The following is a chronological listing of significant events in the development of the field of Information Technology during the 1800s. For other time periods see:


1801[edit | edit source]

1803[edit | edit source]

1808[edit | edit source]

  • The first working typewriter is built by Pellegrino Turri for his visually impaired friend, the Countess Carolina Fantoni da Fivizzono.

1809[edit | edit source]

  • Samuel Thomas Soemmering invents the electrical telegraph.

1811-1813[edit | edit source]

  • The Luddite Movement in England (November 11, 1811 – January 12, 1813) results in the destruction of machinery by workers and craftsmen concerned about the loss of their jobs due to mechanization in the workplace.

1820[edit | edit source]

  • Charles Xavier Thomas de Colmar creates the "arithometer," the first commercially successful calculating machine.
  • Electromagnetism discovered.

1822[edit | edit source]

1831[edit | edit source]

February 3, 1831 — The first general revision of U.S. copyright law is enacted. The author's exclusive rights are extended from 14 years to 28 years, with a potential 14-year extension.

1832[edit | edit source]

1833[edit | edit source]

  • Carl Friedrich Gauss and Wilhelm Weber invent their own telegraphic code to communicate over a distance.

1834[edit | edit source]

  • Louis Braille develops the Braille Code to allow the blind to read.

1837[edit | edit source]

July 24, 1837 — Sir Charles Wheatstone and William Fothergill Cooke patent the telegraph.

1841[edit | edit source]

1842[edit | edit source]

1843[edit | edit source]

  • Per and Georg Scheutz construct the first working Difference Engine based on Babbage's design in Stockholm.
  • William Henry Fox Talbot receives a patent on the first optical photocopier (a "magnifying apparatus").

1844[edit | edit source]

May 24, 1844 — Samuel Morse transmits the first message "What hath God wrought?" by "Morse code" between New York and Philadelphia.

1845[edit | edit source]

  • The transatlantic cable is proposed.

1846[edit | edit source]

  • Sir William Fotherhill Cooke and Joseph Lewis Ricardo found the Electric Telegraph Company in the U.K.

1847[edit | edit source]

1848[edit | edit source]

1850[edit | edit source]

  • A telegraph line laid between England and France across the English Channel.

1851[edit | edit source]

  • Western Union is founded.

1853[edit | edit source]

Nov. 30, 1853 — George Boole publishes a book titled An Investigation on the Laws of Thought on symbolic logic.

  • A tabulating machine is invented by Per Georg Scheutz and his son Edvard.

1854[edit | edit source]

  • The Playfair cipher is invented by Sir Charles Wheatstone.

1855[edit | edit source]

  • Antonio Meucci establishes a telephone link inside an apartment in New York City.

1856[edit | edit source]

July 10, 1856 — Nikola Tesla is born.

1857[edit | edit source]

March 25, 1857 — The phonautograph (phonograph) is patented by Frenchman Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville.

  • The Treaty of the Six Nations establishes a telegraph service cartel, dividing the countries into six sections and assigning each section to one firm.

1858[edit | edit source]

August 16, 1858 — The first transatlantic cable is successfully completed. It runs from Ireland to Newfoundland. It only remained in service a few days before failing. [Subsequent cables laid in 1866 were successful.]

1861[edit | edit source]

March 4, 1861 — The new Government Printing Office opens its doors on the same day Abraham Lincoln is inaugurated as the 16th President.

1865[edit | edit source]

  • A telegraphic message is transmitted 18 miles by radio.

1866[edit | edit source]

  • Transatlantic cables laid in 1866 between Valentia (Ireland) and Newfoundland is successful and remains in use for almost 100 years.

1868[edit | edit source]

July 14, 1868 — Christopher Sholes patents a typewriter with the QWERTY layout keyboard.

1869[edit | edit source]

  • William Stanley Jevons designs a practical logic machine.

1870[edit | edit source]

July 8, 1870 — In the second major revision of copyright law, U.S. Congress centralizes copyright activities (including registration and deposit within the Library of Congress.

1872[edit | edit source]

  • Western Electric Manufacturing Company is established.

1873[edit | edit source]

1875[edit | edit source]

May 17, 1865 — The International Telegraph Convention was signed by 20 States.

1876[edit | edit source]

February 27, 1876 — Thomas Sanders, Gardiner G. Hubbard and Alexander Graham Bell found the Bell Patent Association.

March 10, 1876 — Alexander Graham Bell patents the telephone (U.S. Patent No. 174,465; "Improvements in Transmitters and Receivers for Electric Telegraph") (full-text).

1877[edit | edit source]

July 9, 1877 — Bell Telephone Company is organized in Boston, Massachusetts.

November 21, 1877 — Thomas Edison and announces the first phonograph capable of recording and replaying sounds.

1878[edit | edit source]

  • The American Speaking Telephone Company is created by Western Union to compete with the Bell Telephone Company.
  • The French Ministry of Posts and Telegraphs is created.

1879[edit | edit source]

February 17, 1879 — The National Telephone Company is formed to provide telephone service throughout the United States, based on Elisha Gray's patents. It will be dissolved by a court order in 1903.

1880[edit | edit source]

April 1, 1880 — Alexander Graham Bell and his assistant Charles Summer Tainter transmit the first wireless telephone message 213 meters on a beam of light (the "light-beam photophone").

1881[edit | edit source]

1882[edit | edit source]

February 1882 — Western Electric and American Bell enter an agreement where Western Electric becomes the exclusive supplier to American Bell.

  • Bell Telephone acquires Western Electric Company.

1884[edit | edit source]

  • Dorr E. Felt develops the Comptometer, which is operated by pressing keys.
  • The IEEE is founded.

1885[edit | edit source]

April 3, 1885 — American Telephone and Telegraph Corporation (AT&T) is established to create a commercially viable, nationwide long-distance network. The Ministry of Communications is esablished in Japan.

1886[edit | edit source]

September 9, 1886 — The Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, an international copyright treaty is ratified in Berne, Switzerland.

1887[edit | edit source]

1888[edit | edit source]

1889[edit | edit source]

1890[edit | edit source]

  • Herman Hollerith uses an automated punch card machine, manufactured by the Computing Tabulating Recording Corporation, for the U.S. census. Hollerith's firm merges with several other companies to become IBM in 1924.
  • Telephone service begins in Japan.
  • Samuel Warren and Louis Brandeis publish their landmark law review article titled "The Right to Privacy" in volume 4 of the Harvard Law Review.

1891[edit | edit source]

1893[edit | edit source]

1895[edit | edit source]

1896[edit | edit source]

December 3, 1896 — Hermann Hollerith's business is incorporated as the Tabulating Machine Company (TMC). The company develops an automatic punch card sorter.

1897[edit | edit source]

February 19, 1897 — The U.S. Copyright Office is established as a separate department of the Library of Congress. The position of Register of Copyrights is established.

1898[edit | edit source]

1899[edit | edit source]

  • The Wireless Telegraph Company of America is created by Guglielmo Marconi.
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.