World History Chronology

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Era of Biological Energy Sources

Era of Inanimate Energy Sources

Era of Fossil Fuel Energy Sources

 

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The Era of Fossil Fuel Energy Sources

1700 to the Present

  • 1690: Denis Papin experiments with an atmospheric steam engine.
  • 1698: Thomas Savery develops a simple steam engine.
  • 1709: Abraham Darby extracts coke from bituminous coal.
  • 1712: Thomas Newcome develops the first practical atmospheric steam engine.
  • 1769: James Watt develops an improved condenser for the steam engine.
  • 1770s: First factories are powered by waterwheels.
  • 1782: Joseph and Etienne Montgolfier develop the hot air balloon.
  • 1794: Eli Whitney Patents the Cotton Gin.
  • 1800: Alessandro Volta develops the electric battery.
  • 1820: Hans Oersted discovers electromagnetism.
  • 1825: Stockton-Darlington railway opens.
  • 1830s: Mechanical grain reapers are introduced by Cyrus McCormick and Obed Hussey.
  • 1830s: Steamships make regular crossing of the Atlantic.
  • 1832: Benoit Fourneyron develops the water turbine.
  • 1833: John Lane develops the steel plow.
  • 1837: W. Cooke and C. Wheatstone develop the first electric telegraph.
  • 1838: John Ericsson develops the screw propeller.
  • 1859: Crude oil is discovered in Pennsylvania.
  • 1860: J.J.E. Lenoir develops the first internal combustion engine.
  • 1866: Alfred E. Nobel invents dynamite.
  • 1869: Suez Canal is completed.
  • 1869: US Transcontinental railway is completed.
  • 1870s: Phosphate fertilizer industry begins.
  • 1874: George Eastman invents photographic film.
  • 1876: N.A. Otto develops the four-stroke internal combustion engine.
  • 1876: Alexander Graham Bell patents the telephone.
  • 1877: Thomas Edison patents the phonograph.
  • 1879: Thomas Edison develops the carbon filament lightbulb.
  • 1883: H.S. Maxim invents the machine gun.
  • 1883: Carl Gustav de Laval develops the impulse steam turbine.
  • 1885: Karl Benz build the first practical car.
  • 1887: Heinrich Hertz generates an electromagnetic wave.
  • 1888: Nikola Tesla invents the induction electrical motor.
  • 1892: Rudolf Diesel invents the diesel engine.
  • 1899: Guglielmo Marconi sends the first radio signal across the English Channel.
  • 1901: Willis H. Carrier invents the first industrial air conditioning.
  • 1903: Orville and Wilbur Wright make the first powered flight.
  • 1908: Henry Ford produces the first Model T.
  • 1913: Ford Motor Company introduces the moving production line.
  • 1922: Japan launches the aircraft carrier Hosho.
  • 1923: Vladimir Zworykin invents the electronic camera tube.
  • 1923: Electrolux produces the first electronic refrigerators.
  • 1935: General Electric Corp. introduces fluorescent lights.
  • 1940: Igor Sikorsky invents the helicopter.
  • 1942: Enrico Fermi makes the first controlled atomic chain reaction.
  • 1942: The V-1 Rocket is developed by Werner von Braun.
  • 1944: DDT is marketed.
  • 1947: Bardeen, Brattan and Shockley invent the transistor.
  • 1949: Introduction of the first commercial passenger jet, the DeHaviland Comet.
  • 1950s: Commercial computers.
  • 1950s: Stereo recordings.
  • 1950s: Videotape.
  • 1951: Hydrogen bomb detonated.
  • 1951: First transmission of color TV pictures.
  • 1953: Raytheon Corporation produces the microwave oven.
  • 1954: The nuclear powered submarine Nautilus is launched.
  • 1957: Sputnik is launched.
  • 1958: Texas Instruments develops the first integrated circuit.
  • 1961: First manned space flight.
  • 1962: First transatlantic television transmission by satellite.
  • 1969: Apollo 11 lands on the moon.
  • 1969: Edward Hoff and Intel Corp. develop the microprocessor.
  • 1971: Intel and Texas Instruments introduce the silicon chip.
  • 1976: Voyager spacecraft land on Mars.
  • 1982: Sony and Philips Corporations introduce the CD player.

Resources

Primary Sources

Secondary Sources

 
This chronology based on: Vaclav Smil, Energy in World History (Boulder, CO; Westview Press, 1994) pp. 259-267.

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