A timeline from 1860 - 1883 covering some important discoveries,
inventions and constructions which occurred before and after the
building of the Zig Zag Railway. The purpose is to show what was
happening both in Australia and worldwide.
Information mostly from Encyclopedia
Britannica 2000 DVD, Webster's encyclopedia of Australia 1996
and Hutchinson's Multimedia Encyclopedia 2000.
Englishman Isambard Kingdom Brunel
died, builder of the Great Western Railway and the ships Great
Western and Great Eastern.
Englishman Charles Darwin published The Origin of the
Kerosene lamps introduced into Australia by American
Thomas W. Stanford.
Frenchman Louis Pasteur discovered the process of
heating foods to kill microorganisms, called pasteurisation
in his honour. Englishwoman Florence Nightingale established
Nightingale School for Nurses, the first school for nurses,
at St. Thomas' Hospital, London.
Pony Express started in USA, soon render obsolete by
Burke and Wills expedition
to cross Australia south to north.
Brisbane, Queensland and Sydney, New South Wales (NSW) linked by
German born English engineer and inventor William Siemens patented
the open hearth furnace process for steelmaking. First used
Belgian chemist Ernest Solvay patented a method for the
economic production of sodium carbonate (washing soda) from sodium
chloride, ammonia, and carbon dioxide. Used to make paper, glass,
and bleach, and to treat water and refine petroleum, it is a key
development in the Industrial Revolution.
Isabella Beeton wrote her Book of Household Management.
Railway from Melbourne, Victoria to Bendigo,
American inventor Richard J Gatling invented the Gatling
gun, the first practical machine gun.
Belgian inventor Etienne Lenoir constructed the first car
with an internal combustion engine.
English philosopher John Stuart Mill published
Utilitarianism , an influential work on moral
Swedish - born US engineer John Ericsson's ironclad warship
Monitor was launched.
Railway from Sydney, NSW to Penrith, NSW
Electric light publicly demonstrated in Sydney, NSW.
Frenchmen Pierre Michaux and
his son Ernest developed the
velocipede, the first mass produced pedal-powered bicycle.
First underground line, the Metropolitan Railway, opened in
London, using steam locomotives.
British government passed the Revenue Act, which aimed to
encourage the drinking of beer, rather than spirits.
Railway line Bendigo, Victoria to Echuca, Victoria
on the River Murray completed.
American diplomat, scholar and conservationist, George Perkins
Marsh published 'Man & Nature'. This classic of
conservation thinking lamented the damaged perpetrated by human
action in the Mediterranean world and the United States.
French engineers Pierre and Emile Martin, and British
engineer William Siemens, simultaneously developed the open -
hearth process for making steel.
Scottish physician Joseph Lister began developing
techniques for antiseptic surgery, including sterilisation
Austrian biologist Gregor Mendel announced his laws of
heredity based on experiments with plant hybrids.
British Parliament passes the British Locomotives on Highways
Act, or `Red Flag Act´ . It reduced the speed
limit for steam - powered carriages to two miles per hour in cities
and four in the country, and required men on foot carrying red
flags to precede them.
Construction of the Zig Zag
section of the NSW Government
Australia legislated the protection of the Jenolan
English Physician Thomas Clifford Arbutt invents the
short clinical thermometer replacing older models a foot
After several years' effort the first permanent transatlantic
telegraph cable was laid, linking America and Europe.
US scientist Mahlon Loomis transmitted the first
telegraph message over radio waves.
First use of refrigerated freight cars allowed long
distance transport of perishables.
French physician Villemin demonstrated that tuberculosis
was an infectious rather than an hereditary disease.
Alfred Nobel, Swedish chemist and engineer, was awarded a
patent for dynamite. Nobel later endowed the Nobel
J.A.B.Higham patented the first machine for shearing
Railway from Sydney over the Blue Mountains reached Mount
German doctor Karl August Winderlich's Body Temperature and
Disease popularised the practice of using thermometers to
determine patients' body temperature.
American inventor Christopher Latham Sholes, building on
work by earlier engineers, patented the first modern
typewriter, sold in 1873 as the Remington Typewriter.
Zig Zag Railway, New South
Wales, Australia was opened.
First USA Transcontinental Railroad opened, built by
Central Pacific Railroad east from Sacramento, California, and by
Union Pacific Railroad west from Omaha, Nebraska. They met at
Promonotory Summit, Utah, 1,472m (4,905').
Railway from Sydney to Goulbourn opened.
Australia Post introduced postcards.
Tasmania linked to Mainland by telegraphic cable.
Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia, established as Palmerston,
later the name was changed to Darwin.
Clipper Ship, Thermopylae, arrived in Sydney from England
after a voyage of only 64 days. Twenty years earlier the
usual time was 140 days.
