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1600s Chronokey Chronomedia index
Numbers after entries link to the list of references.


links and notes
1602 November 8  The Bodleian Library is established in Oxford.  
1607 November 26  Mr William Shakespeare His History of King Lear is believed to be the first book for which a copyright claim is made in the Entry Book of Copies at the Stationers' Company in London.  
1608 October 2  Optical telescope first built by Hans Lippershey (c1570-1619) in the Netherlands.  
1635  The first public mail service in the UK is established by royal proclamation. Private services are discouraged.  
1636  Professor Daniel Schwenter at the University of Altdorf in Germany invents a complex lens unit for use in camera obscura devices. It comprises a hollow wooden ball through which passes a tube containing two lenses of different focal lengths.  
1642  All English theatres are closed by Act of Parliament, a ban that lasts for 18 years until 1660.  
1646  Athanasius Kircher (1601/2-1680), a Thuringian Jesuit father, describes the principle of the magic lantern, combining the camera obscura with an objective lens, in his Ars Magna Lucis et Umbrae.  
1650  The physicist d’Arcy redefines the persistence of vision theory.  
1656 January 8  First edition of Weeckelycke Courante van Europa, a newspaper, printed on both sides of a single sheet of paper, published in Haarlem, Holland and carrying news from across Europe. It is believed to be the first newspaper. > 1702
1657  In England, the Commonwealth government under Oliver Cromwell creates the Post Office.  
1659  Christian Huygens (1629-1695) in Holland builds a magic lantern. [Huygens proposed the wave theory of light, discovered polarisation and developed the pendulum clock.]  
1660  The ban on theatres in Britain is revoked with the restoration of the monarchy. The first professional actress makes an appearance.  
1660  The General Post Office is established in Great Britain. In its 309 years of existence it will have responsibility for such matters as telegraphy, wireless telegraphy, telephony and broadcasting.  
1662  Thomas Rasmussen Walgenstein in Denmark invents a projection lamp with an artificial light source.  
1663  Magic lanterns are on sale in London from Reeves opticians firm.  
1663  First publication of Erbauliche Monaths-Unterredungen (Uplifting Conversations Monthly) in Germany, believed to be the world's first magazine.  
1666  Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727) uses a prism to split white light into the colours of the spectrum. He does not explain his theories until elected a fellow of the Royal Society in 1672.  
1668  Giornale de' letterati di Roma is the first magazine published in Italy. The editor is Francesco Nazzari.  
1676  Danish astronomer Ole Römer (1644-1710) discovers that light has a velocity.  
1676  Johann Sturm devises a portable camera obscura in which the image captured by the lens is reflected within a wooden box via a mirror onto a sheet of oiled paper.  
1678  John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress is published in London.  
1695  Sturm's camera obscura (see 1676) is improved by Johann Zahn, who paints the side of the box black and replaces the oiled paper with a sheet of frosted glass.  
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Page updated 8 April 2008
© David Fisher