4406 entries. 94 themes. Last updated December 26, 2016.

Timeline Outline ViewEra: All Eras   |   Theme: Technology / Engineering


Circa 2,500,000 BCE – 500,000 BCE
Olduvai Gorge
The First Industrial Complex
Circa 2,400,000 BCE – 1,400,000 BCE
Fragmented part of a lower mandible (which still holds thirteen teeth, as well as unerupted wisdom teeth). (Click on image to view larger.)
"Jonny's Child": Homo habilis
Circa 1,650,000 BCE – 100,000 BCE
A flint biface, discovered in Saint-Acheul, France.
Acheulean or Mode 2 Industries
Circa 1,500,000 BCE
Five bone tools excavated in Swartkrans, South Africa, once used by Parantrhopus robustus for foraging purposes. Photography by Jim Di Loreto and Don Hurlbert, Smithsonian Institution. (View Larger)
Early Humans Make Bone Tools
Circa 1,500,000 BCE – 790,000 BCE
Scorched stone tools excavated in 2004 at Gesher Benot-Ya-aqov, in Israel, provide evidence for the existence of early hearths. Photograph by Chip Clark, Smithsonian Institution. (View Larger)
The Earliest Hearths
Circa 1,400,000 BCE
Carved flint.
The Earliest Flint Tool Found in Europe
Circa 950,000 BCE – 780,000 BCE
Ancient stone tools discovered at the Hapisburgh excavation site, East Anglia, England. Photocredit: Parfitt et al. Nature (View Larger)
Humans May Have Lived in Britain as Early as 950,000 Years Ago
Circa 500,000 BCEEarly Humans Process Elephant Carcasses for Food Circa 500,000 BCE
Photocredit: James Di Loreto, & Donald H. Hurlbert, Smithsonian Institution. (View Larger)
Hunting Large Animals With Spears
Circa 500,000 BCE
Example of nearly 500,000 year-old hafted spear tips from Kathu Pan 1. Photo by Jayne Wilkins. (Click on image to view larger.)
Early Humans Hunt with Stone-Tipped Spears
Circa 400,000 BCE – 350,000 BCE
A sample of geothite, or brown ochre. (View Larger)
The Earliest Use of Pigments
Circa 400,000 BCE
One of three spears found at Schöningen, Germany in 1995. Photocredit: Chip Clark, Smithsonian Institution. (View Larger)
The Oldest Wooden Spears
Circa 350,000 BCE – 325,000 BCEThe Earliest Synchronic Use of Bifacial and Levallois Technology Outside Africa Suggests that the Technology Evolved Independently in Multiple Locations Circa 164,000 BCE – 70,000 BCE
A silcrete nodule exhibiting the signs of experimental heat-treatment. Photocredit: Science/AAAS. (View Larger)
Early Humans Use Heat-Treated Stone for Tools
Circa 132,000 BCE – 98,000 BCE
Photocredit: James Di Loreto, & Donald H. Hurlbert, Smithsonian Institution. (View Larger)
The Earliest Known Forms of Human Adornment
Circa 104,000 BCE
A projectile point, estimated to be over 104,000 years old, uncovered in Omo Kibish, Ethipia. Photocredit: Chip Clark, Smithsonian Institution. (View Larger)
Tools for Capturing Fast or Dangerous Prey
Circa 100,000 BCE
Ablone shell containing red ochre rich mixture. Image by Grethe Moell Pedersen. (Click on image to view larger.)
The Earliest Paint Workshop
88,000 BCE – 78,000 BCE
The Katanda Bone Harpoon Point. Photocredit: Smithsonian Institution.
Katanda Bone Harpoon Point
Circa 75,000 BCE
A silcrete stone tool from Blombos Cave in South Africa, finished with pressure flaking. (View Larger)
Tool Making by Pressure Flaking Discovered in Africa
Circa 75,000 BCE
Sediments containing ancient mattresses at Sibudu Caves.  Photo by Lyn Wadley. (Click on image to view larger.)
At Sibudu Cave, the Oldest Known Early Bedding and Use of Medicinal Plants
Circa 68,000 BCE
Stone tools (segments) with adhesive from Sibudu Cave.  Segment with red ochre visible to the naked eye as well as microscopic views of red ochre and plant gum on the tool. (Click on image to view larger.)
From Sibudu Cave: the Earliest Known Creation and Use of Compound Adhesives, Suggesting Complex Cognition
Circa 59,000 BCEThe Earliest Sewing Needle, Made of Bone Circa 49,000 BCE – 43,000 BCE
A bone tool known as a lissoir, possibly used to prepare animal skins. Image courtesy of the Abri Peyrony and Pech de l'Azé I Projects. (Click on image to view larger.)
Neanderthals Made the First Specialized Bone Tools in Europe
38,000 BCE
The introduction of sturdy shoes led weaker toes.
The First Sturdy Shoes are Invented
Circa 32,000 BCE – 28,000 BCE
Wild flax fibers discovered in Dzudzuana Cave. (View Larger)
Making Materials from Flax Fibers
Circa 28,000 BCE – 21,000 BCE
Photocredit: Chip Clark, Smithsonian Institution. (View Larger)
Some of the Earliest Tools for Sewing Garments
Circa 25,000 BCE
A modern replica of the Venus of Lespugue. (View Larger)
The Earliest Representation of Spun Thread
Circa 21,000 BCE – 16,000 BCE
Fish hooks made of shell found in the Jerimalai Cave in East Timor. (Click on image to view larger.)
