Computer history - 1800s

Updated: 12/31/2022 by Computer Hope
Year Event
1801 Frances Joseph-Marie Jacquard first demonstrates the Jacquard Loom.
1804 Frances Joseph-Marie Jacquard completes his fully automated loom in 1804 that's programmed by punched cards.
1809 An early but crude telegraph type device is invented in 1809 by Samuel Soemmering.
1810 Hayyim Slonimski was born in 1810.
1811 Alexander Bain was born in 1811.
1811 Johann Bischoff passed away on April 14, 1811 (Age: 75).
1814 Izrael Staffel was born in 1814.
1815 Giovanni Caselli was born on April 25, 1815.
1815 George Boole was born on November 2, 1815.
1815 Ada Lovelace was born on December 15, 1815.
1816 Werner Siemens was born on December 13, 1816.
1816 Charles Stanhope passed away on December 15, 1816 (Age: 63).
1817 Édouard-Léon Martinville was born on April 25, 1817.
1818 Samuel Hopkins passed away in 1818.
1819 Christopher Sholes was born on February 14, 1819.
1820 Charles Xavier Thomas de Colmar creates the "Arithometer," the first reliable, useful, and commercially successful calculating machine. The calculator could not only add but also subtract, multiply, and divide.
1821 Pafnuty Chebyshev was born on May 16, 1821.
1822 In early 1822, Charles Babbage begins developing the Difference Engine that included the first mechanical printer.
1823 Baron Jons Jackob Berzelius discovered silicon (Si), which today is the basic component of an IC (integrated circuit).
1825 William Sturgeon invented the modern compass, using the concept of electromagnetism.
1825 The earliest known surviving photograph is taken by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce in 1825 of a view of a courtyard from his window.
1827 Alessandro Volta passed away on March 5, 1827 (Age: 82).
1827 Georg Simon Ohm introduces Ohm's law in the book Die galvanische Kette, mathematisch bearbeitet.
1828 Harrison Dyar becomes the first person in the United States to invent a Telegraph type device.
1830 Samuel Soule was born on January 25, 1830.
1830 Eadweard Muybridge was born on April 9, 1830.
1830 Jean Fourier passed away on May 16, 1830 (Age: 62).
1831 Joseph Henry of Princeton invented the first working telegraph.
1832 Semen Korsakov uses punch cards for the first time in 1832 to store and search for information.
1832 On October 21, 1832, Pavel Schilling became the first to transmit signals between two telegraphs in different rooms of his apartment.
1833 Joseph Niépce passed away on July 5, 1833 (Age: 68).
1834 Joseph Jacquard passed away on August 7, 1834 (Age: 82).
1835 Elisha Gray was born on August 2, 1835.
1835 William Jevons was born on September 1, 1835.
1836 Michael Faraday invented the Faraday cage in 1836.
1836 Samuel Morse and Alfred Vail begin developing a code (later called Morse code) that used different numbers to represent the letters of the English alphabet and the ten digits.
1837 Charles Babbage first purposed the Analytical Engine, which was the first computer to use punch cards as memory and a way to program the computer.
1838 Fredrik Idestam was born on October 28, 1838.
1839 The very first use of a drone was in 1839.
1841 Edmund Barbour was born in 1841.
1842 Jacob Auch passed away on March 20, 1842 (Age: 77).
1843 Thomas Fowler passed away on March 31, 1843 (Age: 66).
1844 Joseph Clement passed away on February 28, 1844 (Age: 65).
1844 Samuel Morse dispatched the first telegraphic message over a line from Washington, D.C. to Baltimore on May 24, 1844. The now famous message was: "What hath God wrought."
1845 In 1845, Izrael Staffel demonstrated the Staffel's calculator at the industrial exhibition in Warsaw.
1845 Wilhelm Rontgen was born on March 27, 1845.
1845 Willgodt Odhner was born on August 10, 1845.
1845 Jean-Maurice-Emile Baudot was born on September 11, 1845.
1846 Royal Earl House patented a printing telegraph that used 28 piano-style keys to represent each letter of the alphabet and make it easier for everyone to send messages.
