Technology, science, math, engineering (STEM) timeline
While we can never touch reality, science moves us ever closer.
When you invent the car, you create the car wreck.
STEM knowledge is the result of years of human's global efforts to learn from our social interactions that exchange information. Information exchanged, irrelevant of the ethics of the exchanges. Oppression, war, colonialism, capitalism, slavery, industrialization, geopolitical conflict, & unhealthy choices.
Modern (Present - 1920)
Summary of change:
Environmental: Humans and their livestock (mostly pigs and cows) now have 22 times the mass than wild mammals. Domesticated birds have two times the mass of wild birds. Plant mass has halved since civilization began.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Sixth Assessment Report warns:
Unless planned fossil fuel plants are not cancelled and most existing plants decommissioned and spending on renewable energy increases three to six times by 2030, we are on track for catastrophic weather and crop failures.
CO2 (carbon dioxide) in atmosphere continues to increase above 417 parts per million.
CO2 (carbon dioxide) in atmosphere passes 417 parts per million. Highest since beginning of the industrial revolution.
COVID-19 vaccine developed
A messenger RNA Cozvid-19 vaccine, with 95% efficacy, is developed astonishingly fast and production of 8 billion shots is achieved.
However, world wide distribution and acceptance of a vacination is less successful. Success hampered by:
- Public expectations of a vaccine, similar to measles, that provides a life time protection.
- Belief herd immunity could be achieved with wide vaccination.
- Spread of vaccine hesitancy, half-truths, misinformation, and a flood of lies along with the promotion of questionable unproven drugs and remedies.
- Evolution of different variants of the virus.
- Belief a specific mRND vaccine could end the pandemic. And
- Wanting it to be over.
The future for ending the pandemic may be a long term struggle that will only be resolved with a pancoronavirus vaccine that will thwart any Sars-CoV-2.
China’s Chang’e 5 returns 1.7 kilograms of rock and soil from the moon
First since Russia’s Luna 24 in 1976. See also Apollo
RoseTTAFold & AlphaFold (artificial intelligence algorithms) are able to predict structures of protein complexes. Both are available for researchers to use for free.
NASA announces the Artemis program to put the first woman and next man on the Moon by 2024. Source
Within the program is the Artemis Accord.
First all women team to win Noble prize
Geneticist Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier receive the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their groundbreaking invention of CRISPR-Cas9 (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats ) for editing genes. Source The Code Breaker Walter Isaacson.
Earth’ s human population 7.6 billion
China’s Chang’e 4 lands on the dark side of the moon. Its biosphere germinates the first seeds (cotton) on the moon. January 3, 2018. Source
First image of a Black Hole is recorded with the help of Katie Bouman, who developed the algorithm necessary to create the image. The black sphere captures all light with its massive gravity. The photons (light) that surround the event horizon create the glow as matter spirals into the hole. The black hole is at the center of the Messier 87 (M87) galaxy, 53 million light years from Earth. It has a mass of 6.5 billion suns with an event horizon a bit larger than our Solar System, itty-bitty by cosmic standards.
First AI (artificial intelligence) to predict people's emotional state
Kevin LaBar creates a model that uses fMRI scans to associate brain blood flow patterns to seven feelings: countentedness, amusement, surprise, fear, anger, sadness, & neutrality.
His work builds on Jack Gallant's mapping 1000's of concept words to brain locations. Numbers, body parts, principles such as truth. He found every word is maps to multiple regions. He believes each region represents an idea associated with its meaning or related experience. Number tracks to tactile, visual, and number.
Source Discover. The Shape of Thought, December, 2019
Covid vaccine developed
Ozem Tureci and Uğur Sahin, co-founders of BioNTech (2008) discover mRNA vaccines that will open a new generation of treatments for viruses. Covid vaccine among them.
California Camp fire sets a record for the deadliest and most destructive fire in California history. Burns 153 336 acres, destroys 18 804 structures, displaces 52 000 people and kills 85 people.
Japan's Hayabusa 2 spacecraft drops multiple probes onto the surface of the Ryuga Asteroid. The probes hop across the asteroid: take pictures, measure temperatures, magnetism, look for water and organic molecules. The main spacecraft will land three times and collect samples and return to Earth in 2020. Source See Hayabusa1.
NASA announced its Mars rover found evidence for ancient life and methane in the Martian atmosphere, suggests microbes have existed and still might exist today.
The B-52 bomber is still flying. By Gordon F. Sander January 20, 2018
Somalian plate is separating from the African Continent See Africa's Big Break. by Shannon Hall in Discover magazine May 2018.
CO2 (carbon dioxide) in atmosphere passes 400 parts per million. Highest since beginning of the industrial revolution.
Wheat genome sequenced. Source
Hurricane Maria devastates Puerto Rico and kills 2 975 people, in September.
First artificial species created
Mycoplasma mycoides JCVI-syn3.0 has 473 genes and was created by J. C. Venter. He started with the living organism Mycoplasma genitalium, the smallest organism (has 525 genes) and the first organism to be sequenced, by removing and adding genes until it sustained life and reproduced.
First time police use a robot to kill a suspect
The Great Math Mystery
According to Mario Livio, all numbers (one, two, ...) are invented concepts, and humans have discovered that numbers have all kinds of intricate relationships. Humans invented the concept and then discovered the relations among the different concepts. Therefore, math is both invented and discovered. It may feel like it's already there, but it comes from the creativity of human beings. Source
Cruise ship Crystal Serenity along with 100 tourists steamed from Alaska to New York through the Northwest Passage for the first time in recorded history.
OSIRIS-REx launched and arrives at Bennu asteroid (101955) in 2018. If finds the surface weathered by space exposure, has abundant organic material, and evidence of past erosion by liquid water. It collects 60 g of material to arrive on Earth 2023.
Paris agreement on climate change.
Higgs boson discovered at CERN on July 4, 2012.
Peter Ware Higgs, a theoretical physicist proposes the electro weak theory and broken symmetry could explain the origin of elementary particle mass in general and W and Z bosons in particular through a Higgs mechanism. This same mechanism was proposed by other physicists about the same time and it predicted the existence of a new particle, the Higgs boson. Both discoveries add support for the Standard Model of particle physics.
On March 14, 2013, the Higgs boson was tentatively confirmed to be + parity and zero spin. Making it the first known fundamental scalar particle to be verified in nature.
Curiosity arrives on Mars and begins to sift soil and rock samples for organic molecules. in 2015 from two different sites it finds evidence of a goopy fossilized building block (kerogen) for oil and gas on Earth were found, sulfur bearing carbon rings, and traces of methane in the atmosphere rise and fall with the season.
Voyger I entered intersteller space on August 25, 2012. In another 40,000 years it will leave the solar system and the Sun's gravitational influence. Source Ed Stone
Google brain project created an algorithm that was capable of learning to identify a cat.
First spacecraft to land on an asteroid and return to Earth is Japan's Asteroid Explorer Hayabusa (MUSES-C). It traveled to Itokawa asteroid and brought back samples. It also was the first to use ion engines to navigate. Source
Scalbard Global Seed Vault on the island of Spitsbergen near Longyearbyen Norway opens. It was created to preserve a wide variety of plant seeds as spare copies held as a worldwide gene bank in case of a regional or global crises. Source
The number of people living in urban areas (cities) is greater than the number of people living in rural areas.
Massachusetts v. Environmental Protection Agency, 549 U.S. 497, in a 5-4 decision found:
- The petitioners were found to have standing.A state has a right to act in the interest of its citizens as to whether "its mountains shall be stripped of their forests and its inhabitants shall breathe pure air."
- The Court held the CAA gives the EPA the authority to regulate tailpipe emissions of greenhouse gases. The CAA defines "air pollutant" as "any air pollution agent or combination of such agents, including any physical, chemical, biological, radioactive ... substance or matter which is emitted into or otherwise enters the ambient air".
- The Court found the EPA's current rationale for not regulating to be inadequate and required the agency to articulate a reasonable basis in order to avoid regulation.
Chief Justice Roberts dissent argued the alleged injury: Massachusetts' loss of land because of rising sea levels is too speculative and without adequate scientific support and the effect of obliging the EPA to enforce automobile emissions as a solution is hypothetical at best.
Scalia's dissent found the Court has no jurisdiction to decide the case because the petitioners lack standing.
The New Horizon space probe is launched.
It travels to Pluto and then Arrokoth in the Kuiper belt at the edge of the solar system. The original positional locating system is unable to center Arrokoth to photograph. Marc Huie recommends using a new star mapping system created from the Gaia satellite from mapping quasars as a reference frame. It works perfectly. Source
Hurricane Katrina devastates the north Gulf Coast killing 1,833 people.
Identify the human genome with 32 000 genes
Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) is founded
Its mission is based on the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention. It will oversee the destruction of the world’s declared chemical weapons (CW) stockpiles.
In 2014 it removes and destroyed Syria’s CW stockpile and in 2022 starts to transition from disarmament to nnonproliferation and threat reduction of state and non state actors who develop or use CW.
Among it’s most important tasks: to reinforce international norms against the use of chemical weapons (CW). And to document and confirm who is responsible for the use of CW against different populations, and the assassination of political opponents. Source Countering the future chemical weapons threat. By Tuan H. Nguyen. Science April 20. 2022
First mammal, Dolly the sheep, is cloned. Followed by dogs, rabbits, pigs, and primates in 2018, with Zhongshan Zhongshan and Hua Hua.
The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) is opened for signatures. Nations have signed it, but not all have ratified it. However, most nations agreed to the verification procedures and are gathering and transmitting data to the CTBTO headquarters. Thus, no nuclear explosion goes undetected.
Self flying plane (autonomous vehicle)
A Boeing 737 with a Global positioning system (GPS) landed itself 110 times in a row. Source
Congress killed the Superconducting Super Collider
Confirmed microwave background radiation of the big bang
The COBE ( NASA's Cosmic Background Explorer satellite) team announced they detected the three-degree Kelvin electromagnetic background radiation in all directions of the sky that was emitted 380,000 years after the Big Bang.
Hubble telescope launched April 24, 1990.
The Hubble telescope will collect millions of observations of space objects expanding the size and the universe and the number of known objects in it. See NASA for great photos and more about Hubble.
Tim Berners-Lees and Robert Cailliau utilize ideas of a server, TCP, DNS, HTTP, HTML, URL, and a browser to make the WWW and the first web page at: http://info.cern.ch/hypertext/WWW/TheProject.html
The first world leader, Margaret Thatcher, calls for action on climate change.
Treaty to ban chlorofluorocarbons, to protect the ozone layer, is ratified by 197 countries.
Nuclear power plant in Pripyat, Ukraine (Chernobyl) explodes to become the worst nuclear accident in the history of nuclear power.
Organ transplants are largely unsuccessful because the body rejectes the new organ. Thomas Starzl works for many years to improve on transplant success. First, with the drug cyclosporine, approved by the FDA in 1983. Later with tacrolimus, approved by the FDA in 1994. Over his career he investigates: preservation, immunosuppression, infectious diseases, oncology, growth factor physiology, and immunology. The Puzzle People: Memoirs of a Transplant Surgeon. University of Pittsburgh Press.
Stanley Prusiner claims prions replicate without nucleic acids.
He publishes: scrapie, a degenerative disease of the central nervous system of sheep, is cause by prions. Prions are misfolded proteins that have the ability to transmit their misfolded shape onto normal proteins without RNA, DNA, or a virus. Also cause other degenerative diseases: mad cow disease and chronic wasting disease. Shifts & drifts in prion science. Science October 2, 2020
Diamond v. Chakbrabarty - Can life be patented
Asked to rule if a patent for a human-made, genetically engineered bacterium capable of breaking down crude oil, a property which is possessed by no naturally occurring bacteria could be patented.
- At questions is: are living things patentable?
- Does a micro-organism constitutes a manufactured or composition of matter?
Ruled, it was a nonnaturally occurring organism that was manufactured or a composition of matter of human ingenuity with a distinctive name and character of use.
Referenced: 1930 Plant Patent Act, allowed protection of certain asexually reproduced plants and the 1970 Plant Variety Protection Act, protected certain sexually reproduced plants.
Global positioning system (GPS)
Brad Parkinson and his team had proof of the concept for a global positioning system (GPS) . Source
Gossamer Condor, became the first nonstop human-powered flight in 1977. The Condor designed and built by Paul MacCready stayed aloft for seven minutes and flew a figure eight course. The flight won a prize of $100,000, which was offered by British industrialist Henry Kremer 18 years earlier. The Condor now hangs in the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. More about Paul and ...
Have Blue, the first stealth aircraft designed and built at Lockheed's Skunk Works took flight over Nevada. More
Voyger 1 is launched and continues its voyage.
- Voyger 1 was launched Septeber 5, 1977.
- In 1990 the blue dot photo 2,was taken.
- On February 17, 1998 it became the most distant human made object
- In 1998 it crosses the termination shock
- On February 13, 2010 it passes the reach of the solar wind
- On August 25, 2012 in reaches interstellar space
Photo of Earth taken by Voyager 1 between Uranus and Neptune. Original: NASA JP
Carl R. Woese discovered cells whose 16S rRNA genetic materials were evolutionary older than known bacteria. This discovery resulted in a three-domain (archaea, bacteria, & eukaryote) biological classification system and understanding of how evolutionary differences can be used for classification. His work lead to the separation of prokaryotes into two groups: Bacteria and Archaea. Woese reasoned the differences in genes of these two groups and the eukaryotes (multicellular fungi, plants, & animals) to be classified as three separate domains.
Source The Tangled Tree by David Quammen
Earth’ s human population 4 billion
First use of precision guided bombs
On July 23rd, laser-guided bombs were used to target and destroy the Than Hoa Bridge and Longbien Bridge. The Than Hoa Bridge was destroyed by a 3,000-pound laser-guided bomb dropped by an F-4 Phantom jet, and Longbien Bridge was destroyed by a 2,000-pound TV-guided bomb. Source
Blue marble photograph by Jack Schmitt 12-7-1972.
Environmental Acts ALL pass in the Senate without a single dissenting vote and signed into law by President Nixon.
- The Clean Air Act (1970),
- Clean Water Act (1972), and the
- Endangered Species Act (1973)
Eric Kandel shows short-term memory involves changes in synapse strength and long term memory creates new synapses. Source
Apollo program with first Moon landing of Apollo 11
- Apollo 1 accident fire kills Virgil Gus Grissom, Edward White, & Roger Chaffee. 1, 27, 1967
- Apoll0 4 no crew Earth orbiting mission to test Saturn V as a launch vehicle. 11, 9, 1967
- Apollo 5 no crew Earth orbit with test flight of lunar module. 1, 22, 1968
- Apollo 7 first crew flight Walter Schirre, Donn Eisele * Walteer Cunningham 10, 11, 1968
- Apollo 8 takes three astronauts (Frank Borman, Jim Lovell, & William Anders) to the dark side of the moon and back. 12, 21 1968
- Apollo 9 tests the lunar module for the first time while in Earth orbit. 3, 3, 1969
- Apollo 10 tests all aspects of a complete crewed lunar landing, except the landing. First crewed spacecraft to operate in lunar orbit. Thomas Stafford, John Young, & Eugene Cernan. 5, 18, 1969
- Apollo 11 Neil Armstrong is the first man to step on the moon and first broadcast from the surface with "One small step for man, a giant leap for mankind." Accompanied by Buzz Aldrin & Michael Collins. Michael orbits the moon. Includes a two and one-half hour moon walk.
- Apollo 12 Second lunar landing with an eight hour moon walk. Found bacteria could survive from Earth through space to the moon onan unmanned lander. 11, 14, 1969 Charles Conrad, Richard Gordon, & Alan Bean
- Apollo 13 Third planned lunar landing, however, the lunar landing is aborted when an oxygen tank explodes two days after launch. Mission control and astronauts ( Jim Lovell, Jack Schwigert, Fraed Haise) engineer a solution and return safely to Earth. 4, 11, 1970
- Apollo 14, Third lunar landing, Alan Shepart, Stuart Roosa, & Edgar Mitchell 1, 31, 1971
- Apollo 15, Fourth lunar landing, David Scott, Alfred Worden, & James Irwin 7, 26, 1971 first use of lunar rover.
- Apollo 16, Fifth lunar landing John Young, THomas Mattingly, Charles Duke. 4, 16, 1972
- later went to the moon and
- Apollo 17 Sixth lunar landing. Harrison Schmitt, Eugene Cernan, & Ronald Evans. Longest rover exploration and returns more soil and rock samples than previous. 12, 7, 1972
It is the last mission. However, several movie legends and conspiracy theories will claim additional secret NASA missions.
