The Aneurin Great War Project: Timeline

Part 8 - The War Machines, 1870-1894

 

 

Copyright Notice: This material was written and published in Wales by Derek J. Smith (Chartered Engineer). It forms part of a multifile e-learning resource, and subject only to acknowledging Derek J. Smith's rights under international copyright law to be identified as author may be freely downloaded and printed off in single complete copies solely for the purposes of private study and/or review. Commercial exploitation rights are reserved. The remote hyperlinks have been selected for the academic appropriacy of their contents; they were free of offensive and litigious content when selected, and will be periodically checked to have remained so. Copyright © 2014-2016, High Tower Consultants Limited.

 

 

 

 

First published 10:00 BST 5th July 2014. This version 16.1 [routine correction and upgrade] 12:00 GMT 21st January 2016  [BUT UNDER CONSTANT EXTENSION AND CORRECTION, SO CHECK AGAIN SOON]

 

 

 

This timeline supports the Aneurin series of interdisciplinary scientific reflections on why the Great War failed so singularly in its bid to be The War to End all Wars. It presents actual or best-guess historical event and introduces theoretical issues of cognitive science as they become relevant.

 

UPWARD

Author's Home Page

Project Aneurin, Scope and Aims

Master References List

 

BACKWARD IN TIME

Part 1 - (Ape)men at War, Prehistory to 730

Part 2 - Royal Wars (Without Gunpowder), 731 to 1272

Part 3 - Royal Wars (With Gunpowder), 1273-1602

Part 4 - The Religious Civil Wars, 1603-1661

Part 5 - Imperial Wars, 1662-1763

Part 6 - The Georgian Wars, 1764-1815

Part 7 - Economic Wars, 1816-1869

 

FORWARD IN TIME [UNDER CONSTRUCTION]

Part 9 - Insults at the Weigh-In, 1895-1914

Part 10 - The War Itself, 1914

Part 10 - The War Itself, 1915

Part 10 - The War Itself, 1916

Part 10 - The War Itself, 1917

Part 10 - The War Itself, 1918

Part 11 - The Poetry and the Science, 1919 to date

 

 

The Timeline Items

 

1870  Automation, Control, and Artificial Intelligence [XL - The Manufacturers (Elliott Brothers)]: [Continued from 1857 (January)] Charles A. Elliott [1850<=>d. 1877 (9th October)] retires from Elliott Brothers [1850<=>1876] [sub-thread continues at 25th May ...]. [THREAD = WW1 CYBERNETICS, COMPUTATIONAL SCIENCE, AND FIRE CONTROL] [THREAD = THE WW1 FINANCIAL AND ARMAMENTS INDUSTRIES]

 

1870  The Scottish-born Canadian John L. Johnston [Wikipedia biography=>1888] wins a contract from the French War Department to supply it with "fluid beef", a nutritious and hermetically sealed beef extract. [THREAD = WW1 LOGISTICS]

 

1870  The Smith and Wesson Company [<=1861] puts its six-shot .44" calibre Model 3 Revolver [image] on the market. Its 1875 "Schofield" variant is popular in both 5" and 7" barrel versions in the American West. [THREAD = WW1 SMALL ARMS]

 

1870  The University of Zurich sets up its own psychiatric clinic at the Burghölzli [modern homepage=>1898] with Bernard von Gudden [Wikipedia biography] as its first medical director. Around the same time the British neurologist Henry Maudsley [Wikipedia biography=>1907] presents a paper entitled "Body and Mind" [full text online] in which he reflects, amongst other things, on the origins of "certain forms of degeneracy of mind". His views still make interesting reading (and the issues he raises are still far from resolved) ...

 

"But it is only in a small proportion of cases of insanity that we can discover such a direct physical occasion of disease. In a great many cases - in more than half, certainly, and perhaps in five out of six - there is something in the nervous organization of the person, some native peculiarity, which, however we name it, predisposes him to an outbreak of insanity. When two persons undergo a similar moral shock, or a similar prolonged anxiety, and one of them goes mad in consequence, while the other goes to sleep and goes to work and recovers his equanimity, it is plain that all the co-operating conditions have not been the same, that the entire cause has been different. What, then, has been the difference ? In the former case there has been present a most important element, which was happily wanting in the latter — there has been a certain hereditary neurosis, an unknown and variable quantity in the equation. Perhaps of all the erroneous notions concerning mind which metaphysics has engendered or abetted, there is none more false than that which tacitly assumes or explicitly declares that men are born with equal original mental capacity, opportunities and education determining the differences of subsequent development" (pp42-43; emphasis added).

 

Maudsley's work is noteworthy in the present context because it will represent one of the main schools of thought in the shellshock debate when it comes. [THREAD = WW1 MILITARY MEDICINE AND COGNITIVE SCIENCE]

 

1870  The London-born chemistry student Sidney G. Thomas [Wikipedia biography=>1875] attends lectures on iron-making at Birkbeck College, London, and studies how phosphorus impurities might be removed during the smelting process. [THREAD = THE INDUSTRIAL  AND SCIENTIFIC REVOLUTION]

 

**********  CLASSIC PAPER IN COGNITIVE SCIENCE  **********

1870  The German research physiologists Eduard Hitzig [Wikipedia biography] and Gustav Fritsch [Wikipedia biography] publish a paper entitled "Über die elektrische Erregbarkeit des Grosshirns" [in English as "On the Electrical Excitability of the Cerebrum"] in which they (a) review earlier studies of electrical stimulation of the surgically exposed cerebral cortex in animals, and then (b) describe investigations of their own using two dogs as subjects. They observe that excitation of the posterior aspects of the frontal lobe can initiate visible limb/postural movement, and they suggest this is a "Centrum die willkürliche Bewegung" [= "centre of/for voluntary movement"]. [THREAD = WW1 MILITARY MEDICINE AND COGNITIVE SCIENCE]

 

1870  [Continued from 1863 (11th March)] The Royal Victoria Hospital, Netley, equips its "D Block" [given that he ran the place for several years, the best factsheet is C. Stanford Read's (1920) "Military Psychiatry in Peace and War" [full text online]] to handle psychiatric patients. [THREAD = WW1 MILITARY MEDICINE AND COGNITIVE SCIENCE]

 

ASIDE - "D BLOCK" IN WW1: During WW1 the Royal Victoria Hospital's D Block will treat some 15,000 psychiatric casualties, discharging those it can but sending on those requiring longer treatment. Its patients included Wilfred Owen [=>1915 (21st October)] prior to his transfer to Craiglockhart.

 

1870  The British neurologist Henry Maudsley [Wikipedia biography=>1907] presents a paper entitled "Body and Mind" [full text online]. [THREAD = WW1 MILITARY MEDICINE AND COGNITIVE SCIENCE]

 

1870  Jean de Reffye [<=1863] completes his latest project, the "Reffye 85", an 85mm rifled breech-loading cannon [Wikipedia factsheet=>1873]. The weapon is noteworthy in the present context for introducing easy-to-load brass cartridge ammunition. [THREAD = WW1 ARTILLERY]

 

1870  Alfred Nobel [1867<=>1871] collaborates with Paul Barbe [Wikipedia biography] and a consortium of French investors to establish Dynamit Nobel and set up a dynamite manufacturing plant at Liverdun in north-eastern France. [THREAD = THE WW1 FINANCIAL AND ARMAMENTS INDUSTRIES]

 

1870  August Schluga von Rastenfeld [<=1866] continues to feed his Prussian spymasters valuable intelligence reports on the situation in Paris. [THREAD = WW1 ESPIONAGE AND INTELLIGENCE]

 

**********  OIL BECOMES BIG BUSINESS  **********

1870 [10th January] The U.S. businessman John D. Rockefeller [Wikipedia biography] and others found the Standard Oil Company [Wikipedia factsheet=>1911 (15th May)]. [THREAD = THE WW1 FINANCIAL AND ARMAMENTS INDUSTRIES]

 

1870 [3rd March] The Cardwell Reforms: The British Secretary of State for War Edward Cardwell [1st Viscount Cardwell]1874 [<=1868 (3rd December)] initiates an extended parliamentary debate on plans to modernise the British Army (Hansard). One of the first iniquities to go will be the system whereby commissions can be purchased by those who can afford to do so, regardless of their ability as strategists, tacticians, or leaders of men. Other improvements will include the abolishing of flogging as a punishment and the withdrawal of 26,000 troops from overseas. [THREAD = WW1 ARMIES, TRADITIONS, AND TACTICS]

 

ASIDE: Do not confuse the "Cardwell Reforms" with either the "Childers Reforms" [=>1880 (28th April)] or the "Haldane Reforms" [=>1905 (10th December)].

 

1870 [12th March] The Bulgarian Exarchate: The Ottoman emperor, Abdülaziz [<=1861 (25th June)] grants special religious dispensations to the Bulgarian Orthodox Church in its ongoing confrontation with the Greek Orthodox Church in Constantinople [continues at 1876 (20th April) ...]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1870 [30th April] Designed by Cowper Coles [<=1862 (29th April)], HMS Captain [1867 (30th January)<=>6th September] enters service. As finally fitted out she has two twin turrets, rather than one as originally specified. Ominously the weight of this additional turret causes her to ride lower in the water than her designed (and already minimal) eight foot freeboard can cope with, and shifts her centre of gravity 10" [= 254mm] higher than it would otherwise have been, thereby rendering her dangerously top-heavy. [THREAD = THE WW1 SURFACE NAVIES]

 

1870 [19th May] Irish Home Rule [I - The Home Government Association]: The Irish lawyer-politician Isaac Butt [Wikipedia biography=>1873 (18th November)] forms the "Home Rule Association" [Wikipedia factsheet=>1873 (18th November)], a political discussion group in favour of Irish independence [continues at 1873 (18th November) ...]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1870 [25th May] Automation, Control, and Artificial Intelligence [XLI - Exploring the Possibilities (Olimpia Again): [Continued from 1870] The French composer Léo  Delibes [Wikipedia biography] and the librettist Charles Nuitter [Wikipedia biography] premier a new ballet entitled "Coppélia" [Wikipedia factsheet], loosely based on Der Sandmann story of Hoffmann [1817<=>1881 (10th February)]. The central characters include a Dr. Coppelius and (his creation) the life-sized dancing automaton Coppélia [see her pushing her clockwork to the limits] [sub-thread continues at 1870 (1st September) ...]. [THREAD = WW1 CYBERNETICS, COMPUTATIONAL SCIENCE, AND FIRE CONTROL]