The Oldest Fish Hooks and Evidence of Paleolithic Offshore Fishing
Circa 18,000 BCE
Two of the 20,000 year-old pottery fragments found in the Xianrendong Cave in China.  Photo by AFP/Science/AAAS. (Click on image to view larger.)
The Oldest Known Pottery
Circa 16,000 BCE
Photocredit: Chip Clark, Smithsonian Institution. (View Larger)
The Earliest Surviving Pottery From Japan
Circa 10,500 BCE
Spear thrower carved as a mammoth.  Source: The British Museum. (Click on image to view larger.)
The Mammoth Spear Thrower
Circa 9,500 BCE
The Göbekli Tepe, Turkist for 'Potbelly Hill,' is the oldest discovered structure for religious worship. (View Larger)
The Earliest Surviving Human-Made Place of Worship
Circa 9,300 BCE – 9,175 BCEFood Storage Preceded Plant Domestication in the Jordan Valley Circa 9,000 BCE – 8,000 BCE
Emmer wheat, one of the first domesticated crops. (View Larger)
The Eight Founding Crops of Domesticated Agriculture
Circa 5,500 BCE – 5,000 BCE
Fragment of clay sieve from central Europe.  Credit: Mélanie Salque. (Click on image to view larger.)
The Earliest Evidence of Cheese-Making in Europe
Circa 4,700 BCE – 4,200 BCE
The remains of the settlement made of two-story houses near the town of Provadia. (Click on image to view larger.)
The Earliest Prehistoric Town in Europe
Circa 4,000 BCE
From National Geographic. (View Larger)
The Earliest Known Winery
Circa 3,500 BCE
The Botai culture originated from the Akmola province of Kazakhstan, highlighted in green. (View Larger)
Horse Domestication Revolutionizes Transportation, Communication, and Warfare
Circa 3,500 BCE
The Areni-1 shoe. (View Larger)
The Oldest Known Well-Preserved Leather Shoe
Circa 3,500 BCE – 3,350 BCE
Bronocice clay pot showing wheeled cart. (Click on image to view larger.)
The Earliest Images of a Wheeled Vehicle
Circa 3,300 BCE
Model of Ötzi the Iceman in exhibit at the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology.
The First Prehistoric Human Ever Found with his Everyday Clothing and Equipment
Circa 2,500 BCE – 1,250 BCEThe Origins of Glassmaking Circa 2,500 BCEOne of the Oldest, Largest & Best Preserved Vessels from Antiquity Circa 2,291 BCE – 2,254 BCE
MS 5106 of the Schoyen Collection, a brick printing block with a large loop handle from the period of Naram-Sîn. (View larger)
The Earliest Printing was Stamped into Soft Clay in Mesopotamia
Circa 1,900 BCE – 1,700 BCEDiscovery of the "Ark Tablet": Decoding the Story of the Flood 1,600 BCE
The Nebra Sky Disk. (View Larger)
The Nebra Sky Disk
1,417 BCE – 1,379 BCEThe Oldest Surviving Water Clock or Clepsydra 1,375 BCEThe Uluburun Shipwreck 1,200 BCE – 1453
Tyrian Purple.
Imperial Purple Was First Produced by the Phoenicians
Circa 1,200 BCE – 1,045 BCE
A bronze guang, or ritualistic wine vessel, of the Shang dynasty. (View Larger)
The Earliest Chinese Inscriptions in Bronze
Circa 800 BCEA Pulley Depicted in a Bas-Relief from Nimrud, Assyria Circa 400 BCEA Wooden Dove Automaton Circa 250 BCE
A diagram of Ctesibius's water clock.
The First Truly Automatic Self-Regulatory Device
250 BCEThe First Keyboard Musical Instrument Circa 250 BCEThe Earliest Escapement Mechanism Circa 250 BCEThe Earliest Evidence of a Water-Driven Wheel 215 BCE – 210 BCE
One of three excavation pits of the Terracotta Army. (View Larger)
The Terra Cotta Army, An Early Example of Assembly Line Production
Circa 150 BCE – 100 BCE
The Earliest Surviving Analog Computer: the Antikythera Mechanism
Circa 150 BCE – 100 BCE
A portrait of Hipparchus from the title page of William Cunningham's Cosmographicall Glasse (1559). (View Larger)
Invention of the Astrolabe
Circa 50 CE – 200 CE
Hero of Alexandria
Automata Invented by Heron of Alexandria
Circa 50 CEThe Mensa Isiaca or Bembine Table of Isis 69 CE – 79 CERoman Inscriptions on Lead Pipes Were Made from Common Text Stamps Circa 100 CEFrontinus on the Water Supply of Ancient Rome Survived in Only a Single Problematic 12th Century Manuscript 105 CE
Ts'ai Lun
The Invention of Paper in China
Circa 300 CEOne of the Earliest Complete Papyrus Codices on a Secular Subject Circa 337 CE – 378 CE
Detail of image from De rebus bellicis showing fanciful ox-powered wheel boat.  Please click to view entire image.