Suez Canal completed after 11 years construction under the
leadership of French engineer, Ferdinand de Lesseps. This
dramatically reduced the sailing times between Europe and Asia and
triggered a switch from sail to steam power. The travel time
from England to Australia was reduced to about 30 days.
Russian chemist Dmitry Ivanovich Mendeleyev pronounced
the periodic law of elements, one of the basic laws of
American Inventor George Westinghouse patented the railroad air
brake. He later became the leading advocate of alternating
current for power systems in USA.
French chemist Hippolyte Mège-Mouriés
Perkins Institute in Boston, Massachusetts, produced the
first novel in raised type for blind people.
US scientist John Wesley Hyatt invented (independently of
Alexander Parkes) celluloid - the first artificial
Telegraph link between Britain and
English inventor James Starley made
the first `pennyfarthing´ bicycle.
English scientist William Henry Fox
Talbot reduced photographic exposure time to one - hundredth of
a second, making moving pictures feasible.
Vatican Council issued the
`Declaration of Papal Infallibility ´.
German pioneer archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann began
English writer and mathematician Lewis Carroll (pseudonym
of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson) wrote the children's classic Through
the Looking Glass.
Overland telegraph completed to Darwin, Northern Territory,
James Harrison invented a process for freezing
carcasses for export.
Thomas Mort built freezing works in Sydney and Lithgow,
The Times became the first national newspaper in Britain to
be set using a mechanical type composing machine.
Railway from Melbourne to Wodonga on the River Murray
Thomas Edison patented the quadruplex telegraph,
allowing four messages to be sent over a single telegraph wire.
English inventor H J Lawson developed the `safety
bicycle´ with two equal - sized wheels.
US inventor Joseph Glidden designs a machine for making
British confectionery company Fry's
introduces chocolate Easter eggs.
First canned baked beans are
produced, for fishermen in Portland, Maine
Railway line beyond Zig Zag to Bathurst NSW opened.
German engineer, Nikolaus August Otto invented the
four-stroke internal combustion engine. Its development
marked the beginning of the end of the age of steam.
Alexander Graham Bell patented the telephone.
German engineer Karl von Linde developed the first
efficient refrigerator, replacing the potentially explosive
methyl ether with ammonia.
Scottish physicist William Thomson (Lord Kelvin), developed
the first analogue computer. Called the `Harmonic
South Australian farmer Robert Bowyer Smith invented the
Louis Brennan of Melbourne invented the self propelling
torpedo , later taken up by the British government.
American inventor Thomas Edison patented the
English surgeon Joseph Lister performed the first operation
to repair a fractured kneecap. Conducted under antiseptic
conditions, its success convinced other surgeons of the value of
First Telephone line in Australia opened in Melbourne.
Railway line from Sydney to Wagga Wagga opened.
German - born British inventor Charles William Siemens
invents the electric arc furnace, the first to use
electricity to make steel
First The first commercial telephone exchange opened in New Haven,
Thomas Edison demonstrated his electric light bulb -
a carbon filament lamp.
First successful cargo of frozen meat left Sydney for
German electrical engineer Werner von Siemens demonstrated
an electric tram at the Berlin Exhibition in Germany. The first
electrically powered locomotive, it ran on a track 500 m / 1,640
Bell Telephone Company and the Edison Telephone Company
Ltd opened the first telephone exchanges in London,
Cities in North and South America and Europe began to build
electric railways and subways.
Thomas Edison and Joseph Swan displayed practical
incandescent light bulbs.
Greenwich Mean Time is established as the legal time in
the British Isles.
Railway mileage in operation stands at 140,481 km / 87,801
mi in the USA, 28,696 km / 17,935 mi in Britain, 26,288 km / 16,430
mi in France, and 19,520 km / 12,200 mi in Russia.
First telephone directory in Britain published by the London
Telephone Company in England, containing 255 listings.
Lithgow Zig Zag Reserve gazetted by New South Wales
Railway from Sydney to Albury opened.
Sydney's first telephone line opened, from Royal Exchange to
French microbiologist Louis Pasteur vaccinated sheep
against anthrax. It was the first infectious disease to be treated
effectively with an antibacterial vaccine, laying the foundations
US inventor David Henderson Houston patented a camera that
takes roll film.
First major use of refrigerated ships encourages ranching
in regions remote from big markets.
US inventor Thomas Alva Edison opened the Pearl Street
electric generating station in New York.
Railway between Sydney NSW and Melbourne, Victoria
Luxury train the Orient Express left on its first trip. Europe's
first transcontinental express train, it ran 2,740 km / 1,700 mi
from Paris, France, to Varna, Bulgaria, where passengers
disembarked to be ferried to Constantinople (Istanbul), Turkey.
Parsons steam turbine invented by Charles Parsons.