 

1870 [14th June] Britain's Queen Victoria [1856 (19th May)<=>1876 (1st January)] is blessed with a third grand-daughter from the strategically important royal marriage of their daughter, Victoria, Princess Royal [<=1859 (27th January)], to Crown Prince Friedrich of Prussia [<=1859 (27th January)]. The infant is named Sophia [Wikipedia biography=>1889 (27th October)], and the fact that this younger sister to the future Kaiser Wilhelm II [1859 (27th January)<=>1888 (15th June)] eventually marries into the Greek royal family [=>1889 (27th October)] means that we shall be hearing more of her once Greece has to decide which side to support in WW1 [=>1915 (5th August)]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF THE MODERN WORLD]

 

1870 [5th July] Helmuth von Moltke [the Elder] [1866 (3rd July)<=>18th August] signs the Prussian Army's mobilisation orders. There will be three regional concentrations, namely (1) the 50,000-man First Army centred on Trèves/Trier and commanded by Karl Friedrich von Steinmetz [Wikipedia biography], (2) the 134,000-man Second Army, centred on Homburg [map, etc.] and commanded by Prince Friedrich Karl [Wikipedia biography=>19th August], and (3) the 125,000-man Third Army, centred on Landau [map, etc.] and commanded by Crown Prince Friedrich [III of Germany]1888 [Wikipedia biography=>4th August]. The French Minister of War, Edmond Leboeuf [Wikipedia biography=>20th July], having recently upgraded his own systems, goes on record as believing that the French Army is admirably ready for war should it come. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1870 [13th-18th July] The Ems Incident: Acting on instructions from Paris, the French ambassador to Berlin Vincent Benedetti [Wikipedia biography] holds private discussions with Wilhelm I of Prussia [1867 (12th February)<=>3rd September] concerning a potential House of Hohenzollern claim to the throne of Spain.  Paris would like the king to block this claim now and for ever more, but it is actually not within his powers to comment and so matters are left at that. However subsequent reporting of the incident is deliberately biased by Otto von Bismarck [1867 (12th February)<=>1873 (23rd October)] to emphasise French warmongering and the necessarily "somewhat stern" tone of Prussia's response [see precise wording]. When this version of events, itself hastily translated into French, appears in the French newspapers on 14th July it brings Parisians out onto the streets demanding war [continues at 19th July ...]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

**********  FRANCE TAUGHT A SEVERE LESSON  **********

**********  FRANCE TAUGHT A SEVERE LESSON  **********

**********  FRANCE TAUGHT A SEVERE LESSON  **********

1870 [19th July-10th May 1871] The Franco-Prussian War, 1870-1871: [Continued from 13th July] Duly inflamed, France declares war on Prussia. Unfortunately by so doing they are playing straight into the enemy's hand because it helps bring the separate German states together [=>1871 (18th January)]. The French have three armies strung out across north-eastern France, protecting the "Alsace-Lorraine doorway" between Luxembourg and Strasbourg, namely (west to east) (a) a left wing army centred on Metz and commanded by François Bazaine [Wikipedia biography=>17th August], (b) a centre army centred on Nancy and commanded by François Canrobert [<=1859 (24th June)], and (c) a right wing army centred on Saverne and commanded by Patrice de MacMahon [1859 (29th April)<=>4th August]. Other armies are supporting the left flank in the Champagne region and the right flank south of Strasbourg, and there is also a 200,000-man reserve army under Napoléon III of France [1861 (8th December)<=>6th August] coming up from Paris. Here are the main events ...

 

The Battle of Wissembourg, 1870; The Battle of Wörth, 1870; The Battle of Mars-la-Tour, 1870; The Battle of Gravelotte, 1870; The Siege of Metz, 1870; The Battle of Sedan, 1870; The Siege of Paris, 1870-1871

 

A detailed account of the campaign can be found online - highly recommended. The war will be brought to a formal end by the Treaty of Frankfurt [=>1871 (10th May)]. As a war of manoeuvre, the war will last a mere six weeks, for the French Army will be comprehensively broken at the Battle of Sedan [=>1st September]; however it will then drag on for a further five months at the Siege of Paris [=>19th September]. The final outcome is the collapse of the French Second Empire and the exile of Napoléon III. The war is noteworthy in the present context (a) for clearly demonstrating the superiority of breech-loading field artillery, (b) for demonstrating that machine guns do not, of themselves, win battles, (c) for demonstrating that it is sometimes worth deliberately taking casualties in order to maintain the momentum of an advance, (d) for demonstrating the superiority of the Prussian General Staff1, (e) for the Prussian capture of Alsace-Lorraine from France, and above all (f) as a national insult for France, who will spend the next 44 years aching for revenge. [THREAD = THE MAKING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

WAR ART: See the excellent collection at the armchairgeneral website.

 

1870 [20th July] Now needed at the front Edmond Leboeuf [5th July<=>19th August] is replaced as the French Minister of War by Pierre Dejean [Wikipedia biography]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1870 [4th August] The Battle of Wissembourg: This battle is fought as part of the Franco-Prussian War [<=19th July] between the Prussian Third Army under Crown Prince Friedrich [III of Germany]1888 [5th July<=>6th August] and forward elements of Patrice de MacMahon's [19th July<=>6th August] right wing army under Charles Abel Douay [Wikipedia biography=>dies this day]. The outcome is a Prussian victory. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1870 [6th August] The Battle of Wörth: This battle is fought as part of the Franco-Prussian War [<=19th July] between the advancing Prussian Third Army under Crown Prince Friedrich [III of Germany]1888 [4th August<=>1888 (15th June)] and the French right wing army under Patrice de MacMahon [4th August<=>1st September]. The outcome is a Prussian victory with disproportionately high French casualties, followed by a desperate French retreat westward toward Nancy, and then northward towards Châlons-en-Champagne [previously Châlons-sur-Marne] to join forces with Napoléon III of France's [19th July<=>1st September] newly arriving reserves. Hinged on the fixed fortifications at Metz, the Alsace-Lorraine doorway has been well and truly kicked in. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1870 [17th August] The Battle of Mars-la-Tour: This battle is fought as part of the Franco-Prussian War [<=19th July] between advanced elements of the Prussian Second Army under Constantin von Alvensleben [Wikipedia biography] and the French left wing army under François Bazaine [Wikipedia biography=>18th August]. The outcome is an against-the-odds Prussian victory. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1870 [18th August] The Battle of Gravelotte: This battle is fought as part of the Franco-Prussian War [<=19th July] between the combined Prussian First and Second Armies under Helmuth von Moltke [the Elder] [5th July<=>1st September] and the French left wing under François Bazaine [17th August<=>19th August], that is to say, some 188,000 Prussians against some 113,000 French. The outcome is a Prussian victory, followed by a French withdrawal into the fortress city of Metz. Then, with the French in disarray von Moltke directs his Second Army toward Metz and his First Army to support the Third Army's push westward toward Nancy. Further south the Bavarians under Friedrich Franz II of Mecklenburg-Schwerin [Wikipedia biography=>2nd December] advance to stabilise their left flank. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1870 [19th August-27th October] The Siege of Metz: This 10-week siege is fought out as part of the Franco-Prussian War [<=19th July] between the Prussian Second Army under Prince Friedrich Karl [5th July<=>27th October] and the already mauled French left wing army under François Bazaine [17th August<=>27th October] and Edmond Leboeuf [<=20th July]. The eventual outcome is a French surrender, with 142,000 men taken as prisoners-of-war. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

WAR MUSIC - THE SIEGESMARSCH VON METZ: A march to celebrate this victory was composed immediately after the event [YouTube it now]. [THREAD = WW1 ARMIES, TRADITIONS, AND TACTICS]

 

1870 [27th August] RMS Oceanic [1868 (18th January)<=>1871 (16th March)] is launched at Harland and Wolff [1868 (18th January)<=>1st December], Belfast, for service with the White Star Line [1868 (18th January)<=>1st December]. At the same time Harland and Wolff take on Walter H. Wilson [Grace's Guide biography] and William J. Pirrie [1st Viscount Pirrie]1921 [Wikipedia biography=>1895 (24th December)] as directors. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1870 [1st September] Automation, Control, and Artificial Intelligence [XLII - Control Technology (Engine-Room Telegraph)]: [Continued from 1870 (25th May)] The Liverpool (father and son) engineers Charles H. Chadburn and William Chadburn [no convenient biography] are awarded a patent on an "engine-room telegraph system" [Wikipedia factsheet=>1874], that is to say, a two-way electro-mechanical communication system between a ship's bridge and its engine-room [YouTube demonstration]1 [sub-thread continues at 1872 (Kelvin) ...]. [THREAD = WW1 CYBERNETICS, COMPUTATIONAL SCIENCE, AND FIRE CONTROL] [THREAD = WW1 SURFACE NAVIES]

 

1ASIDE: Note carefully how the engineer confirms receipt of the instructions from above.

 

****  "AND WE'RE CURSING HIS STAFF FOR INCOMPETENT SWINE"1  ****

1870 [1st-2nd September] The Battle of Sedan: This battle is fought between the French under Napoléon III of France [6th August<=>4th September)] and Patrice de MacMahon [6th August<=>1871 (28th January)] and the Prussian First and Third Armies under Helmuth von Moltke [the Elder] [18th August<=>3rd September]. The First Army, fresh from the Battle of Gravelotte [<=18th August], has approached from the east. The Third Army, having advanced along a more southerly line via Nancy, has approached from the south. Further careful manoeuvring soon has the French encircled and by the end of the day they have no choice but to surrender. The outcome is a crushing defeat for the French, with Napoléon himself, MacMahon, and 103,000 of their troops taken as prisoners-of-war. The battle is noteworthy in the present context for the effectiveness of the Prussian Army's staff work2. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1,2KEY MILITARY TROPE - "STAFF OFFICERS": The headline quotation is from "The General" (Sassoon, 1918), perhaps the most economical of all the WW1 war poems [full text at http://www.bartleby.com/136/12.html]. Staff officers are primarily administrators and organisers in uniform, not per se leaders of men. They have the same ranks as field commanders, but may be distinguished by this or that minor difference in uniform [see below] and their job is to get the fighting units to where they are needed on time, in the right order of arrival, and with all the necessary food, ammunition, tents, messengers, medical support and field chaplaincy, telecommunications, etc. And when staff-work goes wrong it erodes the combat effectiveness of the front-line troops. For example, at Sedan poor French staff work was (reportedly) responsible for the absence of some 100,000 men for want of trains to being them to the front! It also seems that nobody knew how to work the French Army's new wonder-weapon ...