1847 Thomas Edison was born on February 11, 1847.
1847 Alexander Graham Bell was born on March 3, 1847.
1847 Siemens was founded on October 12, 1847.
1849 John Ambrose Fleming was born on November 29, 1849.
1849 George Grant was born on December 21, 1849.
1850 Charles Flint was born on January 24, 1850.
1850 Karl Braun was born on June 6, 1850.
1850 William Sturgeon passed away on December 4, 1850 (Age: 67).
1850 The term "matrix" was coined by English mathematician James Joseph Sylvester.
1851 Western Union was founded in 1851.
1851 Emile Berliner was born on May 20, 1851.
1852 Ada Lovelace passed away on November 27, 1852 (Age: 36).
1853 Semen Korsakov passed away on December 1, 1853 (Age: 65).
1854 Augustus DeMorgan and George Boole formalize a set of logical operations now known as DeMorgan transformations.
1854 George Fairchild was born on May 6, 1854.
1854 Georg Ohm passed away on July 6, 1854 (Age: 65).
1854 George Eastman was born on July 12, 1854.
1855 The Crane Company was founded in 1855.
1855 Johann Gauss passed away on February 23, 1855 (Age: 77).
1856 Nikola Tesla was born on July 10, 1856.
1857 Heinrich Hertz was born on February 22, 1857.
1857 The phonautograph (phonograph) was patented on March 25, 1857, by Frenchman Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville. The device was capable of transcribing sound to a medium.
1858 Otto Steiger was born in 1858.
1858 The OpenVMS epoch time began on November 17, 1858.
1858 Jagadish Bose was born on November 30, 1858.
1859 The elevator was patented on August 9, 1859.
1860 Herman Hollerith was born on February 29, 1860.
1861 The first known permanent color photograph is taken of a Tartan Ribbon by the photographer Thomas Sutton. To achieve a color image he took a photo of the ribbon three times, each time with a different color, a method developed by James Clerk Maxwell.
1861 The first transcontinental telegraph line began operation on October 24, 1861.
1862 David Hilbert was born on January 23, 1862.
1862 Vilhelm Bjerknes was born on March 14, 1862.
1862 Dorr Felt was born on March 18, 1862.
1862 Philibert D'Ocagne was born on March 26, 1862.
1864 George Boole passed away on December 8, 1864 (Age: 49).
1865 The committee now known as the ITU was founded on May 17, 1865.
1865 Nokia was originally founded by Fredrik Idestam as a wood pulp company in 1865.
1866 The first successful Trans-Atlantic cable is laid from Ireland to Newfoundland.
1867 Michael Faraday passed away on August 25, 1867 (Age: 75).
1868 Christopher Sholes was issued a patent on July 14, 1868, for a typewriter utilizing the QWERTY layout keyboard still used today.
1868 Paul Otlet was born on August 23, 1868.
1869 Cathode rays are first discovered by Johann Hittorf.
1869 The company Gray and Barton is formed by Elisha Gray and Enos N. Barton in 1869 and three years later is renamed to the Western Electric Manufacturing Company.
1870 Mitsubishi was founded in 1870.
1870 Mathematical philosopher Benjamin Peirce coins the term idempotence in his self-published 1870 book, Linear Associative Algebra.
1870 Charles Thomas passed away on March 12, 1870 (Age: 84).
1871 Hubert Booth was born on July 4, 1871.
1871 Charles Babbage passed away on October 18, 1871 (Age: 79).
1872 Samuel Morse passed away on April 2, 1872 (Age: 80).
1873 Georg Scheutz passed away on May 22, 1873 (Age: 88).
1873 Lee Forest was born on August 26, 1873.
1873 William Coolidge was born on October 23, 1873.
1874 Thomas Watson was born on February 17, 1874.
1874 Emile Baudot invented the Baudot code in 1874.
1874 Guglielmo Marconi was born on April 25, 1874.
1875 Tanaka Seizo-sho was established in Japan and later merged with another company called shibaura Seisaku-sho to form Tokyo Shibarura Denki in 1875. Later this company's name was shortened to the company that we know today, Toshiba.