De rebus bellicis, Including Images of War Machines
Circa 350 CE
The Earliest Egyptian Printed Cloth
Circa 390 CEThe Only Ancient Manual of Roman Military Instructions that Survived Intact 593
Sui emperor Wen-ti. (View Larger)
The First Mention of Printing in China
793Papermaking is Established in Baghdad Circa 800
Folio f32v of Harley 2767, the document from which most manuscripts of De architectura were copied. (View Larger)
The Archetype of De architectura
A diagram of a 'self trimming lamp' from the Book of Ingenious devices, preserved in the 'Granger Collection' in New York. (View Larger)
The First Programmable Machine & the Earliest Known Mechanical Musical…
927 – 928
The earliest astrolabe. (View Larger)
The Earliest Surviving Dated Astrolabe
1031Perhaps the Earliest Recycling of Paper Circa 1041 – 1048
A Chinese statue of Pi Sheng. (View Larger)
The Invention of Movable Type in China
A bust of Shen Kua. (View Larger)
Earliest Description of the Compass
Circa 1100 – 1151
Xativa, Spain, highlighted in blue. (View Larger)
Papermaking Reaches the Moorish Parts of Spain
1100 – 1120
Folio 1 of Codex 2527, preserved at the Austrian National Library. (View Larger)
Medieval Handbook of Applied Arts Including Book Production
1119Earliest Record of the Use of the Compass in Navigation 1150The First Paper Mill in Al-Andalus 1206The First Recorded Designs of a Programmable Automaton 1206
A depiction of the Castle Water Clock from al-Jazari's 'Book of Knowledge of Ingenious Mechanical Devices.' This manuscript is preserved at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. (View Larger)
al-Jazari's Clocks: Perhaps the Earliest Programmable Analog Computer
Circa 1230
Villard's schematic illustration of a perpetual-motion machine. Folio 1 of Fr.19093 preserved at the Bibliotheque Nationale. (View Larger)
The Portfolio of Villard de Honnecourt
1234Confirmation that Printed Textiles Exist in Europe Circa 1250Possibly the First Joint-Stock Company 1269
A schematic for Pierre de Maricourt's perpetual motion machine, from an early edition of the Epistola. (View Larger)
Discovery of the Compass--The Earliest Known European Work of Experimental…
Circa 1275 – 1298
A round type case in which Chinese characters are organized by a rhyme scheme, designed and used by Wang Zhen for the production of his book, 'Nong Shu.' (View Larger)
Invention of Wooden Movable Type
Circa 1300
Four of twelve metal Chinese characters thought to be the world's oldest extant moveable type.
Perhaps the Earliest Movable Metal Type
April 2, 1300A Venetian Ordinance on the Production of Eyeglasses 1307
A scene from Rashid al-Din Tabib's 'Jami al-Tawarikh' in which the Ghazan Khan is converted to Islam. (View Larger)
Islamic History Containing the Earliest Notice of Chinese Printing from…
1322Printing with 100,000 Written Characters of Movable Type 1326The Earliest Dated Astrolabe Made in Europe 1348
Troyes, France. (View Larger)
Perhaps the First Paper Mill in France
Circa 1350
A pair of leather spectacles, found, among other artifacts, in 1953 beneath the floorboards of Kloster Wienhausen, near Celle, in Germany. (View Larger)
The Earliest Surviving Spectacles
The first depiction of spectacles in art: a portrait of Cardinal Hugo of Provence at his writing desk, painted by Tommaso de Mondena in fresco in the Basilica San Nicolo in Treviso, Italy. (View Larger)
The Earliest Depiction of Eyeglasses in a Painted Work of Art
The Earliest Surviving Book Printed from Movable Metal Type
A view of Nuremberg--folio 99v/100r of the Nuremberg Chronicles--showing Stromer's paper mill, bordering the city on the bottom right. (View Larger)
Earliest European Document on the Production of Paper
1402 – 1405
This drawing, from Kyeser's 'Bellifortis,' depicts Alexander the Great holding a rocket. The legend of Alexander was a personal facination for Kyeser. (View Larger)
The First 15th Century Illustrated Treatise on Technology
1417Earliest Known European Textile Printer 1419 – 1449Technological Manuscripts by the Sienese Archimedes Circa 1420
Folio 2r of Bellicorum instrumentorum liber, showing an 'Oriental siege machine.' (View Larger)
One of the Earliest Surviving Italian Manuscripts on Technology and War…
Page 145b of A Mariner's Knowledge, by Michael of Rhodes, depicting a completed galley ship.
The Earliest Known Treatise on Shipbuilding
July 31, 1437Description of Textile Printing and Manuscript Illumination as Well as Painting 1438 – 1444
Johannes Gutenberg. (View Larger)
Gutenberg Begins Experimentation on Printing
Henry VI. (View Larger)
The First English Patent for an Invention
1455 – 1456
The 42-line Gutenberg Bible, completed in in 1456 by Johannes Gutenberg, Johann Fust & Peter Schöffer, is the earliest European book printed from movable type, by a process of Gutenberg's own invention. (View Larger)
Gutenberg Prints the 42-Line Bible
1460 – 1469Gutenberg's Last Production? An Early Form of Stereotyping? 1472
This edition of Roberto Valturio's 'De re militari' contains the first woodcuts on a scientific subject, used not for artistic embellishment but for diagraming and explanation. (View Larger)
"De re militari", the First Printed Book on Technology with the First Woodcuts…
1473 – 1474Günther Zainer Issues "Vocabularius", the First Technical Dictionary 1478Leonardo Builds a Programmable Mechanical Automaton September 1480Nicolas Jensen's Will: the First Concrete Evidence of the Existence of Matrices for the Casting of Type Fonts September 13, 1483Ratdolt's Edition of Eusebius's "Chronicon" Contains One of the Earliest Acknowledgments of Gutenberg's Invention Circa 1500 – 1565
 Pencil 'lead' has never actually contained the metal; its name arrose from a visual similarity between the two substances. (View Larger)
Origins of the Pencil
Circa 1525The Venetian Arsenal Develops the First Large-Scale Production-Line 1540Vannoccio Biringuccio Describes the "Fire-Using Arts, Including the First Description of Typecasting 1556Georgius Agricola Issues De Re Metallica, the Most Famous Classic on Mining and Metallurgy Circa 1565Juanelo Turriano Creates a Working Automaton of a Monk 1565Samuel Quiccheberg Publishes the First Treatise on Museums 1568Jost Amman's Images of Trades and Technologies, with Descriptions in Verse 1568Benevenuto Cellini Describes Renaissance Artistic Techniques 1575 – 1578Discovering the Autograph Manuscript of William Bourne's Book on Military Inventions and Naval Tactics 1584Franz Heim Illustrates Cats Carrying Incendiary Devices in Warfare? 1588Agostini Ramelli Describes a Renaissance Information Retrieval Device and Other Machines 1589William Lee Invents the Stocking Frame Knitting Machine 1590Architect Domenico Fontana Describes Moving the Obelisk 1597 – 1606Galileo Produces his "Compasso" & The First "Computer Manual" Circa 1600
Japanese soroban abacus 1x5 from Meiji period (1868-1912).