- After Apollo 17 the Apollo program goes on to launch Skylab and ends with the docking of the Apollo - Soyuz vehicles.
Tragedy of the Commons
Garrett Hardin writes his Tragedy of the Commons to describe problems for common resources. He explains how herders, who seek to maximize production, can increase herd size and over graze a common range. Production that exceeds the range's capacity will cause livestock to suffer, production to fall, and the ultimate tragedy: no rancher being able to graze the field, due to overconsumption. However, persuasive forces, such as: from a collective cooperative agreement or monarch who apply coercion or social pressure for conservation of land could achieve a sustainable environmental with appropriate management. The idea of tragedy of the commons can be expanded to other land uses. Provide food, shelter, aesthetic value, watershed for quality water to sustain agriculture and human health; conservation of wild life; healthy oceans; clean atmosphere with balanced amounts of oxygen nitrogen, carbon dioxide, life sustaining climate; transportation; and intellectual knowledge rights.
Decoded how DNA is transribed into RNA to build proteins.
Har Gobind Khorana, found that DNA's four letter codes: A, T, C and G are transcribed into RNA and then translated, three at a time, to build proteins with amino acids. He studied nucleic acids, molecules that make genes, and confirmed the 64 unique three-letter words that determine the order of amino acids needed to make specific proteins.
In 1972, Khorana made a second breakthrough, constructing the world's first synthetic gene. In 1976 he injected the gene into a living bacterium. Source The Gene
Earthrise photograph by Bill Anders 12-25-1968.
First interracial kiss on television
On a Startrek, episode between Communications officer, Lieutenant Nyota Uhura (Nichelle Nichols) and Captain Kirk (William Shatner).
Discover microwave background radiation of the big bang
Detected electromagnetic background radiation that seemed to be coming from all directions of the sky. Thought to be emitted 380,000 years after the Big Bang. See 1992
16 October 3 pm China detonates its first atomic bomb and announces its policy of no first use in a conflict.
Qian Xuesen was born in China. Received a scholarship to MIT gained a security clearance and worked on classified weapons research in the U.S. During the Red scare. The FBI revoked his clearance and put him under house arrest. He returned to China and worked on their nuclear weapon program, ballistic missle program, aerodynamics, and systems engineering to control social science and engineering problems (Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River). His work sets the stage for state surveillance to control reality in later years, 2016. Source
James F. Holland researches and develops combination chemotherapy as a treatment of acute leukemia in children based on two key concepts: first, cancer cells are naturally resistant to chemotherapy, and second, resistance can be overcome more effectively when multiple drugs are given at the same time instead of one after another. His research changes acute lymphoblastic leukemia from an incurable illness to one with a high survival rate.
First stop motion photograph taken
Dr. Edgerton, invents the stroboscope and uses it to capture photographs of rapid motion. Pictures that seem to stop time. His photos include a bullet shot through an apple, a milk drop above a splash wave, and many more.
Treaty to ban atmospheric nuclear testing to eliminate radioactive fallout as a source of pollution is signed.
First live instant replay on TV is run in the third quarter of the Army v. Navy football game, December 7, 1963.
Valentina Tereshkova is the first woman to orbit Earth.
Fian Fossey begins her life long study of gorillas. See her story
Rachel Carson publishes Silent Spring
- Creates the environmental movement
- At 10 she wins a prize for her story published in St. Nicholas Magazine 1918.
- Graduates Parnassus, PA High School 1925
- Graduatea Pennsylvania College for Women (Chatham University) 1929
- Employed at Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory
- Earn an MA in zoology at Johns Hopkins University in 1932.
- Writes 52 short radio programs on marine life: Romance Under the Waters in 1935.
- Undersea Atlantic Monthly article in 1937
- Works at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as a fish & aquatic marine biologist 1939-1951
- Notes the subartic growing season is longer, growth rings are fatter, and cod are migrating farther north. She concludes: "The long trend is toward a warmer earth." 1951
- Reader's Digest turns down her article on DDT effects on the environment because it is thought to be too controversial. Chemical companies claim it is only harmful to bugs.
- The Sea Around Us prize winning book, published in 1952, a study of the oceans. Followed by The Edge of the Sea in 1955.
- Japanese seamen on board the Lucky Dragon die of radiation exposure 1954. She asks: How much radiation does it take to harm life? How much to kill? Strontium 90. leukemia, birth defects ...
- Help Your Child to Wonder. 1956
- Our Ever-Changing Shore. 1957
- Silent Spring published 1962 Relates pesticide effects to radioactive build up. What is a wise use of pesticides?
- CBS Reports with Eric Sevareid airs The Silent Spring of Rachel Carson on national television 1963 in spite of the fact all sponsers with draw commercial support.
- Who does the land, air, forest, water belong to? What is the commons?
- She set out to save a species ... Us.
Big box store architecture can be tracked to 1962 when Walmart, Target, and Kmart stores open a few months apart. Inside stores with huge areas of undivided retail space for customers to purchase large supplies of retail goods and outside big parking lots with easy access to highways to attract shoppers.
Two Telstar communication satellites are launched. The first in July 1962 and the second in May 1963. They enable the first TV signals, telephone calls, fax images and live transatlantic feed to be relayed from space.
December 1961. President Kennedy authorizes the use of defoliants in Vietnam.
1960 Earth’ s human population 3 billion
The Green Revolution, and Norman Borlaug develope new strains of wheat and rice to use in developing countries for higher yields. He first developes a short strain of wheat and other varieties for Mexico, which increases wheat production three times.
Later, India and Pakistan ask him to help their countries with their agricultural revolution.
He developes techniques to create mutations for finding new hybrids, which he uses to develop different strains of wheat, rice, sorgum, millet, cassova, triticale, maize, and tubers. It is estimated these varieties were able to save billions of people from starvation. The down side is the large amounts of chemical fertilizers and pesticides required to maintain high yields. Source
Jane Goodall begins her life long study of chimpanzees.See her story
Over 90% of homes in USA have a television.
Laser (light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation) is invented.
Laser is a device that amplifies coherent light by energizing electromagnetic radiation.
The first laser is built by Theodore H. Maiman at Hughes Research Laboratories, based on ideas by Charles Hard Townes and Arthur Leonard Schawlow.
Later applications include: laser pointers, laser surgery, tatoo removal, cutting materials, welding, fiber-optics, optical disk drives, laser printers, barcode scanners, DNA sequencing instruments, instruments to mark targets, instruments to measuring range and speed, laser lighting displays ...
First SETI (search for extraterrestrial intelligence) experiment
Frank Drake turns the telescope at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory toward Tau Ceti and Epsilon Eridani (close stars) to search for interstellar communications (project Ozma). A high altitude plane signals a false alarm. However, it demonstrates such a search is reasonable and feasible.
America enters space age
ARPA launches America's first communication satellite (SCORE) into orbit with an American Atlas rocket. A previously recorded meassage is onboard and on December 19, 1958, with a second attempt with a radio signal from Earth, it is turned on and President Eisenhower's pre recorded speech is broadcasted on a short-wave radio frequency from outer space. Message below: Source
This is the President of the United States speaking. Through the marvels of scientific advance, my voice is coming to you from a satellite circling in outer space. My message is a simple one. Though this unique means, I convey to you and all mankind, America's wish for peace on earth and good will to men everywhere.
NASA launces its first satellite, Explorer 1, into space on January 31, 1958 aboard a Jupiter C rocket developed by the team headed by Dr. Wernher von Braun. The primary scientific purpose is to measure cosmic ray radiation in Earth orbit.The experiment, conducted by Dr. James Van Allen, measures a lower cosmic ray count than expected. This lead to the discovery of the Van Allen Belts of charged particles concentrated in space by Earth's magnetic field. Source
Alan Shepard is the first American to reach space on a suborbital flight on May 5, 1961. Three weeks after the Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin.
In 1962 astronaut John Glenn orbited the Earth three times in the Mercury spacecraft Friendship 7, re-entered the Earth's atmosphere, and splashed down in the North Atlantic Ocean.
Female mathematicians, or human computers, support the engineers. Amoung them is Katherine Johnson. She developes precise trajectory calculations for human spaceflights and lunar orbits. Margot Lee Shettelry writes about her in the book Hidden Figures, which the movie of the same name is based.
ARPA funded research to investigate the possibility of creating an electron shield, to destroy enemy intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM), by exploding atomic bombs in the atmosphere. The funding included an actual icbm launch with an atomic bomb that was exploded in the atmosphere to test feasibility (ARGUS test). Source
Investigate the creation of a space vehicle powered by hundreds of nuclear bombs (Orion).
Lego bricks were invented by the family company found by Ole Kirk Kristiansen in 1932. The word Lego was shortened from Danish leg godtz - meaning play well. In 2018 the company moves to make environmentally responsible bricks with a small environmental footprint. Source
Anthropocene Epoch (present - .01 mya)
Anthropocene Epoch (present - .01 mya) can be identified by the measurement of radioactive traces in organic materials that was alive during the atomic bomb tests of the 1950's and 60's. Might be considered as a sign post, along with the introduction of plastic into the environment, for the extinction of many species. Will humans be among them?
Shortly after, two more Soviet satellites are launched, one with a dog, into space. The satellites orbit Earth approximately once every 90 minutes. See America enters space race 1958
Strategic Air Command (SAC) south of Omaha, NE under the command of General LeMay employs nearly a quarter of a million men and its hangars contained over 2,000 strategic aircraft, including over 700 B-52s.
Federal Aid Highway Act passes Congress
Construction of the U.S. Interstate Highway System with controlled access highways propossed by Dwight D. Eisenhower starts.
Shipping container is invented and patented in 1956 by Malcolm Mc Lean. A trucker who owned and operated a large fleet of trucks, designs it for more efficient and faster intercontinental trade.
AI (artificial intelligence) is used by John McCarthy and Marvin Minsky extending the questions: Can machines think? Later explored in films such as: 2001: A Space Odyssey and The Terminator. They coined the term to focus discussion on the programing of machines as opposed to the philosophical ideas associated with the term used in the 1948 book Cybernetics by Norbert Wiener.
On April 25, 1954, Bell Labs announces the invention of the first practical silicon solar cell. Originated from Aleksandr Stoletov the first solar cell based on the photoelectric effect in 1894. Source Timeline solar cells
See article on how variation of Sun angle, duration effects the amount of Solar radiation energy (insolation).
His experiment put an electrical charge in a flask with methane, ammonia, hydrogen and water. The results may explain how organic materials were created on Earth billions of years ago.
By The original uploader was Carny at Hebrew Wikipedia (Transferred from he.wikipedia to Commons.)
DNA first identified
James Watson and Francis Crick demonstrate a model for deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) as a double helix twisted ladder. It is essential to understand how genes control the chemical processes in living organisms.
The 4 Level Freeway Stack opens in Los Angles. It is 32 lanes of traffic to change directions 8 ways.
Maria Tharp discoveres the Mid-Atlantic Ridge from mapping data.
When Maria transfers data from a 5000 foot scroll onto sheets of white linen to map the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean a long rift valley appears.
Such a ridge is suggested by Wegner's theory of continental drift & plate tectonics.
However, most people believe continents are permanently attached to the surface of the Earth or they are to massive to drift so she is told by her superior to redo her work. After she does, the results are compared to another map by Bruce Heezen, and both maps describe rift valleys in the mid-ocean ridge. The results are published in 1957.
The article is read by the ocean explorer, Jacques Cousteau. He doubts Tharp's conclusions. Determined to prove her wrong he tacks her map to the dining room wall of his ship. However, wahen he is viewing film he took of the Atlantic Ocean floor, he sees a deep valley ridge where Tharp had mapped it. Source "Connect the Dots: Mapping the Seafloor and Discovering the Mid-ocean Ridge" by Marie Tharp, Chapter 2 in Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia
Great London Fog or Big Smog
A five day air-pollution event in the United Kingdom caused by cold weather and a lack of wind to move massive amounts of smoke created by the buring of coal and other fossil fuels for home use, transportation, and industry is believed to have killed 12,000 and sickened 25,000. It leads to the Clean Air Act in 1956. Source
First amino acid sequence of a protein
Frederick Sanger found a protein is a genetically created sequence of amino acids. He uses this ideas to determine the complete amino acid sequence of two polypeptide [protein] chains - bovine insulin A (1951) and bovine insulin B (1952). Next he determines how amide groups are distributed, and the location of the disulphide linkages which complete his deduction of the structure of insulin, in 1954. Source
Henrietta Lacks dies of cervical cancer on October 4, 1951, at age 31. C
Her cells are taken from her body and used to create the HeLa cell line. These cells are found to grow quickly, are very hardy and survive longer than usual human cells. They became widely used in thousands of medical research experiments (cancer, polio vaccine, HIV, effects of toxins and radiation on cells, gene mapping, testing sensativity of cosmetics and other substance on cells, invitro fertilization, ... ). Since the cells were taken without her or her families permission their use and ownership eventually began discussion on ethical and legal use of peoples cells and genetic material. Source
Jack St. Clair Kilby invents an integrated circuit
Turned down by MIT to study electronics. He later says it was because he didn't know it wasn't supposed to work that he tried it and found that it did. Serendipity?
First protein structures (myoglobin & hemoglobin) are determined with X-ray crystallography. Later Christian B. Anfinsen Jr. suggests that since a protein is thermodynamical stable it will make it possible to predict the structure of a protein based on the the sequence of its amino acids. Which will be solved in 2021
Willard Libby, invents carbon-14 dating around 1950. Therefore, scientists agree to use January 1, 1950 as the reference date for before present (BP or YA ) when dating.
French textile engineer fashion designer Louis Reardé designs a two piece swim suit, the bikini (Bikini Atoll is where atomic bombs were tested), and has Micheline Bernardini model it on July 5, 1946.
Previously, bikini like clothing is carved on a statue in Turkey about 5,600 BCE and paintings and other artifacts from Greece and Rome also show bikini style clothing.
Views of photos and videos of atomic test explosions. Compiled by Gregg Spriggs, at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California for the public to see the destructive power.
George Polya studies and identifies a heuristic to systematically solve problems. His classical book: How to Solve It, has been been found by students and educators as an authority for solving problems. In it he suggests four steps for solving mathematical problems:
- Understand the problem
- Make a plan
- Carry out the plan
- Look back on your work and ask, How could it be better?
Frozen food developer Clarence Birdseye learns from the Inuit that trout caught through holes in the ice can be frozen instantly in the air (which was 30 degrees below zero) tastes like it fresh trout when it was cooked later. Unlike when food is frozen in the more usual slower way.
This leads him to develope a flash freezing method to create better tsting frozen meals and vegetables, which and changes the way the world eats and provides people with quality food that isn't in season. Source and more.
Erwin Schrodinger publishes What Is Life? In it he seeks answers to
... how can the events in space and time, which take place within the spatial boundary of a living organism be accounted for by physics and chemistry?
This book is credited by many of the pioneers in the study of genetics and DNA as inspiring their work.
First digital speech encryption system, SIGSALY or The Green Hornet, is developed by Bell Telephone Laboratories and built by Western Electric. It is used to communicate from Washington to London during WWII. Communications such as confidential talks between British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and US President Roosevelt. The system uses the highly-secure One-Time Pad (OTP) encryption. Source
The V-2 missile fires successfully from Peenemund island off Germany's Baltic coast. Directed by German rocket scientist Wernher von Braun.
Penicillin Howard Florey and Ernst Boris Chain isolated, purified, and created an injectable form of penicillin to use as an antibiotic.
A study showed bacteria could develop a resistance to penicillin. Even before penicillin was used to treat infections. However, the idea of killing bad bacteria and an increase in the discovery of antibiotics would accelerate the use of antibiotics in ways to contribute to resistant microbes rather than considering a more targeted and efficient use of antibiotics to reduce the evolution of drug resistant organisms.
DDT is found to kill insects and began to be used extensively as an insecticide. Sprays attached to mowers to spray yards before picnics, shelf paper with DDT embedded, paint, varnish, there were no limits on its use. Thought it would raise the standard of living, rid the world of malaria, fire ants and other pests that caused disease and harmed crops.
1936 Tasmanian tiger extinct
1936 - 1938
City planning for green space and community ...