1875 Samuel Soule passed away on July 12, 1875 (Age: 45).
1875 William Eccles was born on August 23, 1875.
1875 The company American Telephone and Telegraph Company that became AT&T was founded in 1875.
1876 Édouard Belin, inventor of a photographic transmission device that was a precursor of the television, was born on March 5, 1876.
1876 Scottish-Canadian-American Alexander Graham Bell is often credited as inventing the telephone makes the first call on March 10, 1876.
1876 Ericsson was founded in 1876.
1877 Alexander Bain passed away on January 2, 1877 (Age: 65).
1877 The world's first long-distance telephone line was connected between French Corral California with French Lake, 58 miles away.
1877 The microphone is invented in the United States by Emile Berliner.
1877 Thomas Edison announced on November 21, 1877, the first phonograph capable of recording and replaying sounds.
1878 Eadweard Muybridge's "The Horse in Motion" becomes the first motion picture.
1878 The first keyboard to have a Shift was introduced in 1878. The keyboard was found on the Remington No. 2 typewriter and had one Shift key on the left side of the keyboard.
1878 Joseph Henry passed away on May 13, 1878 (Age: 80).
1878 Arthur Scherbius was born on October 20, 1878.
1879 Albert Einstein was born on March 14, 1879.
1879 Édouard-Léon Martinville passed away on April 26, 1879 (Age: 62).
1879 Thomas Edison demos incandescent electric light bulb that lasts 13 1/2 hours on October 21, 1879.
1879 James Jacob Ritty patented the world's first cash register on November 4, 1879.
1879 President Rutherford B. Hayes becomes the first president with a phone in the White House and gets the phone number "1."
1880 Thomas Edison received patent #223,898 for the electric lamp on January 27, 1880.
1880 ASME was founded in 1880.
1880 Albert Hull was born on April 19, 1880.
1880 James Bryce was born on September 5, 1880.
1881 Emanuel Goldberg was born on August 31, 1881.
1882 William Jevons passed away on August 13, 1882 (Age: 46).
1882 Thomas Edison was awarded patent # 252,442 on January 17, 1882, for the carbon microphone used in telephones.
1882 The first commercial electric power station became operational on September 4, 1882.
1882 Fredrik Bull was born on December 25, 1882.
1883 Edith Clarke was born on February 10, 1883.
1883 American Thomas Edison discovered the Edison effect, where an electric current flows through a vacuum.
1883 Percy Ludgate was born on August 2, 1883.
1884 Izrael Staffel passed away in 1884.
1884 Herman Hollerith filed his first patent for The Hollerith Electric Tabulating System.
1885 American Telegraph and Telephone company (AT&T) was incorporated on March 3, 1885.
1885 Julius E. Pitrap of Gallipolis, patented his first computing scale.
1886 Heinrich Rudolf Hertz proves electromagnetic waves and that electricity is transmitted at the speed of light.
1886 James Rand was born on November 18, 1886.
1886 Dr. Herman Hollerith conducts the first practical test of his tabulating system in recording and tabulating vital statistics for the Baltimore (Maryland) Department of Health.
1887 Yamaha was founded on October 12, 1887.
1888 Clair Lake was born in 1888.
1888 National Geographic Society was established on January 27, 1888.
1888 Nikola Tesla patented the rotating field motor on May 1, 1888, and later sold the rights to George Westinghouse. This invention helps create and transmit AC power and today is still a method for generating and distributing AC power.
1888 William S. Burroughs patented a printing adding machine.
1888 John Baird was born on August 14, 1888.
1888 Thomas Edison filed for a patent for the Optical Phonograph (film camera) on October 17, 1888.
1888 Eastman Kodak was issued U.S. patent number 388,850 for his roll-film box camera on September 4, 1888, and the company was founded in the same year.
1888 John Loud got patent for the ballpoint pen on October 30, 1888.
1888 Dr. Alexander Dey invented the first dial recorder in 1888. Dey's business was one of the building blocks of C-T-R (that became IBM).
