A timeline covering the last thousand years of scientific progress and innovation
BOSTON — 11TH CENTURY 1088 First modern university, Bologna, Italy. 1100 The Chinese develop gunpowder.
12TH CENTURY 1117 The nautical compass changes navigation. 1151 The Chinese use explosives in warfare.
13TH CENTURY 1285 Eyeglasses invented in Italy. 1250 Magnifying glass. 1260 Guns and cannons.
14TH CENTURY 1335 First public clock that strikes the hour is built at a palace chapel in Milan, Italy. 1305 Edward I standardizes the yard and the acre.
15TH CENTURY 1455 Gutenberg revolutionizes books with the movable- type printing press. 1455 The cast-iron pipe made in Germany. 1489 The symbols + and - first used.
16TH CENTURY 1537 Europeans make the potato part of their diet. 1540 Copernicus announces planetary theory. 1582 The Gregorian calendar introduced. 1590 The first compound microscope.
17TH CENTURY 1610 Galileo proves the earth revolves around the sun. 1637 Descartes introduces analytic geometry. 1657 The pendulum clock increases accuracy of time-keeping. 1666 Isaac Newton proposes his three laws of motion, unlocking the mystery of gravity.
18TH CENTURY 1715 Fahrenheit temperature scale invented. 1737 Plant classification system. 1795 Metric system adopted in France.
19TH CENTURY 1800 Infrared light discovered by studying sunlight. 1803 First steam locomotive built in England. 1826 Niepce takes first photograph in France. 1829 First purification of public drinking water. 1830 First all-steam railroad operational in England. 1830 Lawn mower, England. 1838 Samuel Morse perfects an electrical telegraph system. 1851 The sewing machine quickens the manufacturing of clothes. 1856 Bessemer's steel converter makes low-cost steel possible. 1859 Charles Darwin's "Origin of Species" introduces natural selection. 1860s Periodic table of elements. 1866 Gregor Mendel's basic laws of heredity. 1876 Alexander Graham Bell sends speech through wires with the telephone. 1876 Refrigerator. 1879 Thomas Edison invents the incandescent lamp. 1893 Invented as a way of closing high boots, the first zipper appears. 1895 X-ray discovered by accident. 1895 Lumire brothers premire the first film.
20TH CENTURY 1906 Bakelite, a form of plastic, introduced. 1901 Guglielmo Marconi's electromagnetic wave gives rise to wireless communication. 1903 The Wright brothers flight in Kitty Hawk, N.C. 1928 Alexander Fleming discovers penicillin. 1943 The first electronic computer called "Colossus" built. 1947 The semiconductor amplifier, an early transistor, built in New Jersey. 1953 Crick and Watson map DNA. 1958 First success-fully launched US space craft. 1962 Rachel Carson's "Silent Spring" spurs environmental reform. 1969 The precursor to the Internet created. Armstrong and Aldrin walk on the moon. 1978 The first test-tube-baby born. 1981 IBM launches the personal computer. 1984 DNA fingerprinting discovered. 1988 Patented animal life. 1989 Introduction of foreign gene into human patient. 1990 The Human Genome Project to decipher the nucleotide sequence of human DNA. 1990 The Hubble Space Telescope launched from the space shuttle Discovery. 1995 Deciphering of entire DNA sequence of living organism. 1997 Scottish researchers clone a sheep.
(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society