 

ASIDE: ... The Reffye Mitrailleuse [<=1863] seems to have been a victim of its own secrecy. Although around 200 guns existed, they began the war hidden away in the forts around Paris, and none of the crews earmarked to work them had yet been trained on them. The weapons were therefore seriously mis-deployed at Sedan in that they engaged at 2000 metres range in order to protect their crews from Prussian rifle fire. As a result they were too far away to observe (and thus correct) their fall of shot. The literature records - caustically - that the Reffye's greatest success was in executing captured Frenchmen during the Paris Commune the following year [=>1871 (18th March)]. Nevertheless, the French will not adopt a replacement machine gun until 1897, at which point they go for the latest Hotchkiss.

 

ASIDE - STAFF OFFICERS IN WW1: Staff officers in the British Army typically wore red collar tabs and a red cap band [as in this rather disrespectful YouTube clip]. They have traditionally had rather a bad press (not helped by Sassoon's "incompetent swine" headline) but for the latest academic assessment of their performance see Frank Davies (2014) "Bloody Red Tabs".

 

1870 [3rd September or hereabouts] The Army of the Meuse: Having secured a great victory at the Battle of Sedan [<=1st September] Helmuth von Moltke [the Elder] [1st September<=>19th September] now reorganises his First and Second Armies into the Army of the Meuse in readiness for a renewed advance on Paris. The new army commander will be the king himself, Wilhelm I of Prussia [13th July<=>19th September]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

**********  FRANCE A REPUBLIC AGAIN  **********

1870 [4th September] The French Third Republic [I - The Government of National Defence]: With Napoléon III of France [1st September<=>d. in exile 1873 (8th January)] presently kicking his heels under Prussian guard, and the remnants of his armies falling back for a final stand in and around Paris, the French government takes emergency powers to declare the Second French Empire [<=1852 (2nd December)] at an end. In its place they proclaim a Government of National Defence headed by Louis Jules Trochu [Wikipedia biography=>1871 (25th January)] as president, Jules Favre [Wikipedia biography=>1871 (28th September)] as vice-president, and (based in Tours after 7th October)1 Léon Gambetta [Wikipedia biography] as Minister of War. They immediately renew their declaration of war, fortify Paris as best they can, and bring together units from across southern and western France to assemble a new army, the (brave but fighting well above their weight) "Army of the Loire", to the south of Paris. This administration will endure until the collapse of Paris itself [continues at 1871 (28th January) ...]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1ASIDE: Gambetta used one of the new hot-air balloons to fly out over the heads of the besieging Prussian troops.

 

1870 [5th-28th September] The Lyon Unrest: Urged on by the anarchist Mikhail Bakunin [1869 (6th September)<=>1872 (2nd September)] disillusioned workers stage a month of protests and riots in Lyon, Central France. However with so many potential supporters presently tied up in the war with Prussia  the unrest eventually subsides. This episode is noteworthy in the present context for Bakunin's running commentary on the events in "Letters to a Frenchman" [full text online]. This work's most quoted point will become the one about the "most irresistible" form of propaganda being action itself, an approach which will shortly become famous as the "propaganda of the deed" rationale for terrorist bombings and assassinations. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

ASIDE - PROPAGANDA OF THE DEED IN WW1: Lest it be overlooked, the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria [Wikipedia biography=>1889 (30th January [ASIDE])] is just such a deed.

 

1870 [6th September] HMS Captain's instability at sea [<=1870 (30th April)] proves fatal when she capsizes in rough weather, drowning her designer and all but 18 of her 500 crew. [THREAD = THE WW1 SURFACE NAVIES]

 

1870 [10th September] SS Parthia [Wikipedia shipography] is launched at William Denny and Company [Wikipedia factsheet=>1882], Dumbarton, for service with the Cunard Line [1867 (20th March)<=>1871 (16th March)]. She will make her maiden voyage from Liverpool to New York City on 17th December. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

**********  PARIS BESIEGED  **********

1870 [19th September-28th January 1871] The Siege of Paris, 1870-1871: This four-month siege is fought out as part of the Franco-Prussian War [<=19th July] between the Prussian Army of the Meuse and Third Army under Wilhelm I of Prussia [3rd September<=>30th November] and Helmuth von Moltke [the Elder] [1st September<=>1888 (10th August)] and the French garrisons in and around Paris under Louis Jules Trochu [4th September<=>1871 (25th January)] and Joseph Vinoy [Wikipedia biography]. The Prussians have available some 240,000 elated but weary regulars, and against them the French have raised some 400,000 reserves and National Guard militia, defending their capital and highly motivated. Elsewhere the Army of the North is holding the Prussian right wing around Amiens, the Army of the Loire is trying to break through to Paris from the south but is itself under attack around Orléans, and the Italian freedom fighter Giuseppe Garibaldi [<=1867 (3rd November)] - hitherto no great friend of France - is organising a diversionary guerrilla campaign in the Vosges Mountains to pin down some of the Bavarian reserves. The eventual outcome is the fall of Paris and the simultaneous creation of the German Empire. The siege is noteworthy in the present context (a) for raising a need for time-fused ordnance for use against air balloons, and (b) for the development of micro-photographical techniques for miniaturising documents onto film so that the available carrier pigeon service can be used more effectively2. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE] [THREAD = WW1 SIGNALLING AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS] [THREAD = WW1 ESPIONAGE AND INTELLIGENCE]

 

1ASIDE: Built in 1841 and conveniently close to the Puteaux armaments works, the fort détaché at Mont Valèrian [museum website] performed military wonders holding the western defences of Paris together. Elsewhere the Périphérique forts [<=1840] hold the line.

 

2ASIDE: For a detailed account of carrier pigeon communication between Paris and the outside world see Lawrence (2010 [online at http://www.microscopy-uk.org.uk/ mag/indexmag.html?http://www.microscopy-uk.org.uk/mag/artoct10/al-pigeonpost.html]).

 

**********  ITALY FINALLY UNIFIED  **********

1870 [20th September] The Capture of Rome: Taking advantage of French reverses in the Franco-Prussian War [<=19th July], an Italian army under Victor Emmanuel II of Italy [<=1866 (20th June)] and Raffaele Cadorna [Wikipedia biography] moves against the French-backed Papal States garrison at Rome. The outcome is a barely contested Italian victory, thus adding the final province - Lazio - to a unified Italy. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

 

 

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FOR REASONS WHICH WILL SHORTLY BECOME APPARENT

READERS ARE ADVISED AT THIS JUNCTURE TO PRE-READ

THE STORY OF JOAN OF ARC'S PART IN THE DEFENCE

OF ORLÉANS DURING THE HUNDRED YEARS WAR [<=1429].

 

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**********  BEFORE PROCEEDING  **********

 

 

**********  GOD IS ASKED TO SAVE FRANCE AGAIN  **********

1870 [9th October] The main Bavarian Army has now pushed the French Army of the Loire back to the gates of Orléans. Paris is under Prussian siege 80 miles to the north, and Tours, the provisional seat of government, is 60 miles behind the lines to the southwest. The Army of the Loire is large, but woefully inexperienced, poorly equipped, and poorly supplied. It is particularly short of experienced junior officers. To help raise morale the Archbishop of Tours, Joseph-Hippolyte Guibert, O.M.I.1 [Wikipedia biography], reminds everyone that God, at least, is with them. In fact they are twice blessed, for it was at Orléans that Joan of Arc once won a great religious victory against the English [<=1429 (18th June)], and it was at Tours that the relics of Saint Martin of Tours [<=371] - long-time protector of the Franks - have only recently [<=1860 (14th December)] come to light. The Army of the Loire even have their own holy banner2 [see it now], one side of which has been embroidered with a Sacred Heart icon by the nuns of Paray-le-Monial, Burgundy, and the other side of which has been further embroidered with the text "Coeur de Jesus Sauvez la France" [= "Sacred Heart, save France"] by the nuns at Tours. This they presently have under guard in the tomb of Saint Martin at Tours and this they will shortly be taking onto the battlefield itself [=>2nd December]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1ASIDE: O.M.I. = Missionary Oblate of Mary Immaculate [Wikipedia factsheet], a Catholic order for priests with "an ardent desire for their own perfection".

 

2ASIDE: This is understanding of the exceptionally confused Internet resources on the subject. The University of Washington academic Raymond Jonas [university homepage] covers these events in detail in "France and the Cult of the Sacred Heart" (Jonas 2000).

 

1870 [10th October] The Battle of Artenay: This battle is fought at Artenay, 15 miles north of Orléans, as part of the Loire Campaign of the Franco-Prussian War [<=19th July] between the I Bavarian Corps under Ludwig von der Tann [Wikipedia biography=>11th October] and the XV Corps of the French Army of the Loire under Joseph de la Motte [no convenient biography=>11th October]. The outcome is a Bavarian victory with over 800 French taken as prisoners-of-war. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1870 [11th-12th October] The First [1870] Battle of Orléans: This battle is fought as part of the Loire Campaign of the Franco-Prussian War [<=19th July] between the I Bavarian Corps under Ludwig von der Tann [10th October<=>9th November] and elements of the XV Corps of the French Army of the Loire under Joseph de la Motte [<=10th October]. The outcome is a Prussian victory, followed by the French evacuation of the city to a line through Patay and Coulmiers 10 miles to the west. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1870 [27th October] François Bazaine [19th August<=>3rd December] accepts surrender terms at Metz, to become effective at 10.00am on 29th October. Over the ensuing weeks this will allow large numbers of Prussian troops to be transferred to the Paris and Loire Campaigns. These reinforcements are organised as a new First Army for service north of Paris under Edwin von Manteuffel [Wikipedia biography] and a new Second Army for service on the Loire under Prince Friedrich Karl [19th August<=>3rd December]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1870 [9th November] The Battle of Coulmiers: This battle is fought ten miles west of Orléans as part of the Loire Campaign of the Franco-Prussian War [<=19th July] between the 70,000-man French Army of the Loire under Louis d'Aurelle de Paladines [Wikipedia biography=>3rd December] and the much smaller I Bavarian Corps under Ludwig von der Tann [<=11th October]. The outcome is a with-the-odds morale-boosting French victory, complete with the re-occupation of Orléans. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

**********  SAINT MARTIN IS SUMMONED  **********

1870 [11th November] Martinmas, 1870: Given the French religious right's involvement in military decision making at this point in time the present author guesses that there will have been some heavy duty praying at the tomb of Saint Martin of Tours on this particular Saint Martin's Day [1860 (14th December [ASIDE])<=>1886]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1870 [12th November or hereabouts] Under the aegis of the International Committee for Relief to the Wounded [1864 (22nd August)<=>1876 (6th February)] a contingent of British nurses arrives at Orléans. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

ASIDE: This story is told in detail by two of the nurses involved, Emma Pearson and Louisa MacLaughlin, in an 1871 memoir entitled "Our Adventures during the War of 1870" [full text online].