Greenbelt, Maryland, is constructed from 1936 to 1938 by thousands of laborers, through the New Deal programs. Clarence S. Stein is a consultant and creates design guidelines. Later Stein works to preserve the town as an example of a socially and environmentally responsible community design that can be used as a prototype for future desgins. Designs that combine superblocks of houses and apartments with pedestrian walkways through communal green space which join to a central area with commercial and recreational structures separate from roads for automobile travel. In addition, the federal government promotes cooperative enterprises and associations in Greenbelt as a way to foster affordable houseing and an enduring sense of community. While the cooperative nature of the towns are deemed a failure, the physical layout of the town is replicated by private developers. Source
More information related to the political aspects of this social experiment.
Sulfa drug and antibiotics
Sulfa, also called sulfonamide, a synthetic antibiotic with a sulfanilamide molecular structure is the first chemical substance systematically created to treat and prevent bacterial infections in humans. Their effects were first observed in 1932, by Gerhard Domagk who notices that red dye Prontosil kills Streptococcus infections in mice. Later researchers find the active agent is sulfanilamide, or para-aminobenzenesulfonamide, a metabolic product of Prontosil.
Edwin P. Hubble supports the expansion of the universe with his measurements of shifting spectral lines of light emitted from distant galaxies.
Penicillin. Alexander Fleming accidentally (serendipity) contaminates colonies of bacteria with mold, penicillium, and notices there is no bacteria growing around the areas of the mold. He isolates the mold, grows it, and finds it contains a substance capable of killing many bacteria that infect humans.
Later Gladys Hobby, Martin Henry, and Karl Meyer relized the importance of this and perfected penicillin ( See 1941) and later Hobby perfects Terramycin.
Dirac and the electron wave equation and the positron
Dirac presentsto the Royal Society of London a relativistic wave equation for the electron. His equation requires four wave functions and introduces spins. It included an extra set of solutions with negative values of energy. In 1931 Dirac suggests this implies the existence of the antielectron, or positron. Later discovered in cosmic rays by Carl Anderson.
The Dirac equation as a path to the concept of quanta, and its role in quantum electrodynamics. by Mario Bacelar Valente
Holland Tunnel opens
It is the first vehicle tunnel, under the Hudson River, between Lower Manhattan in New York City and Jersey City, New Jersey.
Plans to bridge the Hudson River are first suggested in 1906. However, in 1919 it is decided to build a tunnel under the river. Construction starts in 1920 to build, what is at the time, the longest continuous underwater vehicular tunnel in the world. Clifford Milburn Holland is the chief engineer until his death in 1924. The problem of supplying breathable air to motorists in a closed system with running gasoline engines is solved by Ole Singstad, who designs the first mechanical ventilation system and supervises the tunnel's completion.
Hans Berger invens the EEG (electroencephalograph). It records brain waves. He also discovers the alpha wave.
Earth’ s human population reaches 2 billion
First evidence to support Einstein's Theory of General Relativity
May 29, 1919, during a solar eclipse, the path of star light is measured as it travels past our Sun. The measurement finds the star's light bends by the amount predicted by Einstein's Theory of General Relativity, of how light interacts with mass which warps time and space.
Influenza pandemic of 1918-1919
An influenza (Spanish flu H1N1) pandemic from 1918-1919 becomes the deadliest in modern history. It infects around 500 million people worldwide (one-third of the Earth's present population) kills 18-20 million in India, 40 million in Japan and between 50-100 million worldwide. In Nebraska 20,000 people were infected and 1500 died The Chautauqua Reader 2018.
The first case is identified at the U.S. Army infirmary in Fort Riley, Kansas on March 4 and by the end of the month there are 1,100 cases. The point of origin is a farm in Haskell County, Kansas. Troops embark to Estaples, France and take the virus with them. The virus spread quickly through Europe and to the rest of the world.
The story of how this epidemic changed the world is in Pale Rider. More people died from this epedemic than died in World War I. It is the most devastating epidemic in recorded history.
See vaccination fact sheet
See also Pandemic related Pod casts with first person accounts and more: Going Viral: The Mother of all Pandemics
Chemistry: fertilizer, chlorine gas, and zyklon B gas.
Fritz Haber and his team weaponized chlorine gas, which was the first large scale use in, Ypres France, in 1915.
Haber and Jeroen Bosch create the Haber process, which makes ammonia fertilizer (NH3) from atmospheric nitrogen and hydrogen gas (1909). The first agricultural fertilizer not from animal sources. This process increases the food supply and saves millions of people from starvation and earns Haber the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1918.
Haber left Germany for Switzerland and died in exile in 1933. Nazi scientists found his notes that described a gas called Zyklon B, which Haber's team had developed as a pesticide. The Nazis use this gas to kill millions in the Holocaust. Source
A commercial video on the social and ethical consequences of scientific work related to Haber's decisions. (35:00 minutes)
Later, in early 1920's when the Geneva Convention considered a ban of chemical weapons, General Amos Fries looked for other uses for these chemicals and the use of tear gas on civilian crowds is popularized to maintain the production of these gases. Source
1914 The passenger pigeon extinct
Niels Bohr theorizes electrons circle a nucleus in unique orbits depending on their unique energy levels, which are proportional in size to the frequency of the radiation it represents. Electrons jump from one level to another when they absorb or emit this packet of energy called a quantum. These particles only exist at a level never in between with quantum leaps from level to level being instantaneous and random.
Los Angeles Aquaduct is completed. Chief Engineer William Mulholland constructs it to bring water from the Owens River to Los Angeles 233-miles south. Thought to be second engineering feat to the Panama Canal. Source
X-ray crystallography is use by William Bragg and his son William Lawrence Bragg. The proces uses X-rays to reveal the crystal structure of salt and diamonds. Later, in late 1951, the process is extended to discover the structures of proteins and later protein complexes.
Alexis Carrel and Charles Guthrie solve the problem of how to sew (suture) two blood vessels together. Blood vessels being tubular were difficult to sew for several reasons, which were solved by their triangular suture method. Source
Hudson & Manhattan Tunnel opens
The construction of the tunnels is an engineering marvel. Tunneling under the river, providing breathable air, and of course tunneling. The tunnel system lets railroads travel under the Hudson river to Pennsylvania Station in New York City.
Previously, all rail service terminates on the west shore of the Hudson River, in Weehawken, New Jersey. To go to Manhattan everything is transfered to ferries, weather permitting. Source
Also 1927 Holland Tunnel
Vitamins as essential for health were recognized by Casimir Funk, who collected information about human diseases, beriberi, scurvy, and pellagra, and concluded they were caused by a chemical deficiency of amine compounds. Thus, he called them vital amines. Which was later shortened to vitamin when it was found not all vitamins contain amines. See the discovery stories five vitamins:
Forest management and forest fires and the Big Burn
The summer found the mountains hot, dry and highly combustible, which feed more than 1,000 fires in northeast Washington, northern Idaho, and western Montana, most created by lightening. August 20, 1910, winds greater than 72 mph spread small fires into big ones. 36 hours burnt an area the size of Connecticut (3 million acres). Kills at least 85, changes forest management, and leads to the creation of Smokey the Bear (voice by Sam Elliot). Other American devastating fires.
Ford assembly line
Henry Ford used standardized parts and an efficient assembly line to create an affordable car for the common man. A car every 22 seconds rolled off the line.
Critical discovery to measure the size of the universe with variable stars
Henrietta Swan Leavitt observed Cepheid variable stars in the Small Magellanic Cloud and discovered their brightness was greater the longer it took them to complete one cycle. This period-luminosity function of Cepheid variable stars provided a way to move beyond the use of parallax to measure distances to stars.
The pure food and drug act was the first consumer protection law to protect the American food supply. It was the passed by Congress. American women, doctors, and editors helped Congress to pass the bill.
- It directed the U.S. Bureau of Chemistry to inspect products and refer offenders to prosecutors.
- It required labels to identify active ingredients
- Required products to be within purity levels established by the United States Pharmacopeia or the National Formulary.
- Today the FDA is responsible for protecting and promoting public health through the control and supervision of food safety, tobacco products, dietary supplements, prescription and over-the-counter pharmaceutical drugs/medications, vaccines, biopharmaceuticals, blood transfusions, medical devices, electromagnetic radiation emitting devices, cosmetics, animal foods & feed, and veterinary products. Source
The Poison Squad is a book that tells the story of how its first chief chemist: Harvey Washington Wiley, citizens, and government can work together in meaningful ways for consumer protection.
Nettie Stevens Discovers male chromosome determines sex
Stevens observed a difference between female and male mealworm sex cells. She noticed the sperm had two versions of their 20th chromosome: a smaller version and a largeer one. She then concluded the spermatozoa, which contains the smaller chromosome determines a male mealworn, while spermatozoa that contains 10 equal sized chromosomes determines a female mealworm. She did not call them X and Y chromosomes. That terminology was coined later. Source
Orville Wright pilots the first heavier than air craft to fly over 120 feet in 12 seconds. Orville and Wilbur Wright design, build, and fly a propeller driven biplane powered by gasoline at Kitty Hawk, NC. The Wright Brothers: How they invented the airplane by Russell Freedman. Excellent source of their lives, building their planes, creation of the aerospace industry, and government involvement.
Chemical fertilizer (Nitrogen)
Haber developed a process that used nitrogen (N2) and methane (CH4) gas to make ammonia (NH3) economically. Bosch conducted more than 20 000 experiemnts to find a catalyst and industrialize the process. It has been used to produce so much fertilizer that about 50% of all nitrogen atoms in humans today come from the Haber-Bosch process.
Wilhelm Ostwald used the ammonia (NH3) from Haber's process and developed an additional process to produce nitric acid (HNO3).
Nitric acid ammonia can be mixed to make a more neutral compound ammonium nitrate. It is a good fertilizer because it has a high concentration of nitrogen and can be stored and blended with other fertilizer components. Source
Mt. Pelee on the Caribbean island of Martinique erupts and kills around 30,000 islanders within minutes, leaving two survivors. A citizen group meet a few days before the eruption and decide the smoke and ash does not require an evacuation.
The era of big oil began ( January 10, 1901, ) when a well at Spindletop (Beaumont, Texas) struck oil at a depth of 1 139 ft. The Lucas Gusher went 150 feet in the air and blew 100,000 barrels (4 200 000 gallons) per day for nine days before it was capped. Beaumont became a boomtown as its population grew from 10 000 to 50 000 in three months.
One in 38 railroad employees was injured on the job - and 1:399 died. Source Doctors Derailed: How Railway Surgeons Advanced Medicine. Discover Magazine. July/ August 2016.
Chicago River is reversed
As Chicago, IL grows its sewage and industrial waste flows into the Chicago River which flows into Lake Michigan. As Chicago grows, this becomes a problem since as Lake Michigan is the source of the cities drinking water. The pollution carries diseases like typhoid and cholera, which enters the water supply. Ellis Chesbrough, engineer, suggests to reverse the flow of the river so it flows south into the Mississippi River toward St. Louis with the largest earth moving project by any city government. Source
The Chlorine Revolution started in Jersey City, NJ when the water supply from the Passaic River was contaminated. To provide a clean water supply the city contracted Patrick H. Flynn to develop a new source. Twenty-three miles west of the city on the Rockaway River a dam was built to create a reservoir. However, after the contstruction there were several times a year rain would cause the sewage system to overflow and contaminate the water. The city claimed the engineer should have planned better and refused to pay for the construction. Flynn consulted with Dr. John L. Leal who believed bacteria contaminated the water and suggested it could be treaated with chloride of lime (chlorine). The water was treated succesfully, the judge accepted the soution, and ordered the city to pay for the construction. Source The Chlorine Revolution: Water Disinfection and the Fight to Save Lives, by Michael McGuire, 2013. Purified water has saved millions of lives and raised life expectancies by some estimates forty years. See Chlorination and public health
David Fairchild was a botanist, financed by Barbour Lathrop who convinced James Wilson, the Secretary of Agriculture, to accept seeds and plant cuttings David ships to DC to distribute to farmers to diversify American food production. He shipped magoes and dwarf oranges from Jamaica, avocadoes from Santiago, Chile, fava beans and broccoli from Venice, Italy along wiht seedless grapes: purple sultanina, and light-green varieties to become raisins. Kale from Croatia and hops from Polepy, Czech Republic. He also brought Cherry trees from Japan as ornamentals for his garden that became the inspiration for the DC tidal basin cherry blossoms that was a gift from the city of Tokyo.
Source The Food Explorer: The true adventures of the globe-trotting botanist who transformed what America eats. by Daniel Stone
The U.S. Navy began issues slip-on white cotton undergarments with no buttons a crew-neck and short-sleeves to wear under uniforms. Sailors wore them without their uniforms in submarines and tropical climates. Later T-shirts became popular for workers in industries, agriculture, and young boys because they are easily cleaned, inexpensive, and fit well. T-shirt appears in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary in 1920 and becomes more popular in 1947 when Marlon Brando wears one in A Streetcar Named Desire. After which it becomes a fashionable garment.
Guglielmo Marconi, an electrical engineer explored long-distance radio transmission, and developed Marconi's law and a radio telegraph system. Often credited as the inventor of radio, An entrepreneur, businessman, and founder in Britain in 1897 of The Wireless Telegraph & Signal Company. Later the Marconi Company, built on the work of previous experimenters and physicists, and became a commercial success in radio.
First fiber glass. Charles V. Boys used a cross bow, a hot glass rod as an arrow that he heated to the point of melting, and then fired it. The result was a few microns diameter thread 30 m long. He found it to be very strong and used it to build devices to measure radiation and gravity. Unknown to him it was the first fiber glass. Source
First book on soap bubbles: Soap -Bubbles and the Force which mould them
An insect, Icerya, is killing orange trees in California and threatening the existence of the orange Industry
Charles Valentine Riley sends Daniel Coquillett and Albert Koebele to Australia to find a natural enemy for this invasive pest. They return with a ladybug variety. It is studied, released, and controls the infestation. The introduction of the Novius ladybug to California becomes the standard against which all biocontrol efforts will be measured. Source
American Bison number to about 300
William Temple Hornaday a taxidermist, travels to Montana to collect American bison to display in the National Museum. He is shocked to learn the large herds he saw years before were gone. He collects his specimans and also some live bison, ships them to Washington, DC, and displays them at the Smithsonian Castle. His exhibit is very popular and the live animals are more popular, which is the start of the Smithsonian National Zoological Park. His work helps saves this species. Source
First use of the term scientist. The British philosopher, William Whewell, at the British Association for the Advancement of Science. suggested that since the practitioners of art are called artists, then the practitioners of science ought to be called scientists. Suggesting they should no longer be called philosophers.
Eugenics is invented Francis Galton
Eugenics is the ideas of nature v nurture and concludes nature can be used to improve the population. Galton believes eugenics can be used to increase the amount of people deemed desirable and to reduce the number of undesirable or defective people.
Increase desirables by encouraging physically and mentally superior people to choose partners with similar traits. And reduce undesirable births through sterilization of undesirables.
First modern vending machines
- FIrst vending machine see 50BCE
- 1883 In England Percival Everitt invented a machine that dispensed postcards, envelopes, and paper in railway stations and post offices.
- 1884 In the U. S. William Henry Fruen patented an Automatic Liquid-Drawing Device that dispensed drinks.
- 1888 the Thomas Adams Gum Company built machines to sell gum at New York City train platforms.
- 1897 Pulver Manufacturing Company added animation of small figures to encourage people to buy gum from their machines.
Pullman Company town
Pullman's philosophy was, happy workers make more productive workers and the quality of his company owned and maintained houses were good for worker housing. As a result the majority of Pullman employees lived in his houses, which contained two to seven rooms with each having direct access to a private yard, woodshed and paved alley. A variety of housing types were available within each block and from block to block designed to meet different income, status, and family makeup. Source
1880 + -
Light bulb and electrical systems. Joseph Swan installed light bulbs in homes and landmarks in England in the early 1880's. His house was the first in the world to be lit by a lightbulb and the first house in the world to use hydroelectric power. Others who worked on the light bulb: Henry Woodward, Matthew Evans, William Sawyer and Albon Man.
The home of Lord Armstrong at Cragside was also among the first houses to be lit by electricity. He started his company and lit the Savoy Theatre in the City of Westminster, London making it the first public building in the world to be lit entirely by electricity.
Around the same time Edison found how to make longer burning light bulbs using: 1. a more effective incandescent material, 2. creating a higher vacuum in the bulb, and 3. using a high resistance. Higher resistance also allowed power to be distributed from a central source, making an economical sytem. This lead to a completly integrated system of electric lighting with a centrally located massive generator and a parallel-distribution system. All built by the Edison Illuminating Company of New York that could supply electricity to 59 customers in a square-mile area of lower Manhattan. Thus Edison's genius was not only the light bulb, but the system to make it work in a community.
