1843: Making ice cream took a lot of muscle. The first step was putting a pail of cream inside a bucket of ice. For the next few hours, cooks had to stir the cream and shake the ice. Things got much easier in 1843 when Nancy Johnson of Philadelphia was issued the first U.S. patent for a small-scale handcranked ice cream freezer.Turning a crank stirred the ingredients and made the ice cream freeze smoothly.

Experiments with electricity to harness new power for contemporary technology no idea of electric light or communications

mid 1800's - telegraph is the high tech communication form

Mid-Nineteenth Century Oregon Trail

The Oregon Trail Website

Oregon Trail diaries 

The Oregon Trail by Francis Parkman


1850 Ah! May the Red Rose Live Alway! secondary resource download

One of the earliest forerunners of contemporary chartered humanist organizations was the Humanistic Religious Association formed in 1853 in London. This early group was democratically organized, with male and female members participating in the election of the leadership and promoted knowledge of the sciences, philosophy, and the arts.

1859 Indian Head penny

1859 - Darwin publishes Origin of Species


 1870 high wheel bike introduced. These bicycles enjoyed a great popularity among young men of means (they cost an average worker six month's pay), with the hey-day being the decade of the 1880s. 

1874 - Invention of barbed wire

1875 - Molly Maguire strike

1876 - Custer's Last Stand

In 1876, Emile Berliner invented the first microphone used as a telephone voice transmitter.

Alexander Graham Bell invents the telephone?

19th century handwriting

December 4, 1877 Thomas Edison became the first person to ever record and play back the human voice with his newly invented "Talking Machine". This crude machine was hand operated and was named the Phonograph (meaning Voice-writer). To record sound the operator spoke loudly into the mouth piece. The sound waves were embossed by a stylus on a sheet of soft tin foil wrapped around a revolving cylinder.

Although the phonograph was an original invention, it did not rise out of a vacuum It was the son of a marriage between the telephone and the telegraph.

footnote all recordings are acoustic until 1925

Acoustical recordings were made by using large horns to amplify the sound enough to cause the recording stylus to vibrate and cut indentations into the master record's grooves. For vocalists, it was necessary to stand close to the horn and sing quite loudly. Some instruments had a difficult time being picked up by the acoustical recording horns. Violins, for example, were outfitted with a small horn in order to make them louder. These were known as Stroh violins.

Recorded sound dates back to Edison's invention of the phonograph in 1877. However, it wasn't until around 1889 that the first commercially produced records became available to the general public. The earliest records were cylinders. With the sole exception of Thomas Edison - who steadfastly continued to produce them until the onset of the Great Depression forced him out of business - by 1912 the cylinder had been completely supplanted by the discs that we today refer to as the 78rpm. The earliest disc records were made in the 1890s by Emile Berliner. Since I do not collect cylinder records and have yet to acquire any Berliner Records, this site will only go back to the early 1900s.

Until 1877, all rapid long-distance communication depended upon the telegraph. That year, a rival technology developed that would again change the face of communication -- the telephone. ?

1879 - Thomas Edison invents light bulb

1880 - Salvation Army arrives in US

New words 1880's "Skyscraper"

The Home Insurance Building, erected at the northeast corner of LaSalle and Adams streets (on the site now occupied by the west portion of the Field building), is called the first skyscraper.

Nine stories and one basement were completed in 1885. Two stories were added in 1891. The architect, Major William Le Baron Jenney, created the first load-carrying structural frame, the development of which led to the "Chicago skeleton" form of construction and the big skyscrapers of later years.

In this building, a steel frame supported the entire weight of the walls instead of the walls themselves carrying the weight of the building which was the usual method. After Jenney's accomplishment the sky was truly the limit so far as building was concerned. His first skyscraper revolutionized urban life because with higher buildings larger numbers of people could live and work in limited areas.

In 1881 Charles Sumner Tainter made the next improvement to the talking machine. He found that if he coated the cylinder of an Edison Phonograph with wax and incised the grooves (rather than embossing) he could achieve better reproduction.