The Japanese Adopt the Abacus, Calling it the Soroban
1603 – 1605
Scheiner's Pantograph.
Christopher Scheiner Invents the Pantograph, the First Copying Device?
1607Galileo Presents One of the First Records of Litigation over an Invention 1608Hans Lippershey Invents the Telescope 1618Girolamo Sirtori Issues the First Book on the Telescope 1619Petrus Caneparius Issues the First Book about Printing Inks 1656Borel Publishes an Encrypted Notice of Huygens' Discovery of Saturn's Ring 1656Huygens Invents the Pendulum Clock, Increasing Accuracy Sixty Fold 1662Working Around the English Monopoly on Solid Graphite 1673 – 1710Leibniz Invents the Stepped Drum Gear Calculator 1673The Mathematical Analysis of Pendulum Motion 1683 – 1684Joseph Moxon Issues the First Comprehensive Printing Manual 1690The First Paper Mill in the United States 1699There Are 150 Paper Mills in England 1700
Title page from De morbis artificium diatriba.
Bernardino Ramazzini Founds Occupational Medicine and Ergonomics
1704 – 1710John Harris Issues the First English Encyclopedia Arranged in Alphabetical Order 1708Johan Gottfried Zeidler Issues the Earliest Printed Technical Manual on Bookbinding 1710 – 1712Thomas Newcomen Invents the First Atmospheric Steam Pumping Engine November 12, 1713 – 1770Early Government Incentive for Scientific Research 1718 – 1721Lombe's Silk Throwing Mill: The First Factory 1731 – 1742Jacques Vaucanson's Automata: Complex Enough to Provide a Credible Imitation of Life 1739William Ged's Issues an Incunabulum of Printing from Stereotype Plates April 11, 1744Benjamin Franklin Issues the First American Trade Catalogues 1749 – 1814"Descriptions des Arts et Métiers": Mechanical and Industrial Arts of 18th Century France 1751 – 1780Diderot & d'Alembert's Encyclopédie, the Central Enterprise of the French Enlightenment May 5, 1757A Typographic Masterpiece, John Baskerville's First Book & the First Book Printed Partially on Wove Paper 1761Astronomer Jérôme Lefrançois de Lalande Writes the First Comprehensive Treatise on Papermaking 1764James Hargreaves Invents the Spinning Jenny 1765 – 1788James Watt's Key Inventions Make the Steam Engine Practical January 30, 1765 – 1771Jacob Christian Schäffer Issues "The Most Interesting and Rarest Work" on Papermaking 1768 – 1774The Jacquet-Droz Automata 1769 – 1775Richard Arkwright Invents his Spinning Machine: Mass Production Instigating Disruptive Economic & Social Change in the Industrial Revolution April 15, 1770Joseph Priestley & Edward Nairne Invent the Rubber Eraser? 1772Wilhelm Haas Builds Key Parts of the Handpress out of Iron 1777Georg Christoph Lichtenberg Describes "Lichtenberg Figures" 1783 – 1784Barthélemy Faujas de Saint-Fond Reports on the First Aerial Voyages 1785The Whitebread Engine, the Earliest Surviving Rotative Steam Engine Built by Boulton & Watt Circa 1785Oliver Evans Builds the First Automated Flour Mill: Origins of the Integrated and Automated Factory 1790 – 1841The Early Development of the Mechanized or Machine Press as Conceptualized by Nicholson and Developed by Koenig as Others April 10 – July 31, 1790George Washington Founds the U.S. Patent System 1791Von Kempelen Builds the First Successful Speech Synthesizer Circa 1792 – 1819Jacob Perkins Invents Steel Engraving 1795Nicholas Jacques Conté Invents Modern Pencil Lead 1795Gottfried Erich Rosenthal Issues the First Comprehensive Bibliography of Technology 1796 – 1819Alois Senefelder Invents & Develops Lithography 1797Giovanni Battista Venturi Begins Scientific and Art Historical Studies on Leonardo da Vinci 1798 – 1840Frenchman Louis-Nicolas Robert Invents the First Papermaking Machine, but it is Developed in England by John Gamble, the Fourdriniers & John Dickinson 1798The First Official National Industrial Exposition Occurs in Paris 1798 – 1799Pajot des Charmes Introduces Bleach in Paper Production, Facilitating Recycling of Paper Circa 1800By this Stage in the Industrial Revolution All Phases of Cloth Production Are Performed by Machines Circa 1800Earl Stanhope Invents the First Completely Iron Printing Press 1800 – 1802Mathias Koops Issues the First Book Printed on Recycled Paper, with an Appendix Printed on Paper Made from Wood Pulp Circa 1800Maillardet's Automaton 1801 – 1821Joseph-Marie Jacquard's Loom Uses Punched Cards to Store Patterns 1806Ralph Wedgwood Invents Carbon Paper 1807 – 1812Thomas Cobb Invents a Machine for Manufacturing Paper in Separate Sheets 1809 – 1810George Cayley Founds Aerodynamics & Invents the Airplane 1810Nicholas Appert Issues the First Book on Modern Food Preservation Methods 1811The First Papermaking Machine is Set Up in France November 11, 1811 – January 12, 1813The Ludd Riots Occur 1813 – 1817Clymer's Columbian Press, Perhaps the First Great American Contribution to Printing Technology 1816 – 1818Edward Cowper Introduces Key Steps in Speeding up Cylinder Printing 1817Thomas Gilpin Sets Up the First Papermaking Machine in America, & the First Items Printed on his Machine-Made Paper June 12, 1817Karl Drais Invents the Two-Wheeled Bicycle- the First Personalized Mechanical Transport 1818Cornelius Van Winkle Issues the First American Printer's Manual 1819James Watt's Workshop, a Time-Capsule of Technology 1820
Charles Xavier Thomas' Arithometer.