 

1870 [17th November] The cartridge manufacturing line at George Kynoch and Company [Grace's Guide factsheet=>1874], Birmingham, suffers its fourth explosion in two years, killing eight workers and injuring 20. [THREAD = THE WW1 FINANCIAL AND ARMAMENTS INDUSTRIES]

 

1870 [28th November] The Battle of Beaune-la-Rolande: This battle is fought as part of the Loire Campaign of the Franco-Prussian War [<=19th July] between the French Army of the Loire under Joseph Crouzat [no convenient biography], presently moving north to try and break the Prussian lines around Paris, and a considerably smaller Prussian army under Konstantin von Voigts-Rhetz [Wikipedia biography], whose task it is to head them off. The outcome is an against-the-odds Prussian victory with heavily disproportionate French casualties and a French withdrawal towards Orléans. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1870 [30th November] The Bavarian Kaiserbrief: Ludwig II of Bavaria [Wikipedia biography] now writes personally to Wilhelm I of Prussia [19th September<=>1871 (18th January)] confirming Bavaria's willingness to join a unified German Confederation, ceasing thereby to be a totally independent German-speaking kingdom. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

ASIDE - BAVARIA IN WW1: The terms of the deal allow for the Bavarian Army to remain separate from the Prussian, and their service oath remained to their king rather than to the Kaiser. They will hand over formal command to Berlin on 1st August 1914 [=>q.v.] and fight thereafter as the Sixth Army under Crown Prince Rupprecht of Bavaria [Wikipedia biography=>1914 (1st August)]. Some 200,000 Bavarian soldiers will die during the war.

 

1870 [1st December] RMS Atlantic [Wikipedia shipography=>1873 (1st April)] is launched at Harland and Wolff [27th August<=>1871 (4th July)], Belfast, for service with the White Star Line [27th August<=>1871 (16th March)]. She will make her maiden voyage from Liverpool to New York City on 8th June 1871. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

**********  THE HOLY BANNER GOES INTO BATTLE  **********

1870 [2nd December] The Battle of Loigny: This battle is fought as part of the Loire Campaign of the Franco-Prussian War [<=19th July] between elements of the French Army of the Loire under Louis-Gaston de Sonis [Wikipedia biography] and elements of the Bavarian Army under Friedrich Franz II of Mecklenburg-Schwerin [18th August<=>3rd December]. Two early advances by the French XV and XVI Corps have been repulsed and by the late afternoon the focus of the action is the village of Loigny, where the 37th Regiment is struggling to hold off the Bavarians and the 51st Regiment is too disorganised about to advance to their aid. Here de Sonis determines that he will personally lead a do-or-die attempt to recapture Loigny using XVII Corps' last remaining experienced troops, namely a 800-strong composite battalion comprising 300 elite Volontiers de l'Ouest under Athanase de Charette [Wikipedia biography] and a further 500 franc-tireurs [= skirmishers, partisans] and militia. The Volontiers, also known as the "Zouaves Pontificaux"/"Papal Zouaves", are an international force of devout Catholics who have learned their war-craft defending the Papal States against the Italian Nationalists during the 1860s [<=1866 (20th June)]. To these therefore falls the honour of advancing under the aforementioned holy banner [<=9th October]. The outcome is an intense but ultimately unequal firefight in which the attackers suffer predictably heavy casualties (de Sonis himself losing a leg). They have little to show for their sacrifice other than having gained a valuable 30 minutes for the other Corps to withdraw in reasonably good order. [THREAD = WW1 ROMANTIC NATIONALISM]

 

ASIDE: After the battle a Memorial to the Sacred Heart [image] was erected in the renamed Bois de Zouaves outside Loigny, and nowadays a Zevisit tourist audioguide can be downloaded [download from http://www.zevisit.com/TOURISME/US/Circuit/148-Audioguide-The-Battle-of-Loigny.html] to take pilgrims to key historic points around the town. Despite the setback de Sonis reports receiving a vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary who reassures him that France will outlive her present ordeal. The University of the West of England's Martin Simpson [Academic homepage] has recently given a detailed account of these events in a paper entitled "Commemorating Loigny" (Simpson, 2013 online). He writes, for example ...

 

"His charge neither seriously threatened the Prussian and Bavarian forces in Loigny, nor saved the battalions of the 37th, nor succeeded in staving off the collapse of the 51st Regiment. The charge only made sense in terms of expiatory self-sacrifice, it was suggested; the general's Christian convictions [...] had overtaken his military judgement" (op. cit., p5).

 

1870 [3rd-4th December] The Second [1870] Battle of Orléans: This battle is fought as part of the Loire Campaign of the Franco-Prussian War [<=19th July] between the Prussian Second Army under Prince Friedrich Karl [27th October<=>1871 (10th January)] and the Bavarian Army under Friedrich Franz II of Mecklenburg-Schwerin [2nd December<=>8th December] and elements of the French Army of the Loire under Louis d'Aurelle de Paladines [<=9th November] and Antoine Chanzy [Wikipedia biography=>5th December]. The outcome is a decisive Prussian victory and the reoccupation of Orléans. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1871 [5th December and shortly thereafter] With Orléans back in the hands of the enemy, the French Army of the Loire has been cut in two. Léon Gambetta [<=4th September] therefore decides to treat them as two separate command entities, namely the (new) Army of the Loire under Antoine Chanzy [3rd December<=>8th December] and the Army of the East under Charles Bourbaki [Wikipedia biography]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1871 [8th-10th December] The Battle of Beaugency: This battle is fought as part of the Loire Campaign of the Franco-Prussian War [<=19th July] between a Prussian army under Friedrich Franz II of Mecklenburg-Schwerin [<=3rd December] and the (much larger) French Army of the Loire under Antoine Chanzy [5th December<=>1871 (10th January)]. The outcome is an against-the-odds Prussian victory. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1871  The Gruson Company [1855 (1st June)<=>1885] starts to produced armoured cupolae1 for modernising Germany's coastal defence forts. [THREAD = WW1 PERMANENT FORTIFICATIONS]

 

1ASIDE - CUPOLAE IN WW1: A cupola is to a fortress what a turret is to a warship - it allows a gun mounting (a) to traverse bodily left or right, while at the same time (b) protecting the gun and those who must work it. In the 1930s [the Germans make little use of the tank in WW1 - Ed.] it will be Gruson who turn their skills to providing the turrets for the Nazi tank divisions.

 

1871  The British engineer [Sir]1872 James Ramsden [Wikipedia biography] founds the Barrow Shipbuilding Company [Wikipedia factsheet=>1877 (29th January)]. Around the same time Alfred Nobel [1870<=>1876] collaborates with a consortium of British investors in establishing the British Dynamite Company [no convenient factsheet=>1873 (14th January)]. Around the same time J. and G. Thomson Shipbuilding [1867 (20th March)<=>1886 (29th July)] acquire larger premises at the Barns o'Clyde [map, etc.], on the (then) sparsely populated Dunbartonshire (north) bank of the River Clyde. Around the same time under the technical guidance of the engineer William Menelaus [Wikipedia biography] the Dowlais Ironworks [1865 (5th June)<=>1900 (19th July)] blows in its newly installed 415-ton Siemens-Martin open hearth furnace [<=1865]. At around the same time Robert Mushet [1868<=>d. 1891 (29th January)] starts to wind down the Titanic Steelworks [<=1862] and begins a special steels collaboration with Samuel Osborn and Company [Wikipedia factsheet], Sheffield. [THREAD = THE WW1 FINANCIAL AND ARMAMENTS INDUSTRIES]

 

1871  William A. Hammond [<=1862 (25th April)] publishes "Treatise on Diseases of the Nervous System" [full text online]. [THREAD = WW1 MILITARY MEDICINE AND COGNITIVE SCIENCE]

 

1871  The British Army begins to roll out the Martini-Henry (Mark I) .458" calibre single shot black powder rifle [image]. The design includes an improved version of the Peabody Underlever Action [<=1862], which did away with the external hammer in favour of an internal mechanism devised by the Swiss gunsmith Friedrich von Martini [Wikipedia biography], and will remain in service until replaced by the Lee-Metford .303" calibre magazine rifle in the 1890s. [THREAD = WW1 SMALL ARMS]

 

1871  The German entrepreneur-archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann [Wikipedia biography] starts excavation at Hissarlik, Turkey, suspecting it to be the site of ancient Troy. [THREAD = THE INDUSTRIAL AND SCIENTIFIC REVOLUTION]

 

1871 [10th-12th January] The Battle of Le Mans: This last-stand battle is fought as part of the Loire Campaign of the Franco-Prussian War [<=1870 (19th July)] between a Prussian army under Prince Friedrich Karl [<=1870 (3rd December)] and the desperately scraped together remnants of the Army of the Loire under Antoine Chanzy [<=1870 (8th December)]. The outcome is a decisive Prussian victory followed by the collapse of the Army of the Loire as an effective fighting force. Unsupported, the Army of the East now falls back southward to Laval. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

**********  PRUSSIA FINALLY BECOMES GERMANY  **********

**********  PRUSSIA FINALLY BECOMES GERMANY  **********

**********  PRUSSIA FINALLY BECOMES GERMANY  **********

*******  BUT RETAINS HER "ANNEXATIONIST PROCLIVITIES"1  *******

1871  [18th January] The Final Unification of Germany [II - The Proclamation of Empire]: [Continued from 1867 (12th February)] With the centre of Paris still under siege the Germans now gather in the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles to make the historic declaration that Prussia is now part of a unified German Empire - the "First Reich" - and that the first German emperor, or Kaiser, is going to be the existing Prussian king Wilhelm I of Prussia, henceforth Kaiser Wilhelm I [1870 (30th November)<=>1876 (17th February)]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1ASIDE: The headline phrase is taken from "The Annexation of Alsace-Lorraine and its Recovery" (Joffre 1918; [full text online]).