1881 - Booker T. Washington starts the Tuskegee Institute

1882 - Edison starts the electricification of New York City with the launch of the Pearl Street Central Station

The Log of a Cowboy is an account of a five-month drive of 3,000 cattle from Brownsville, Texas, to Montana in 1882 along the Great Western Cattle Trail. Although the book is fiction, it is firmly based on Adams's own experiences on the trail, and it is considered by many to be the best account of cowboy life in literature.

1886 - Haymarket riot, AFL starts

1886 - Coca-Cola is invented by pharmacist John Stith Pemberton,

1887 Edison adds an elecric motor to the Talking Machine. Recordings are still acoustically powered by the voice.

First known musical recording Edison recorded this on June 29, 1888 using a yellow paraffine cylinder at the Handel Festival in the Crystal Palace, London, England. The cylinder bears this note "A chorus of 4000 voices recorded with phonograph over 100 yards away". It will be very difficult to hear the 4000 voices but listen to the machine!

1888 - First moving picture, Roundhay Garden Scene 0:02

In 1888, Alexander Graham Bell was one of the founding members of the National Geographic Society

Gospel of Wealth by Andrew Carnegie 1889

1889 - Jane Addams starts Hull-House
Oklahoma opened

At age 30, William Kemmler August 6, 1890) of Buffalo, New York was the first person to be executed via electric chair.

1890 - Massacre at Wounded Knee

Eyewitness to a Massacre
Philip Wells was a mixed-blood Sioux who served as an interpreter for the Army. He later recounted what he saw that Monday morning:

"I was interpreting for General Forsyth (Forsyth was actually a colonel) just before the battle of Wounded Knee, December 29, 1890. The captured Indians had been ordered to give up their arms, but Big Foot replied that his people had no arms. Forsyth said to me, 'Tell Big Foot he says the Indians have no arms, yet yesterday they were well armed when they surrendered. He is deceiving me. Tell him he need have no fear in giving up his arms, as I wish to treat him kindly.' Big Foot replied, 'They have no guns, except such as you have found.' Forsyth declared, 'You are lying to me in return for my kindness.'

During this time a medicine man, gaudily dressed and fantastically painted, executed the maneuvers of the ghost dance, raising and throwing dust into the air. He exclaimed 'Ha! Ha!' as he did so, meaning he was about to do something terrible, and said, 'I have lived long enough,' meaning he would fight until he died. Turning to the young warriors who were squatted together, he said 'Do not fear, but let your hearts be strong. Many soldiers are about us and have many bullets, but I am assured their bullets cannot penetrate us. The prairie is large, and their bullets will fly over the prairies and will not come toward us. If they do come toward us, they will float away like dust in the air.' I turned to Major Whitside and said, 'That man is making mischief,' and repeated what he had said. Whitside replied, 'Go direct to Colonel Forsyth and tell him about it,' which I did.

Forsyth and I went to the circle of warriors where he told me to tell the medicine man to sit down and keep quiet, but he paid no attention to the order. Forsyth repeated the order. Big Foot's brother-in-law answered, 'He will sit down when he gets around the circle.' When the medicine man came to the end of the circle, he squatted down. A cavalry sergeant exclaimed, 'There goes an Indian with a gun under his blanket!' Forsyth ordered him to take the gun from the Indian, which he did. Whitside then said to me, 'Tell the Indians it is necessary that they be searched one at a time.' The young warriors paid no attention to what I told them. I heard someone on my left exclaim, 'Look out! Look out!' I saw five or six young warriors cast off their blankets and pull guns out from under them and brandish them in the air. One of the warriors shot into the soldiers, who were ordered to fire into the Indians. I looked in the direction of the medicine man. He or some other medicine man approached to within three or four feet of me with a long cheese knife, ground to a sharp point and raised to stab me He stabbed me during the melee and nearly cut off my nose. I held him off until I could swing my rifle to hit him, which I did. I shot and killed him in self-defense.

