The Horse in Motion & Three Little Kittens: 1878 – 1886


Thomas Edison plays a recording of himself, reciting, “Mary had a Little Lamb.” He loved a good show!

Eadweard Muybridge uses a row of cameras with trip-wires to make a high-speed photographic analysis of a galloping horse. Each picture is taken in less than the two-thousandth part of a second, and they are taken in sufficiently rapid sequence (about 25 per second) that they constitute a brief real-time “movie” that can be viewed by using a device such as a zoetrope1, a photographic “first.”

The Horse in Motion

The first keyboard to have a Shift key is introduced on the Remington No. 2 typewriter introduced in 1878 that had one Shift key on the left side of the keyboard.


David E. Hughes notices that sparks generated by an induction balance cause noise in an improved telephone microphone he was developing. He rigs up a portable version of his receiver and, carrying it down a street, finds the sparking is detected at some distance.

October 21, 1879

Thomas Edison demos an incandescent electric light bulb that lasts 13 1/2 hours.

January 27, 1880

Thomas Edison received patent #223,898 for the Electric Lamp.

The most popular song of 1880 was Funiculi Funicula.


The most popular song in 1881 was Row Row Row Your Boat (1932 version).


First thermal power stations began operation in London and New York.

Thomas Edison was awarded patent # 252,442 on January 17, 1882, for the carbon microphone used in telephones.

The most popular song of 1882 was Polly Wolly Doodle (All The Day).


Herman Hollerith filed his first patent for The Hollerith Electric Tabulating System.


The most popular song of 1885 was “Three Little Kittens.”

March 1, 1885

American Telegraph and Telephone company (AT&T) was incorporated.


Heinrich Rudolf Hertz proves electromagnetic waves and that electricity is transmitted at the speed of light.

The most popular song for 1886 was “Semper Fidelis.”


Telegraph to the Phonograh: 1836 – 1877


Nicholas Callan invented the transformer in Ireland.


English scientist Edward Davy invented the electric relay.


Joseph Henry publishes his experimental results showing the oscillatory nature of the discharge in Leyden jars. He describes how a generated spark could magnetize a needle surrounded by a coil up to 220 feet away. He also explains how a lightning strike 8 miles away magnetized a needle surrounded by a coil, an effect that was most probably caused by radio waves. He considered both of these effects to be due to electromagnetic induction at the time.

May 26, 1844

Samuel Morse dispatched the first telegraphic message over a line from Washington, D.C. to Baltimore on May 24, 1844. The now-famous message was: “What hath God wrought.”


Royal Earl House patented a printing telegraph that used 28 piano-style keys to represent each letter of the alphabet and make it easier for everyone to send messages.


British Mathematician George Boole developed binary algebra (Boolean algebra), which has been widely used in binary computer design and operation, beginning about a century later.


Western Union was founded in 1851.


The first Tabulating Machine was bought by the Dudley Observatory in Albany, New York, and the second was ordered in 1857 by the British government. The Albany machine was used to produce a set of astronomical tables. Still, the Observatory’s director was fired for this extravagant purchase, and the machine never seriously used again, eventually ending up in a museum.


First electrically powered lighthouse in England.


The phonograph was patented on March 25, 1857, by Frenchman Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville. The device was capable of transcribing sound to a medium.


The first transatlantic cable was laid across the floor of the Atlantic from Telegraph Field, Foilhommerum Bay, Valentia Island in western Ireland to Heart’s Content in eastern Newfoundland. The first communications occurred on August 16, 1858, reducing the communication time between North America and Europe from ten days—the time it took to deliver a message by ship—to a matter of minutes. Transatlantic telegraph cables have been replaced by transatlantic telecommunications cables.

The first transatlantic cable. Public Domain


The OpenVMS Epoch Time is set to start on November 17, 1858.


German scientist Johann Philipp Reis invented an early Microphone.


