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:
- Chronology of Events - Pre-1700
- Chronology of Events - 1700s
- Chronology of Events - 1900-1930s
- Chronology of Events - 1940s
- Chronology of Events - 1950s
- Chronology of Events - 1960s
- Chronology of Events - 1970s
- Chronology of Events - 1980s
- Chronology of Events - 1990s
- Chronology of Events - 2000s
- Chronology of Events - 2010s
- Joseph-Marie Jacquard makes an improvement to the textile loom that used a series of punched cards as a template to allow his loom to weave intricate patterns automatically. Punched cards are used later by Charles Babbage (1791-1871) in his plans for the Analytical Engine.
- The first working typewriter is built by Pellegrino Turri for his visually impaired friend, the Countess Carolina Fantoni da Fivizzono.
- Samuel Thomas Soemmering invents the electrical telegraph.
- 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.
- Charles Xavier Thomas de Colmar creates the "arithometer," the first commercially successful calculating machine.
- Electromagnetism discovered.
- Charles Babbage designs the Difference Engine, the first automatic computing engine capable of computing several sets of numbers and making hard copies of the results.
- Semen Korsakov uses punch cards to store and search for information.
- Samuel Morse conceives the idea of a electromagnetic telegraph.
- A Russian, Baron Schilling, invents the electromagnetic telegraph.
- Carl Friedrich Gauss and Wilhelm Weber invent their own telegraphic code to communicate over a distance.
- In Wheaton v. Peters, the U.S. Supreme Court holds that the protection of copyright is not perpetual, but is limited to promote the creation of new works.
- Louis Braille develops the Braille Code to allow the blind to read.
- Charles Babbage conceptualizes and designs a fully programmable mechanical computer that he calls the Analytical Engine.
- Samuel F. B. Morse invents a practical form of electromagnetic telegraph using an early version of his "Morse code."
- A law gives the French kingdom a monopoly of communications.
- 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").
- The transatlantic cable is proposed.
- Sir William Fotherhill Cooke and Joseph Lewis Ricardo found the Electric Telegraph Company in the U.K.
- A telegraph line laid between England and France across the English Channel.
- Western Union is founded.
- A tabulating machine is invented by Per Georg Scheutz and his son Edvard.
- The Playfair cipher is invented by Sir Charles Wheatstone.
- Antonio Meucci establishes a telephone link inside an apartment in New York City.
July 10, 1856 — Nikola Tesla is born.
- The Treaty of the Six Nations establishes a telegraph service cartel, dividing the countries into six sections and assigning each section to one firm.
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.]
March 4, 1861 — The new Government Printing Office opens its doors on the same day Abraham Lincoln is inaugurated as the 16th President.
- Western Union completes its first transcontinental telegraph line, mainly along railroad rights-of-way.
- The "International Telegraph Union" (now the International Telecommunication Union) (ITU) is founded in Paris by the International Telegraph Convention.
- A telegraphic message is transmitted 18 miles by radio.
- Transatlantic cables laid in 1866 between Valentia (Ireland) and Newfoundland is successful and remains in use for almost 100 years.
- William Stanley Jevons designs a practical logic machine.
- Western Electric Manufacturing Company is established.
May 17, 1865 — The International Telegraph Convention was signed by 20 States.
February 27, 1876 — Thomas Sanders, Gardiner G. Hubbard and Alexander Graham Bell found the Bell Patent Association.
July 9, 1877 — Bell Telephone Company is organized in Boston, Massachusetts.
- 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.
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.
- Dorr E. Felt develops the Comptometer, which is operated by pressing keys.
- The IEEE is founded.
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.
September 9, 1886 — The Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, an international copyright treaty is ratified in Berne, Switzerland.
- Heinrich Hertz discovers electromagnetic waves.
- The phonograph player is patented.
- The gramophone record is invented.
- Herman Hollerith is awarded three patents (U.S. Patent Nos. 395,781, 395,782, and 395,783) for an electromechanical machine for tabulating information stored on punched cards.
- The North American Phonograph Company begins selling brown wax cylinders. While they were intended primarily for office dictation, they are also used for entertainment and home recording.
- 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.
- The original Bell telephone patent expires.
- Nikolai Tesla successfully transmits radio waves wirelessly.
- U.S. Gramophone Co. begins selling mass-produced flat disc recordings for home entertainment.
- U.S. Congress mandates that U.S. government works are not subject to copyright protection.
- Guglielmo Marconi makes a wireless transmission.
December 3, 1896 — Hermann Hollerith's business is incorporated as the Tabulating Machine Company (TMC). The company develops an automatic punch card sorter.
- The Wireless Telegraph Company of America is created by Guglielmo Marconi.