The Thomas Arithmometer, the First Commercially Produced Mechanical Calculator
1820 – 1822The Hetton Colliery Railway, the First Railway that Uses No Animal Power 1822William Church Invents the First Machine for Type Composition December 20, 1822Invention of the Mechanical Pencil September 27, 1825The First Publically Subscribed Passenger Railroad 1826Babbage Describes the Logic and Operation of Machinery by Means of Notation 1827William Burn Invents The Rolling Press for Bookbinders, the First Machine Used in the Bookbinding Trade 1829 – September 15, 1830The First Inter-City Passenger Railway Hauled by Steam Locomotives, Reaching 24 Miles Per Hour 1829The First U.S. Steam Locomotive 1829
Replica of Burt Typographer.
Typing a Letter Takes Longer than Writing by Hand
1831The Basis for Electricity Generation 1832 – 1835Babbage's "On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures" Begins Operations Research 1832 – 1845Exploiting the New Technology of Mechanized Printing, Charles Knight Publishes "The Penny Magazine," Britain's First Low Priced Mass-Circulation Magazine 1832 – 1834The Phenakistoscope, the First Device to Demonstrate the Illusion of a Moving Image 1835 – 1879The First Manuals to Discuss "Machine Printing" as a Reflection of the Spread of New Technology 1839
Portrait of Jacquard woven in silk on a Jacquard loom.
The Most Famous Image in the Early History of Computing
January 31, 1839The First Separate Publication on Photography October 1841 – October 25, 1845The Invention of Anastatic Printing Enables Inexpensive Facsimiles and Pirated Editions 1842Christian Doppler States the Doppler Principle (Doppler Shift, Doppler Effect) 1843 – 1857The Contributions of the Scheutz Brothers to the Early History of Difference Engines and the Calculating and Printing of Mathematical Tables June 1844 – April 1846The First Photographically Illustrated Book Commercially Published. August 14, 1845Mechanization of Punch-Cutting for Printing Types 1847Sending Weather Information by Telegraph 1849Application of Jacquard Punched Paper Technology to Typesetting Machinery 1850 – 1858Robert Mallet Founds the Science of Seismology 1851Amir Kabir Founds the First Modern Institution of Learning in Iran 1852 – 1862Paul Gustave Froment Invents the Micropantograph 1855
The Hughes telegraph, the first telegraph printing text on a paper tape; this one was manufactureed by Siemens and Halske, Germany (Warsaw Muzeum Techniki).
David Edward Hughes Invents a Mechanism for Printing Telegraph Messages
August 27, 1859The First Successful Oil Well is Drilled in Titusville, Pennsylvania 1860de Martinville Produces the Earliest Sound Recordings, without Playback 1861 – 1869Perhaps the First Book on Solar Energy and its Industrial Applications January 11, 18633-D Solar Imaging Reveals Details of Sunken Civil-War Era Steampship June 13, 1863Samuel Butler's "Darwin among the Machines" 1864Babbage's "Passages from the Life of a Philosopher" 1866Benjamin Tilghman Invents the Sulfite Pulping Process for Manufacturing Paper from Wood Pulp 1867Edward A. Calahan Invents the Stock Ticker 1868The Times of London Prints on Continuous Paper, Increasing Production 1868Maxwell's "On Governors" : Exposition on Feedback Mechanisms 1868
Sholes and Glidden typewriter documentation.  The machine, patented on June 23, 1868, resembled
Sholes, Soule, & Glidden Invent the First Device to Allow the Operator to Write Faster than a Person Writing by Hand
1872Samuel Butler Novel "Erewhon" Describes Artificial Consciousness 1873Willoughby Smith Discovers the Photoconductivity of Selenium 1873 – 1874
Latham Sholes's 1878 QWERTY keyboard layout
The Sholes & Glidden Type Writer, with the First QWERTY Keyboard
Circa 1875
Detail of image from Baldwin's Calculating Machine. See larger image and resize image for complete picture.
Baldwin & Odhner Invent Calculators Using a True Variable-Toothed Gear
Thomas Edison's electric pen.