 

WAR ART: Check out Anton Werner's (1877) "The Proclamation of the German Empire".

 

1871 [25th January] Too proud to sign the final documents of surrender Louis Jules Trochu [<=1870 (19th September)] resigns his acting premiership and is replaced by his vice-president Jules Favre [1870 (4th September)<=>28th January]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

**********  THE CANNONS OF REVENGE GO ON ORDER  **********

1871 [28th January-13th February] The French Third Republic [II - The Thiers National Assembly]: [Continued from 1870 (4th September)] Finally convinced of the impossibility of further resistance Jules Favre [25th January<=>10th May] now agrees with the Germans for an armistice to come into effect in Paris on 28th January and on the Amiens, Orléans, and other fronts on 5th February. The provisional Government of National Defence [<=1870 (4th September)] then formally surrenders and dissolves itself. The Germans then approve a replacement National Assembly and at its inaugural sitting on 13th February Favre will be replaced as acting president by the 73-year-old Adolphe Thiers [1840<=>1873 (24th May)]. Favre does however retain the Foreign Ministry, putting arrangements in hand for a formal armistice signing at Versailles [continues at 26th February ...]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

ASIDE: One of Thiers' first acts once the Germans move out of earshot is (reportedly) to instruct the Schneider Company [1836<=>1876] to start building "the cannons of revenge". We shall be picking up this story shortly.

 

1871 [14th February] The Trade Union Act, 1871: The British Parliament passes an Act declaring that as a matter of principle the activities of trade unions are inherently lawful, even if they involve deeds which might well - in individuals - constitute the tort of "restraint of trade". [THREAD = THE WW1 WORKING CLASS SOLDIER]

 

1871 [26th February] The Treaty of Versailles: This temporary treaty between France and Germany brings the Franco-Prussian War [<=1870 (19th July)] to a preliminary end. A further more substantive document will be signed later in the year [=>10th May]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE] [THREAD = WW1 TREATIES AND ALLIANCES]

 

**********  IT'S THAT TUNE AGAIN  **********

1871 [1st March] The victorious Germans stage a full-scale victory parade in Paris, marching down the Champs Élysee from the Arc de Triomphe. To cheer them on their way their bands play the Pariser Einzugsmarsch [= "The Paris Entry-March"; hear it now], just as they had in 1814 and just as they will do again on 14th June 1940 [see it now]. [THREAD = WW1 ROMANTIC NATIONALISM]

 

1871 [16th March] RMS Oceanic [1870 (27th August)<=>1875 (11th March)] makes her maiden voyage from Liverpool to New York City. Her 14.5 knots and luxurious accommodation immediately creates a three-way commercial rivalry between (her owners) White Star Line [1870 (1st December)<=>4th July], the Inman Line [1866 (21st March)<=>1888 (15th March)], and the Cunard Line [1870 (10th September)<=>1884 (20th September)]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

**********  THE PARISIANS BESIEGE THEMSELVES  **********

1871 [18th March-28th May] The Paris Commune: This citizens' uprising comes only two months after the end of the Franco-Prussian War [<=1871 (18th January)] and has its roots in the terrible sufferings of the Parisian people during the recent four-month Prussian siege [<=1870 (19th September)]. The uprising is led by the not-completely-disarmed National Guard militia who have previously been helping to defend the city against the Prussians, and who have secreted away large stocks of arms and ammunition prior to the surrender. They now elect leaders from among their number and erect barricades against (their own) army under (no longer a prisoner-of-war) Patrice de MacMahon [28th January<=>1873 (24th May)]. There follows a two-month-long stand-off during while the two sides size each other up. The final government assault takes place between 21st and 28th May in what will become known as la semaine sanglante [= "the bloody week"] and will be followed by a period of reprisals in which upwards of 6000 Communards are executed1 more or less without trial. [THREAD = THE WW1 WORKING CLASS SOLDIER]

 

1ASIDE: The new Reffye Mitrailleuse [<=1870 (1st September [ASIDE])] having (reportedly) been such a singular failure at the Battle of Sedan [<=1870 (1st September [ASIDE])] is now (reportedly) used against its own citizens in these reprisals. If so, then this is the first instance of the machine-gun as a method of execution/massacre [execution if the trials are accepted as legitimate, massacre if not - Ed.].

 

1871 [1st May] [Sir]1885 Garnet Wolseley [1st Viscount Wolseley]1885 [Wikipedia biography=>1873 (7th March)] is appointed Assistant Adjutant General at the War Office, and lends his weight to assisting the ongoing Cardwell Reforms [<=1870 (3rd March)]. [THREAD = WW1 ARMIES, TRADITIONS, AND TACTICS]

 

1871 [10th May] The French Third Republic [III - The Treaty of Frankfurt]: [Continued from 28th January] This treaty between France and Germany brings the Franco-Prussian War [<=1870 (19th July)] to a formal end. Its main provisions are (a) the ceding of Alsace-Lorraine (Frenchmen who wish to remain French are given until 1st October the following year to get out), and (b) French reparations of five billion francs. Unable to prevent the forfeiture of Alsace-Lorraine, Jules Favre [<=28th January] resigns the Foreign Ministry on 2nd August [continues at 1875 (29th January) ...]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1871 [??th June] A young British student named Arthur John Evans [Wikipedia biography] spends his summer vacation visiting Hallstatt in Austria-Hungary, and Paris and Amiens in France, hunting for stone-age artefacts. The following year he will cross illegally into Ottoman territory in the Carpathians, and in 1875 he will travel to Bosnia-Herzegovina during the Balkan Crisis [=>1875]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE] and perhaps also [THREAD = WW1 ESPIONAGE AND INTELLIGENCE]

 

1871 [8th June] The French Ministry of War creates the Deuxième Bureau de l'État-Major [Wikipedia factsheet=>1907 (2nd February)] to monitor potential enemies' "plans and operations". [THREAD = WW1 ESPIONAGE AND INTELLIGENCE]

 

1871 [4th July] The SS Republic [Wikipedia shipography=>scrapped 1910] is launched at Harland and Wolff [1870 (1st December)<=>17th October], Belfast, for service with the White Star Line [16th March<=>17th October]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1871 [11th August] An explosion at the Stowmarket Gun Cotton Works [no convenient factsheet=>1907] kills 24 workers and injures a further 72. [THREAD = THE WW1 FINANCIAL AND ARMAMENTS INDUSTRIES]

 

1871 [17th-23rd September] The International Workingmen's Association [VII - The 1871 Planning Conference, London]: [Continued from 1869 (6th September)] 23 core delegates meet to decide the best way forward in the wake of the disruption caused by the Franco-Prussian War [<=1870 (19th July)]. This year's assembly is noteworthy in the present context for formally deploring sectarian names such as "Collectivist", "Communist", etc. [continues at 1872 (2nd September) ...]. [THREAD = THE WW1 WORKING CLASS SOLDIER]

 

1871 [17th October] The SS Adriatic [Wikipedia shipography] is launched at Harland and Wolff [4th July<=>1889(19th January)], Belfast, for service with the White Star Line [4th July<=>1873 (1st April)]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1871 [10th November] Having been searching for him for eight months the journalist-explorer [Sir]1899 Henry M. Stanley [Wikipedia biography=>1873 (7th March)] finally tracks down the missing missionary David Livingstone [Wikipedia biography]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1871 [2nd December] The Prussian government adopts the latest offering from the Mauser Company, the Model 1871 Gewehr [Wikipedia factsheet], a bolt-action single-shot 11mm general service rifle. This weapon will be converted for an eight-round tube magazine in 1884, and will remain in service until 1888. [THREAD = WW1 SMALL ARMS]

 

1872 The Development of Photography [XIV - Muybridge]: [Continued from 1867 (Muybridge)] Now a well-known San Francisco photographer Muybridge [1867<=>1878] is asked by the local railway baron-politician Leland Stanford [Wikipedia biography] to help settle an argument, namely whether horses at a gallop ever have all four hooves off the ground at the same time. Muybridge solves the problem by having Sallie Gardner (from Stanford's personal stable) gallop past a line of 12 cameras, triggering each exposure with a trip thread. He then mounts the prints around the perimeter of a Zoopraxiscope [Wikipedia factsheet] to see the resulting "continuous" motion. Frames #2 and #3 of this (slightly later) sequence clearly show all four hooves off the ground [sub-thread continues at 1878 (Muybridge) ...]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF THE MODERN WORLD]

 

1872  The British businessman Thomas Cook [Wikipedia biography] expands his family travel agency as Thomas Cook and Son [modern corporate website]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1872  Tsarist persecution of Russia's Jewish population drives a steady stream of fugitives out of Eastern Europe en route for the U.S. The Norddeutscher-Lloyd Line [1864 (2nd May)<=>20th August] profits from much of this windfall traffic. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1872  Automation, Control, and Artificial Intelligence [XLIII - Analog Computing (Kelvin)]: [Continued from 1870 (1st September)] Inspired by the planimeters [<=1824] exhibited at the 1851 World Fair [<=1851 (1st May)], the British engineer James Thomson [Wikipedia biography=>1876] experiments with a rudimentary mechanical calculating machine which uses the movements of a sphere, a disc, and a circular flat surface [Rutherford Journal image] to perform the mathematical procedure known as "integration" [Wikipedia tutorial]. Around the same time his younger brother Sir William Thomson [1st Baron Kelvin]1892 [1865 (17th July)<=>1875 (??th January)], having already devised (on paper) a suitable sequence of mathematical operations to do the job, starts to construct a hand-cranked tide-predicting machine [Wikipedia factsheet=>1875 (??th January)] out of suitably arranged gears and pulleys, each representing by its size and its rotational or linear displacement one step towards the final solution [sub-thread continues at 1873 (Farcot) ...]. [THREAD = WW1 CYBERNETICS, COMPUTATIONAL SCIENCE, AND FIRE CONTROL]

 

1872  The American businessman Aaron Montgomery Ward [Wikipedia biography] sets up a mail order business aimed at "farmers and mechanics" and supported by a two-page catalogue flyer and newspaper advertising. So successful is he that by 1884 his catalogues will have grown to 240 pages. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1872  [Sir]1891 Thomas Sutherland [<=1866] is appointed Chief Executive of the Peninsula and Oriental Steam Navigation Company [<=1866], and sets about a major programme of corporate expansion. Around the same time the British engineer [Sir]1908 Robert Hadfield [1st Baronet]1917 [Wikipedia biography=>1882] sets up a specialist steel castings workshop at Attercliffe, Sheffield. Around the same time Samuel Thomas [no convenient biography=>1879 (24th April)], John O. Riches [no convenient biography], and Osborn H. Riches [no convenient biography] start to open up new colliery workings - the Cambrian Colliery [Wikipedia factsheet=>1879 (24th April)] - at Tonypandy [map, etc.]. [THREAD = THE WW1 FINANCIAL AND ARMAMENTS INDUSTRIES]

