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, 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.
1658: Clock balance spring. Robert Hooke.
1698: First attempt to use steam power. Thomas Savery.
1671: Silk spinning machine. Edmund Blood.
1701/08: Machine seed drill. Jethro Tull.
1709: Improved iron smelting process. Abraham Darby
1712 Steam engine. Thomas Newcomen and Thomas Savery.
1721: First mechanised water-powered silk mill at Derby. John Lombe.
1728: Ship chronometer. John Harrison.
1732: Threshing machine. Michael Menzies.
1733: Flying shuttle (weaving). John Kay.
1743: Wool carding machine. David Bourne.
1743: Compound lever. John Wyatt.
1746: Production of sulphuric acid by the lead chamber process. John Roebuck.
1758: First threshing machine.
1761: Bridgewater Canal. James Brindley.
1764/65: Spinning jenny – patented in 1770. James Hargreaves.
1769: Hydraulic spinning frame. Richard Arkwright.
1774: Leeds and Liverpool canal opened.
1775: First efficient steam engine improved Newcomen engine. James Watt.
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.
1789: Thames and Severn canal opened.
1792: First domestic gas lighting system in Redruth Cornwall. William Murdock.
1793/1803: The Dee and Cierog iron aqueducts. Thomas Telford.
1795: Hydraulic press. Joseph Brahm.
1800: Development of bleaching powder. Charles Tennant.
1801/04: Steam locomotive. Richard Trevithick.
1813: Mine safety lamp. Humphrey Davy and George Stephenson.
1813: Improved loom developed. Samuel Horrocks.
1816: First ‘macadamised’ road surface.
1818: Middleton milling machine. Robert Johnson and Simeon North.
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 tunnelling shield. Marc Brunel.
1831: Electric generator. Michael Faraday.
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.
1839: Introduction of photographic paper. Fox Talbot.
1841: Standard thread accepted. Joseph Whitworth.
1843: First cement underwater tunnel opened– Thames Tunnel.
1853: Piloted glider. George Cayley.
1854: Invention steel converter. Henry Bessemer.
1856: Production of aniline dyes. William Perkin.
1873: Explanation of electromagnetism and waves. James Clerk Maxwell.
1894: Last major canal built in Britain – Manchester Ship Canal.