Suvarna Garge (Editor)

1878 in science

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1878 in science

The year 1878 in science and technology involved many significant events, listed below.



  • English astronomer Richard A. Proctor describes the Zone of Avoidance, the area of the night sky that is obscured by our own galaxy, for the first time.
  • Biology

  • Death of last confirmed Cape Lion.
  • Chemistry

  • The rare earth element holmium is identified in erbium by Marc Delafontaine and Jacques-Louis Soret in Geneva and by Per Teodor Cleve in Sweden.
  • Conservation

  • An Act of Parliament in the United Kingdom places Epping Forest in the care of the City of London Corporation to remain unenclosed.
  • Exploration

  • June 22 – Adolf Erik Nordenskiöld sets out on the year-long first navigation of the Northern Sea Route, the shipping lane from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean along the Siberian coast.
  • Geology

  • Clarence King publishes Systematic Geology.
  • Charles Lapworth publishes his analysis of the change in graptolite fossils through sequences of exposed shales in southern Scotland, establishing the importance of using graptolites to understand stratigraphic sequences.
  • Mathematics

  • Belgian mathematician Victor D'Hondt describes the D'Hondt method of voting.
  • English mathematician Rev. William Allen Whitworth is the first to publish Bertrand's ballot theorem.
  • Medicine

  • Ádám Politzer publishes Lehrbuch der Ohrenheilkunde, a major otology textbook.
  • Dentists Act in the United Kingdom limits the title of "dentist" and "dental surgeon" to qualified and registered practitioners.
  • Meteorology

  • February 11 – The first weekly weather report is published in the United Kingdom.
  • Paleontology

  • 31 Iguanodon skeletons are discovered in a coal mine at Bernissart, Belgium.
  • Technology

  • February 19 – The phonograph is patented by Thomas Edison. The oldest known audio recording is recovered from this device in 2012.
  • March – The 'basic' process, enabling the use of phosphoric iron ore in steelmaking, developed at Blaenavon Ironworks by Percy Gilchrist and Sidney Gilchrist Thomas, is first made public.
  • May 22 – John Philip Holland's experimental powered submarine Holland I is launched in Paterson, New Jersey.
  • June 15 – Eadweard Muybridge produces the sequence of stop-motion still photographs Sallie Gardner at a Gallop in California, a predecessor of silent film (capable of being viewed as an animation on a zoopraxiscope) demonstrating that all four feet of a galloping horse are off the ground at the same time.
  • August – Cleopatra's Needle is raised onto its base in London.
  • October 14 – The world's first recorded floodlit football fixture is played at Bramall Lane in Sheffield.
  • December 18 – Joseph Swan of Newcastle upon Tyne in England announces his invention of an incandescent light bulb.
  • December 31 – Karl Benz produces a two-stroke gas engine.
  • William Crookes invents the Crookes tube which produces cathode rays.
  • Gustav Kessel obtains a patent in Germany for an espresso machine.
  • Czech painter Karel Klíč perfects the photogravure process.
  • Lester Allan Pelton produces the first operational Pelton wheel.
  • Remington, in the United States, introduce their No. 2 typewriter, the first with a shift key enabling production of lower as well as upper case characters.
  • Institutions

  • October 1 – Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University opens as Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College in the United States.
  • Awards

  • Copley Medal: Jean Baptiste Boussingault
  • Wollaston Medal for Geology: Thomas Wright
  • Births

  • January 1 – A. K. Erlang, Danish mathematician (died 1929)
  • January 7 – Samuel James Cameron, Scottish obstetrician (died 1959)
  • January 25 – Ernst Alexanderson, Swedish-born television pioneer (died 1975)
  • February 5 – André Citroën, French automobile manufacturer (died 1935)
  • February 8 – Martin Buber, Austrian philosopher (died 1965)
  • February 28 – Pierre Fatou, French mathematician (died 1929)
  • March 4 – Peter D. Ouspensky, Russian philosopher (died 1947)
  • April 16 – Owen Thomas Jones, Welsh geologist (died 1967)
  • June 3 – Barney Oldfield, American automobile racer and pioneer (died 1946)
  • June 12 – James Oliver Curwood, American novelist and conservationist (died 1927)
  • July 12 – Peeter Põld, Estonian politician and pedagogical scientist (died 1930)
  • August 28 – George Whipple, American winner of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (died 1976)
  • September 5 – Robert von Lieben, Austrian physicist (died 1913)
  • September 13 – Matilde Moisant, American pilot (died 1964)
  • November 8 – Dorothea Bate, Welsh-born paleozoologist (died 1951)
  • November 26 – Marshall "Major" Taylor, American cyclist (died 1932)
  • December 25 – Louis Chevrolet, Swiss-born race driver and automobile builder (died 1941)
  • December 25 – Joseph Schenck, Russian-born film executive (died 1962)
  • Deaths

  • January 18 – William Stokes, Irish physician (born 1804)
  • January 18 – Antoine César Becquerel, French scientist (born 1788)
  • January 19 – Henri Victor Regnault, French physical chemist (born 1810)
  • February 8 – Elias Magnus Fries, Swedish botanist (born 1794)
  • February 10 – Claude Bernard, French physiologist (born 1813)
  • February 26 – Angelo Secchi, Italian astronomer (born 1818)
  • March 16 – William Banting, English undertaker and dietician (b. c.1796)
  • May 13 – Joseph Henry, American physicist (born 1797)
  • June 6 – Robert Stirling, Scottish clergyman and inventor (born 1790)
  • July 23 – Baron Carl von Rokitansky, Bohemian pathologist (born 1804)
  • September 25 – August Heinrich Petermann, German cartographer (born 1822)
  • Friedrich Freese, German botanist (born 1794)
  • References

    1878 in science Wikipedia

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