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1700s Chronokey Chronomedia index
Numbers after entries link to the list of references.


links and notes
1702 March 2  London's first daily newspaper is The Daily Courant, which continues in print until 1735.  
1704  Weekly Boston News-Letter becomes the first newspaper to survive in America.  
1704  First subscription library opens in Berlin.  
1704  Isaac Newton (1642-1727) defends the corpuscular (emission) theory of light in Optics.  
1706  The London Evening Post is the first evening newspaper published in England.  
1709  George Berkeley (1685-1753) publishes his New Theory of Vision.  
1709  First Copyright Act passed in England.  
1709  Postage charges in England are related to mileage over which items are carried.  
1709  Abraham Derby's experiments into smelting iron by using a coke-fired blast-furnace are successful. A key event in the birth of the Industrial Revolution.  
1710s    
1710  Three-colour printing is invented by German engraver Jakob Christoph Le Blon (1667-1741).  
1711 March 1  The Spectator is founded by Joseph Addison (1672-1719) and Richard Steele (1672-1729).  
1711  Tuning fork is invented by John Shore.  
1712 March 1  Stamp Act imposes a levy of 1d (0.42p) per whole sheet on newspapers in England.  
1712 December 6  Last edition of The Spectator is published.  
1716 December 22  First pantomime staged in England is seen at the Lincoln’s Inn Theatre, London.  
1716  The earliest known theatre in the American colonies is built at Williamsburg, Virginia.  
1719 December 21  William Brooker publishes the first edition of The Boston Gazette. The first edition of The American Mercury appears the following day.  
1720s    
1722  Reporting of debates by journalists is banned by the British parliament.  
1725  The darkening effect of light on silver salts is discovered by Professor Johann Schulze at Altdorf University. He proves it by shining light through a lettering stencil onto a flask containing a suspension of silver nitrate and chalk, which darkens only where the light penetrates the cut-out shape. > 1727
1726  First lending library opens in Edinburgh, Scotland.  
1727  Schulze's experiments with silver salts are published by the Reichsakademie in Nuremberg. > 1799
1729  Stephen Gray in England discovers the capacity of some substances to conduct electricity.  
1730s    
1730  The Daily Advertiser newspaper is founded in London. It runs until 1807.  
1731  Gentleman's MagazineThe Gentleman's Magazine is founded in London by Edward Cave, using the pseudonym Sylvanus Urban. Each issue costs 6d (2½p). In his famous Dictionary, Samuel Johnson credits Cave with inventing the concept of a 'magazine' and using the word in this sense (as opposed to its military meaning). It runs until 1914.  
1733  L'Abbé Nollet describes a 'chambre noire' in Leçons de physique expérimentale, confirming the persistence of vision theory.  
1737  Under the Stage Licensing Act, all plays produced in English theatres must have prior approval by the Lord Chamberlain. This requirement remains in force for 231 years until 1968.  
1740s    
1741 February 13  Andrew Bradford publishes The American Magazine, the first such issued in the North American colonies.  
1741 February 16  Benjamin Franklin publishes the January issue of The General Magazine and Historical Chronicle, for all the British plantations in America, which is the first to include advertisements. It survives for only six issues, the last of which appears on 30 July.  
1750s    
1759 January 16  British Museum opens.  
1770s    
1771  First edition of Encyclopaedia Britannica is published in Edinburgh.  
1772 November 2  First edition of The Morning Post is published in London. It runs until 1937, when it is merged with The Daily Telegraph.  
1780s    
1780  Sunday Observance Act prohibits public entertainments in England and Wales on a Sunday for which an admission charge is made. See 1931
1781  EidophusikonEidophusikon, an entertainment based on three-dimensional paintings with lighting effects, is opened in London by Philippe Jacques de Loutherbourg, a painter from Alsace. This is a forerunner of the Diorama of 1822
1781  Becceri discovers the effect of light on silver).  
1784  Most successful of French shadow theatres is opened by Dominique Seraphin; it remains in operation until 1870.  
1784  The first mail coaches run in Britain.  
1785 January 1  Daily Universal RegisterFirst edition of The Daily Universal Register newspaper appears in London. An editorial ('To the Public'), written by the editor-proprietor John Walter, occupies half the front page. It keeps this title for three years. Walter
John Walter quotation

Picture source: Terra Media Archives, reprinted in The Times 2 January 1985
1787 October 29  Mozart's opera Don Giovanni is first performed in Prague.  
1787  Large cylindrical paintings, Panoramas, are patented by Edinburgh portrait painter Robert Barker. Popular for next 80 years, the idea is successfully revived briefly in Moscow in 1960.  
1787  Working model of a telegraph is demonstrated by M Lammond in Paris.  
1788 January 1  The Daily Universal Register changes its name to The Times. It is still being published.
1788 May 3  The Star and Evening Advertiser is the first daily evening newspaper published in London.  
1789 June 23  First US federal bill to establish copyright protection is tabled in the first Congress.  
1790s    
1790 May 31  The first US federal Copyright Act is passed under the new US Constitution. Books, maps and charts are eligible and  must be registered at the District Court of the jurisdiction within which the author resides. The privilege is granted for 14 years, with the option of renewal for a further 14 years. > 1831 February 3
1790 June 9  The first item registered under the US Copyright Act is The Philadelphia Spelling Book by John Barry.  
1791 December 4  The ObserverThe Observer Sunday newspaper is first published in London. Its handbill declares its 'Object is Truth, and the Dissemination of every Species of Knowledge that may conduce to the Happiness of Society.' It is still being published.
1794  A long-distance semaphore signalling system is devised in France by Claude Chappe.  
1796  Book by G Huth called A Treatise concerning some Acoustic Instruments and the use of the Speaking Tube in Telegraphy is published in Berlin; first use of the word ‘telephone’.  
1798  PhantasmagoriaBelgian inventor Etienne Gaspard Robertson (aka Robert, 1763-1837), demonstrates his Phantasmagoria device.  
1798  Allgemeine Zeitung is founded by Johann Cotta in Leipzig.  
1798  Lithography is invented by Alois Senefelder.  
1799 March 17  PhantascopeEtienne Gaspard Robertson is granted a patent for his Phantascope magic lantern. The wheeled device incorporates a gearing mechanism so that focus is maintained during forwards and backwards tracking, which can be used to change the image size.  
1799  Alessandro Volta invents the electric battery (aka Voltaic pile) by alternating discs of silver and zinc, separated by felt, in brine. He does not make the announcement until the following year  
1799  Chaussier discovers the effect of hyposulphate on silver salts.  
1799  Machine for making continuous reels of paper is devised by Frenchman Louis Robert (1761-1828). > 1801
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Page updated 14 February 2009
© David Fisher