James Clerk Maxwell predicts the existence of electromagnetic waves in his paper ‘a dynamical theory of the electromagnetic field.’


The typewriter, which can be considered a precursor to printers and keyboards, was invented by Christopher Sholes.


Elisha Gray and Enos and N. Barton form Western Electric Manufacturing Company.


Mitsubishi is founded.


Toshiba is founded.

The company American Telephone and Telegraph Company founded.

March 7, 1876

Alexander Graham Bell patents the Telephone and makes his first call on March 10.


November 21, 1877 – American inventor Thomas Alva Edison invented the phonograph

German industrialist Werner Von Siemens developed the first loudspeaker.

The world’s first long-distance telephone line is connected between French Corral California with French Lake, 58 miles away.

Volta, Photography & Ohms, Oh My!: 1800 – 1835


In 1800, Alessandro Volta invented the voltaic pile, allowing for a continuous current of electricity for experimentation. This became a source of a low-voltage current.

The most popular song of the 1800s was Good Morning to All (Happy Birthday To You).


Dr. Salva presented at the Academy of Natural Sciences and Arts of Barcelona his first report devoted to “The Electricity applied to telegraphy.” Salva demonstrated the basis of electric telegraphy, anticipating the wireless telegraph and undersea cables.


The punch card is a piece of stiff paper that can be used to contain digital data represented by the presence or absence of holes in predefined positions. Digital data can be used for data processing applications or, in earlier examples, used to directly control automated machinery.


English inventor Francis Ronalds built the first working electric telegraph.


Charles Xavier, Thomas, de Colmar invented the ‘Arithmometer,’ which, after thirty more years of development, became, in 1851, the first mass-produced mechanical calculator. An operator could perform long multiplications and divisions quickly and effectively by using a movable accumulator for the result. This machine was based on the earlier works of Pascal and Leibniz.

Hans Christian Ørsted discovers the relationship between electricity and magnetism in a very simple experiment. He demonstrates that a wire carrying a current was able to deflect a magnetized compass needle.

Charles Xavier Thomas de Colmar creates the “Arithometer,” the first reliable, useful, and commercially successful calculating machine. The calculator could not only add but also subtract, multiply, and divide.


German scientist Thomas Johann Seebeck discovered thermoelectricity.


Charles Babbage designed his first mechanical computer, the first prototype of the decimal difference engine for tabulating polynomials.


Baron Jons Jackob Berzelius discovered silicon (Si), which today is the basic component of an integrated circuit (IC).


English physicist William Sturgeon developed the first electromagnet.


Nicéphore Niépce makes what is now the earliest surviving photograph from nature, a landscape. It requires exposure in the camera that lasts at least eight hours and probably several days.


1826 – Nicéphore Niépce / Public domain


German physicist Georg Ohm introduced the concept of electrical resistance.


Semen Korsakov proposed the usage of punched cards for information storage and search.

On October 21, 1832, Pavel Schilling became the first to transmit signals between two telegraphs in different rooms of his apartment.


Joseph Henry invented the electromechanical relay.

Henry Fox Talbot produces durable silver chloride camera negatives on paper and conceives the two-step negative-positive procedure used in most non-electronic photography up to the present.


France Had Long Distance Calls in 1792


German deacon Ewald Georg von Kleist and Dutchman Pieter van Musschenbroek Independently discovered the Leiden jar, a source of electrical charge.


William Payne’s An Introduction to the Game of Draughts becomes the first guide to the ancient game of checkers or draughts.


Philipp Matthäus Hahn was a German pastor, astronomer, and inventor, and he designed one of the earliest mechanical calculators, of which two are known to have survived to the present day.


French physicist Charles-Augustin de Coulomb formulated Coulomb’s law. Coulomb’s law quantifies the amount of force between two stationary, electrically charged particles. The electric force between charged bodies at rest is conventionally called electrostatic force.


Claude Chappe invents a semaphore line, a method of communicating over long distances.