 

1872  [Sir]1876 Nathaniel Barnaby [1854<=>1874 (24th February)] succeeds Sir Edward Reid [<=1863] as Chief Constructor of the Royal Navy (soon to be re-designated as Director of Naval Construction). He immediately faces some formidable judgement calls, not least managing the transition from muzzle-loading to breech-loading ordnance and deciding how best to use, and defend against, torpedoes. [THREAD = THE WW1 SURFACE NAVIES]

 

1872  The hulk HMS Vernon, out of commission since 1848, is anchored in Fountain Lake, Portsmouth Harbour, to act as a tender to HMS Excellent [<=1859] for torpedo and mine warfare training. [THREAD = THE WW1 SUBMARINE NAVIES]

 

1872  The French artilleryman Charles de Bange [Wikipedia biography=>1881] designs an "interrupted screw" breech mechanism for artillery pieces of all weights, which is both easy to use in action and a successful solution to the problem of breech gas obturation [= leakage]. He will be rewarded in 1873 with the Directorship of the Paris Arsenal, and will spend the rest of the decade developing 90mm, 120mm, and 155mm field artillery, a 220mm mortar, and 240mm and 270mm coastal defence guns. [THREAD = WW1 ARTILLERY]

 

1872  Silas Weir Mitchell [1864<=>1875] publishes "Injuries of the Nerves and the Consequences" [full text online]. [THREAD = WW1 MILITARY MEDICINE AND COGNITIVE SCIENCE]

 

1872 [11th March] A new colliery is opened at Seven Sisters in the Dulais Valley, South Wales, to exploit one of the richest coal resources in the region. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1872 [25th March] HMS Thunderer [1869 (26th March)<=->1873 (19th April)] is launched. Due in part to a serious engine-room accident during her trials [=>1876 (14th July)], she will spend longer than usual (nearly five years) being fitted out. Sadly she will then suffer a second serious accident not long after entering service, when one of her forward 12" guns bursts [=>1879 (2nd January)]. All in all she will not enter service until 1881. [THREAD = THE WW1 SURFACE NAVIES]

 

WAR ART: Check out Frederick Bumford's "HMS Thunderer", noting that this was painted in 1979 for a modern audience. We shall be returning in due course to the issue of the over-romanticisation of war as a potential cause of war.

 

1872 [18th May] The Belgian industrial chemist Ernest Solvay [Wikipedia biography] patents the "Solvay Process" for the production of "soda ash"1. [THREAD = THE INDUSTRIAL AND SCIENTIFIC REVOLUTION]

 

1ASIDE: Soda ash is better known nowadays as sodium bicarbonate [Wikipedia chemistry] and the essence of the Solvay Process is to obtain it from two very cheap raw materials, namely sea water and limestone. The end product is widely used in the soap, textile, paper, and glass industries.

 

1872 [28th May] The British Parliament approves a Resolution (Hansard, 211:806-815) authorising Cape Colony to becomes self-governing. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1872 [4th June] The American businessman Robert Cheseborough [Wikipedia biography] is granted U.S. Patent #127568 for a jellified by-product of petroleum refining which he has named "Vaseline", and which can be used to protect and soothe minor wounds. [THREAD = THE INDUSTRIAL AND SCIENTIFIC REVOLUTION]

 

**********  THE FRENCH RESOLVE "NEVER AGAIN!"  **********

**********  THE FRENCH RESOLVE "NEVER AGAIN!"  **********

**********  THE FRENCH RESOLVE "NEVER AGAIN!"  **********

1872 [28th July] Fortress France and Belgium [I - The Masterplan]: Smarting from the French humiliation in the Franco-Prussian War [<=1870 (19th July)], the French government set up a Comité de Defense to mastermind a programme of upgrades to the nation's fixed fortifications. The best known of its members will be Raymond Séré de Rivières [Wikipedia biography=>1874], appointed Secretary in 1873 and Chief of Engineers in 1874. The resulting upgrades are based on the premise that Vauban's citadel system of fortressing [<=1667 (10th August)] has been rendered obsolete by the sheer destructive power of modern artillery, and that instead all strategically important cities should be defended by a ring of linked forts, ideally in depth, some ten miles away. The committee identifies the Verdun1 and Paris sectors as requiring particular attention, but largely ignores France's north-western border, that is to say, in the Nord Pas-de-Calais region north of Lille because this will be protected vicariously by a parallel investment in fortifications at Liege and Namur by the Belgians2 [=>1874 (Brialmont)]. Séré de Rivières also rationalises the armaments industry, so as to have a clear line of development from concept through testing to operational deployment. The separate elements are (a) a Technical Directorate with Commissions d'Experiences [= proving ground and performance evaluation facilities] at Bourges, Calais, Versailles, Troyes, Toulon, and Toul, (b) Ateliers [= craft workshops] at Bourges, Puteaux, and seven other cities, (c) Manufactures d'Armes [= arms factories] at Châtellerault, Tulle, and St. Etienne [1764<=>1874], (d) Pouderies [= gunpowder factories] at 11 sites, (e) Cartoucheries [= cartridge factories] at Valence and Algiers, (f) Parcs d'Artillerie des Corps Armées [= arsenals at the home towns of the 20 individual corps], and (g) Parcs d'Artillerie de Place [= arsenals at the 28 main sectors of fixed fortification, for example, Verdun, Lille, and Toul]. [Continues at 1874 ...] [THREAD = WW1 PERMANENT FORTIFICATIONS]

 

1ASIDE: The Verdun sector had not been in the front line until the loss of Metz and Thionville in the Franco-Prussian War. The new defences were arranged as two concentric rings of fortifications centred on the ancient Verdun Citadel complemented by about the same number of "ouvrages" [= "openings/bunkers"]. Advanced students will find Cedric and Julie Vaubourg's fortiffsere website invaluable in their research.

 

2ASIDE: Of course if the Germans were ever to take Liege and Namur quickly and then strike southwards they would find the road to Paris quite thinly defended, save for some quite substantial fortifications around Mauberge. And this is precisely what the Germans worked out for themselves when they put together the Schlieffen Plan [=>1894]. All they needed to do was to build up their fortress-busting siege artillery - and again this is precisely what they did [=>1904 (Big Bertha)].

 

1872 [20th August] The SS Mosel [no convenient shipography=>1875 (11th December)] is launched at Caird and Company [<=1862 (25th November)], Greenock, for service with the Norddeutsche-Lloyd Line [1872<=>1881 (2nd April)]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1872 [27th August] The first patients are admitted to the new South Yorkshire Lunatic Asylum [Wikipedia factsheet]. [THREAD = WW1 MILITARY MEDICINE AND COGNITIVE SCIENCE]

 

ASIDE - SOUTH YORKSHIRE ASYLUM IN WW1: Early in 1915 the asylum is reorganised as the Wharncliffe War Hospital [=>1915 (1st April)].

 

**********  VARIANTS OF  SOCIALISM EMERGE  **********

1872 [2nd-7th September] The International Workingmen's Association [VIII - The Fifth Annual Congress, The Hague]: [Continued from 1871 (17th September)] 61 delegates debate the relative merits of Mikhail Bakunin's [1870 (5th September)<=>1885] Anarchism and Karl Marx's [1869 (6th September)] Marxism, the former calling the latter overly centralist and authoritarian and the latter - "a very able political conniver" - calling the former overly collectivist. The Marxists prevail and, true to accusation, promptly expel Bakunin from the Association. [THREAD = THE WW1 WORKING CLASS SOLDIER]

 

**********  LA BELLE ÉPOQUE BEGINS  **********

**********  LA BELLE ÉPOQUE BEGINS  **********

**********  LA BELLE ÉPOQUE BEGINS  **********

1872 [13th September] Now that Paris's war rubble has been cleared and its windows reglazed [<=1870 (19th September)] the Folies Bergère cabaret-revue [Wikipedia factsheet] opens. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1872 [2nd October] The (fictitious)1 English gentleman Phileas Fogg [Wikipedia biography] sets out from the Reform Club, London, having wagered £20,000 that he can travel around the world via Suez, Bombay, Calcutta, Hong Kong, Yokohama, San Francisco, and New York City in no more than 80 days [continues at 1873 (30th January) ...]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1ASIDE: The story is told in Jules Verne's (1873) novel "Around the World in 80 Days".

 

1873  The British/German businessmen John T. Brunner [1st Baronet]1895 [Wikipedia biography] and Ludwig Mond [Wikipedia biography=>d. 1909 (11th December)] set up Brunner, Mond, and Company [modern corporate website=>1881] at Winnington, Cheshire, there to exploit a Solvay Process [<=1872 (18th May)] licence to produce "soda ash". [THREAD = THE WW1 FINANCIAL AND ARMAMENTS INDUSTRIES]

 

ASIDE - BRUNNER AND MOND IN WW1: In the ensuing 40 years Brunner and Mond will diversify to become Britain's foremost industrial chemicals manufacturer, and in WW1 will make over a proportion of its capacity to the production of high explosives.

