1871 American showman Phineas Taylor Barnum

Opens his circus The Greatest Show on Earth.

It stars the famous midget Tom Thumb.


Chicago: colour lithograph by the American artists Nathaniel Currier (1813-1888) and James Merrit Ives (1824-1895), 1871 – private collection. Showman: licensed under Creative Commons – lmg3.wikia.nocookie.net. Mary Celeste: detail, date and artist unknown. Licensed under Creative Commons – reallifemysteries.wikispaces.com. WG Grace: by the English portrait artist and caricaturist Leslie Ward (1851-1922), 1877. Considered to be in the public domain – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Wg.


The English balloonists James Glaisher and Henry Coxwell

break the world altitude record, reaching an estimated

height of 36,000 feet.


1862  The English cricket team tours Australia for

the first time.

The English Football Association, the oldest of its kind, is formed in 1863 and based at Wembley Stadium. The first Cup Final is held in 1872

 but the Football League                              was not started until 1888.

1863   The Grand Prix de Paris is first run at Longchamp.


Work begins on the construction

of the London Underground.


The game of Badminton is invented by the children of the eighth Duke of Beaufort at their home, Badminton House, not far from Bristol in West England.

 London’s sewer system, over 80 miles long and covering 100 square miles, is completed in

1865, the work of the city’s chief engineer Joseph William Bazalgette (1819-1891).

1865  ThexSurveyor General of India, Andrew Waugh (1810-1878) names the world’s highest mountain after his predecessor, Colonel Sir George Everest (1790-1866), the man who recorded the height and location of the mountain. Local names for the mountain include Mother of the Universe, Goddess Mother of  the Snows, and Holy Mountain. In the 1960s the Government of Nepal officially named it Sagarmatha, meaning Head of the Sky.

Thexfirst railroad sleeping car is designed in America by George M. Pullman (1831-1897) and the London explorer Edward Whymper (1840-1911) becomes the first to climb the Matterhorn.


A pocket version of Fahrenheit’s

mercury thermometer, made in

1866, enables it to be used for

medical purposes.

In 1866 the Marquess of Queensbury gives his name to a new set of boxing rules, limiting the rounds to three minutes and making the use of gloves compulsory.

1867  The French gardener Joseph Monier (1823-1906) having

Invented reinforced concrete to make his flower pots, patents

the idea for use in the making of posts, bridges and arches.

The ruins of the great Zimbabwe Empire of the 15th century are found in southern Africa.

Luxembourg gains its independence, despite claims from Belgium, France and Germany.


The first edition of Whitaker’s Almanac, a year book of current affairs, is published in London.


The first meat packing factory opens in Chicago.


1868  The earliest recorded bicycle race (over 2 Ks) is held at the Parc de St. Cloud, Paris.


Thexfamousxtea clipper Cutty Sark is launched at Dumbarton, Scotland.

Fish and chips starts to become popular in the North of England.

-------  A telegraph link is opened between Britain and India -----


The Declaration of

Papal infallibility.



The Great Fire of

Chicago sweeps

through the timber-

built city. 90,000

are made homeless.


With the opening of the Mont Cenis tunnel between France

and Italy, trains pass under the Alps for the very first time.

The first official Cat Show is held at Crystal Palace, London, in July 1871, brainchild of the writer and artist Harrison Weir. The famous Dog Show Crufts is not held until 1891 (Vc).




        SS Oceanic of the White Star Line is

launched, the first of the large luxury liners.

Workxbegins on the Gotthard Railway Tunnel.

Nine miles long, it takes ten years to complete.

ThexPenny Farthing bicycle is invented by the

English engineer James Starley. It proves highly

unstable, as does the ladies’ version 4 years later.


The sailing vessel Mary Celeste is found adrift in the Atlantic. The cargo is intact but there are no signs of the captain, his wife, daughter and the seven-man crew!

It remains a mystery to this day!


1873     Germany adopts the MARK as its unit of currency.

CaptainxMatthew Webb becomes the first recorded person to swim across the English Channel: Dover to Calais in 21hrs 45 minutes.



Melville Bissell of  Michegan,

USA, invents the first

practical carpet sweeper.


Thexfamous English cricketer

W.G. Grace

makes his highest score of 344

playing for the MCC against Kent.

The inventor Thomas Edison makes the first recording

of the human voice, reciting “Mary had a little lamb”.


The American librarian Melvil Dewey (1851-1931) invents

the Dewey Decimal System of library classification in 1876.

ThexfirstxAll England tennis championships are held at Wimbledon, South London

in 1877. The first US Open is held at Newport, Rhode Island, four years later.

1877  Frozen meat is shipped from Argentina to Europe for the first time.

The Tay Bridge near Dundee, Scotland, collapses in a storm

and a train, crossing at the time, plunges into the water below.

All 75 passengers and crew are killed.


1880   Canned fruit and meat appear in stores for the first time.

The last


in England takes place in front of Newgate Prison, London.

public hanging

1874   Denmark grants self-government to