Edison Invents the "Electric Pen": Forerunner of the Mimeograph
1876The Earliest Exhibition Exclusively of Scientific Instruments February – May 10, 1876Bell Invents and Patents the Telephone March 4, 1877Emile Berliner Invents the Microphone June 30 – September 1, 1877The Caxton Quadricentennial Celebration: Probably the Largest Exhibition on the History of Printing Ever Held; Collecting its Publications August 12, 1877Edison Invents the Phonograph 1878
Remington Standard 2 typewriter.
Allowing the Typing of Both Upper and Lower Case Letters
June 1878Edison Describes Future Uses for his Phonograph 1879The Incandescent Light Bulb is Invented 1880George Carey Invents One of the Earliest Systems of Television Transmission 1880Adriano de Paiva Issues the First Separate Publication on Television April 1, 1880The First Wireless Telephone Communication 1882 – 1883
Ritty and Birch's
The Cash Register is Patented
1883 – July 15, 1885Invention of the Linotype 1884
Advertisement from 1889 for the Edison-Dick Mimeograph.
The Mimeograph: The First Widely Used Duplicating Machine
1884"La Marquise", The World's Oldest Running Automobile, is Sold Circa February 12, 1884Development of an Efficiently Functioning Fountain Pen 1885Daimler Invents the Internal Combustion Engine 1885The First Automobile 1886 – 1887A Prayerbook Entirely Woven by the Jacquard Loom July 3, 1886The "New York Daily Tribune" Publishes the First Application of the Linotype 1887The Flat Disc Gramophone June 7, 1887 – 1899Tolbert Lanston Invents the Monotype Machine 1888 – 1894The First Motion Picture Shot in the United States 1889 – 1955One of the Most Dramatic Problems in the Preservation of Media 1889The Most Complete Work on Babbage's Computers 188977 Windmill Factories Employ 1,100 Workers in the U.S. 1889The First Textbook of Mechanical Flight 1893
Millionaire mechanical calculator.
The Millionaire Calculator
1893 – 1894The First Production Automobiles September 1893The First International Exhibition of Mathematical Devices September 21, 1893 – 1895The First Successful Gas-Engine Automobile Built in the United States 1894The First Organized and Published Collection of Aviation Research 1895The First Mainline Railway is Electrified February 13, 1895The Invention of Cinematography 1896The Monotype Converts to Hot-Metal Casting August 21, 1897 – 1901The First Automobile Assembly Line 1901L. Frank Baum's "The Master Key" Imagines a Kind of Augmented Reality September 18, 1901 – May 2, 1906Invention of the Motorized Airplane May 1903 – 1914The Beginnings of Modern Spaceflight Theory November 16, 1904 – September 21, 1905The Beginning of Electronics 1906Lee de Forest Invents the Triode 1906A New Standard for Descriptive Bibliography in the History of Science 1908 – December 1, 1913Henry Ford Sponsors Improvements in the Automotive Assembly Line June 18, 1908Campbell-Swinton Describes the Earliest Concept for Electronic or CRT Television 1909The Wheeler Gift Catalogue of the History of Electricity and Telegraphy January – February 20, 1909"The Founding and Manifesto of Futurism" November 1909An Early Sci-Fi View of the Internet and Virtual Reality 1912Brunsviga Sells 20,000 Variable-Toothed Gear Calculators in One Year 1913 – 1934The First European Work on Theoretical Astronautics 1914Edward Kleinschmidt Invents the Teletype 1914Edwin Armstrong Invents the Regenerative Circuit 1916The Standard Work on Hot-Metal Casting and Composition 1917The Basis for Computed Tomography 1917Invention of SONAR June 21, 1918Eccles & Jordan Invent the Flip-Flop Circuit, the Basis for Electronic Memory October 19, 1918Coordinating National Standards Development 1919 – March 16, 1936The Earliest Practical Treatise on the Development of Rocketry for Space Flight 1920Introduction of the Word "Robot" October 1920Invention of the Theremin 1922
Meteorologist Lewis Fry Richardson, creator of the first dynamic model for weather prediction, proposes the creation of a “forecast factory” that would employ some 64,000 human computers sitting in tiers around the circumference of a giant globe. Each calculator would be responsible for solving differential equations related to the weather in his quadrant of the earth. From a pedestal in the center of the factory, a conductor would orchestrate this symphony of equations by shining a beam of light on areas of the globe where calculation was moving too fast or falling behind.
