Dates of Inventions, Discoveries and other Developments.
This section complements the pen portraits ‘Great Engineers and Pioneers and their Education’ on this website.
Again it must be stressed that the industrial revolution was driven by craftsmen like James Watt, self- taught business people like Matthew Boulton and artisans like Henry Maudslay. It did not develop from London or through royal patronage but from Cities like Glasgow, Liverpool, Manchester and Birmingham. The universities played little part it its creation as many of the inventors and individuals never attended formal educational institutions and as the history of technical education identifies dissenting academies, mechanics’ institutions and working men’s clubs etc. made important contributions to their education as did the apprenticeship schemes active at that time. However the majority were self-taught and possessed a remarkable inherent, innate talent and outstanding manual skills
It will further expanded.
1563 William Lee invents the Stocking Frame for knitting stockings.
1658: Clock balance spring. Robert Hooke.
1698: First attempt to use steam power. Thomas Savery.
1671: Silk spinning machine. Edmund Blood.
1678 Coke to smelt introduced by a number of people including Clement Clerke.
1694 First Centre Bank establishes in England.
1701/08: Machine seed drill. Jethro Tull.
1709: Improved iron smelting process. Abraham Darby – Coke fuelled furnaces used by Abraham Darby of Coalbrookdale.
1712 Steam engine. Thomas Newcomen and Thomas Savery.
1721: First mechanised water-powered silk mill at Derby. John Lombe.
1728: Ship chronometer. John Harrison.
1730 First successful iron plough introduced by Joseph Foljambe Rotherham.
1732: Threshing machine. Michael Menzies.
1733: Flying shuttle (weaving). John Kay.
1740s Crucible steel techniques introduced by Benjamin Huntsman in Doncaster.
1743: Wool carding machine. David Bourne.
1744 Integrated brass mill in operation in Bristol.
1743: Compound lever. John Wyatt.
1746: Production of sulphuric acid by the lead chamber process. John Roebuck.
1750 After 1750 Turnpike Trusts were established to improve main roads. Investments in roads in the early 1800s was around £3 million.
1759 First Canal Act in 1830 there were 4,000 miles of canals in Britain.
1758: First threshing machine.
1761: Bridgewater Canal opened Worley to Manchester – James Brindley.
1764/65: Spinning jenny – patented in 1770. James Hargreaves.
1765 James Watt produces a more efficient version of the Newcomen engine.
1769: Hydraulic spinning frame-spinning frame or water frame patented. Richard Arkwright.
1774: Leeds and Liverpool canal opened.
1775: First efficient steam engine improved Newcomen engine. James Watt.
1776 Adam Smith publishes ‘The Wealth of Nations’.
1778: Improved flush toilet. Joseph Braham. Mortise tumbler invented. Robert Barron.
1779: First steam powered mills utilises Hargreave’s and Arkwright’s machines. Samuel Crompton.
1783: Improved iron manufacturing processes – rolling and puddling in 1784. Henry Cort.
1784: Invention of secure locks. Joseph Brahm.
1784: Threshing machine invented. Andrew Meikle.
1785: Vertical power loom patented. Edmund Cartwright.
1786: Two man operated loom patented. Edmund Cartwright.
1787 First iron boat built by John Wilkinson.
1787 Cartwright builds a power loom.
1789: Thames and Severn canal opened.
1791 First compound steam engine introduced by Cornish engineer Jonathon Hornblower.
1792: First domestic gas lighting system in Redruth Cornwall. William Murdock.
1793/1803: The Dee and Cierog iron aqueducts. Thomas Telford.
1793 Eli Whitney develops his cotton gin to clean raw cotton.
1795: Hydraulic press – first demonstration by Joseph Bramah. Soho Foundry opened by Boulton and Watt.
1797 Henry Maudslay invents the first industrial lathe.
1799 Eddystone Lighthouse completed by John Smeaton stood until 1882.
1800: Development of bleaching powder. Charles Tennant.
1801/04: Steam locomotive. Richard Trevithick.
1802 High pressure steam engine patented by Richard Trevithick. William Cruickshank designed first electric battery capable of mass production.