Treaty of the meter in Paris, May 20, 1875, is attended by 17 countries who create the international bureau of weights and measures, which adopts the metric system internationally. See also metric system history and U.S.
First American steel mill
Andrew Carnegie returns from England in 1872 having learned about the Bessemer process for making steel. He increases the scale of the furnace and builds his first steel mill, Edgar Thomson Steel Works, in 1875 in Braddock, Pennsylvania, (near Pittsburgh).
For the first time steel is mass produced inexpensively making it so successful Carnegie is able to use the profits to buy other Pittsburgh steel mills and create the Carnegie Steel Company in 1892.
Watson is freeing a spring on the transmitter and caused a click that is heard by Bell at the receiver in another room. A serendipity discovery which leads to the telephone.
Barbed wire. Joseph Glidden was granted a patent for barbed wire on November 24, 1874. He went into partnership with a merchant, Isaac Ellwood, and they formed The Barb Fence Company. Read How Joseph invented his wire and the history of barb wire by the Kansas Barbed wire museum.
Barbed wire is first used to enclose cattle and other domesticated animals.
Later it is used to enclose private property, prisoners within prisons, battlefields, and stop migration.
DDT is synthesized in 1874. However, it is not until 1939 when it is discovered that it could be used as an insecticde.
First bridge across the Mississippi River south of the Missouri River opens
The Eads Bridge, named for James Buchanan Eads, the bridge's designer and builder, is a highway and railway bridge that connects St. Louis, Missouri and East St. Louis, Illinois, near the present day Gateway Arch.
A Caison is build in the river to construct a 100 foot deep pier anchored to bed rock. Air is pumped to workers who must take precautions to avoid the bends. The structure is the longest steel arch bridge. When it was finished some people are afraid it collapse so 14 locomotives were lined up across it to show its strength.
National Weather Service established
Transcontinental railroad was opened for through traffic on May 10, 1869 with a ceremonial driving of the last spike. The spike, referred to as the golden spike, was driven with a silver hammer, at Promontory Summit, Utah.
Riverside, Illinois was the first planned suburb, and the Chicago suburbs of the mid-19th century weren't exactly suburbs yet but towns near the downtown.
Periodic Table of Elements was created by Demitri Mendeleev. Source
Mendeleev's , Demitri Mendeleev, presented to the Russian Chemical Society in March, 1869 his Periodic Law. He stated, ... elements arranged according to the value of their atomic weights [today atomic mass or number is more accurate] present a clear periodicity of properties.
His version had 70 elements with gaps where he believed unknown elements belonged. Using the properties of periodicity he successfully predicted properties for three or the gap elements. Source
First Planned suburb
Riverside, Illinois was the first planned commuter suburb. It was a suburb of Chicago Illinois accesible by train. Although at the time it wasn't known as a suburb, but as a town near the downtown. While towns were designed in a familiar checker board fashion, Riverside was the first where roads were curvalinear and didn't meet wiht 90 degree angles. Designed by Frederick Law Olmsted. Source
First Canned meat
Deviled ham meat spread was first canned in 1868 by the Underwood Deviled Ham company. The company was found in 1822 by William Underwood who then packed food in glass containers. In 1836 he changed to steel cans coated with tin.
Underwood's Devil logo is thought to be the oldest food trademark. Source
John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge opens
Across the Ohio River connecting Cincinnati, Ohio and Covington, Kentucky. It is the longest suspension bridge in the world at 1,057 feet (322 m) main span made from the first iron rope cable. Later in 1883 Roebling's most famous, Brooklyn Bridge is longer at 1,595.5 feet.
First American use of balloons in war
In the American Civil War the Intrepid and Union balloons for the Union and the Gazelle for the Confederate are used for reconnaissance. They could reach 1,000 feet and communicate reconnaissance information with signal flags or telegraphs. Thaddeus Lowe is named chief aeronaut of the newly created Balloon Corps. Source Earlier use in Europe see 1794
Maxwell's electric and magnetic equations:
James Clark Maxwell's published equations to describe how electric and magnetic fields are generated, interact, and are changed by each other and their charges and currents.
At the Battle of Philippi, Virginia, the first amputation is performed on James Edward Hanger (18). Since his leg is removed just below his hip a solid prosthetic makes walking cumbersome and nearly impossible. James invents a hinged limb that revolutionizes the field of prosthetics. He goes on to patent his invention and start the J.E. Hanger Artificial Limbs company. Source
Industrial 1860 - 1500
The first successful oil well is drilled in northwestern Pennsylvania. Known as the Drake Well, after Colonel Edwin Drake. It begins an international search for oil and energy use. Source
Charles Darwin publishes: On the Origin of Species.
He and Alfred Wallace share their ideas on how life changes and adapts, evolution.
Evidence of Darwin's earlier ideas on evalution and the Tree of life is found sketched in his notebook in 1837.
His only statement in this book on humans being shaped by evolution is: Light will be thrown on the origin of man and his history.
Ten years later, publishes two books: The Descent of Man and Selection in Relations to Sex, and The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals.
In Descent he makes statements at one oint that are racist, when he claims differences are based on race. However, he also claims natural selection does not differentiate between the races. And supports it by writing, that any traits used to characterize any racial differences appear to be unrelated to any capacity for success. The text also includes sexist statements.
First Trans Atlantic Cable completed ...
It connects N. America to Ireland. The first message is sent by Queen Victoria to US president James Buchanan congratulating him on the successful completion of this great international work. The message travels through 2 500 miles of cable and takes 16 hours. Its Accomplished by Cyrus Field with grit, etermination, and persistence for over ten years.
Can opener invented
Ezra J. Warner invented and received a patent for the first can openerin 1858. It used by the US military in the civil war.
In 1866 William Lyman improved it with a wheel that rotated along the top rim of the can and received a patent for it in 1870. Source
1855 + -
Elevator, lifting devices with ropes and pulleys were described and used by Archimedes, in the Roman Colosseums, Louis XV, and others. However, they were slow and unreliable with the use of ropes, which could wear out and fail. In 1852, Elisha Graves Otis invented a safety break in 1852 that changed that. If there was a cable break, a spring would push pawls on the car into position racks on the sides of the shaft and hold the car in place. Such a devise was installed at a five-story department store in New York City in 1857.
Commercial passenger elevators allowed the building of the world's first skyscrapers opening cities to an explosion of population and real estate value as building rose literally hundreds of floors. The Otis Elevator Company, is a subsidiary of United Technologies Corporation, the world's largest manufacturer of vertical transport systems. Source
Cholera source identified with data analysis
Dr. John Snow investigates the death of over 500 people, in the Golden Square neighborhood of London.
He collects data on where the dead people had lived, maps it, and his analysis leads him to discover a geographic relationship that indicates the source of the cholera epidemic as a local well.
He recommends the removal of the pump handle, which the St. James Parish orders done and the epidemic abates.
Invention of potato chip
George Crum (born George Speck of Native and African American descent) is a chef at Moon’s Lake House in Saratoga Springs, New York.
When Cornelius Vanderbilt, unsatisfied with his order of fried potatoes returns them to the kitchen because they were too thick.
Crum slices a batch of potatoes as thin as he can, fries them to a crisp, and serves them to Vanderbilt. Vanderbilt is overjoyed. Crum continues to make the chips, puts them on every table, and the potato chip is invented.
1852 Great Auk extinct in the Falkland Islands
Dr John Gorrie, found that when yellow fever patients were cooled with ice, they had a better chance of recovering. Being in the south ice was only available when it was imported from New England. To make ice available all year he explored how make ice with refrigeration and cool rooms with air conditioning. His invention was granted a patent for a machine that made ice by compressing and cooling air. Source
A Drop of London Water, from Punch, 1850
Guano as fertilizer
Europe and other countries with depleated soils sought ways to keep their soils fertile. One was to add manure to the soil. A recent discovery of on Peru's Chincha Islands was mountains of bird excrement several hundred feet deep in places. The guano deposits were high quality and with a high demand, the idea that a fortune could be made sent investors to the region to mine and sell guano as fertilizer. Soon countries were exploring the world for other areas rich in Guano and claiming mining rights. Wars and territorial disputes developed.
Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel used parallax to calculate the distance to the star, 61 Cygni, and concluded it was 10.3 light years.
First iron plow is made by John Deere.
Robert Brown, looks at plant pollen (Clarkia pulchella) placed in water and sees particles jiggling randomly in the water.
England deliberately exterminated beavers in the Oregon Bridge Creek to keep trappers (particularly U.S.) from going into Oregon and claiming the Territory for the United States.
Construction begins to create a water route from the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes. It is created as the New York State Canal System. It begins in Albany, New York and extends 363 miles to Buffalo, upstream of Niagra Falls, on Lake Erie. Before rail travel, 60% of all goods traveling east and west traveled on the Erie Canal. Source So noteworthy Thomas S. Allen wrote a song for it: Erie Canal - five verses worth 3:53). More history on the song.
Renѐ Laennec was a muscian and physician who invented the stethoscope. He recorded his first observations of the heart as musical notation and pioneered listing to chest sounds to diagnose various medical conditions.
Views of the Cordilleras published by Alexander von Humboldt
- All diverse people of the world are one species.
- No one group of people is superior to or dominant over others.
- Opposes colonialism, imperialism, & slavery.
- Claims science is not perfect, but necessary, but not sufficient to develop a healthy relationship with the living world and its environment.
- Introduces the concept of isotherm: a region defined by its average mean temperature of 6 degrees C for its growing season, which matches the global tree line. An area that supports more diverse life than any other terrestrial system.
Preservation of food is perfected by Nicolas Appert who preserves fruits, vegetables, meat, soup, and milk by boiling and storing them in airtight glass containers. It is developed so Napoleon can feed his troops in the field. Source
Robert Malthus publishes An Essay on the Principle of Population.
He argues population will increase at a rate greater than food production. He bases his conclusion on a finite limit of land for crops, a geometric rate of population growth, and a arithmetic rate of increasing food production. His theory influences Darwin and his theory of natural selection; and years later Keynes and his Keynesian economics.
France creates the to standardize measurement across France on April, 7, 1795. It is a measurement system based on the decimal system, uses the meter for length, liter for volume, and the kilogram for mass. It was later dropped by Napoleon in 1812 and readopted in 1840. See 1875 for international conference. Source See also metric system history and U.S.
The first recorded use of balloons by military forces
Balloons are used for reconnaissance during the French Revolutionary Wars by the French Corps d’ Aerostiers. See later 1862
British citizens board The Hankey and two other ships and sail to West Africa.
They propose to start a colony to undermine the Atlantic slave trade by hiring rather than enslaving Africans. Poor planning and tropical diseases, especially yellow fever decimate the colonists. They give up their efforts, depart and return to England by way of the Caribbean Islands. Taking yellow fever with them, they create an epidemiological tragedy, transforming North America, Europe, Africa, and the Caribbean islands. See more.
Eli Whitney invents the cotton gin and its effect on slavery
Whitney had a genius ability to reconize an develop innovations. In South Carolina he observed how hard it was to remove seeds from cotton so he invented the cotton gin, a machine that could clean ten times as much cotton as a slave by hand. Source
James Madison recognizes that a census could be a scientific method to decide how to distribute political power. If a census were conducted every ten years, the data could be used to determine how many representatives each state would have. Therefore, a way to guarantee the House of Representatives would equably represent future population changes.
- His idea was mandated by Article I, Section 2 of the United States Constitution.
- The first census of the United States that recorded the population of the United States as of Census Day, August 2, 1790.
- A scientific accurate census can provide information to make wise social, economic, health, medical research, technological, and other important decisions.
- If conducted well it becomes a valuable source to create representative samples for quality research.
Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) Philosopher
Kant claimed that everything we know is a construction by our perceptions, which are shaped by our minds abilities and lack of abilities, of what we percieve as our observations of the world. It is our empirical intuition and subjective reasoning about these perceptions we synthesize and recognize as our consciousness and existence and understanding in the world with our observation and reasoning. That pure reasoning (rationalism) without observable data would lead to illusion about the world. Understanding is a function of imagination that bridges thought and perception of observable data to allow us to believe our consciousness exists and there are objects and events in our world which we can discover and understand with our reasoning.
Critique of Pure Reason (1781).
First English language Encyclopaedia Britannica published in Edinburgh, Scotland. Source
Joseph Priestly discovers many gases
- Hydrogen, 1766, and shows water is a compound of oxygen and hydrogen.
- Hydrochloric acid, 1772.
- Laughing gas, 1772
- Oxygen, 1774
- How to make carbon monoxide and ammonia.
- Worked on combustion and photosynthesis.
- Nitrogen is credited to first be discovered by Daniel Rutherford in 1772, who called it noxious air. However, Scheele, Cavendish, Priestley, and others worked with it also.
James Watt improved on Thomas Newcomen's version of the steam engine (1712 to pump water from coal mines) making it available for work and the industrial age. He added a separate condenser so the cylinder could be kept heated with each stroke, a shaft that rotated instead of moving up and down, and other improvements to make it practical for multiple uses.
It will changes our understanding of energy economics, and our social institutions by speeding production and lead to an increased standard of living, consumption, and waste for some at the expense of others and all life systems on which we depend for survival.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau - (1712 -1778)
Wrote and published Emile or a Treatise on Education.
The book is considered the first educational philosophy book as well as the first child psychology book.
Rousseau claims children have a natural goodness and can become critical life long learners and educated citizens if they can survive a corrupted society.
Rousseau is sometimes referred to as the father of modern child psychology.
Also: Education timeline - Rousseau
George Washington experimented with crop rotation on a three year cycle and five year cycle. He drew elaborate charts that showed how he divided his fields and the amounts of crops was equalized with flax, hay, clover, buckwheat, turnips, and potatoes being rotated through different fields. Later he expanded to a seven year cycle as shown in the table. See also Townshend crop rotation.
Carl Linnaeus created a systematic framework for the classification of animals and plants based on visual observation of related properties among organisms. Any classification system opens debate to how general or specific the differences between the relationships used for classification should be. Deciding if properties should be widened or narrowed to include more or less species of organisms in a group.
Ben Franklin flies a kite
An American polymath, Founding Father, writer, printer, philosopher, politician, postmaster, scientist, inventor, statesman, and diplomat.
- Experiments with electricity and demonstrates it has positive and negative charges in experiments with Leyden Jars and a kite. The kite is not struck by lightning but it drew electricity to the key and Leyden jar.
- It appears that he knew enough about grounding to protect himself from being electro shocked. Source
- Uses his knowledge that clouds have electric charges and combine to create lightening leads him to create lightening rods to protect buildings.
- Claims the Aurora borealis are created with electrical charges.
- Collects weather data.
- Maps the Gulf Stream.
- Ben Franklin is an anti-vaxer until his child died of small pox, then became an advocate for vacination and made sure his family and friends got vacinated.
- Claims colds are passed from person to person usually within close contact
- Links lead to health problems.
- Flexible urinary catheter.
- Invents bifocals.
- Creates the Franklin stove to increase heat distribution inside and decrease smoke
- Experiments with swim fins. Finds they work on his hands, but ones for his feet aren’t as successful, Finds wood doesn’t make good swim fins.
- Invents the armonica a musical instrument made with glass and works with vibrations by rubbing glass.
Earth’ s human population 600 million
Charles Townshend, investigated a crop rotation based on Dutch and Flemish farming practices. His experiments found crops grew better with fewer weeds, fewer pests, and returned nutrients to the soil when he rotated crops through four years: wheat in the first year, clover (or ryegrass) in the second, oats or barley in the third, and turnips or rutabagas in the fourth. See also Washington crop rotation.
- Published Principia Mathematica
- First claimed ... Forceg = G * ((M1 * M2) / d2)
- 1660's demonstrated white light is all colors.
Adapted from Isaac Newton [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Maria Sibylla Merian publishes first proof a butterfly, caterpillar, & larvae; are one organism
Maria Sibylla Merian, a German naturalist and illustrator observes insects from a young age. She raises silk worms as a teenager, learns illustration from her stepfather, and publishes her first book in 1675. In 1679 she publishes the first of two volumes on caterpillars and the second in 1683, where she documents metamorphosis and life cycles of 186 European insect species. Source
Antonie van Leeuwenhoek used a simple magnifying glass to observe the quality of fabric. He later ground lenses and refined his method for better magnification. He left 247 microscopes and 172 lenses, nine microscopes are known to have survived with a magnification of up to 200 times. The best microscopes of the time. He was the first to observe and noted: protozoa, bacteria, red blood cells, spermatozoa, and closer observations of other organisms. The microscope provided the technology necessary for microbiology and cell biology. Thanks ... Antonie van Leeuwenhoek Source
Boyle's Gas law and a vacuum
Robert Boyle and Charles Hooke used a vacuum pump, invented by Otto von Guericke (1649), to investigate the properties of air and properties of a vacuum: sound does not travel through a vacuum, but magnetism does, liquids vaporized quicker in a vacuum, animals died in a vacuum (see famous public bird demonstrations), and animals could be frozen. The importance of the relationship of temperature and pressure wasn't realized until much later with refrigeration and heat pumps.