Troop 'K' was drawn up between the tents of the women and children and the main body of the Indians, who had been summoned to deliver their arms. The Indians began firing into 'Troop K' to gain the canyon of Wounded Knee creek. In doing so they exposed their women and children to their own fire. Captain Wallace was killed at this time while standing in front of his troops. A bullet, striking him in the forehead, plowed away the top of his head. I started to pull off my nose, which was hung by the skin, but Lieutenant Guy Preston shouted, 'My God Man! Don't do that! That can be saved.' He then led me away from the scene of the trouble."

The vertebrae named Manospondylus by Cope in 1892 can be considered the first known specimen of Tyrannosaurus rex.

Solid Tyre Safety 1880s to 1894)
Built by Rudge Cycle Co. of Coventry and purchased by Messrs. Marricott and Cooper of London, England. The back wheel was originally 30 inches in diameter and the front wheel was 28 inches in diameter. These bicycles allowed safer mounting and dismounting, but were not popular with the public, possibly due to poor marketing; but also because the short spoke length in the wheels did not provide the shock absorption that high wheeled bicycles gave. The vibration problems were eventually solved by the invention of the pnuematic tyre in 1889. By 1893 the solid-tyred bicycle had disappeared and the modern bicycle became established.

The Scream - Edvard Munch 1893

Last Boer War Veteran 5:40 ss ew

1894 - Eugene Sandow - Edison, March 6 (or May 18?)

“The first major bike path in America was Brooklyn’s Coney Island cycle path, going from Grand Army Plaza through Prospect Park, along Ocean Parkway to the beachside boardwalk at Coney Island. Originally landscaped by Frederick Law Olmstead and Calvin Vaux, the path was seven and half miles long, fourteen feet wide, and made of crushed limestone. It opened on June 15, 1895, with a huge parade consisting of some 10,000 cyclists including political and social luminaries, 300 cycling militiamen, and three little girls pedaling ‘in white costumes with sashes that bore the proud name of the Brooklyn Good Roads Association.’ The route was so popular that one month after opening, it was widened to seventeen feet and milestones were added. In the following seasons the path was made twice as wide and rebuilt with a firmer foundation.

Modeled after the Avenue de L’Impératrice (now the Avenue Foch) in Paris, Olmsted and Vaux’s new roads differed from their French predecessors in that they stretched for several miles. They were intended to provide sumptuous green corridors along which citizens could live and take pleasure drives. Two of them were built along Olmsted and Vaux’s newly designed Prospect Park: Eastern Parkway, running from Prospect Park to Crown Heights, and Ocean Parkway, connecting Prospect Park to Coney Island.

1894 - Pullman Strike

1895 George Westinghouse opens the first major power plant at Niagra Falls using alternating current, able to transport electricity a distance of 200 miles.

Otto Lilienthal died after a failure of one of his gliders. On his roughly 2,500th flight (August 9, 1896), he stalled in a gust of wind, causing him to fall from a height of roughly 56 ft (17 m), fracturing his spine. He died the next day, with his last words being reported as Opfer müssen gebracht werden! ("sacrifices must be made").

1896 - George Washington Carver becomes head of the agricultural department at the Tuskegee Institute

Pless v. Ferguson

1897 - Stars and Stripes Forever - Sousa 2:05

1898 - Break Dancing - Edison film, April 21

1898 - Spanish-American War starts and ends. Hawaiian Islands annexed

1899 - Bicycle Trick Riding - Edison film, March 20

Marshall Walter ("Major") Taylor (November 26, 1878–June 21, 1932) was an American cyclist who won the world one-mile track cycling championship in 1899, 1900, and 1901.

Major Taylor was the American cycling sprint champion, and he topped all European champions as well. Taylor was one of the first black athletes to become a world champion in any sport, after boxer George Dixon. Taylor was a devout Christian who would not race on Sundays for much of his career, making his success all the more remarkable.

1899 - Phillipines revolt against US rule

Percy Pilcher was another promising aviation pioneer. Pilcher died testing The Hawk (September 20, 1899). Just as with Lilienthal, promising designs and ideas for motorized planes were lost with his death. Some other early attempts experienced rough landings, such as Richard Pearse who is generally accepted to have crash landed (survived) a motorized aircraft in some bushes, unable to gain altitude after launching it from some height.

Maple Leaf Rag - Scott Joplin performance on piano roll 2:45