One of Claude Chappe’s Telegraph Towers – Public Domain


Pascal was “Blaise” When He Invented This: 1642 – 1717

1642 CE

Frances Blaise Pascal invents the machine, called the Pascaline, that can add, subtract, and carry between digits. Pascal began to work on his calculator in 1642 when he was 19 years old. He had been assisting his father, who worked as a tax commissioner and sought to produce a device that could reduce some of his workloads. Pascal received a Royal Privilege in 1649 that granted him exclusive rights to make and sell calculating machines in France.

The Pascaline – Rama / CC BY-SA 3.0 FR (

1666 CE

Margaret Cavendish, the Duchess of Newcastle wrote a work of fiction called the Blazing World. In the story, a woman is kidnapped by a lovesick merchant sailor, and forced to join him at sea. After a windstorm sends the ship north and kills the men, the woman walks through a portal at the North Pole into a new world: one with stars so bright, midnight could be mistaken for midday. A parallel universe where creatures are sentient, and worm-men, ape-men, fish-men, bird-men, and lice-men populate the planet. They speak one language, they worship one god, and they have no wars. She becomes their Empress, and with her otherworldly subjects, she explores natural wonders and questions their observations using science.

1671 CE

Gottfried Leibniz introduces Step Reckoner, a device that can multiply, divide, and evaluate square roots.

1672 CE

German mathematician, Gottfried Leibniz started designing a machine which multiplied, the ‘Stepped Reckoner’. It could multiply numbers of up to 5 and 12 digits to give a 16 digit result.

1679 CE

Gottfried Leibniz demonstrates binary arithmetic, a discovery that shows every number can be represented by 0 and 1 only.

1714 CE

The first writing device (similar to a typewriter) to be patented is patented by Henry Mill in London England. He worked as a waterworks engineer for the New River Company and submitted two patents during his lifetime. One was for a coach spring, while the other was for a “Machine for Transcribing Letters”. The machine that he invented appears, from the patent, to have been similar to the typewriter, but nothing further is known.

1717 CE

Johann Heinrich Schulze is best known for his discovery that the darkening in the sunlight of various substances mixed with silver nitrate is due to the light, not the heat as other experimenters believed, and for using the phenomenon to temporarily capture shadows. The first step in photography.


The Guest Star – 1015 CE – 1613 CE

July 4, 1015 CE

Chinese astronomers observe the supernova in Taurus that formed the Crab Nebula.

The Crab Nebula – NASA, ESA, J. Hester and A. Loll (Arizona State University) / Public domain

c.1200 CE

Chinese invent gun powder.


The first four-suit deck of cards is created in Europe.

1440 CE

Johannes Gutenberg completes the Gutenberg press, the first printing press.

1600 CE

Willaim Gilbert lived during the time of Shakespeare and was one of Queen Elisabeth I doctors. Gilbert was interested in many things, such as magnetism, and felt that this mysterious force could possibly heal the body.

Gilbert was not like the other so-called philosophers of his time who would formulate a theory on so in so but felt it was beneath them to build or carry out experiments. Gilbert, however, got his hands dirty and carried out careful lab tests. He determined many substances could conduct and some that would not. He concluded that it wasn’t the heat from rubbing amber that attracted things like straw but a force that he called electricus.

1601 CE

The Microsoft Windows Epoch time is set to start on January 1, 1601.

Unix and POSIX measure time as the number of seconds that have passed since 1 January 1970 00:00:00 UT, a point in time known as the Unix epoch. The NT time epoch on Windows NT and later refers to the Windows NT system time in (10^-7)s intervals from 0h 1 January 1601.

1613 CE

The word “computer” was first recorded as being used in 1613 and was initially used to describe a person who performed calculations or computations. The definition of a computer remained the same until the end of the 19th century when it began referring to a machine that performed calculations.

Katherine Johnson, a computer.


Unscramble this word: orkz

Hint: It’s a DOS game.

Remember it, you never know when you’ll need it.