Their first discovery of air properties is Boyle's Law. They used a glass tube and filed it with different amounts of mercury to vary the pressure on a fixed weight of air. They discovered that pressure times volume equals a constant (p*v=c) if temperature was constant. In other words, when you increase the pressure on a gas, the gas's volume shrinks proportionally. It would be a few years before Charles discovered the next gas law in 1787.
1662 Dodo extinct in the Mauritius.
Robert Boyle publishes The Skeptical Chymist in which he claims everything (matter) is composed of bound atoms (corpuscular, particles, atomism) of a single kind of matter distinguishable only by their motion and shape.
The pendulum clock is invented by Christiaan Huygens. It is the most precise time piece until mid 1900’s.
All living things come from an egg. William Harvey
First vacuum & first barometer
Evangelista Torricelli used a suggestion by Galileo and filled a 4 foot glass tube with mercury and inverted it into a dish of mercury. He observed some mercury flowed out of the tube and left a space in the tube above the mercury. Being sealed he concluded the empty space was a vacuum. From his day to day observations and observations from moving it up a moutain side, he concluded the variation of the height of the mercury was caused by changes in the amount of air above dish of mercury pushing down on it, atmospheric pressure. His experiments on air and vacuums explained why water pumps at that time were unable to raise water more than about 33 feet. His ideas would related to Boyles Gas law and engines.
First printing press in the American Colonies is assembled at Harvard College.
Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1626) published his Novum Organum, where he describes a system of logic he believes is superior to Aristotle's syllogism (360 BCE ) or deductive reasoning. It becomes known as the Baconian method, inductive reasoning and the scientific method. Bacon may have been inspired by Ibn al-Haytham's Optics (Kitab al-manazir).
He believed it was the best way to draw conclusions about the natural world. An inductive approach of skeptical observation and experimentation with facts and explanation leading to conclusion. Because of this he has been called the father of empiricism and the father of the scientific method.
"British - Francis Bacon - Google Art Project" by British (School, Details of artist on Google Art Project) - UwEFEzZpMHs4JA at Google Cultural Institute, zoom level maximum. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons.
Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) Published Starry Messenger (1610).
- Turned his telescope upward and observed the mountains of the moon, additional stars, planets orbiting the Sun, and four moons orbiting Jupiter; then wrote about it in Starry Messenger.
- His stance that facts should govern life not belief and support of the Copernican theory (Earth orbits the Sun) got him put under house arrest, forbade him to write any more, and wasn't allowed visits by mathematicians. 1633. Source
- Dropped different sized canon balls of the Tower of Pisa and demonstrated that heavy and light objects fall at the same rate.
- Explored inertia and friction. Source
CO2 (carbon dioxide) in atmosphere is 270 parts per million.
The Gregorian calendar / Western calendar / Christian calendar, is named for Pope Gregory XIII, who introduced it in October 1582.
Nicolas Copernicus uses his calculations to support the idea the Sun is the center of the solar system with planets orbiting around it.
In the late 1400's on the Murano island, (Venice) glassmakers develop cristallo, a transparent colorless plate glass, that is polished, and backed with lead and antimony to make a rough surface with a dim reflection (mirror).
In 1507 Andrea & Domenico d'Angelo del Gallo brother glassmakers on Murano improve the method by applying a mercury-tin amalgamon to the backside of the high quality transparent glass. This revolutionary technique is so valuable the Republic of Venice forbids any glassmaker from leaving the island. Eventually the technique makes its way to France and beyond.
The production of high quality mirrors leads to study and experiement with light in new ways as well as to artist who could study their own images and create, for the first time, self-portraits.
Horses arrive in America
Spanish arrive in Santo Domingo (Hispanola Island. Today - Republic of Haiti and the Dominican Republic). Inhabited by Taino Indians.
Printing with movable type
Johannes Gutenberg, invents the printing press with movable type. It uses small metal prisms (lead) that are precisely cast in large quantities so they can be set into a grid, used, reset, and used again. He also uses a new press, similar to those used in wine making, new papermaking and bookbinding techniques, and an oil-based printing ink. All improvements to Chinese, Korean printing, and current European printing of stamping letters on a surfaces or woodblock. Source
First European artifacts arrive to North America
Blue beads from Italy travel west along the Silk Road and across the Bering Strait before being dropped in North Alaska. Twine found with them dates to 1397 - 1488. Source
Black Death wipes out half of the Europe population. The Black Death or bubonic plague, is caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis that is transferred from wild rodents to humans.
Glass making becomes industrialized when the Venetian Republic, thought the 1 000 degree furnaces might be a fire hazard for the cities mostly wooden buildings, To prevent the city buring down, the glassmakers were ordered to move their foundries to the small nearby island Murano. The move brings many glassmakers together and Murano becomes a hot spot for glassmakers to develop and maintain their craft and art of quality glass making through today. See 1507 for later developments. Source
Hildegard of Birgen is a nun and humanitarian in Germany who teaches and believes microscopic organism contaminate water and food. Long before the invention of the microscope and discover of microbes. She works to find ways to purify water and food.
Chinese scholars discover a needle could be heated till red, held in a north south orientation, and cooled. Then floated in liquid or suspended on a silk thread and it would point north and south. Therefore, it is valuable for navigation and used by the Song Dynasty, China, for military navigation areound 1040 and for maritime navigation around 1111.
Earlier, around 206 BC, magnetic devices were used to divine wisdom in the Han Dynasty around. Source Smith College Museum of Ancient Inventions
Ibn al-Haytham's most important work: Optics (Kitab al-manazir).
- Described scientific discovery as observation reasoned with induction in a cautious manner to make conclusions without being swayed by opinion. Influenced Roger Bacon
- Combined experiments with mathematical reasoning.
- Includes an accurate model of the eye and vision, laws of reflection, refraction with the relationship between angles of incidence and refraction, and describes motion in mediums with different densities.
See: 1001 Inventions and the World of Ibn Al-Haytham and A Journey of Science from Darkness into Light.
Mississippi culture begins in North America
Cities are built with mounds in the center and surrounded by defensive barriers.
Cities like Holly Bluff (Lake George), Mississippi and Toltec in Arkansas, and Cahokia (east side of Saint Louis with a population of 10 000 plus with another 20 000 plus in its suburbs), Mississippi, Spiro, Okalahoma, Aztalan, Wisconsin. Also includes Muskogee, Caddo, Crow, Pawnee, Ho-Chunk.
Large corn fields to feed the large populations along with pigweed, and sunflowers. They forage for other plants, fruit, and nuts and fish and hunt. Their networks of trade provide copper, shells, pearls, stone, mica, and wood. They make jewelry, pipes, textile, pottery, stone and shell art. Large amounts of art with statues of humans and animals. Two famous pieces are the Piasa a mythical animal painting and the Rattlesnake Disk carved stone. Lasted till European contact by DeSoto.1539
Soap workshop, in Israel, makes soap by mixing olive oil with ashes from saltwort plants, heated for seven days, poured into shallow pans, let harden for ten days, slicing it into bars, and left to dry for two months. https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/1200-year-old-olive-oil-soap-factory-discovered-israel-180975599/
Algorithm Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi invents algebra
His most noted work is: Hisab al-jabr w'al-muqabala. In it he introduces natural numbers, focuses mostly on how to solve equations: linear or quadratic, with units, roots and squares. He explains the solutions with words and uses no symbols of algebraic notation.
In Latin his name is Algorismus, Therefore, he is given credit for inventing the algorithm. Before the algorithm merchants and scholars use the abacus. The new system, along with a dust board, democratize computation. In the Renaissance, in Europe, those who know how to multiply and divide with algorithms are guaranteed a professional career. In 1621 the first slide rule is made. The first mechanical calculator in 1642 by Pascal and the first handheld calculator 1967.
Mysterious fog plunges Europe, the Middle East, & west Asia into darkness for 18 months.
For the sun gave forth its light without brightbness, like the moon, during the whole year.
- Temperatures fall and lower temperatures cause snow in the summer, crop failure, people starve, Irish record wheat failure from 536-539. Later in 541 a plague in Pelusiam, Egypt (known as the Plague of Justinian) kills 33-50% of the eastern Roman empire population, contributing to its collapse.
- Tree ring research in 1990 supported that summers around 540 were unusually cold. Later in 2018 ice from Swiss glaciers suggest a cataclysmic volcano erupted in Iceland in 536 and two more massive eruptions in 540 and 547. It is believed these eruptions caused economic problems that reduced trade and manufacturing until around 640 where ice samples indicate an increase of airborne lead from silver smelting. Source
Mouth harp is lost in the Altai Mountains in Russia. It measures about 4.3 inches long and 3.3 inches wide and will still make music in 2018. Source
Nomadic tribes of Northern Asia invaded China, eastern Asia, and Europe. With their superior horse skills and the stirrup; they destroy villages, the current political structures, and change peoples lives.
Earth’ s human population 200 million.
Mount Vesuvius, near the Bay of Naples in Italy, erupts in 79 and buries Pompeii in ash preserving artifacts to be found later to see how Romans lived during this time. Source
The ancient Roman town of Baia, a fashionable resort for Romans, on the shore of the Gulf of Naples, sank into the sea also as a result of Vesuvius volcanic action.
Cement - Romans made cement and used it to make concret for water pipes, docks in harbors ... Source
First vending machine in recorded history is in Alexandria, Egypt. It is invented by a Greek mathematician and engineer Hero of Alexandriato dispensed holy water at Egyptian temples. See 1880's
Hero wrote on a variety of topics that include mathematics, engineering, physics, and pneumatics. The writings include the first record of a wind powered machine (a windwheel), steam powered machines, machines that used sound and light, syringe for liquid and air, a fountain, and how to calculate square root.
Xiongnu combine their horse technology with military skill and become fierce mounted archers. They roam the Mongolian steppes for hundreds of years and engage civilizations from Iran, Central Asia, and China. Collecting artifacts from these areas as well as Roman glass, Persian textiles, and Greek silver. They are so successful China builds the Great Wall to try to stop their raiding. Archeological evidence supports this as well as DNA evidence that shows multiethnic DNA in their remains from all the empires they raided.
Eratosthenes measures the Earth with shadows, figures out Earth's tilt, & seasons
And becomes known as the father of geography
Eratosthenes, hears of a well in Syene, Egypt that on summer solstice (June 21) the Sun shines on the water at the bottom of the well and casts no shadow on the sides (meaning the sun was directly overhead [zenith]). On the same day, in Alexandria, the Sun was 7 degrees off the zenith (point directly overhead).
He uses observation, logic, and geometry and calculates the Earth's diameter as 12,800 km or about 28,ooo miles around the poles and equator. Source
He also calculates the tilt of the Earth, at 23.5 degrees, and uses it to explain the seasons.
Hopewell culture ranges from Kansas to New York and Florida to Canada after Adena. They trade, art, jewelry, ceramic, and stone figures. Construction uses horizon based astronomy and circle square combinations. Between 400 CE - 500 CE stopped mound building and their trade network collapses.
Around 450 CE the bow and arrow arrives from Canada and corn from the southwest, but probably not a common crop until 700 or 800 CE. They build small farmsteads and villages with a central plaza. Evidence of violent deaths increases and palisades are build around villages. Build effigy mounds in the shapes of animals (birds, panthers, lizards, turtles) for burials till 1 000 CE when Mississippi culture begins
Euclid writes his Geometry book, Elements
Euclid lives in Athens, Greece and Alexandria, Egypt. He is known as the Greek mathematician who found geometry. It is said the King Ptolemy I of Egypt told him he wanted to learn geometry. Euclid replied, he would have to study long hours and memorize a large book of information. The King demanded a shortcut, to which Euclid replied, "There is no royal road to geometry."
Earth rotates once a day
Heraclides Ponticus proposes the Earth rotates on its axis, from west to east, once every 24 hours.
Sun centered solar system
Aristarchus of Samos, built on Herakleides Sun centered theory and described accurate orbits of Earth and the Sun's other planets encircling it and the orbit of the Moon around the Earth. This symbolically marks the end of Greek scientific philosophy as those who came after stuck to myths that put the Earth at the center.
Alexander the Great founds Alexandria, Egypt as a pharaonic town. It is the capital of Egypt until Muslims conquer Egypt in 641 AD, and move the capital to Fustat, later Cairo.
Babylonians use a trapazoid to predict Jupiter's motion across the sky.
Numbers are inscribed in a clay tablet to calculate the distance Jupiter travels by charting the plantet's motion (velocity) over 60 days. The results form a right-angled trapezoid with a downward slanting top with the area equal to the distance Jupiter travels. See Babylonians Tracked Jupiter with Fancy Math. By Megan Gannon, February 1, 2016: Scientific American.
Aristotle - 380 - 322 BCE
Explanation with rhetoric and logic. While Socrates and Plato use reasoning Aristotle develops a system of rules and strategies, syllogism, it is the begining of logical deductive reasoning (as opposed to inductive reasoning). Reasoning in which a conclusion is drawn (validly or not) from propositions (premises) that share an idea not present in the conclusion, for example. Categorical syllogism, uses two premises and a conclusion:
- All humans are vertebrates; no insect is a vertebrate, therefore, no humans are insects.
- All dogs are mammals, all mammals are animals, therefore, all dogs are animals.
- There is a natural order to the world that could be determined with logic without observation.
- Objects would naturally come to rest (without a force acting on them).
- Solid objects would fall to Earth, because that is their natural place to be.
- Believes forces were requird to keep things moving. Had no concept of inertia. See Galileo and Newton.
- Heredity needs a message and material to explain how traits are passed from parent to children to grandchildren and beyond.
- He recognizes Pythagoras ideas need to be extended to include information being passed from the mother and ancesters from both sides of the parents to the baby.
- He claims there is mutual contributions of information to a baby that passes from the male in the semen and from the female in the blood.
Greek philosopher Plato writes about Atlantis in 360 BCE in his dialogues where he describes it as an island city by the straits of the Pillars of Hercules, today Straits of Gibraltar. Over the years people have searched for this lost city. Recent research suggests it might have been located near Spain.
Image is symbol for Atlantis.
Petra is an acient city carved in rocks by the Nabataeans in the desert of southern Jordan. See - Nova video (53:05)
Nabataeans create an irrigation system for their city's water needs. To do so they solve several problems for water to be moved over a long distance.
- Discover an optimal shape and size of pipes so sediment wouldn't clog the flow.
- Discover how smoothly pipes pipes need to be set so the flow rate deliveres appropriate amounts of water. For example, rapid flow creates ripples and reduces water volume compared to a smooth flow.
- They cnclude: shape, size, smoothness, and slope of pipes affect flow (2.5 degree slope works for an efficient water flow).
- Excavations show how the Nabataeans create their water supply system for their desert city. It includes: an artificial oasis, flood controls, multiple dams, storage in cisterns, and water transported in conduits from sources miles away. Source for detailed descriptions of Petra's Water supply and distribution.
The idea of atoms
Democritus - 470 - 370 BCE
Democritus considers all matter is made of atoms, which were small, invisible particles surrounded by space, could not be subdivided, and last forever. There is an infinite number of them that make up the physical world. They are different in shape, arrangement, position, and magnitude. He also believes space is a void or vacuum that is infinite. Source
A horseshoe is essential to protect the foot of horses if they are to be used productively for agriculture and transportation. They protect the foot from repeated wear and cracking in dirt, mud, and on rock.
Early protection is created with leather or other materials wrapped around the foot and fastened with thongs. Sometimes metal or other materials were inserted inside the boot shaped material. Literature includes early reports of shoes of bronze, silver, and gold being on horses of important leaders.
The development of iron provides a much better material and along with the idea of fastening it to the foot with nails. Since iron is valuable and could be melted and reused, it makes discovery of it in archaeological digs unlikely.
Sculptures of horses with shoes are rare, but a few are known.
Four bronze horseshoes with nail holes were found in an Italian tomb dated around 400 B.C.E. More on domestication of horses.
What are the pros and cons between horses, mules, and oxens as what is best for ... Consider strength, speed, health, and food requirements ...