1802 William Cruickshank designs electric battery capable of mass production.
1803 Ploughshare of chilled cast irob developed by Robert Ransome of Clipswich, Suffolk.
1803 between 1803 and 1822 Caledonian Canal cuts across Scotland.
1805-1806 Steam dredger used on various river beds and docks by Richard Trevithrick. Pontcysylltau (Llangollen, Wales) opened for business by Thomas Telford.
1807 Robert Fulton’s Clermont first successful steamboat.
1809 Humphry Davy invents first electric arc lamp.
1810 Chain bridge design patented by Samuel Brown.
1811 Plymouth breakwater started completed in 1838! John Rennie.
1812 Richard Trevithvick adapted steam engine to work at a pressure of 40 pounds per square inch.
1813: Mine safety lamp. Humphrey Davy and George Stephenson. Improved loom patented by Samuel Horrock.
1813: Improved loom developed. Samuel Horrocks.
1816: First ‘macadamised’ road surface. Improved smelting process introduced by Joseph Hall of Tipton – greatly improved Henry Cort method of puddling.
1818: Middleton milling machine. Robert Johnson and Simeon North.
1819 First steamship in the world to enter to enter sea-going service the Rob Roy by William Denny of Dumbarton.
1821: Demonstration of the principle of the electric motor through electro-magnetic rotation. Michael Faraday:
1824: Chemical process patented for making Portland cement. Joseph Aspdin.
1825: Invention of the tunneling shield. Marc Brunel. Darlington-Stockton railway opened by George Stephenson. William Sturgeon invents the electromagnet.
1826 Journeymen Steam Engine Fitters established first major industrial trade union in Manchester.
1828 Hot blast furnace patented by James B Neilson
1830 George and Robert Stephenson worked together on the London-Birmingham railway. R Stephenson produced his Planet locomotive – 4 wheel design 2-2-0.
1830 Liverpool-Manchesrer Railway begins first regular commercial rail service.
1831: Electric generator. Michael Faraday.
1832 Sheet glass produced by Chance Brothers (Techniques discovered in Europe).
1833/34: Differential calculating machine. Charles Babbage.
1834: Accurate measuring machine constructed to measure one-millionth of an inch. Joseph Whitworth.
1834: The photographic process discovered. Fox Talbot.
1835 Francis Smith invents the propeller.
1838 First successful screw steamer Archimedes launched by the Rennie Brothers at Millwall in November.
1839: Introduction of photographic paper. Fox Talbot. William Grove develops principles of hydrogen fuel cell.
1840 Manufacture of ferro-manganese by David Mushet – an excellent wearing resistance material. Roland Hill introduces prepaid mail and the first postage stamp. George Hudson built first railway station in York.
1841: Standard thread accepted. Joseph Whitworth.
1843: First cement underwater tunnel opened– Thames Tunnel.
1844 John Mercer invents mercertised cotton.
1846 First hydraulic crane produced by William Armstrong.
1849 Steam plough patented by James Usher of Edinburgh.
1850 Britannia Bridge, Menai Straits, Anglesey by Robert Stephenson.
1850 canal system was 4,000 miles.
1851 Hydraulic accumulator invented by William Armstrong.
1853: Piloted glider. George Cayley.
1854: Invention steel converter. Henry Bessemer. John Tyndall identifies principles of fibre optics
1855 Joseph Whitworth produced a measuring machine capable of detecting a difference of a millionth part of an inch.
1855 Regius Chair of Technology founded at Edinburgh.
1856: Production of aniline dyes. William Perkin. First practical commercial refrigeration system patented in England by James Harrison.
1857 New improved regenerative furnace invented by Friedrich Siemens.
1858 First trans-Atlantic cable completed.
1860 HMS Warrior Britain’s first iron warship is launched.
1861 Siemens furnace first used for glass manufacture.
1862 Titanic Steel and Iron Company founded by Robert Mshet.
1873: Explanation of electromagnetism and waves. James Clerk Maxwell.
1884 Steam turbine engine patented by Charles Parsons.
1887 Large-scale manufacture of manganese steel in Sheffield by Robert Hadfield.
1894: Last major canal built in Britain – Manchester Ship Canal.
1896 First vessel propelled by turbines – Charles Parsons.