The Firsts - Groundbreaking achievements, inventions and the pioneers. Pre 1900              Home

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The inventor of the clock is unknown, but at first a toy, it became efficient as a time piece in England in 1720 and in America
in 1792. The electric clock was developed in 1840 by Charles Wheatstone.
Many years were spent by unknown persons in developing phosphorescent matches; and at last friction matches were perfec-
ted in 1834.
The Daniell cell, a type of electrochemical cell was invented in 1836 by John Frederic Daniell.
The electrotype was invented by Moritz von Jacobi in 1838.
A machine that would sew was first made by a Vermont preacher named John Adams Dodge. Elias Howe improved John’s invention. He took out the first patent in 1846. He later became a very wealthy man.
The Elias Howe machine, September 10, 1846. Earliest model filed in Patent Office.
Drawing of the first patented lockstitch sewing machine, invented by Elias Howe in 1845 and patented in 1846. The machine
was not successful commercially. Isaac Singer improved it and manufactured the first commercially successful machine in 1850. Howe sued Singer for patent infringement and won in 1854, and subsequently earned about 2 million dollars in royalties for his invention. Alterations: removed the caption, which read: "The first Howe sewing machine"

Paper was first made in the United States at Dorchester, Mass., in 1728.
Modern commercial toilet paper originated in the 19th century, with a patent for roll-based dispensers being made in 1883.
Gas was first used for lighting in England in 1792; in the United States at Baltimore in 1821.
Photography came in 1859, and was an outgrowth from the ambrotype in 1854, and daguerrotype of 1789. Daguerre obtained
his ideas, undoubtedly from the camera obscura, invented in 1569.
Paint was first used in the United States on houses in 1734.
The turreted warship was invented and put into use by the Swedish-born engineer and inventor John Ericsson, in 1862. Turret
ships were a 19th-century type of warship. See. USS Monitor. Later Ericsson designed other naval vessels and weapons, in-cluding a type of torpedo and a Destroyer, a torpedo boat that could fire a cannon from an underwater port.

The first turret ship, the USS Monitor. It was launched on March 6, 1862. Replica of USS Monitor. The armored ship
which included a rotating turret housing a pair of large cannons.

Locomotive engines were first made by Richard Trevethick in 1802. Utilized by George Stephenson. Stephenson designed his
first locomotive in 1814.
A precision boring machine that could bore engine cylinders and cannon barrels with unequaled accuracy were invented by John "Iron-Mad" Wilkinson in 1775. In 1757 Wilkinson patented a hydraulic powered blowing engine for blast furnaces.
Bellows were invented by Anacharis in Scythia, B.C. 569.
The machine for paring apples was devised by Contes in 1803.
The steam printing press was invented by Richard Hoe in 1842.

Richard March Hoe's printing press—six cylinder design. 1864.

The circulation of the blood was discovered by William Harvey in 1617.
The magic lantern was the invention of Roger Bacon in 1260. Magic Lantern is the name given to an optical instrument for pro-jecting on a white wall or screen largely magnified representations of transparent pictures painted or photographed on glass.
The first dictionary was made by Chinese scholars, B.C. 1109.
The first pair of spectacles was made by Alessandro di Spina, an Italian, 1299.
The first silver coin was made by Phidon, king of Argos, B.C. 869.
Globes and maps were the invention of Anaximander, B.C. 602.
Platform scales were the invention of Thaddeus Fairbanks in 1831.
The circular saw was devised by Samuel Bentham, an Englishman, in 1790.
The snar drum was brought into Europe by the Saracens, about 703.
Diamond cutting by machinery was first done in Holland in 1498.
Machines for making tacks were first made by Thomas Blanchard, 1806. In 1825, he also invented America's first car, which he called a "horseless carriage," powered by steam.
The amalgamator was an American invention by Thomas Varney about 1850.
The accidental discovery of glass by making camp fires in the sand is recorded by Pliny.
The most remarkable invention of the phonograph was made by Edison in 1877.
The art of printing cannot be traced. Gutenburg invented movable types in 1440, one of the greatest and most important of all
inventions. The first printing in America was in 1630.
The first canon cast was by John Owen in 1536. Breech loading cannon did not come until after the commencement of the 19th
The first iron cast in England byan Englishman is believed to have been made by Ralph Hog of Buxted, Sussex, in 1542.
The development of the electric (arch) light was made by Brush and Edison in 1870. The wonderful incandescent, by Edison,
was perfected in 1884.
The thermometer was invented by Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit in 1798.
The barometer was invented by Evangelista Torricelli in 1643.
Lithography was discovered by accident by Johann Alois Senefelder in 1798.
Machines for making tacks were first made by Thomas Blanchard, 1806.
Light howitzers for field use were first made by Paixhans, 1822. Gatlin gun (cannon) 1860.
The dinner fork was introduced into Italy in 1491; into England in 1608.
Friedrich Buschmann of Berlin built the first accordion in 1822. Another version of the accordion was invented by Cyrillus
Damian of Vienna in 1829.
The first training school for teachers was organised in Prussia in 1735.
The first omnibus appeared in Paris in 1825; in New York five years later.
The method of calvinizing rubber was invented by Goodyear in 1849.
The spinning jenny was the invention of James Hargreaves in England in 1764.
Threshing machines were invented by Michael Menzies, a Scotchman in 1732.
Stereotyping was the invention of Firmin Didot, 1793, and came to America in 1813.
Gilding with gold leaf was first done by Margaritone, an Italian, in 1273. Gold leaf is extremely thin gold sheets.
The hand fire engine was first made in Holland by Jan Van der Heiden about 1672. He also invented a flexible leather hose with brass fittings; steam fire engine first used in the Unites States successfully in 1852.
The alphabet was brought into Greece from Phoenicia 1493 before Christ.
The clarinet was the invention of Johann Christoph Denner, a German, in 1690.
Matches for striking a light were invented in 1839.
The first post office opened its doors in Paris, 1462; in England in 1581; in America, 1710.
The torpedo was first made in 1877.
Buckets were first made in 1680.
Brandy was first made in France 1310.
The folding envelope was first used in 1939.
The first horse railroad was built in 1826.
The velocipede was invented by Drais in 1817.
Bombshells were first made in Holland in 1495.
Coal oil was first used as an illuminant in 1826.
Alcohol was first discovered in the 13th century.
Iron pavements were first laid in London in 1817.
Steel needles were first made in England in 1545.
The first plaster cast was made by Verachio in 1470.
The first almanac was printed in Hungary in 1470.
Barometers were first made by Tortaicelli in 1643.
The first American paper money was made in 1740.
Roller skates were invented by Plympton in 1863.
Covered carraiges were first used in England in 1580.
The first iron wire was drawn at Nueremburg in 1351.
Advertisements first appeared in newspapers in 1652.
Shorthand writing was the invention of Pitman in 1837.
Stem winding wartches were the invention of Noel in 1851.