1871 American showman Phineas Taylor Barnum
Opens his circus The Greatest Show on Earth.
It stars the famous midget Tom Thumb.
lithograph by the American artists Nathaniel Currier (1813-
The English balloonists James Glaisher and Henry Coxwell
break the world altitude record, reaching an estimated
height of 36,000 feet.
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.
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-
1865 ThexSurveyor General of India, Andrew Waugh (1810-
railroad sleeping car is designed in
America by George M. Pullman
A pocket version of Fahrenheit’s
mercury thermometer, made in
1866, enables it to be used for
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.
French gardener Joseph Monier
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.
The Declaration of
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).
ThexPenny Farthing bicycle is invented by the
English engineer James Starley. It proves highly
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
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
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
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.
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.