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Chronology of Events - 1700s

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he following is a chronological listing of significant events in the development of the field of Information Technology during the 1700s. For other time periods see:

1710 — The Statute of Anne is enacted in England. It is considered the origin of modern copyright law. It ends the private publishing monopoly of the Stationers' Company. It gives authors/creators the exclusive right to publish their works and profit from them for a limited time, after which it falls into the public domain.

1714 — Henry Mill is issued a patent for an "artificial machine or method" for forgery-proof writing (e.g., a typewriter.

1725 — An early form of punch cards begin to be used in textile looms.

1747 — Sir. William Watson demonstrates the transmission of electricity along a metal wire.

1782 — The U.S. Congress enacts legislation making the opening of mail in transit a criminal offense.

1787Article 1, §8, clause 8 of the U.S. Constitution provides that "Congress shall have power . . . to promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries."

June 23, 1789 — First federal bill relating to copyrights (H.R. 10) is presented to the first U.S. Congress.

1790 — The French Chappe brothers create the first optical telegraph system. It consists of a system of pendulums that can be moved to send messages from one tower to the next.

May 31, 1790U.S. Congress enacts the Copyright Act of 1790 — the country's first copyright law. The law provides for a term of 14 years with the option of renewing the registration for another 14 year term. The law only applied to books, maps, and charts.

1790U.S. Congress enacts the Patent Act of 1790 — the country's first patent law.

1791 — The U.S. Bill of Rights is enacted.

1792 — Claude Chappe invents the wireless semaphore telegraph.

1791 — Thomas Jefferson invents the Jefferson disk cipher.

1799 ‐ The Rosetta Stone is found. It makes it possible to decipher the Egyptian hieroglyphs.

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