1563 Rev. William Lee, born at Woodborough near Nottingham, invents the Stocking Frame, a mechanical device for knitting stockings.
1692

Languedoc Canal connects the Mediterranean with the Bay of Biscay. 240 miles long, with 100 locks, 3 major aqueducts, 1 tunnel, and a summit reservoir.  The largest canal project between Roman times and the nineteenth century.

1708

Jethro Tull's mechanical (seed) sower permits large-scale planting in rows, for easier cultivation between the rows.

1709

Abraham Darby uses coke to smelt iron ore, replacing wood and charcoal as fuel.

1712

Thomas Newcomen builds first commercially successful steam engine. Able to keep deep coal mines clear of water. First significant power source other than wind and water.

1733

John Kay's flying shuttle.

1758

First threshing machine.

1761

James Brindley's Bridgewater Canal opens. Barges carry coal from Worsley to Manchester.

1765

James Hargreaves invents the spinning jenny, automating weaving the warp (in the weaving of cloth).

1769

Arkwright's "water" (powered) frame automates the weft.

1772

Bridgewater Canal extended to the Mersey, thus connecting with Liverpool. Its success kicks off extensive canal construction ("canal mania").

1775

Watt's first efficient steam engine, much more efficient than the Newcomen. 

1777

Grand Trunk Canal establishes a cross-England route connecting the Mersey to the Trent and connecting the industrial Midlands to the ports of Bristol, Liverpool, and Hull.

1779

First steam powered mills. Crompton's "mule" combines Hargreaves' and Arkwright's machines, fully automating the weaving process.

1786

Arkwright puts a Watt engine in the Albion cotton mill, Blackfriars Bridge, London.

1787

Cartwright builds a power loom.

1789

Thames-Severn Canal links the Thames to the Bristol Channel.

1792

William Murdock (James Watt's assistant) lights his home with coal gas.

1793

Eli Whitney develops his cotton gin (a device to clean raw cotton).

1793-
1803

Thomas Telford builds his two great iron aqueducts, over the Dee and the Cierog valleys.

1801

Robert Trevithick demonstrates a steam locomotive.

1803-22

Caledonian Ship Canal cuts clear across Scotland via the Great Glen.

1807

Robert Fulton's Clermont first successful steamboat.

1811-15 

Luddite riots: laborers attack factories and break up the machines they fear will replace them.

1821

Faraday demonstrates electro-magnetic rotation, the principle of the electric motor.

1825

Marc Brunel invents a tunnelling shield, making subaqueous tunnelling possible.

1826-42

Brunel builds the first subaqueous tunnel, under the Thames.

1827

Berkeley Ship Canal connects Sharpness (on the Severn) to Gloucester.

1830

The Liverpool and Manchester Railway begins first regular commercial rail service.

1831

Faraday discovers electro-magnetic current, making possible generators and electric engines.

1834

Charles Babbage develops his analytic engine--the forerunner of the computer. 
Fox Talbot produces photographs.

1837

Morse develops the telegraph and Morse Code. 
Great Western--first ocean-going steamship.

1838

Daguerre perfects the Daguerrotype.

1839

Fox Talbot introduces photographic paper.

1843

Great Britain--first large, iron, screw-propelled steamship.

1844 Commercial use of Morse's telegraph (Baltimore to Washington).

1846

Pneumatic tire patented
First telegraph cable laid under the Channel. 

1849

Monier develops reinforced concrete.

1850

Petrol (gasoline) refining first used. 
Natural Science Honours School established at Oxford.

1851

Singer invents first practical sewing machine. 
Natural Sciences Tripos at Cambridge.

1853

Elisha Otis invents the elevator safety brake making skyscrapers possible

1854

Bessemer invents steel converter.

1855

Regius Chair of Technology founded at Edinburgh. 

1856

W.H. Perkin produces aniline dyes, permitting brightly colored cottons.

1857

Pasteur experiments with fermentation.

1858

First Trans-Atlantic Cable completed
Cathode rays discovered.

1859

Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species
Edwin Drake strikes oil in Pennsylvania. 
Etienne Lenoir demonstrates the first successful gasoline engine.

1860

Science degrees at University of London.

1863

Siemens-Martin open hearth process (along with the Bessemer converter) makes steel available in bulk. Steel begins to replace iron in building: steel framing and reinforced concrete make possible "curtain-wall" architecture--i.e., the skyscraper.

1867

Alfred Nobel produces dynamite, the first high explosive which can be safely handled.

1873

Christopher Sholes invents the Remington typewriter. 
James Clerk Maxwell states the laws of electro-magnetic radiation

1876

Bell invents the telephone.

1877

Edison invents the phonograph.

1878

Microphone invented.

1879

Edison invents the incandescent lamp.

1883

First skyscraper (ten stories) in Chicago. 
The Brooklyn Bridge opens. This large suspension bridge, built by the Roeblings (father and son), is a triumph of engineering.

1884

Maxim invents the machine gun, making possible mass slaughter and beginning the mechanization of warfare. 

1885

Benz develops first automobile to run on internal- combustion engine. 

1888

Hertz produces radio waves.

1889

Eiffel Tower.

1892

Rudolf Diesel invents his namesake.

1895

Lumière brothers develop Cinematograph. 
Roentgen discovers X-rays.

1896

Marconi patents wireless telegraph.

1897

Joseph Thomson discovers particles smaller than atoms.

1899

Aspirin invented.

1900

First Zeppelin built. 

1901

Marconi transmits first trans-Atlantic radio message (from Cape Cod).

1903

Wright brothers make first powered flight.

1908

Henry Ford mass-produces the Model T.


Victorian Web Overview Victorian Science Victorian Technology

Last modified 3 March 2012;
Thanks to Mrs Jean Mellings for suggesting William Lee