Advancements in Mathmatics: 150 CE – 1000CE

190 CE

The first mention of the suanpan in print, (Chinese abacus) which was widely used until the invention of the modern calculator. 1

639 CE

Indian mathematician Brahmagupta was the first to describe the modern place-value numeral system.

820 CE

Persian mathematician, Muḥammad ibn Mūsā al-Khwārizmī, described the rudiments of modern algebra.

850 CE

Arab mathematician Al-Kindi (Alkindus), was a pioneer of cryptography. He gave the first known recorded explanation of cryptanalysis in A Manuscript on Deciphering Cryptographic Messages. 2

1000 CE

Abū Rayhān al-Bīrūnī invented the Planisphere an early analog computer.


In 2002, a Gate of Battlecrypt appeared in the Kingdom of Ehb. Can you name the Game?


First Century – 1CE to 150 CE

Commander Vale, I’ve detected an unusual signal ahead.” “What kind of signal Dozer?” Vale answered unconcernedly.

A long silence…

Then Dozer’s face turned from perplexed to bone-chilling fear. “Commander! It’s a gate of Battlecrypt!

A long silence…

The Commander whispered to himself, “were §¢Я€ꟺ€ↁ.”

1 CE

Jesus is about 3 and John, his cousin, is about 3 and a half years old.

The Codex, the first form of the modern book, appears in the Roman Empire, and by the end of the century, the codex replaces the scroll.

32 CE

John the Baptizer’s death.

33 CE

Death of Jesus Christ on Friday, Nisan 14.

150 CE

The Almagest is a 2nd-century Greek-language mathematical and astronomical treatise on the apparent motions of the stars and planetary paths, written by Claudius Ptolemy (c. AD 100 – c. 170). It is one of the most influential scientific texts of all time, it canonized a geocentric model of the Universe that was accepted for more than 1200 years from its origin in Hellenistic Alexandria. It is also a vital source of information about ancient Greek astronomy.


Ptolemy's cataloque of stars_ Preface
A revision in English of Ptolemy’s catalog of stars.



Last of the BCE’s & OXO

c. 1700 BCE

The last species of mammoth became extinct on Wrangel Island.

910 BCE

The south-pointing chariot was invented in ancient China. It was the first known geared mechanism to use a differential gear. The chariot was a two-wheeled vehicle, upon which is a pointing figure connected to the wheels by means of differential gearing. Through careful selection of wheel size, track and gear ratios, the figure atop the chariot always pointed in the same direction.

753 BCE

Rome founded on this date, more or less.

490 BCE

Battle of Marathon.

125 BCE

The Antikythera mechanism: A clockwork, analog computer believed to have been designed and built in the Corinthian colony of Syracuse. The mechanism contained a differential gear and was capable of tracking the relative positions of all then-known heavenly bodies.

John the Baptizer born, Jesus born.


It would be 1953 years before the game OXO would be played.

OXO is a tic-tac-toe game that used one of the two displays of the EDSAC computer to display the game rather than the contents of the memory as was its purpose. The player would play against the computer which would play a “perfect” game. The input was given using a rotary telephone controller after which the screen was updated and the computer would take its turn.

Edsac computer where OXO was played. – Copyright Computer Laboratory, University of Cambridge == Licensing == {{cc-by-2.0}}

A long, long time ago… The Planets Align

2000 BCE

Royal Courier system begins for the elite in Egypt. Messages were passed from courier to courier to the furthest extent of the empire.

February 27, 1953 BCE

A very close alignment of the naked-eye planets took place in which these planets are together in a span of 4.3 degrees.

c. 1795 BCE

The Rhind Mathematical Papyrus is one of the best-known examples of Ancient Egyptian mathematics.

Rhind Mathematical Papyrus
Paul James Cowie (Pjamescowie) / Public domain


It would be 3814 years before this recording is released. Oct 1888 – This is believed to be the earliest existing recording of Thomas Edison’s voice.