817

Carl von Drais invents the (pedal-less) bicycle.

1820

P.J. Pelletier and J.B. Caventon are the first to isolate the antipyretic quinine from the bark of the cinchona tree.

1822

Joseph N. Niepce produces the first photograph.

1823

Charles Macintosh invents the waterproof raincoat.

1825

George Stephenson builds the first steam-powered locomotive.

1829

Louis Braille develops a writing system for the blind.

1830

Barthélemy Thimonnier invents the sewing machine; Edwin Budding invents the lawn mower.

1831

Walter Hancock builds the first steam-driven bus.

1834

James Chalmers invents postage stamps.

1837

Samuel Morse patents the first commercially successful telegraph.

1839

Charles Goodyear invents vulcanization; Antoine Becquerel invents solar cells.

1846

Richard March Hoe invents the rotary printing press.

1847

Ascanio Sobrero invents nitro-glycerine; Ignaz Philipp Semmelweiss introduces disinfection in hospitals.

1853

Charles Gerhardt invents Aspirin.

1856

Henry Bessemer invents the Bessemer process for making steel.

1863

Henri Dunant founds the Red Cross.

1869

William Semple patents chewing gum.

1871

Zénobe Gramme invents the dynamo; J.B. Morrison patents the pedal-driven dentist’s drill.

1874

Thomas Cook invents the traveller’s check.

1875

Alfred Nobel invents dynamite.

1876

Alexander Graham Bell invents the telephone.

1877

Thomas Alva Edison invents the phonograph.

1878-1879

Joseph Swan and Thomas Alva Edison invent the light-bulb.

1879

James J. Ritty invents the cash register.

1885

Karl Benz builds the first gasoline-powered car; Louis Pasteur inoculates against rabies.

1886

William S. Burroughs develops the first commercially successful mechanical adding machine.

1888

First electric tram line built in Richmond, Virginia by Frank J. Sprague.

1891

Thomas Alva Edison patents the first film camera and projector; H.W. Seely invents the electric iron.

1892

R.E. Bell Crompton and H.J. Dowsing patent the first electric radiator.

1893

W.L. Judson invents the zip.

1895

Guglielmo Marconi invents the wireless telegraph; Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen takes the first X-ray picture.

 
The twentieth century

1900

Fulgence Bienvenüe opens the world’s first subway in Paris.

1901

Miller Reese Hutchinson invents the electric hearing-aid; Alva J. Fisher invents the electric washing-machine; Cecil Booth builds the first vacuum cleaner.

1902

Willis H. Carrier invents air conditioning.

1903

Orville and Wilbur Wright build the first successful airplane; G.C. Beidler invents photo-copying.

1904

John Fleming builds the first vacuum tube.

1908

Henry Ford develops Model T automobile.

1909

Leo Baekeland patents Bakelite, the first successful plastic; Georges Claude invents the neon light.

1923

Vladimir Kosma Zworykin patents the iconoscope, the first video camera.

1925

Dick Drew invents Scotch tape.

1928

Alexander Fleming discovers penicillin; Fritz Pfleumer invents magnetic tape.

1929

Robert H. Goddard launches the first liquid-fuel rocket.

1930

Frank Whittle patents the jet engine.

1931

Ernst A.F. Ruska builds the first electron microscope.

1934

Wallace Hume Carothers invents nylon.

1939

Paul H. Müller develops the insecticide DDT.

1940

Peter Carl Goldmark demonstrates first successful colour television system.

1942

Enrico Fermi builds the first nuclear reactor.

1943

Alan Turing designs Colossus, the first fully electronic computer; Ladislao Biro patents the ball-point pen.

1948

John Bardeen, Walter H. Brattain and William B. Shockley invent the transistor; Tom Kilburn and Frederic C. Williams design Mark I, the world’s first programmable computer; Edwin Herbert Land invents the instant camera.

1949

Bernard Silver and Norman Joseph Woodland patent the bull’s eye code, the first form of bar code.

1950

Ralph Schneider founds Diner’s Club, the world’s first credit card company.

1953

Percy Spencer patents the microwave oven.

1953-1954

Jonas Edward Salk and Albert Bruce Sabin develop polio vaccination.

1954

Gregory Pincus and John Rock develop the first oral contraceptive; Louis Hartmann succeeds in coating frying-pans with Teflon.

1956

FORTRAN, the first computer language, introduced by John Backus at IBM.

1957

First artificial satellite Sputnik launched.

1960

PDP-1, developed by Digital Equipment Corp., is the first commercial computer to use a keyboard and monitor.

1966

Fiber optics used for transmitting data at ITT.

1967

First human heart transplant by Christian Barnard.

1968

Christopher Cockerell invents the hovercraft.

1969

Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin land on the moon; BBN’s ARPANET network (the term “Internet” was first used in 1974) links four U.S. universities.

1971

Intel Corp. produces the first microprocessor.

1972

J.S. Kilby, J.D. Merryman and J.H. Van Tassel of Texas Instruments build the first pocket calculator; Philips develops the first video disc, progenitor of the CD-ROM.

1973

Xerox markets the first computer mouse.

1975

First personal computer, the MITS Altair 8800, is marketed in kit form.

1976

Viking 1 and 2 land on Mars and send colour pictures back to earth.

1977

First soft drink bottles made out of PET.

1979

USENET created by Steve Bellovin, Tom Truscott and Jim Ellis.

1981

NASA launches first space shuttle Columbia; IBM introduces first personal computer to use Microsoft’s PC-DOS operating system.

1986

Marlow Foods markets the first food product to be based on myco-proteins, labelled Quorn™.

1989

The U.S. Defense Department launches the first satellite in the Global Positioning System.

1990

The Hubble Space Telescope goes into orbit.

1992

CERN releases the World Wide Web, co-implemented by Tim Berners-Lee.

1993

Intel launches the Pentium chip.

1996

Ian Wilmut and Keith Campbell of the Roslin Institute (Edinburgh) are the first to clone an adult mammal.

1998

The first module of the International Space Station is launched.

 

 

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