Thonis-Heracleion, an ancient island city on the mouth of the Nile River.
After Carnac it is the legitimate capital of Egypt where Pharaohs receive the divine rights to rule. It is a major trading port until Alexander the Great conqueres Egypt and builds Alexandria in 331 BCE and made it the capital.
Later the Nile changes course, the land liquifies, and the city sinks into the Mediterranean Sea. It is lost to history until archeologist find its ruins in 2000. The find includes many everyday artifacts, temples, statues of gods and pharaohs, a Stele with a record of tax rates for imports and exports, and over 64 ship wrecks. Source
Hippocrates is a Greek physician regarded as the father of medicine. Around 60 medical writings have survived with his name, many probably not written by him.
- First written information about the flu 412 BCE
- Best known for the Hippocratic Oath, which bears his name, but he may not have written, and the high ethical standards it sets.
Plato and Socrates 427 - 347 BCE
Develops a philosophy of education - learning happens when the teacher asks key questions. Socratic Method. Source The Republic. Key beliefs and ideas.
Education is based on interests, abilities, and stations in life.
Utopian ideal is to produce philosopher kings or guardians rule to the State.
Dialectic reasoning or dialectics (Socratic method, Hindu, Buddhist, Medieval, Hegelian dialectics, Marxist, Talmudic, and Neo-orthodoxy), and modern debate. All involve conversations between two or more people arguing different points of view for the purpose of establishing truth with reasoned argument.
Socrates valued truth as the highest value. Truth discovered through conversation with reason and logic (dialectic reasoning). Logic, not emotion, to discover truth for persuasion and make choices to guide one's life. To Socrates, truth, not art, was the greater good to guide one's life. Therefore, Socrates opposed the sophists and their teaching of rhetoric as art and as emotional oratory requiring neither logic nor proof.
Dialectic method, rhetoric, and debate can have fundamental differences. In theory debate may be considered as unemotional and committed to rational argument. However, in practice debaters can present emotionally charged ideas to suppress rational thought, hoping to persuade others to their point of view. See rhetoric (480 BCE) sophists
Plato wrote about how all civilizations will fail and includes the destruction of a city he called Atlantis in his Dialogue. So is his tale based on history or is it fiction?
Sophists - 480 - 390 BCE
The first teachers of rhetoric (the art (arte) and process of effective public speaking) in the Greek world they are known as Sophists (wise men). They teach by example, skills of civic life and explore a wide range of human experience about Greek culture. Not being Athenians, they often clash culturally and philosophically with Athenians.
Sophists taught art and thought have the highest value in life. Therefore, it should be used to make choices and to seek it out in all things. To them the artistic quality of a speech or oration is its power to motivate, influence, and please people. Therefore, oration is taught as an art form, used to please, motivate, and influence other people through quality speaking. Maybe the historical basis for Declamations, which are student’s interpretations of famous speeches regiven to demonstrate the student's ability to understand and apply the purpose and power of the speech and skill in public speaking. Samples
Rhetoric is a method or art of speaking or discourse/ conversation to persuade, inform, or motivate an audience. Concepts of rational appeal (logos), emotional appeal, (pathos), and ethical appeal (ethos) are all intentionally used to persuade and convince people of a particular idea or argument. Read more: rhetoric
Parmenides, (515-430BCE) Greek philosopher, is known to use logic with an extended arguments for his views rather than just a view of reality. However, he never systematically studied or formed logical principals, proofs, for valid arguments.
Pythagoras lived in Croton, Greece. His work included.
- Made famous a theorem for the area of right triangles.
- Explained the similarities between parents and children were caused when semen travels throughout a male body, where it absorbs mystical vapor from all parts of the body to create a blueprint to build a baby so when the semen is transported to the mother to provide a message with instructions for the female to provide the matter to build and nourish the fetus. Which he wrongly thought was the only purpose of a female in reproduction. This became known as spermism. See Aristotle
Thales of Miletus (620 BCE - 46 BCE) creates theorems (by exhaustion) as logical proof for general geometric ideas. He visits Egypt and observes Egyptians using geometry while building. He is credited for five:
- A circle is bisected by its diameter,
- Angles in a triangle, which are opposite two sides of equal length, are equal
- Opposite angles, formed by intersecting straight lines, are equal.
- An angle inscribed inside a semicircle, is a right angle.
- A triangle can be determined if its base and the two angles adjacent to the base are given.
Early science experiment with control group
Jerusalem is captured by King Nebuchadnezzar II and some citizens of Judea are rounded up and sent to Babylon as hostages. The young are raised and educated in the King's court. Daniel, among them, a devout Jew, did not want to eat non kosher meat and drink wine. Thus, he asks his overseer, Melzar, for a vegetarian diet and water. Melzar, afraid for his life if David doesn't thrive and learn, did not want to grant this request.
David suggests an experiment: for ten days he and nine others are given a vegetarian diet with water (experimental group) and another group of ten are given the King’s meat and wine (control group). At the end of ten days, if they weren’t healthy he would eat the King’s meat. At the end of ten days David’s group was fairer and fatter in flesh (Daniel 1:15), than the meat group. Thereafter, Melzar allows their diet.
The Great Dam of Marin on the Wadi Adhanah watershed, near the ancient city of Ma'rib the capital of Saba (a prosperous trading nation, with control of the frankincense and spice routes in Arabia and Abyssinia) is built in the eighth century BCE may be the oldest dam. Source
Adena culture east of the Ohio River build a year round villages in North America
It inhabitants make pottery and develop agriculture. Build burial shell mounds, then earth mounds, then no mounds. Hunt, collect nuts, farm, and grow: sunflowers, pumpkins, squash, goosefoot, maygrass, pigweed, and tobacco. Make pipes, loincloth, jewelry, trad for copper (Great Lakes), shells (Gulf of Mexico), mica (North Carolina), and trade. Their pipes travel from Canada to the Gulf Coast. Survive till Hopewell culture 300 BCE.
1 450 BCE
First artificial hand? Bronze and gold artifacts that resemble a hand are made. Maybe used for rituals. Source
1 500 BCE
North America’s first city in Poverty Point, Louisiana,
Late Archaic people build, what most archaeologists consider, the continent’s first city with 4,000 – 5,000 inhabitants. It has a central plaza, earthen pyramids, concentric platform mounds, and hundreds of houses. Eat clams, oysters, fish, reptiles, pecans, acorns, and walnuts. Had earth ovens, pottery, cooking balls, and fishing nets. Occupied till about 700 BCE.
Water and sewer system
Minoan plumbing, sewer, and storm drainage is well developed and the Minoan civilization flourishes on the Isle of Crete, in the Mediterranean Sea, from 2600 to 1600 BCE. Source
1 620 BCE
Volcanoes, earthquakes, and tsunamies destroy towns in and around the Mediterranean Sea.
- Pavlopetri - sinks into the Mediterranean Sea from multiple earthquake events. 1700-1500 BCE
- Mycenaean destroyed by earthquake
- About 1620 BCE a Volcano on Thera, an island in the Mediterranean produced and exported saffron trading with Europe, Africa, Asia. The Thera volcano destroyed all civilization on the island with Pyroclastic flows. It caused earthquakes and tsunamies that severely impacted Minoan settlements in the Mediterranean and
- created tsunamis that destroyed the Konos on the Island of Crete. The Konos are the origins of the Minoans who influenced the Mycenaean civilization from the 15th to the 13th century BCE throughout the Peloponnese in Greece and the Aegean.
1 754 BCE
King Hammurabi, writes a code to regulate water usage:
- The distribution of water is based on the acres farmed.
- Requires each farmer to maintain the canals on his property.
- Requires the collective administration of the canal by all users.
1 920 BCE
China's Great Flood
China's first Emperor, Yu, is said to have tamed a great flood. Researchers have found evidence of a landslide and flood on the Yellow River around 1920 BCE. Source Finding China's Great Flood New study finds truth in an ancient myth. By Bridget Alex|Wednesday, December 21, 2016
2 000 BCE
Iron objects are produced at a variety of sites in Niger around 2000 BCE +- 500 years. Source
2 100 BCE
Corn arrives in western New Mexico and eastern Arizona rock shelters and cooking pits.
2 650 BCE
First dentist Hesy-Re's tomb had panels that described him as chief of dentist and physicians. Source
2 480 - 3 000 BCE
Stonehenge near Amesbury, UK is built. Source
2 5000 BCE
First bow and arrow in North America is used above the Great Lakes to hunt a variety of game.
2 51o BCE
Three pyramids known as the Giza pyramids seen often in pictures and videos. Menkaure pyramid in 2 510 BCE, Khafre pyramid in 2570BCE, and Khafu pyramid in 2580BCE, being the largest and best built.
2 686 BCE
Egyptians bury dead under six step pyramids built by Djoser south of Giza. Followed by the Bent Pyramid in 2613 built by King Sneferu.
3 0oo BCE
Egyptians bury dead under piles of dirt.
3 200 BCE
Newgrange stone chamber is built by Irish farmers in Boyne Valley, Ireland
Astronomical site built before Stonehenge and Giza Pyramids. A mound 85 meters in diameter and 13.5 meters high over a 1 acre area. A 19 meter stone tunnel, aligns with the rising sun on the Winter Solstice and leads into a chamber with 3 alcoves. It is surrounded by 97 large stones (kerbstones) some engraved with megalithic art.
3 300 BCE
Cuneiform - writing first appeaars in Uruk later Mesopotamia, in Sumer
The oldest known mathematical problems is written on a cuneiform tablet. It calculates the surface area of a rectangular shaped field.
Bronze (smelted from tine and copper) is made in Sumer
History notes the Bronze age as a historic mile stone. However, different societies learned how to make Bronze at different times. Greeks about 3000 B.C. British and Chinese around 1900 BCE - 1700 BCE, Egypt 1475
3 500 BCE
Domestication of the Cacao tree
Chocolate is made by the Mayo-Chinchipe in Ecuador by grinding cacao beans into a paste and then combine it with combinations of water, corn, fruit, chili peppers, and honey to make a porridge or beverage. About 1850 Europeans added sugar and cocoa butter and later in 1870 the Swiss added milk powder to make milk chocolate.
Yamnaya, domesticate the horse see 3 700 BCE
3 700 BCE
Horse domestication begins on the Kazakh steppe with the Botai, who were mostly hunter gatherers. They create corrals, breed horses, ate their meat, tame them, milk them, put mare's milk in pots to drink and make alcohol from it, rode them, and create bridles with bits. Bits are designed to apply pressure on a sensitive part of the horse’s mouth to control them when riding. Shortly after 3000 BCE they seem to disappear and have no human genetic desendents However, the horse's decendants returned to the wild and survive today. Riding horses vastly change human civilization and as humans change the horse genome changes.
- When did humans domesticate the horse?
- How Domestication Altered The Horse Genome
- PBS First Horse Warriors
Later about 3500 BCE the Yamnaya, whose homeland is between the Black and Caspean Seas, are the second group to domesticate the horse, ride them, and use them to draw carts. They range north to the Arctic Ocean and east to Mongolia. Changes in two genes from earlier horses ZFPM1, relates to control of anxiety and aggression, and GSDMC associated with back pain in humans, may have contributed to their domestication.
The Yamnaya, and their genes, also become a significant contribution to present day Europeans. And their language is the base of all European languages. Proto Indo European. May have also spread Black Plague (bacteria from fleas) to Europe.
Horses in North America and Europe are extinct. They may have been hunted to extinction; leaving the only surviving horses on the steppes of Eurasia until they are reintroduced to North America in 1500.
4 000 BCE
What can be considered a plow, more than a hoe, is made in Egypt and Sumeria. Their use requires hard work to push or pull them through the ground; and they are not able to plow very deep.
- Paintings show several men pulling them and later about 2000 BCE show them connected to oxen horns. Over the years, Egyptians learn to better harnesses to oxen, without choking them, to plow better and improve their agricultural yields.
- While the plow makes farming more efficient it requires more strength to plow than hoe. As a result farming becames a more male dominated activity.
- For example, early society in Pakistan, who use a plow, has only 16% of the ag workers being women. In Burundi, where they use hoes, 90% of the ag workers are women.
- John Deere is credited in 1837 to have made the first iron plow.
Egypt and Mesopotamia (present day Iraq and Iran) use flood water from the Nile or Tigris/Euphrates river to water crops.
The Egyptians use a verticle column (Nilometer) and a series of stairs to measure the depth of water. Several still exist and can be seen today. Source Image source: Baldiri (Own work) [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
3 000 BCE The first reservoir may have been made by King Menes along with dams and canals to diverted water from the Nile into Lake Moeris. Source
Cities continually inhabited
While hunters and gatherers stopped and gathered at different places, those places were temporary camps that were revisited from season to season and temporary places for hunting, gathering, trade, social gatherings, and religious ceremonies. Some would be recognized as cities, though not continuously inhabited.
It is interesting people claim to recognize a city, even if it is an ancient city or a city of today. Yet it is more difficult to define what one is in specific terms. Some characteristics of cities: allow for diversification of ideas, continual inhabitation, specialization of labor, social interactions, development of a common culture, language, and experience, more interdependence, creativity, novelty, technology, and a general scaling up until a limit of resources is reached.
Archeologist continue to discover more and earlier settlements and continue to wonder how the domestication of animals and plants and systems to move water and wastes influenced cities and how they become habitable for longer periods of time.
While people settle into larger communities they are not closed. Human historically are mobile seeking trade, ideas, mates, cultural exchanges, and unique experiences.
Some early cities:
- Sosa 4200 BCE
- Faiyum 4000 BCE
- Erbil 4000 BCE
- Kirkuk 1100 BCE
- Balkh 1150 BCE
- Bejing 1045 BCE
4 400 BCE
Cats (Feline) are domestic, as indicated by DNA, began in southwestern Asia through southeast Europe 6 400 years ago.
4 500 BCE
Board games being played
Board game known as the Royal Game of Ur, a two-player strategy game similar to backgammon, is being played in the Mesopotamian city of Ur.
This game or similar will spread from Mesopotamia to India and east into the eastern Mediterranean by about 4 000 BCE. Evidence of a flat stones with a carved grid and cup holes is found in a settlement in the Qumayrah Valley, (Oman).
4 6oo BCE
Egyptians bury royalty in underground chambers below structures of mud bricks and stones called mastabas.
5 000 years BCE
Breeding of dogs in Siberia. Skulls were measure and their ratios of snout height to skull length and cranium height to skull length distinguished them as dogs. Dogs werebred to be large enough to pull a sled, but not too large to overheat. Source
4 6oo BCE
Egyptians bury dead under piles of dirt.
6 000 BCE
Rock art shows domesticated dogs used to hunt. Dogs on leash were maybe being trained. Source Science
Potatoes are domestic in Peru. It was taken to Europe by the Spanish (1500's) and did not become an important food until 1800's during famines.
Catalhoyuk, Turkey citizens lived in houses that were built and supplied in a manner that suggest equality with no apparent leadership. Artifacts also suggest domestication and use of clay appears to have affected the environment in harmful ways: as evidence of deforestation, extensive burning, erosion and of large-scale grazing were also found. Source
Copper is used in Asia
Wooden skis are being made and used in Russia. In 5200 B.C.E. Scandinavians are making wooden skis and ski-like artifacts.
7 000 BCE
Kennewick man lives in present day Washington state. His DNA relates to today's Native American tribes of the Coville Reservation as suggested by his skeleton found in Washington. A study of his DNA in 2015 finds it is Haplogroup Q-M3, and his mitochondrial DNA Haplogroup is X2a.
Olmec Domesticate maize (corn) in Mexico. Research suggests different varieties of maize are partially domesticated before being traded or spread from Mexico. These partially domesticated seeds, each with sufficient alleles to independently become modern, did so in different locations in the Americas after their dispersal. Source Did Maize Dispersal Precede Domestication. Science. December 14, 2018
Jericho becomes a city.
Motza (Israel) is an 80 acre settlement with workshops, public halls, and private homes linked by roads and alleys with evidence of art and trade. Source Discover. Lots o' Motza Jan/Feb 2020 by Bridget Alex
8 000 BCE or 10 000 BP or YA
The Archaic period in North America
Mammoths, mastodons and Bison antiques are extinct. Native cultures are still hunters, but hunt smaller prey, deer, rabbits, turkeys, geese, and fish. If available, elk and bison. To supplement these, they ate more seeds, nuts, fruits, and fibrous plants. Inventing grinding stones, the mortar and pestle, and technology to leech acorns.