Imagining Using 64,000 Human Computers to Predict the Weather
1923Invention of the Iconoscope, the First Electronic Television Camera 1923The Enigma Machine is Introduced June 1923 – 1929From "The Rocket in Interplanetary Space" to "Frau im Mond" 1924 – April 1925The First Electrical Sound Recording 1925The Creation of Bell Labs January 26, 1926John Logie Baird Presents the First Demonstration of Electromechanical Television 1927Invention of Magnetic Tape April 7, 1927Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover Participates in the First American Demonstration of Electromechanical Television September 7, 1927Philo Farnsworth Invents the First All-Electronic Television 1928"Lights of New York": The First All-Talking Feature Film 1929The First Flight Simulator May 16, 1930Foundation of Texas Instruments 1931 – June 15, 1938The First Commercially Successful Ballpoint Pen December 29, 1931Emanuel Goldberg Invents the First Successful Electronic Document Retrieval Device 1933 – 1944Eugen Sänger's "Raketenflugtechnik" Expounds the Theory of What Would Become the X-Planes and the Space Shuttle Circa 1933Petr Petrovich Troyanskii of St. Petersburg Invents a Mechanical "Translating Machine" 1933The Henry Graves Supercomplication, the Most Valuable Watch in the World 1934 – April 27, 1935The First Practical Tape Recorder April 24, 1934 – April 1935The Hammond Electric Organ 1935 – December 30, 2010Kodachrome, the First Color Transparency Film for Cinematography and Still Photography, is Developed February 12, 1935Robert Watson-Watt Invents Radar 1936 – 1939The Voder, the First Electronic Speech Synthesizer: a Simplified Version of the Vocoder 1936Charlie Chaplin's "Modern Times" 1937 – 1938Elektro, the Most Famous Robot of the 1930s August 10, 1937Shannon's "Symbolic Analysis of Relay and Switching Circuits," "The Most Significant Master's Thesis of the 20th Century" 1938 – 1949Chester Carlson invents Xerography; It Becomes Successful About 20 Years Later August 1942"Waldo" : Imagining Remote Manipulators and TeleRobotics 1945 – 1949The Hinman Collator 1945The Initial Interrogations of the Nazi Rocket Team and the First Publication Outside of Nazi Germany of Rocketry Research at Peenemunde East 1946 – 1953The First Working Phototypesetting Machine and the First Book it Typeset 1947Dennis Gabor Invents Holography February 21, 1947Edwin Land Demonstrates the Polaroid Land Camera Model 95, the First "Instant" Film Camera December 23, 1947Bardeen, Brattain & Shockley Invent the Point-Contact Transistor December 7, 1949Enciclopedia Mecanica, Forerunner of the Electronic Book 1950The Bic Pen 1951The First OCR System: "GISMO" 1952Vaccuum Tubes Especially Designed for Digital Circuits November 1953The First Transistor Computer 1954 – 1961The First Industrial Robot January 22, 1954The FCC Approves the RCA System of Color Television Broadcasting in the United States May 10, 1954Texas Instruments Manufactures the First Silicon Transistor November 1954The First Commercial Transistor Radio: The First Widely Sold Tranistorized Product 1955 – 1962The Sensorama: One of the First Functioning Efforts in Virtual Reality April 1955 – December 1957The First Solid State Computer 1956Television: A Retrospective in 1956 from the RCA / NBC Viewpoint 1956The First Video Tape Recorder July 1956The First Demonstration of Magnetic Ink Character Reading October 4, 1957Sputnik is Launched December 1, 1957 – January 1959Invention of the "Planar" Manufacturing Process February 7, 1958ARPA is Founded July 1958Kilby Conceives of the Integrated Circuit July 19, 1958The Burroughs Atlas Guidance Computer July 29 – October 1, 1958NASA is Founded December 19, 1958The First Voice Transmission from the First Communications Satellite 1959The First Practical Monolithic Integrated Circuit Concept 1959The Complicated Discovery of the LASER June 1959 – May 31, 1972The Corona Satellite Series: America's First Imagining Satellite Program September 16, 1959
Xerox 914.
The Xerox 914
1960 – December 9, 2013Greatbatch, Chardack & Gage Implant the First Self-Contained Internally Powered Artificial Pacemaker in a Human 1960 – November 20, 1968"Prater-Wei," The First Software Patent 1960Theodore Maiman Invents the First Working Laser September 13 – September 15, 1960The First Symposium on Bionics 1961The IBM 7094 is The First Computer to Sing October 19, 1961Texas Instruments Delivers the First Integrated Circuit Computer: An Achievement in Miniaturization 1962Nick Holonyak, Jr. Invents the First Visible LED October 1, 1962Licklider at the Information Processing Techniques Office, Begins Funding Research that Leads to the ARPANET December 1962General Motors and IBM Develop the First CAD Program July 16 – July 27, 1963
Detail of cover of Printing and the Mind of Man.  Please click to see entire image.
The Printing and the Mind of Man Exhibition
November 1963Touch-Tone Dialing is Introduced 1964The First Commercial Computers to Use Integrated Circuits 1964IBM's Magnetic Tape/Selectric Typewriter Begins "Word Processing" 1964Bitzer & Willson Invent the First Plasma Video Display (Neon Orange) February 14, 1964Texas Instruments & Zenith Radio Introduce a Hearing Aid, the First Consumer Product Containing an Integrated Circuit October 1964Introduction of the Moog Synthesizer 1965The U.S. Postal Services Introduces OCR 1965 – 2009Charles Kao Proposes Optical Fibers as a Medium for Communication April 19, 1965Gordon Moore Promulgates "Moore's Law" 1966Robert H. Dennard of IBM Invents DRAM 1966NCR Issues the Smallest Published Edition of the Bible, and the First to Reach the Moon 1967 – June 25, 1974Jack Kilby and Texas Instruments Invent the First Hand-Held Electronic Calculator June 27, 1967 – November 17, 1970Douglas Engelbart Invents the Computer Mouse 1968The HP 9100A, the First Marketed, Mass-Produced Programmable Calculator, or Personal Computer 1968Philip K. Dick Imagines Replicants 1968Stephen A. Benton