1888 Friedrich Reintzer discovered liquid crystal.
1889 Harlow Bundy incorporates the Bundy Manufacturing Company as the first time recording company in the world. It produced a time clock to record a worker's arrival and departure time on a paper tape.
1889 Herman Hollerith first describes the tabulating machine in his doctoral thesis. He also received the first patent for his electric tabulating machine in 1889.
1889 Nintendo was founded in 1889.
1890 Henry Philips was born in 1890.
1890 Christopher Sholes passed away on February 17, 1890 (Age: 71).
1890 Vannevar Bush was born on March 11, 1890.
1890 The company we now know as GE was founded in 1890 by Thomas Edison as the Edison General Electric Company.
1890 Herman Hollerith developed a method for machines to record and store information onto punch cards to be used for the US census. The system reduced an almost 10-year long process to two and a half years and saved over $5 million. He later formed the company we know as IBM today.
1891 Phillips was founded in 1891.
1891 Giovanni Caselli passed away on June 8, 1891.
1891 Edward Canby and Orange Ozias purchased Julius Pitrap's patent and incorporated The Computing Scale Company as the world's first computing scale company.
1892 The American company General Electric was founded on April 15, 1892.
1892 Werner Siemens passed away on December 6, 1892 (Age: 75).
1893 The first Underwood typewriter was invented by Franz Xaver Wagner and was filed for U.S. patent 523,698 April 27, 1893.
1893 On May 1, 1893, Nikola Tesla helps power the worlds first fair powered by AC electricity in Chicago.
1893 Leslie Comrie was born on August 15, 1893.
1893 Dey Patents Company, which manufactures the very first dial time recorder, is formed. It later is renamed Dey Time Register Company.
1894 Heinrich Hertz passed away on January 1, 1894 (Age: 36).
1894 August Dvorak was born on May 5, 1894.
1894 Norbert Weiner was born on November 26, 1894.
1894 Pafnuty Chebyshev passed away on December 8, 1894 (Age: 73).
1894 J. L. Willard and F. A. Frick of Rochester, New York, form the Willard and Frick Manufacturing Company, the first card time recorder company.
1895 Guglielmo Marconi became the first person to receive a radio signal in 1895.
1895 Nortel Networks was founded in 1895.
1895 Paul Galvin was born on June 27, 1895.
1895 The Underwood Typewriter Company was founded in 1895.
1895 Wilhelm Röntgen discovered X-rays on November 8, 1895.
1895 The Computing Scale Company introduces the first automatic computing scale.
1896 The Niagara Falls begins generating power from Nikola Tesla AC power generators starting the electric age in America.
1896 Herman Hollerith starts the Tabulating Machine Company. The company later becomes one of the companies that helped form IBM (International Business Machines).
1897 Gertrude Blanch is born.
1897 Maxwell Newman was born on February 7, 1897.
1897 Emil Post was born on February 11, 1897.
1897 German scientist Karl Ferdinand Braun invented the Cathode-Ray Oscilloscope.
1897 Thomas Edison patented the Kinetoscope, a motion picture viewer on August 31, 1897.
1898 Alcatel was founded in 1898.
1898 Russell Ohl was born in January 1898.
1898 Nikola Tesla invented the remote control on November 8, 1898.
1899 Gustav Tauschek was born on April 29, 1899.
1899 Nippon Electric Company was renamed to NEC Corporation on July 17, 1899.
1899 AT&T acquired assets of American Bell and became the parent company of Bell System in 1899.
1899 The Retail Credit Company was founded in 1899 by Guy Woolford, the company would later become Equifax.
1899 The first key punch is developed, as is the job time recorder.
1899 Sprint was founded in 1899.
1899 Sedlbauer was founded in 1899.
1899 On September 13, 1899, Henry Bliss became the first North American pedestrian to be killed by an automobile.
1899 The Bundy Manufacturing Company acquired the Standard Time Stamp Company, a manufacturer of timestamps and a card recorder.
1899 William D. Middlebrook patented the paper clip on November 9, 1899.

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