They travel in small groups of 20-30 and hunt with atlatls and spears. The climate warms, water increases, grasslands and forests grow more dense and about 3 000 BP or YA groups tend to stay in one place and diversify. Where possible they live in rock shelters. Other places, they build simple houses in shallow pits and cover them with log frames, domes, or tents.
9 500 BP or YA
Copper mining begins
In North America near the Great Lakes. Metal tools: projectile points, knives, axes, fish hooks, awls, and decorative beads and bracelets. Thousands of artifacts are initially made and since their technology doesn't advance to alloys. The use of copper decreases about 3000 BP or YA and returns to the harder stone and bone tools. Only copper awls, superior to bone awls, remain in use. Source Great Lakes pople among first coppersmiths Science March 26, 2021.
Hunter gatherers before
8 000 BCE or ≈ 10 000 years ago BP or YA or YA - see 1950
.01 million (10 000) BP or YA (Cenozoic Era, Quaternary Period, Holocene Epoch .01-1.8 mya )
Ice age ends. Measurements of Greenland ice packs show an increase of temperature as measured in the change of hydrogen chemistry.
Melting ice submerges the land between present day United Kingdom and Europe as ocean levels rise about 120 feet.
Women participate in big game hunting
Randall Haas and his team find numerous projectile points and stone tools buried alongside the skeletal remains of a woman, who was probably a great hunter between 17 and 19 years old. Astonished by the fact that she had the kit of a hunter they review the published records of 429 burials across the Americas in the late Pleistocene and early Holocene epochs. The team identifies 27 individuals buried with big-game hunting tools. Eleven are female and fifteen male. Therefore, it suggests that female participation in big-game hunting was very likely and non gender labor practices are likely routine. Source
Evidence suggests hunter gatherer societies stumbled upon plant and animal domestication only nine places around the world:
- Fertile Crescent,
- Eastern United States,
- Tropical West Africa,
- Ethiopia and
- New Guinea.
History, includes many tales of hunter gatherer societies being driven out, infected, conquered, and exterminated by farming societies where farming is possible. Except the Huns 300-400 and Ghengis Khan 1225.
Hunter gatherers of the Fertile Crescent domesticated wheats, barley, peas, sheep, goats, cows and pigs to become the first farmers and herders, beginning around 8500 BCE. This led to major changes: shorter birth intervals (from four years to one year) political changes (social classes, kings, soldiers, empires, professional armies), and technology (metal tools, writing, ...). These were tools of conquest and allowed them to spread into Europe, North Africa, western India, and central Asia. However, having no other advantages power shifted to Greece then Italy and then to northwest Europe. While human societies in the Fertile Crescent inadvertently committed slow ecological suicide as low rainfall caused deforestation, soil erosion and salinization.
Some advantages and disadvantages of agriculture:
- One calorie seed can grow 50 calories.
- One acre of farmed land can grow 1 000 times what hunting and gathering can provide per acre.
- A 60 lb bushel of wheat can make 70 loaves of bread.
- Early agricultural communities are more malnourished, have more famines, people are shorter, life expectancies decreases by five years, and there are more conflicts and war than hunting gathering tribes.
Source Nature, Jared Diamond
See earlier steps toward agriculture.
West Africa, Niger River Basin is the location of the continent's traditional agricultural crops:
- Yams domesticated in the Niger River Basin betwen eastern Ghana and western Nigeria.
- Pearl millet domesticated north of the Niger River in western Sahara Desert, north Mali and Mauritania.
- African rice domesticated in western Africa in north Mali.
- Sorghum domesticated in East Africa in Egypt.
Source Plant Genomics Unearths Africa's Fertile Crescent. Elizabeth Pennisi. Science, May 3, 2019.
10 400 BP or YA or YA
Sheep are domestic in the Mesopotamian area for: food, clothing and shelter.
Anatolia, Turkey catch small lambs and kids to fatten in their settlements, which lead to the domestication of sheep and goats over time. Domestication provides milk, meat, and wool. 10,400 Y.A.
11 000 BP or YA or YA
First Stone Temple?
A temple at Gobekli Tepe, Turkey is where hunter gatherers congregate to share in spiritual celebrations. The artifacts at the site suggest religion predates agriculture and possible permanent settlements built while while humans were still hunters and gatherers. Artifacts carved on the surfaces represent images of foxes, lions, scorpions, vultures, and T shaped pilars that some believe represent humans. Findings suggest early people had beliefs and those beliefs evolved and centered on human's place in nature.
- Humans as spirits in a spiritual world among animals, weather, and other Earthly spirits.
- Humans with nature.
- Humans as master of nature.
- Humans as servants of nature.
- Three skulls were found with red ochre, grooves, circular holes that seem to be cut at time of death or near death as there was no indication of healing. Could have been suspended by cords for ritual situations. Source
11 500 BP or YA or YA
Skull of Luzia Woman dates to around 11, 500 years ago is found in a cave at Lapa Vermelha, Pedro Leopoldo, Great Belo Horizonte, Brazil in 1975.
An infant is at the Upward Sun River in the Tana River Basin in Alaska. The infant's genetics suggest her ancestors settled Beringia and her descendants headed south into North America. The site was found in 2008. The infant's bones, date to around 11 500 year ago. Science January 5, 2018.
Extinction of Wooly mammoth seems to be the last of the large animals to become extinct. Others include: Columbian mammoth, American mastodon, Beautiful armadillo, Stag moose, Giant beaver, Jefferson's ground sloth, Harlan's ground sloth, Flat-headed peccary, & short-faced bear. Source
Folsom culture follows Clovis in North america. They mainly hunting bison using their new invention, bison jumps. Their culture disappears 10 000 BP or YA .
Humans twist together tobacco leaves, stems, to chew or suck on them and discard the seedson the mudflats of the Great Salt Lake Desert in Utah. Source
Humans in Americas
- Naia, a teenage girl, explores an underwater cave in the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico. Her skeleton is found and dates to 13,000 years ago. Her DNA indicates she descends from early Native Americans, who likely crossed the Bering Strait. Her ancestry is Asian, from Beringia, haplogroup D. Source
Learn more about Naia on Nova First Face of America February 7, 2018.
- A boy explores in Montana where his skeleton is found in Montana at the Anzick site in 1968. In 2014 his haplogroup is found to be D1, commonly found in South America.
- Arlington Springs Man lives on Channel Islands off the west coast near Santa Barbara, California. Two of his leg bones are found in 1959 and later date to 13,000 BP or YA .
Clovis stone tools are created. Dates for their production are from 13 500 to 12 700 BP or YA , just 800 years. Most are found in th e eastern and central United States, with oldest sites in Texas and northern Mexico. Did the Clovis people hunt mammoth or mostly forage for plants, hunt small mammals, and catch fish. Along with Clovis points, scrapers, blades, drills and needles are in their tool kits. Source
Steps toward agriculture
Some humans begin to plant and cultivate plants (farming) rather than a sole reliance on hunting and gathering. The idea farming is superior to hunting and gathering at this time is probable inaccurate, since farming requires more work, lower adult status, and results in worse nutritional conditions, poorer sanitation, and more disease. What ever the circumstances, farming causes changes in plants, animals, and human behaviour as they interacted with each other, build cities, and live in them. Source Evolution, consequences and future of plant and animal domestication, by Jared Diamond.
Steps toward agriculture may be caused as the food supply of wild animals is shrinking to an unsustainable point, as 100's of large mammals are hunted to extinction. Source Sapien
- Cooking, grinding, leeching, soaking
- Domestication of wheat, barley, and other seeds with non shattering seed pod or head
- Domestication of goats, sheep, cattle, chicken, and pigs
Whay is the reason some species are not domesticated? Is it too difficulty to domesticate them? or Are indigenous people who live where the species are native, not inclined to domesticate them?
13 200 BP or YA or YA
Ancient American West coast dwellers leave a footprint on Calvert Island, British Columbia and fish hooks on Cedros Island, Mexico. Believed to be America's oldest human footprint. Source. On the Trail of Ancient Mariners by Lizzie Wade
Human's are making stone tools in the Chiquihuite cave in the Astillero Mountains, 9000 feet above sea level. Some 1,900 stone points or tools used for cutting, chopping, scraping, or as weapons with advanced flaking skills. More than 90 percent of the artifacts are greenish or blackish stone. Most material dates between 13,000 and 16,600 years BP or YA . The cave may have been used for 10, 000 years. Source
13 800 BP or YA or YA & maybe earlier ...
A village is established off the Central Coast of British Columbia, Canada on the ancestral grounds of the Heiltsuk Nation. The archaeological evidence supports Heiltsuk oral tradition that claims the tribe lives along the coast in a land that didn't freeze during the ice age. Source
14 000 BP or YA
Humans arrive to the Americas by boat possibly by island hopping down the west coast. Source. On the Trail of Ancient Mariners by Lizzie Wade
14 300 BP or YA
Human cook in Paisley Caves, Oregon. Hearths and extinct animal bones are found inside the caves in 1938. Fossilized excrement, (coprolites) are dated to 14 300 BP or YA .
14 400 BP or YA
First Bread is made by hunter gathers in Jordan, on stone hearths, from wild grains and tubers. Source
14 550 BP or YA
Page-Ladson, Florida bifacial knives are being used on animals that are extinct today. Source
15 000 BP or YA
Dogs are domestic. Possibly they could have been earlier, maybe 30 000 years ago. Do dogs befriend humans or humans dogs? Source
Some suggest all domesticated dogs descended from dogs domesticated in Siberia about 23, 000 years BP or YA and divided into four groups with the genetic marker A2b. These groups traveled with the humans who domesticated them eventually dividing into four groups. One group to North America about 15 000 years BP or YA . Science January 29, 2020
Dog breeding and rock art 8 000 years
16 000 BP or YA
Humans at Cooper's Ferry Idaho, North America, use late upper paleolithic flake stone blades similar to those used at this time in northeastern Asia. Suggesting arrival by boat and before Clovis tools (13,000BP or YA ). The blades are not similar to the Clovis tools, which are fluted bifacial stemmed lanceolate points. Source Science August 30, 2019
17 000 BP or YA
Cave Art at Tuc d'Audoubert, France.
Two bison sculptures are created. Each about 24 x 18 x 4 inches with smooth surfaces that have finger marks from being smoothed when wet, hair carved with a tool, and jaw lines cut with fingernails. Both bison are ready to mate. (15 000 BCE)
The cave also includes numerous paintings, engravings, abstract symbols, one anthropomorphic mask and one image of a female vulva. Source
The first musical score & concert
A person may have created a song, scored it on the wall of the cave, to play it in Marsoulas Cave in Magdalenian, France.
Red pigment is placed on a conch shell, which has been crafted to play three notes: C, C-sharp, & D. The pigment on the shell matches red dots and lines on the cave walls that form a bison silhouette. Could it have been a musical score? Was it for entertainment, spiritual requests for a successful hunt, or ...
23 000 BP or YA
At the Ohalo II agricultural site, on the shore of Galilee, people clear land, sow wheat and barley and harvest them. Ehud Weiss and his team collect 150 000 specimens of plant remains from the site and date them to 25 000 BCE. The find suggests human migration to North America is along the coast instead of overland.
24 000 BP or YA
Humans are hunting and butchering horses in the Bluefish Caves of northwest Yukon
Furry animals smaller than modern horses who likely roam in herds across Beringian and will go extinct about 14,000 Y.A. likley from human hunting and climate change. Source
28 000 BP or YA
Solutrean stone tools are made in North East America from 19,000 BCE and 26,000 BCE
These stone tools are similar to Solutrean tools made in Spain, Portugal and southern France. How Solutreans arrive and carry their tools across North America is questionable, however, the tools are there and seem to lead to Clovis tool creation later. See 13,000 years ago.
38 000 BP or YA
Beringia, a the land bridge connects Siberia to Alaska during the last Glacial Maximum. Sea levels are around 400 feet lower than today.
Humans cross it before it sinks into the ocean. See animated map.
- First group about 38 000 BP or YA
- A second group enters 16,500 BP or YA , mix with the local populations and quickly migrate south, all the way to South America.
- A third group possibly enter Beringia 15,000 BP or YA .
40 800 BP or YA
Cave art is created in the European El Castillo cave. The art indicates Homo Sapien & Neanderthals are both capable of artistic self expression. Source Discover Magazine January / February 2013
Other old drawings were found on the island of Sulawesi, in Indonesia. at least 35,400 years old. Source
42 000 BP or YA
Mungo man lives in the dunes of a long gone lake, Lake Mungo in Australia, as indicated by a skeleton found and dated to 42,000 years ago.
43 000 BP or YA
Flute, maybe the oldest known musical instrument created from bird bone and mammoth ivory is found in a cave in southern Germany and dates to 43 ooo years ago.
At least five individuals are in the Bacho Kiro Cave, Bulgaria between 43 000 YA to 46 000 YA along with their stone tools, cave bear pendants, bone tools, and other artifacts belonging to these modern humans and Neanderthals.
44 000 BP or YA
44 000 BP or YA
Indonesian cave painting of hunters corraling a dwarf buffalo with ropes & spears.
45 000 BP or YA
Cave art of a pig is created in Indonesia
50 000 BP or YA
World's oldest needle
The needle is an important techn0logical advancement to enable humans to make clothing by joining animal hides with sinew and make strong, weather tight, and water proof seams. Humans would not be able to migrate through and live in cold regions on Earth without it.
Neanderthal's use birch sap and a complex process to manufacture a tar to cover tool grips or handles.
64 800 BP or YA
Neanderthals create art in three caves in Iberia, Spain. It dates to 64 800 years ago. The date implies the art has a Neanderthal origin, since humans did not arrive until thousands of years later. Source Science. U-Th dating of carbobate crusts reveals Neanderthal origin of Iberian cave art 2-22-2018
65 000 BP or YA
Humans arrived in Australia and create stone tools, ground ochre, slabs of ochre, and ochre in crayon form. These artifacts are found at Madjebdebe, Australia and date to 65,000 years ago. Source A find in Australia hints at very early human exit from Africa
50 000 - 700 000 BP or YA or YA
Homo floresiensis (hobbit) is alive as indicated by fossils:
- fossils dating 50,000 years ago found in Liang Bua cave in Indonesia.
- fossils dating to 70, 000 years old found at Mata Menge.
100 000 BP or YA or YA
Homo sapiens Qafzeh live in caves of Qafzeh, east of Nazareth, Israel. Bones are classified as Homo sapien and dated to 92,000 years old.
Additional remains are found at Skhul, on Mount Carmel, Israel and labeled as Homo sapiens Skhul and date to 115,000 years old. These remains indicate lanky slender bodies adapted to hot moist climates and unsuitable for a cooler ice age that arrived around 75 000 years ago, which may have resulted in their extinction. Evidence also suggests Neanderthal, built more stocky, were better able to retain heat and survive through ice ages. While none of these may have meet during this time in this area of the world, it does suggest their existence overlapped. Source When Neanderthals Replaced Us by Theodora Sutcliffe.
Blombos Cave South Africa is a red ochre factory. Artifacts incude: grindstones, pebbles dipped in ochre used as a stamp, abalone shells used as containers to mix ochre with bone, charcoal, quartz, and other materials to make paint, and these artifact may be the earliest piece of art. Ochre can be used as a cosmetic, sunscreen, mosquito repellent, medicine, antiseptic, and tanning and preserving hides.
Campfires are lit in a South Africa cave. Source Do campfires enable society? As groups can gather around the campfire.
120 000 BP or YA
Homo sapiens are making clothes in a Moroccan cave at the onset of an ice age.
Tools are being crafted to shape and scrape hides hides that can clean leather, and scrape pelts to make furs. Similar tools are still used today to process hides and fur, and have also been found in more recent archaeological sites. Source
An auroch bone fragment is engraved with six lines at a site in Israel. Was it art, communication, or doodling? Source
129,000 - 116,000 BP or YA
Average temperature is two degrees C above preindustrial levels.
Sea levels rise 20-30 feet as a result of global tempertures, causes changes in Earth's orbit and spin, and melts Antarctic ice.
170 000 BP or YA
Pre humans engineer smoke flow
In Lazaret Cave in southeast France Homo heidelbergensis, or pre-Neanderthals, positions their hearths in the center of the cave, which is an ideal spot. The location limits the amount of smoke that filled their cave dwelling. so the amount of smoke inhaled was minimal and maximizes the room for social activities, cooking and making tools. This demonstrates their ingenuity, experience, spatial planning, and planned action.
180 000 BP or YA
Earliest homo sapien outside Africa?
