Sunday, November 11, 2018

Major Inventions of the 1800's by E. Ayers

Oops! I'm late. But I've brought a few dates with me. Sorry, not the tall, dark, and handsome types. These are important moments in history. Well, some are more important than others. Where would we be without the rubber band? Oh, just because it was invented, doesn't mean it was put into use. Quite a few things took a few years to become a tangible product.

I find these kind of things to be fascinating because they directly influenced the way people lived. And I enjoy writing about the old West but I wouldn't want to go back and live then. Of course, no one expected the house to be as clean and neat as we attempt to keep ours today because they didn't have the things to keep a home as clean.

The 1800’s were filled with inventions. A few people who love to study such things claim that we really didn’t have many inventions during the 1900’s - we just figured out how to make things better, cheaper, and smaller. Here’s a quick overview of inventions, around the world, during the 1800’s. You might find a few surprises.

1801 Jacquard Loom (programmable loom)

1806 Percolator

1809 Tin Can

1817 Draisine (bicycle with no pedals)

1820 Stethoscope

1824 Portland Cement

1827 Photography/Lawnmower/Fountain Pen

1829 Braille

1830 Electromagnetic Motor

1831 Safety Fuse for Explosives

1832 Electrical Motor

1833 Analytical Engine (computer)

1834 Combine Harvester/Refrigerator

1837 Electric Telegraph

1838 Morse Code

1843 Vulcanized Rubber/Paper from Wood/Christmas Cards

1845 Rubber Band

1846 Sewing Machine with Lockstitch

1847 Candy Bar

1849 Safety Pin/Telephone

1850 Bunsen Burner

1853 Kerosene Lamp

1857 Aniline Dyes/Milk Chocolate/Commercialized Toilet Paper

1858 Can Opener

1859 Escalator

1860 Internal Combustion Engine/Vacuum Cleaner

1861 Color Photograph/ Solar-powered Engine

1863 Quad Roller Skates/Granula Cereal (commercial no cooking required cereal)

1864 Pasteurization

1866 Dynamite/Winchester Rifle

1869 Motorbike

1873 Denim Trousers

1876 Four-Stroke Engine/Telephone (US Patent)

1877 Phonograph

1879 Electric Light Bulb

1884 Steam Turbine/Peanut Butter

1885 Anthrax Vaccine/Rabies Vaccine/Photographic Film

1886 Coca-Cola

1888 Modern Day Air Tires/Mass Produced Box Camera

1889 Motorwagen (Automobile)

1891 Basketball/Escalator (an amusement ride)/Incandescent Lamp

1892 Dewar flask (Thermos)

1895 Hearing Aid

1897 Jell-O

It took almost fifty years before someone figured out we needed a can opener to open those tin cans? Don’t you think that someone should have worked on that invention a little sooner? I seriously doubt that opening such a can with a hammer (yes, hammer) was a fun job. 

Did one of these inventions surprise you?


  1. I can remember my dad opening a can with his pocketknife when we couldn't find the can opener. My mom was good at misplacing things, often with my younger brother's help. I was surprised at some of the things on the list.

    1. I remember penknives having that pointed hook-thing that was sharp. It was supposed to be for opening cans. My dad let me try it a few times and eventually I could do it, but wasn't easy. I think I was most surprised at the vaccines and amused about the escalator.

  2. Replies
    1. I probably could have listed over a thousand things that were developed in the 1800's. It was age of modernization. Some of it was so fast that three or more people applied for virtually the same patent at the same time. And a year later someone improved upon it. But each step became a major leap for way people lived. That's where my interests lie.


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