 

1873  The British experimental physicist   Frederick Guthrie [Wikipedia biography=>1880 (13th February)] notes during experimentation that if a static electricity source is used to create a negatively charged hot iron sphere it will quickly lose its charge to the atmosphere, whilst the same is not true of the same negatively charged. Guthrie's observations are now interpreted as an early example of the phenomenon of "thermionic emission"  [Wikipedia factsheet], that is to say, the naturally occurring process by which electrons [=>1897 (30th April)] spontaneously break away from the surface of a heated electrode.  [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF THE MODERN WORLD]

 

1873  Never particularly profitable, the Beaufort Ironworks [1862<=>modern heritage trail] is finally closed down as uneconomical. [THREAD = THE WW1 WORKING CLASS SOLDIER]

 

1873  Based in New York City Colgate and Company [modern corporate website] start to sell toothpaste in jars. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

**********  FRAY BENTOS IS BORN  **********

1873  The Britain-based German chemist Justus von Liebig [Wikipedia biography] sets up the Liebig Extract of Meat Company [Wikipedia factsheet=>1899] to sell Uruguayan-sourced concentrated beef extract and canned corned beef [<=1867 (Armour)] under the brand label Fray Bentos. [THREAD = WW1 LOGISTICS]

 

**********  IMPORTANT WW1 WEAPONS TECHNOLOGY  **********

1873  The German chemist Herman Sprengel [Wikipedia biography] successfully demonstrates that picric acid [1841<=>1885] is more than just a bright yellow dyestuff - it can be detonated as a high explosive. Around the same time Jean de Reffye [<=1870] completes his latest project, "the Reffye 75", a 75mm rifled breech-loading cannon [Wikipedia factsheet]. Around the same time the latest C1873 90mm field gun from the Krupp Arms Company [1867 (1st April)<=>1873 below] implements a number of improvements suggested by field experience during the Franco-Prussian War [<=1870 (19th July)]. [THREAD = WW1 ARTILLERY]

 

1873  The Swedish industrialist Helge Palmcrantz [Wikipedia biography] patents a horizontally arrayed multi-barrelled machine gun, and sets about finding the funding necessary to manufacture it. [THREAD = WW1 MACHINE GUNS]

 

1873  Maximilian Schumann [<=1866] collaborates with the Gruson Company [<=1860] in the development of a recoil-absorption mechanism for closely confined fortress artillery. [THREAD = WW1 PERMANENT FORTIFICATIONS]

 

1873  Automation, Control, and Artificial Intelligence [XLIV - Control Technology (Farcot)]: [Continued from 1872 (Kelvin)] Jean-Joseph Farcot [<=1868] publishes "Le Servo-Moteur" [in English as "Servomechanisms"], a treatise on power-assisted steering and related mechanisms [sub-thread continues at 1873 (18th January) ...]. [THREAD = WW1 CYBERNETICS, COMPUTATIONAL SCIENCE, AND FIRE CONTROL]

 

ASIDE - THE LOGIC OF SERVOMECHANISMS: Servomechanisms (or "servos", or "slave systems") are important because they allow a small control system to control pieces of far heavier machinery - for example a helmsman his ship. Here is a quotable definition: "The 'servo' notion implies that heavy work is done by a strong slave under the direction of a master, who by virtue of this assistance need exert no effort beyond that of formulating commands" (Roberts, 1978:116). Servomechanisms are noteworthy in the present context (a) because warships are now too big to steer without power assistance, and (b) because artillery is now too big to aim without hydraulic, steam, or electrical traversal and elevation systems.

 

1873  After its success with the Navy Revolver [<=1851], Samuel Colt [1853 (1st January)<=>1883] now comes up with the Colt Single Action Army Revolver [see Larry Potterfield's YouTube tutorial], variously available in .45", .44", and .38" calibres and often branded as "the Peacemaker". Around the same time the Winchester Repeating Arms Company [1866<=>1883] releases its improved Winchester Model 1873 [YouTube demonstration]. The weapon is noteworthy in the present context (a) for its use of the .44" centre-fire cartridge, and (b) for its masterly marketing as "The Gun That Won the West". [THREAD = WW1 SMALL ARMS]

 

ASIDE: The plot of Anthony Mann's 1950 movie "Winchester '73" (Universal International) is woven around this weapon [YouTube trailer].

 

1873  The Cotton Powder Company [no convenient factsheet=>1913] builds new workshops close to John Hall and Company's [1847 (14th July)<=>1913] gunpowder factory at Faversham, Kent. Around the same time the latest C1873 90mm field gun from the Krupp Arms Company [1873 above<=>1877 (1st February)] implements a number of improvements suggested by field experience during the Franco-Prussian War [<=1870 (19th July)]. [THREAD = WW1 ARTILLERY] [THREAD = THE WW1 FINANCIAL AND ARMAMENTS INDUSTRIES]

 

1873  The Cotton Powder Company [no convenient factsheet=>1913] builds new workshops close to John Hall and Company's [1847 (14th July)<=>1913] gunpowder factory at Faversham, Kent. [THREAD = THE WW1 FINANCIAL AND ARMAMENTS INDUSTRIES]

 

1873 [1st January] The British entrepreneur Frederick R. Leyland [Wikipedia biography=>1892 (4th January)] acquires 21 ships from the struggling Bibby Line [1858 (1st November)<=>1893] and rebadges them as the Leyland Line [Grace's Guide factsheet=>1892]. [THREAD = THE WW1 FINANCIAL AND ARMAMENTS INDUSTRIES]

 

1873 [14th January] The British Dynamite Company [1871<=>1876] sets up a nitroglycerine factory at Ardeer, a remote location on the Firth of Clyde some 20 miles southwest of Glasgow. When completed it will be the world's largest explosives works. [THREAD = THE WW1 FINANCIAL AND ARMAMENTS INDUSTRIES]

 

1873 [18th January] Automation, Control, and Artificial Intelligence [XLV - The Manufacturers (Elliott Brothers)]: [Continued from 1873 (Farcot)] Following the death of Frederick H. Elliott [<=1850] his widow Susan Elliott [no convenient biography=>1880 (25th March)] assumes control at Elliott Brothers [1870<=>1876]. She increasingly takes advice from the electrical engineer Willoughby Smith [Wikipedia biography=>1880 (25th March)] for which he is rewarded by being made a partner [sub-thread continues at 1875 (??th January) ...]. [THREAD = WW1 CYBERNETICS, COMPUTATIONAL SCIENCE, AND FIRE CONTROL] [THREAD = THE WW1 FINANCIAL AND ARMAMENTS INDUSTRIES]

 

1873 [30th January] [Continued from 1872 (2nd October)] The French novelist Jules Verne [Wikipedia biography] publishes "Le Tour du Monde en Quatre-Vingts Jours" [in English (later in 1873) as "Around the World in 80 Days"] [continues at 1890 (7th January) ...]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1873 [7th March-7th March 1874] The Third1 Ashanti War, 1873-1874: This war of imperial enforcement is fought between a British taskforce under [Sir]1885 Garnet Wolseley [1st Viscount Wolseley]1885 [1871 (1st May)<=>1879 (11th January)] and the dissident Ashanti nation under its king Kofi Karikari [Wikipedia biography=>abdicates 1874 (26th October)]. The outcome is a British victory, enforced by the Treaty of Fomena [=>1874 (7th March]. The journalist-explorer [Sir]1899 Henry M. Stanley [<=1871 (10th November)] and the war correspondent George A. Henty [<=1867] cover the events for their respective editors. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1ASIDE: The First and Second Ashanti Wars are not covered in this resource.

 

1873 [1st April] Seeing is Believing [VIII - Modern Magic (Maskelyne Opens in London)]: [Continued from 1867 (23rd April)] Having honed their act to perfection in the provinces Maskelyne and Cooke [1865 (7th March)<=>1875 (13th January)] begin a run in St. James, London. So well is the show received that it will directly transfer to the larger venue of the Egyptian Hall in Piccadilly, where it will run for the next 30 years. Amongst their most successful tricks are trick cabinets allowing people to "disappear" and "levitation" [sub-thread continues at 1874 (8th December) ...]. [THREAD = THE BATTLE FOR HEARTS AND MINDS]

 

1873 [1st April] Having diverted from New York City to Halifax, NS, due to bad weather, the White Star Line's [1871 (17th October)<=>1889 (19th January)] RMS Atlantic [1871 (1st December)<=>sinks this day] hits rocks on the run in to Halifax, and sinks with the loss of 535 lives. Artefacts from the wreck are still on show in Halifax's Maritime Museum of the Atlantic [museum website]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1873 [19th April] Slightly delayed by additional stability trials deemed necessary by the loss of HMS Captain [<=1870 (6th September)], HMS Devastation [<=1869 (12th November)] eventually enters service and, for some 15 years, she and her sister ship, HMS Thunderer [1872 (25th March)<=>1876 (14th July)], will be the most powerful warships in the world. [THREAD = THE WW1 SURFACE NAVIES]

 

1873 [24th April] Construction work starts on the Royal Italian Navy's new super-battleship Caio Diulio [Wikipedia shipography=>1876 (8th May)] at the La Spezia Naval Yard. Progress will be slow, however, thanks to a stream of specification changes by the ship's conceptual designer, the admiral-politician Benedetto Brin [Wikipedia biography]. The main stumbling block concerns the ship's main armament, which until 1876 is the subject of an "arms race" in miniature. As originally conceived, the ship is to be fitted with four 38-ton 10" guns. This will soon be changed to four 60-ton 13" guns, and then to four 100-ton (nominal) 18" [= 450mm] guns [continues at 1876 (8th May) ...]. [THREAD = THE WW1 SURFACE NAVIES]

 

1873 [24th May] Patrice de MacMahon [1871 (18th March)<=>1879 (30th January)] replaces Adolphe Thiers [1871 (28th January)<=>d. 1877 (3rd September)] as President of the French Third Republic. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

**********  THE FIRST INDIAN DOCTOR  **********

1873 [1st July] The Indian physician S. C. Goodeve Chuckerbutty [Wikipedia biography] is appointed Surgeon-Major to the Bengal Army. [THREAD = WW1 MILITARY MEDICINE AND COGNITIVE SCIENCE]

 

1873 [18th September] The Panic of 1873: The U.S. government ceases minting silver coins, thus depressing the market for that metal. This causes the market in silver to crash, which, in turn, brings down other over-extended1 markets, which, in turn, causes Stock Markets around the world to crash. Among the first to go to the wall is the investment bank Jay Cooke and Company [Wikipedia factsheet], having suffered enormous paper losses on its vault-full of now near-worthless railways stocks and shares1. In the five-year-long debt avalanche which follows, some 18,000 U.S. business will fail, unemployment will soar, and starving workers will take to the streets. The situation in the anthracite coalfields of Pennsylvania is exacerbated by the activities of a Irish immigrants' workers' society named the "Molly Maguires" [Wikipedia factsheet]. [THREAD = THE WW1 FINANCIAL AND ARMAMENTS INDUSTRIES]

 

1ASIDE: The investment banking business model involves accumulating deposits from clients and then lending the accumulation, after expenses and commission, to governments or corporations faced with capital-intensive but ostensibly lucrative projects (such as railways, canals, telegraph cables, skyscrapers, etc.). The investment banker in this case, Jay Cooke [Wikipedia biography] made his first (and second) fortune raising money for the Union government during the American Civil War [<=1861 (17th April)], and then a third fortune in the early 1870s financing railway companies.