Invents the Rainbow Hologram or Benton Hologram February 1968Federico Faggin and Colleagues Invent Silicon Gate Technology at Fairchild Semiconductor July 18, 1968 – 1985Landmark Products from the Early Years of Intel Corporation November 27, 1968 – February 9, 1969K. G. Pontius Hultén Curates "The Machine as Seen at the End of the Mechanical Age" : An Art Exhibition December 24, 1968The First Manned Apollo Flights Occur 1969Willard Boyle & George Smith Develop the CCD, a Sensor for Recording Images May 1, 1969Jerry Sanders and Colleagues from Fairchild Semiconductor Found AMD 1970Xerox PARC is Founded 1970 – 1977Corning Glass Introduces Optical Fibers Enabling the Internet Backbone December 1970Gilbert Hyatt Files the First General Patent on the Microprocessor, Later Invalidated 1971Phreaker Underground Telephone System Culture 1972 – 1977The First Microcomputer Controlled Electric Industrial Robot 1973Cohen & Boyer Demonstrate the First Practical Method for Cloning a Gene 1973The Tadiran Mastiff: The First Modern Surveillance UAV or Drone 1974The First of the Three Cohen-Boyer Recombinant DNA Cloning Patents is Granted 1974The HP-65, the First Magnetic Card-Programmable Handheld Calculator 1975"Type Foundries of America," the First Book in the Graphic Arts Field Produced from Cold Type December 1975Invention of the Digital Camera 1976First Print-to-Speech Reading Machine 1976 – 1983The Compact Disc (CD) is Developed 1976Papermaking by Hand in England in 1976 April 7, 1976Genentech is Founded 1977Gilbert & Maxam Develop a Technique for Sequencing DNA June 11, 1977The First Speech Synthesis Chip September 5, 1977 – August 25, 2012The First Manmade Object to Cross the Heliopause and Enter Interstellar Space 1979Making Small Portable Digital Telephones Possible 1979The Printing Press as an Agent of Change 1979The "Mead & Conway Revolution" in VLSI Integrated Circuit Education August 1981 – 1997The First Commercial Electronic Camera--Not Digital 1982 – 1989The DataGlove, a Hand Gesture Interface Device 1983 – 1986Invention of Stereolithography or 3D Printing September 1984The First Music CDs Pressed in the United States October 1985The First Hand-Held Graphing Calculator 1986The First Semi-Automatic DNA Sequencer 1987The First DNA Sequencing Machine January 1988Australia Issues the First Polymer Banknote ($10) 1992The First e-Book Reader 1993 – 2013The Spread of Data-Driven Research From 1993 to 2013 July 23, 1996WRAL is the First Station to Broadcast in HDTV in the United States 1998Voice Over Internet Protocol is Implemented 1999"The Internet of Things" 2000A Model of Cortical Processing as an Electronic Circuit of 16 "Neurons" that Could Select and Amplify Input Signals Much Like the Cortex of the Mammalian Brain 2001
The KH-4B Corona Reconaissance Satellite
Origins of Google Earth
High Density Rosetta Archival Preservation Technology
Charles Babbage
Babbage's Difference Engine No. 2 and its Printer are Finally Constructed
Jeremy Norman
"Origins of Cyberspace"
The National Science Foundation logo
Attempting to Use an Ink-Jet Printer to Print Living Tissue. . . .
February 2006
The Canon A530, considered by many to be one of the best digital cameras available in 2006
92% of Cameras Sold are Digital
September 26, 2006
The IBM logo
Publishing Patent Filings on the Web
June 28, 2008The Effect of Decay Fungi on Wood Used in the Production of Violins November 4, 2008CNN Introduces "Hologram-Like" Images in Coverage of the 2008 Presidential Election August 28, 2009Imaging a Molecule One Million Times Smaller Than a Grain of Sand September 2009Confirmation that Fungally-Treated Wood Enables Great Violin Sound July 8, 2010Stanford's New Engineering Library Houses Few Physical Books October 29, 20103G Wireless Telephony in Mt. Everest Region of Nepal November 23, 2010 – October 22, 2014Apple 1 Computers Sell for $210,000 in 2010, for $671,400 in 2013, for $905,000 and $365,000 in 2014 2011Scanning Books in Libraries Instead of Making Photocopies 2011Ethical principles for Designers, Builders and Users of Robots January 2011The Smartphone Becomes the CPU of the Laptop March 2011 – November 2012A 3D Printer Kit for only $499 March 4, 2011The Impact of Automation on Legal Research March 6, 2011The Impact of Artificial Intelligence and Automation on Jobs May 19, 2011Ebooks Outsell Physical Books on Amazon.com June 6, 2011College Textbooks Make a Slower Transition from Print to Digital June 30, 2011IBM Announces Phase-Change Memory October 5, 2011Steve Jobs Dies January 10, 2012The Cost of Sequencing a Human Genome Drops to $1000 January 13, 2012The Smallest Magnetic Data Storage Unit Uses Just 12 Atoms per Bit January 23, 2012 – January 13, 2013Technological Unemployment: Are Robots Replacing Workers? September 25, 2012The World's Smallest Book Requires a Scanning Electron Microscope to be Seen October 2012A 3D Virtual Reality Reader for eBooks October 2012The First 3D Printshow Takes Place in London November 12, 2012 – August 9, 2013The First 3D Photo Booth Prints Personal Miniature Figures January 14, 2013The First Use of Quantum Dots in a Mass Produced Consumer Electronics Product--Sony TVs February 2013The First 3D Printing Pen; Drawing Enters the Third Dimension February 28, 2013PBS Digital Studios: Will 3D Printing Change the World? April 30, 2013
Screen shot from world's smallest movie:
The World's Smallest Movie
May 1, 2013The First 3D Printed Bionic Organ: An Ear August 2013Crossbar Memory can Store a Terabyte on a Postage-Stamp Sized Chip September 2013Robots Helping Workers on Automobile Assembly Lines October 2013A Mobile, One-Armed Robot that Costs $35,000 December 1, 2013Amazon.com and UPS Envision Eventually Delivering Packages Via Drones December 5, 2013Software Turns a Smartphone into a 3D Scanner December 20, 2013"TOP 10 3D Printing Stories of 2013" August 16, 2014The Entirely Digital Main Library at Florida Polytechnic University Begins Operation