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

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Envelopes were first manufactured in 1839 by a New York City man named Pierson. Before then, all letters were folded so that a
blank portion of the paper could be used for the address. The edges of the paper were then sealed with sealing wax.
The first successful machine for making envelopes was patented by J.K. Clark and C.S. Watsen of New York City in 1849. A
greatly improved envelope machine was patented by a man named John Ames Sherman in 1898.

Gunpowder was invented by the Chinese in an unknown age.
Jonas Chickering of Boston made the first American piano in 1823. In 1823, Chickering formed a partnership with pianomaker James Stewart. They produced 15 pianos the first year at workshops at 20 Common street and sold their first piano on June 23, 1823 for $275.

The first railroad was run with passengers in England in 1825
Steamboats were invented by Robert Fulton. In 1807, Fulton and Livingston together built the first commercial steamboat, the
North River Steamboat. Fulton's final design was the Demologos the world's first steam-driven warship built for the US Navy
for the war of 1812.
The hot air balloon (Montgolfière-style hot air balloon) was invented by Joseph-Michel Montgolfier and Jacques-Étienne Mont-
golfier and on 5 June 1783, they flew it.
The microscope came into use in 1590.
The air pump was invented by Otto von Guericke in 1654.
The electrical telegraph is the invention of S.F.B. Morse in 1837. Alfred Vail, developed the Morse code signalling alphabet with Morse. It was greatly improved by his associate, Alfred Vail, in 1848.

Samuel Morse telegraph

The telephone is the result of inventions by Edison, Bell, Gray and Blake from 1876 to 1880.
The hydraulic press was invented by Joseph Bramah in 1796. His other inventions included: Beer pump (1785), a beer engine (1793), rotary engines (1790), a planing machine (1802), a paper-making machine (1805), a machine for automatically printing
bank notes with sequential serial numbers (1806), pens (1809).
Wristlet watches were first used in London in 1886.
The duelling pistol (Philadelphia Deringer pistol) was the invention of a Philadelphia gunsmith named Henry Deringer, in 1800.
The first repeating pistol had four barrels, all of which turned, and was invented by a man named Ethan Allen in 1833. The Pep-
per-box, known as the "Gun that won the East", was the most common repeating handgun. Samuel Colt invented his revolver in 1835 but it did not come into use until 1850.
Billiards were invented in France by Henrique Devigne about 1571.
The first pipe organ was made by Archimedes, B.C. 220.
The McCormick reaper came in 1849. The McCormick Reaper was designed by Robert McCormick in Walnut Grove.

The Cyrus McCormick's reaper at the presentation in Virginia (USA)

Diesel engine invented by Rudolf Diesel in 1897.
Vacuum cleaner invented by John S. Thurman in 1899.
Condensed milk invented by Gail Borden in 1856.
Bicycle with front wheel pedals invented by Pierre Michaux and Pierre Lallement in 1862.