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Chronology of Events - 1800s

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The following is a chronological listing of significant events in the development of the field of Information Technology during the 1800s. For other time periods see:

1801 Edit

1803 Edit

1808 Edit

  • The first working typewriter is built by Pellegrino Turri for his visually impaired friend, the Countess Carolina Fantoni da Fivizzono.

1809 Edit

  • Samuel Thomas Soemmering invents the electrical telegraph.

1811-1813 Edit

  • The Luddite Movement in England (November 11, 1811 – January 12, 1813) results in the destruction of machinery by workers and craftsmen concerned about the loss of their jobs due to mechanization in the workplace.

1820 Edit

  • Charles Xavier Thomas de Colmar creates the "arithometer," the first commercially successful calculating machine.
  • Electromagnetism discovered.

1822 Edit

1831 Edit

February 3, 1831 — The first general revision of U.S. copyright law is enacted. The author's exclusive rights are extended from 14 years to 28 years, with a potential 14-year extension.

1832 Edit

1833 Edit

  • Carl Friedrich Gauss and Wilhelm Weber invent their own telegraphic code to communicate over a distance.

1834 Edit

  • Louis Braille develops the Braille Code to allow the blind to read.

1837 Edit

July 24, 1837 — Sir Charles Wheatstone and William Fothergill Cooke patent the telegraph.

1841 Edit

1842 Edit

1843 Edit

  • Per and Georg Scheutz construct the first working Difference Engine based on Babbage's design in Stockholm.
  • William Henry Fox Talbot receives a patent on the first optical photocopier (a "magnifying apparatus").

1844 Edit

May 24, 1844 — Samuel Morse transmits the first message "What hath God wrought?" by "Morse code" between New York and Philadelphia.

1845 Edit

  • The transatlantic cable is proposed.

1846 Edit

  • Sir William Fotherhill Cooke and Joseph Lewis Ricardo found the Electric Telegraph Company in the U.K.

1847 Edit

1848 Edit

1850 Edit

  • A telegraph line laid between England and France across the English Channel.

1851 Edit

  • Western Union is founded.

1853 Edit

Nov. 30, 1853 — George Boole publishes a book titled An Investigation on the Laws of Thought on symbolic logic.

  • A tabulating machine is invented by Per Georg Scheutz and his son Edvard.

1854 Edit

  • The Playfair cipher is invented by Sir Charles Wheatstone.

1855 Edit

  • Antonio Meucci establishes a telephone link inside an apartment in New York City.

1856 Edit

July 10, 1856 — Nikola Tesla is born.

1857 Edit

March 25, 1857 — The phonautograph (phonograph) is patented by Frenchman Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville.

  • The Treaty of the Six Nations establishes a telegraph service cartel, dividing the countries into six sections and assigning each section to one firm.

1858 Edit

August 16, 1858 — The first transatlantic cable is successfully completed. It runs from Ireland to Newfoundland. It only remained in service a few days before failing. [Subsequent cables laid in 1866 were successful.]

1861 Edit

1865 Edit

  • A telegraphic message is transmitted 18 miles by radio.

1866 Edit

  • Transatlantic cables laid in 1866 between Valentia (Ireland) and Newfoundland is successful and remains in use for almost 100 years.

1868 Edit

July 14, 1868 — Christopher Sholes patents a typewriter with the QWERTY layout keyboard.

1869 Edit

  • William Stanley Jevons designs a practical logic machine.

1870 Edit

July 8, 1870 — In the second major revision of copyright law, U.S. Congress centralizes copyright activities (including registration and deposit within the Library of Congress.

1872 Edit

  • Western Electric Manufacturing Company is established.

1873 Edit

1875 Edit

May 17, 1865 — The International Telegraph Convention was signed by 20 States.

1876 Edit

February 27, 1876 — Thomas Sanders, Gardiner G. Hubbard and Alexander Graham Bell found the Bell Patent Association.

March 10, 1876 — Alexander Graham Bell patents the telephone (U.S. Patent No. 174,465; "Improvements in Transmitters and Receivers for Electric Telegraph").

1877 Edit

July 9, 1877 — Bell Telephone Company is organized in Boston, Massachusetts.

November 21, 1877 — Thomas Edison and announces the first phonograph capable of recording and replaying sounds.

1878 Edit

  • The American Speaking Telephone Company is created by Western Union to compete with the Bell Telephone Company.
  • The French Ministry of Posts and Telegraphs is created.

1879 Edit

February 17, 1879 — The National Telephone Company is formed to provide telephone service throughout the United States, based on Elisha Gray's patents. It will be dissolved by a court order in 1903.

1880 Edit

April 1, 1880 — Alexander Graham Bell and his assistant Charles Summer Tainter transmit the first wireless telephone message 213 meters on a beam of light (the "light-beam photophone").

1881 Edit

1882 Edit

February 1882 — Western Electric and American Bell enter an agreement where Western Electric becomes the exclusive supplier to American Bell.

  • Bell Telephone acquires Western Electric Company.

1884 Edit

  • Dorr E. Felt develops the Comptometer, which is operated by pressing keys.
  • The IEEE is founded.

1885 Edit

April 3, 1885 — American Telephone and Telegraph Corporation (AT&T) is established to create a commercially viable, nationwide long-distance network. The Ministry of Communications is esablished in Japan.

1886 Edit

September 9, 1886 — The Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, an international copyright treaty is ratified in Berne, Switzerland.

1887 Edit

1888 Edit

1889 Edit

1890 Edit

  • Herman Hollerith uses an automated punch card machine, manufactured by the Computing Tabulating Recording Corporation, for the U.S. census. Hollerith's firm merges with several other companies to become IBM in 1924.
  • Telephone service begins in Japan.
  • Samuel Warren and Louis Brandeis publish their landmark law review article titled "The Right to Privacy" in volume 4 of the Harvard Law Review.

1891 Edit

1893 Edit

1895 Edit

1896 Edit

December 3, 1896 — Hermann Hollerith's business is incorporated as the Tabulating Machine Company (TMC). The company develops an automatic punch card sorter.

1897 Edit

February 19, 1897 — The U.S. Copyright Office is established as a separate department of the Library of Congress. The position of Register of Copyrights is established.

1898 Edit

1899 Edit

  • The Wireless Telegraph Company of America is created by Guglielmo Marconi.

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