Misliya-1, Homo sapien at Misliya Cave, at Mount Carmel, Israel. An upper jawbone with teeth is found and dated to 180,000 BP or YA . Source
While all of the anatomical details in Misliya-1 are fully consistent with modern humans, some features are also found in Neanderthals and other human groups ... ‚
193 000 BP or YA
Neanderthals occupy Denisovan Cave on and off from 193,000 years ago until 97,000 years ago. Science May 2017
Also found there: Ornaments from bone, teeth, mammoth ivory, and ostrich shell deposits from 43,000 - 49,000 years ago. Science February 2019
200 000 BP or YA
Homo sapiens evolve in Africa about 200,000 BP or YA . Genetic similarities between Eurasians, Oceanians, and Americans indicate all non-African humans descend from a small population that left Africa about 60,000 BP or YA .
Before that Homo Erectus dispersal from Africa ebbs and flows with the ice ages until an extreem ice age about 200 000 BP or YA confined it to the Kalahari Desert where humankind nearly went extinct. After which its dispersal begins again to ebb and flow along with migrations of homo sapiens out of sub-Saharan Africa. Significant dates include: 50,000 – 45,000 BP or YA and 120,000 – 110,000 BP or YA .
Source Science December 8, 2017
Denisovans move into the Denisova Cave, Russia and occupy it off and on from 287,000 to 50,000 BP or YA . Denisovan artifacts, charcoal, DNA and one bone are left. DNA from the bone is found to be a young women whose mother is Neanderthal and father Denisovan. Science February 2019
A lower jaw bone is found on the Tibetan Plateau, dated to 160 000 BP or YA and proteins identify it as Denisovan. Science May 3, 2019. DNA for later populations 100 000, 60 000, & 45 000 is also found. Science October 30, 2020
300 000 BP or YA
Homo sapiens use middle stone age tools (MSA) at Jebel Irhoud, Morocco. Science June 9, 2017
307 000 BP or YA
Pieces of ochre with marks of human alteration and obsidian from about 60 miles away are left at Olorgesailie, Kenya. Indicates humans range further than previously thought and possibly trade with others. Pigment of Our Imagination: The story of human evolution is written in ochre. by Gemma Tarlach Discover April 2018. See also Blombos Cave.
540 000 BP or YA
A Shell with zig-zag etchings is left at a site on the Solo River in Java. It is found by Eugene Dubois along with bones classified as Homo-erectus, Trinil 2 sart. Is the shell art, doodles, or a means for communicating? Jonathon Keats: in Discover July 2015 also Smithsonian article
780 000 BP or YA
Magnetic poles flip orientation. Source The Spinning Magnet by Alanna Mitchell
900 000 BP or YA
Homo erectus makes big Acheulean hand axes, scrapers, and butchers meat at Olorgesailie, Kenya. A prehistoric site where artifacts are found dating from 1.2 million BP or YA - 499,000 BP or YA and a skull cap to about 900,000 BP or YA .
1.6 million BP or YA
Homo ergaster is thought to be the first hominid with long striding legs. Campable of long sustained walking and running.
1.8 million BP or YA (Cenozoic Era, Quaternary Period, Pleistocene Epoch .01-1.8 mya )
1.8 million BP or YA
Homo Erectus is a territorial savannah predator able to use tools, run long distances, and is social. It's dispersal from the savannah ebbs and flows with the ice ages until an ice age about 200 000 years before present confined it to the Kalahari Desert where humankind nearly went extinct.
Homo erectus intentionally forms stone tools into teardrop shapes such as the Acheulean hand axes. Creation of these tools requires sensory motor control, memory, visualizing an object within an object, hence, planning. Source
Hippo bone hand axe (right) is discovered in Ethiopia and dates to 1.4-million BP or YA , which is likely made by Homo erectus. Source
First humans, mammoths, mastodons, saber-toothed cats.
1.9 million BP or YA
Australopithecus (southern ape) sediba lives in South Africa. An adult female and young are in a cavern near Johannesburg. Their specimens are found by a 9 year old in 2008. Australopithecus sediba's hands and feet suggest it has grasping ablities to climb trees and the ability to make tools. The remains suggest a direct link to Homo habilis. Source
2 million BP or YA
Homo erectus uses fire to cook meat. Many years before Homo Sapien appears.
2.6 million BP or YA (Cenozoic Era, Miocene Epoch 24 - 1.8 mya)
It appears humans begin to eat meat and use weapons, around this time period as stone tools are found at Gona, Ethiopia and date to 2.6 million BP or YA .
These tools match tools known as the Oldowan, named after Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania, where Louis Leakey found similar tools in the 1930s. Those tools were so well knapped that they were believed to have evolved from a less technological tool-making culture.
A strong similarity between marks these tools made and the marks on fossil zebra bones, indicate stone tools were used to butcher animals by at least 2.6 million BP or YA . Humans and food source
2.8 million BP or YA
Fossilized jaw found at Ledi-Geraru, Ethiopia dates as 2.8 million years old and classified in the Homo genus.
3.18 million BP or YA
Lucy roams across Ethiopia, Africa
Discovered in 1974 she is classified as Australopithecus afarenis. Upright a terrestrial hunter and gatherer that probable spent some time in trees. It has been speculated that fractures she suffered might have been from falling.
Afarensis is small and completely non-technological. No one has ever argued that they were predatory. They are bipedal, ground-eating apes.
3.3 million BP or YA
Stone tools are at a Lomekwi site near Kenya's Lake Turkana. They are found by Sonia Harmand and her team, and dated as 3.3 million years old . Source
3.3 - 3.5 million BP or YA
Australopithecus deyiremeda is living in the Afar region in Ethiopia. Their hominin jawbones are found, dated, and classified Source & image along with animal bones dated to the same time, 3.4 million BP or YA , suggesting Australopithecus butchered meat. Source
3.6 million BP or YA
First evidence of bipedalism
Footprints are left by three Australopithecus afarensis hominids who walk on volcanic ash at Laetoli near Olduvai. They are preserved and Mary Leakey discovers them in 1978.
3.67 million BP or YA
A hominid skeleton named Little Foot a female Australopithecus afarensis or A. prometheus inhabits the South Africa Sterkfontein Cave. It is discovered in 1997 and exposed over the next twenty years. It becomes the most complete skeleton of its kind found at the time and dates to about 4 million BP or YA .
Australopithecus afarensis is believed to have lived around 2.9 million to 4.1 million BP or YA . Source & images
3.9 million BP or YA
Australopithecus affarensis (Lucy) appears 3.8 million BP or YA .
Australopithecus anamensis appears 4 million BP or YA . Source Stunning skull shakes human family tree. Science August 30, 2019
First sheep, cattle, modern whales, bears, mice, rats, apes, monkeys, dogs, and modern birds appear.
5.3 million BP or YA (Cenozoic Era, Tertiary Period, Pliocene Epoch 1.8-5.3 mya )
23.8 million BP or YA (Cenozoic Era, Tertiary Period, Miocene Epoch 5.3-23.8 mya )
24 million BP or YA - animal agriculture between macrotermitine termites and termitomyces fungi begins
33.7 million BP or YA (Cenozoic Era, Tertiary Period, Oligocene Epoch 23.8-33.7 mya )
54.8 million BP or YA (Cenozoic Era, Tertiary Period, Eocene Epoch 33.7-54.8 mya )
55 million BP or YA Attine ants domesticate fungi and begin animal agriculture
65 million BP or YA (Cenozoic Era, Tertiary Period, Paleocene Epoch 54.8-65 mya )
First deer, cats, pigs, tapirs, and rhinos, elephants, horses, owls, shrews, hedgehogs, and rabbits evolve.
EarthViewer - An interactive application to explore what the Earth looks like at different times. Explore what Earth looks like 250 million BP or YA ? Or 1 billion BP or YA ? Or 4.5 billion BP or YA ?
EarthViewer lets you see continents grow and shift as you scroll through billions of years and explore changes in atmospheric composition, temperature, biodiversity, day length, and solar luminosity over deep time.
Mesozoic era includes three periods
- Cretaceous period - between 65.5 and 145.5 million years BP or YA .
- Jurassic period 144-208 mya, &
- Triassic period 208-245 mya
Paleozoic era about 251 - 540 million BP or YA
- Permian Period 245 - 280 mya
- Carboniferous Period 280 - 360 mya
- Devonian Period 360 - 408 mya
- Silurian Period 408 - 438 mya
- Ordovician Period 438 - 505 mya
- Cambrian Period 500 - 540 mya
Precambrian 540 mya - 4.6 billion BP or YA includes about 90% of the time the Earth has existed.
Summary of change
The Earth itself evolves over a very long time period, compared to human life spans. The millions of years eventually provides conditions and materials for habitats suitable for life to evolve complex organisms: most recently Homo sapien.
- A geological period is a basic unit of geological time in which a single type of rock system is formed.
- A geological era is a time period of two or more periods.
More information on eras, periods, and evolution of life see Earth science Australia
Mesozoic era 65.5 - 250 million BP or YA
First snakes, crocodilians, and many flowering plants (angiosperms).
Mass extinction, known as the K-T extinction (Cretaceous - Tertiary extinction) and K-Pg (Cretaceous - Paleogene extinction) ends the Mesozoic Era Cretaceous Period with these mass extinctions. The dinosaurs, ammonites, mollusks are among the 80% of life on Earth that is unable to survive during this time, known as one of the six mass extinctions. Mammals and birds thrive afterward. See PBS and what killed the dinosaur? & The Last Days of the Dinosaurs: An asteroid, extinction, and the beginning of our world. Riley Black 2022
It can be labeled as a critical boundary at 66 million BP or YA .
The boundary of the Mesozoic era results in mass extinctions believed as a result of an asteroid strike, which can be measured by the strong trace of the element iridium it left in rocks and tektites that have been found at sites around the world, both a result of the impact. One recent and site, Tanis, ND part of the Hell Creek Formation, is one site, with some astonishing artifacts.
The asteroid, about 6 miles (10 km) in diameter, crashes in Chicxulub, Mexico creating a crater about 110 miles (180 km) in diameter and 18 miles (29 km) deep. The explosion releases as much energy as 100 trillion tons of TNT, more than a billion times more energy than the bombs that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
About the same time period Deccan Traps in India erupts releasing significant amounts of volcanic ash over a time scale that extends before and after the Chicxulub impact. These eruptions likely also contributed to the K-T extinction. Source
85 million BP or YA
Australia breaks away from Antarctica
174 million BP or YA
First flowering plants Nanjinganthus dendrostyla (angiosperm)
200 million (Mesozoic Era, Jurassic Period 144-208 mya)
Oceans full of fish, squid, ammonites, the great ichthyosaurs, and long-necked plesiosaurs. Huge plant-eating dinosaurs roam the Earth and eat huge ferns, palm-like cycads, and a type of seed plant, bennettitaleans. Smaller carnivores hunt the herbivores. Vertebrates take to the air, like the pterosaurs and the first birds.
End triassic with volcanic activity in Atlantic Ocean. 80% of species conodont (robbon fish) and reptiles. Ddionosaurs, archosaur, and crocodile relatives thrive.
245 million BP or YA (Mesozoic Era, Triassic Period 208-245 mya )
First mammals, dinosaurs, frogs, turtles, crocodyloformes.
Paleozoic era about 251 - 540 million BP or YA
280 million BP or YA (Paleozoic Era, Permian Period 245-280 mya )
Sail-back reptiles. Amphibians abundant. Synapsids (predicessors of mammals), Podocarps (group of ancient ferns), red pine of New Zealand, Yellowwood of South Africa, corystosperms (seed ferns). Pangaea forms.
Volcanic activity in Siberia creates toxic gases, ash, wildfires, and decreases the ozone layer and the mass extinction of 96 % of all species. Notably, amphibians and synapsids.
Fungus thrives and dinosaurs and mammals evolve.
300 million BP or YA
Both oxygen and ozone levels reach current levels with many different kinds of complex land plants and animals.
360 million BP or YA (Paleozoic Era, Carboniferous Period 280-360 mya)
First reptiles, winged insects, and widespread swamps that will become coal.
- End of Devonian with series of climate changes.
- Possible volcanic activity in Siberia.
- Extinction of armored fish, coral, trilobites.
- Vertebrates under one meter and tetrapods thrive.
408 million BP or YA (Paleozoic Era, Devonian Period 360-408 mya)
First amphibians, sharks, bony fish, ammonoids, and spiders. Many fish.
438 million BP or YA (Paleozoic Era, Silurian Period 408-438 mya )
First insects and vascular plants on land.
443 million BP or YA
End of Ordovician
Climate shifts from cold ice sheets to sudden melting. Sea sponges and brachiopods thrive.
450 million BP or YA
The ozone level is close to its present value as land plants evolve.
Late Ordovician mass extinction of of trilobites, corals, brachiopods. Astronomers believe a Gamma-ray burst (GRB ) happens that creates smog to blanket the entire Earth and start a global ice age.
505 million BP or YA (Paleozoic Era, Ordovician Period 438-505 mya )
First land plants, corals, Nautiloids. Ends in mass extinction.
540 million BP or YA (Paleozoic Era, Cambrian Period 500 to 540 mya )
Evolution of first shellfish, primitive fish, trilobites, corals, mollusks.
Precambrian 540 million BP or YA
The Precambrium (a geologic time) starts with the Earth's formation, 4.6 billion BP or YA and lasts to the beginning of the Paleozoic Era Cambrian Period, 540 mya.
The Precambrian is not considered a geologic eon, era, period, or epoch, it is simply referred to as Precambrian or Precambrian Time. It spans most of the Earth's history (90%).
Oxygen concentration increases to about ten percent of the current level.
Precambrian 900 million - 1 billion BP or YA
A Canadian fungi (Ourasphaira giraldae) evolves. It is .1 millimeters long with branching filaments and bulbous structure with cell walls made of chitin.
Chitin is necesary for insect and crustacean exoskeletons and fish scales.
2.4 billion BP or YA
Bacteria and archaea evolve to use sunlight for energy and produce oxygen as a by product, which is important for the development of life on land, because it protects Earth's surface from too much ultraviolet radiation which is fatal to life.
However, as oxygen levels rise, some bacteria and archaea are burned alive.
3.5 billion BP or YA
The Great Oxidation Event begins when Cyanobacteria, an oxygen-producing organism evolves.
Since there is no protective atmosphere, Cyanobacteria, evolves in the oceans, where they are protected from deadly sun rays.
They use carbon dioxide and water for photosynthesis and release oxygen as a waste product.
Over time, the oxygen they produce accumulates in the atmosphere, where some is converted to ozone, and a protective atmosphere is created. The atmosphere, blocks ultraviolet radiation, which is fatal to life, this enables bacteria and archaea to survive towards the water's surface and on land.
3.9 billion BP or YA
First life on Earth
Microfossils of tiny creatures are locked in different samples of rock in northern Canada. Sample date from 3.8 - 4.3 billion years & 3.95 billion years BP or YA .
Earth cools enough to form liquid water and solid land.
4.6 billion BP or YA
Earth's primitive atmosphere and oceans evolve complex molecules (maybe RNA) that the will evolve into the first living cells.
4.51 billion BP or YA
4.53 billion BP or YA
4.6 billion BP or YA
Birth of our Solar System
13.1 billion BP or YA
First black hole forms
13.8 billion BP or YA plus 3 minutes
The Big Bang creates HeH+ (hydrogen, helium, and traces of deuterium and lithium ions) in three minutes.
13.8 billion BP or YA
Big bang ... Creates the Universe? Logically creation has three options:
- A cataclysmic creation - most likely
- A non creation - meaning the Universe is always in existence
- A Universe that is an illusion - meaning it doesn't exist as a physical entity.
What are the top inventions of all time?
101 Inventions that Changed the World source Vimeo (1:28:17) by Meghan A.T .B. Reese
- wheel and axle
- printing press
- light bulb with carbon filament
- steam engine
- internal combustion engine
- penicillin Fleming
- water wheel
- electric generator
- mould board plow
- mechanical clock
- cotton gin
- birth control
- eye glasses
- electric motor
- Archimedes screw
- flush toilet
- jet engine
- still camera
- differential gear
- nuclear power
- mechanical reaper
- oil lamp
- digital camera
- I beam
- recording tape
- steam turbine
- arc welder
- bridge suspension
- copy machine
- canal lock
- microwave oven
- light house
- pneumatic tire
- solar panel
- barbed wire
- builders level
- elevator break
- credit card
- movie camera
- screw propeller
- lock and key
- Ben Franklin wood stove
- prosthetic limbs
- wooden peg
Where is pottery, television, toothbrush, writing, mathematics, smart phone, ... other?