 

ASIDE - INVESTMENT BANKS IN WW1: At the time of writing [May 2014] the European Association for Banking and Financial History is organising a conference on the behaviour of European banks during WW1 [see conference website at http:// inomics.com/economics/institutions/european-association-banking-and-financial-history-eabh-ev].

 

1873 [6th June] The League of the Three Emperors [I - The Schönbrunn Convention]: This treaty between the Russian, Austro-Hungarian, and (from 22nd October) German Empires commits the eastern half of Europe to diplomacy rather than war. Its provisions will be incorporated into the Dreikaiserbund later in the year [continues at 23rd October ...]. [THREAD = WW1 TREATIES AND ALLIANCES]

 

1873 [23rd October] The League of the Three Emperors [II - The Dreikaiserbund]: [Continued from 6th June] With France now Germany's sworn enemy the German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck [1870 (13th July)<=>1878 (13th June)] negotiates the Dreikaiserbund - the "League of the Three Emperors" - with Austria-Hungary and Russia. The arrangement will endure for a mere two years, collapsing as soon as Austria-Hungary and Russia fall out over the situation in the Balkans [continues at 1879 (7th October) ...]. [THREAD = WW1 TREATIES AND ALLIANCES]

 

1873 [28th October] The American engineer George Westinghouse Jnr [Wikipedia biography=>1881 (24th January)] is awarded patents on a compressed air fail-to-safety railway braking system, and establishes the Westinghouse Air Brake Company [Wikipedia factsheet] to exploit this technology. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF THE MODERN WORLD]

 

1873 [18th-21st November] Irish Home Rule [II - The Home Rule League] [...Continued from 1870 (19th May)] The Home Government Association [<=1870 (19th May)] now reconstitutes itself as the "Home Rule League" [Wikipedia factsheet=>1875 (21st April)] and starts to assemble candidates for the next British General Election. When this takes place in February 1874 they win 59 seats [continues at 1875 (21st April) ...]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1874  The 20-year-old Prince Louis of Battenberg [Wikipedia biography=>1882 (11th July)] takes his sub-lieutenant's examinations at the HMS Excellent Shore Establishment [<=1876 (26th April)] and gets an A-plus at gunnery. [THREAD = WW1 CYBERNETICS, COMPUTATIONAL SCIENCE, AND FIRE CONTROL]

 

1874  Locating Brain Function [I - Bartholow and Wernicke]: The American neurologist Robert Bartholow [Wikipedia biography] is the first directly to stimulate the human cortex electrically, applying a small faradic [= alternating] current to the exposed dura of patient Mary, a 30-year-old domestic servant, and thereby eliciting contralateral muscle twitchings and hallucinatory sensations (Penfield and Boldrey, 1937). At around the same time the German physician Carl Wernicke [Wikipedia biography] describes a syndrome in which verbal comprehension is severely impaired but the ability to produce speech is intact. Patients with Wernicke's aphasia [Neuropsychology Glossary] are found to have left hemisphere lesions affecting the first temporal convolution (at the junction of the left temporal and parietal lobes). Wernicke accordingly places the faculty of auditory comprehension in this area, and holds it to be the mind's store of "sound images" (Klangbilder), the basis of understanding spoken words. [THREAD = WW1 MILITARY MEDICINE AND COGNITIVE SCIENCE]

 

1874  While undertaking research at Würzburg University into the conductive properties of crystals a young German physicist named Karl Ferdinand Braun [Wikipedia biography=>1897 (15th February)] notes that lead sulphide crystals [the ore known as galena] which are heavily connected on one side but point connected on the other are "unilateral" in that they only pass current from one direction, specifically from the point side when negatively charged. This property can be used to "rectify" [= make unidirectional] an A.C. circuit to give a half wave D.C. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF THE MODERN WORLD]

 

1874  The paddle steamer Iona [<=1866] is retrofitted with a Chadburn Engine-Room Telegraph [<=1870 (1st September)]. [THREAD = WW1 SURFACE NAVIES]

 

1874  The British businessmen William T. Eley [no convenient biography] and his brothers expand their Eley Brothers' Cartridge Company [Wikipedia factsheet] to meet increasing demand for metal cartridges. Around the same time the Tod and Macgregor Shipyard [<=1865 (6th December)] is taken over by Handyside and Henderson and Company [Grace's Guide factsheet]. Around the same time the American rancher-businessman Isaac L. Ellwood [Wikipedia biography] goes into partnership with Joseph Glidden [Wikipedia biography] as the I. L. Ellwood Manufacturing Company to produce barbed wire. [THREAD = THE WW1 FINANCIAL AND ARMAMENTS INDUSTRIES]

 

ASIDE - ELEY BROTHERS IN WW1: An Internet source (unchecked) credits Eley brothers with producing 209 million .303" rifle cartridges in WW1 and invites us to compare George Kynoch and Company [1870 (17th November)<=>1884 (16th July)], Birmingham, who manage more than ten times that.

 

1874  The German revolutionary socialist Johann Most [Wikipedia biography=>1885] is elected as a Social Democrat to the Berlin Reichstag, but is soon arrested for preaching violent protest. Similar arrests follow in Paris and London as he moves his operations around Europe, and so in 1882 he will emigrate to the USA to liven up political debate over there. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1874  Aware of the previous work of Édouard de Martinville [<=1857 (26th January)], the Scottish-born American Alexander Graham Bell [Wikipedia biography=>1876], inventor and teacher of the deaf, devises his own apparatus to explain how the human ear transduces physical sound. He starts by obtaining a human skull from a mortuary, dissecting out the temporal bone, complete with the dead man's inner ear, and connecting a short stylus to the incus, one of the bones of the inner ear. He then positions a speaking cup up against the eardrum, and tilts the whole arrangement so that the stylus is just touching against a small smoke-blackened glass panel on a slide-table. If he then talks into the speaking cup and moves the slide-table at the same time the vibrations of the stylus leave behind it a visible trace of the sound wave. Because his instrument generates the visible signature of sounds Bell adopts de Martinville's term "phonautograph". More importantly, given the present context, Bell's observations lead him to the membrane-to-membrane concept of a talking telegraph, or "telephone". [THREAD = WW1 SIGNALLING AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS]

 

ASIDE: The use of pen-on-paper or stylus-on-smoked-glass is the 19th century equivalent (a) of the pen tracing oscillograph systems used in seismographs, myographs, electroencephalographs, and electrocardiographs in the mid-20th century, and (b) of the computer software pixel tracing systems used nowadays.

 

1874  The St. Étienne Arsenal re-machines the Chassepot Rifle [<=1866] to take a brass cartridge. The result is known as the Fusil Gras M80 [YouTube demonstration]. It will remain in service until replaced over a decade later by the Lebel Rifle [=>1886], and, in all, some half million units will be produced. [THREAD = WW1 SMALL ARMS]

 

1874  Fortress France and Belgium [II - Verdun-Tavannes and Antwerp]: [Continued from 1872 (28th July)] As part of the initial ("forts de la panique") phase of the Séré de Rivières upgrades [<=1872 (28th July)], construction work begins on Tavannes Fort, on the heights to the northeast of Verdun. Unlike other forts in this sector, Tavannes has no turrets or cupolae, and only one cast steel casemate, namely a "Cloche Pamart" [which still remains to be visited - see fortiffsere image]. Around the same time the Belgian military engineer Henri Brialmont [Wikipedia biography=>1885 (1st January)] designs a double ring of forts around Antwerp, turning the entire city into one great "National Redoubt" [Wikipedia factsheet=>1914 (16th August)]. Each fort is either a pentagonal or a triangular combination of inner citadel and outer fossée sec [= "dry moat"]. There are 18 forts in the outer ring, and 12 in the inner ring [continues at 1875 ...]. [THREAD = WW1 PERMANENT FORTIFICATIONS]

 

ASIDE: Two of Brialmont's Antwerp forts are preserved as museum sites, and another is rigged out for paintball combat!

 

1874  HMS Vesuvius joins HMS Vernon [1872<=>1876] to assist trials of Whitehead torpedo technology [<=1860]. [THREAD = THE WW1 SUBMARINE NAVIES]

 

1874  The American inventor William Gardner [no convenient biography=>1879 (??th August)] constructs a prototype hopper-fed cranked action .45" calibre machine gun, and assigns production rights to the Pratt and Whitney Company [1860<=>1875]. [THREAD = WW1 MACHINE GUNS]

 

1874 [17th February] Amongst the Conservative Members of Parliament elected in the 1874 General Election is the industrialist [Sir]1874 George Elliott [1864<=>1882]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1874 [24th February] Working to design studies by [Sir]1876 Nathaniel Barnaby [<=1872], construction work begins at Portsmouth Dockyard on HMS Inflexible [Wikipedia shipography=>1876 (27th April)], a class-of-one battleship. The ship is essentially an armoured steel citadel surrounded by unarmoured bow and stern sections to make it sea-worthy. Within this central citadel are mounted four 81-ton 16" [= 406mm] rifled muzzle-loading guns (the largest yet mounted on a Royal Navy ship) in two twin turrets set en echelon within the citadel. Other innovations include (a) horizontal armour as well as vertical, because the increasing range of artillery has made it necessary to protect against plunging long-distance shot, (b) four 14" Whitehead torpedoes, (c) complex hull compartmentalisation, (d) in places the thickest armour until now [or since - Ed.] fitted to a warship, and (e) electric lighting throughout. [THREAD = THE WW1 SURFACE NAVIES]

 

1874 [14th March] The Treaty of Fomena: This treaty between Britain and the Ashanti Kingdom brings the Third Ashanti War [<=1873 (7th March)] to a formal end. The main provision is that the Ashanti should pay over a punitive sum of 50,000 ounces of gold. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1874 [25th March] Having learned much from his secondment to the Union Army balloon corps during the American Civil War [<=1863], Ferdinand von Zeppelin [1863<=>1891] produces the conceptual design for a large steerable [= "dirigible"] powered balloon. [THREAD = WW1 AVIATION]

 

1874 [April or hereabouts] Workers at the Cyfarthfa Ironworks [1867 (4th August)<=>1879 (10th May)] come out on strike. Such is the impact of the strikers' demands upon an already struggling business that Robert Thompson-Crawshay [1867 (4th August)<=>1879 (10th May)] shuts down the works, and keeps it shut until the market recovers in 1879. [THREAD = THE WW1 WORKING CLASS SOLDIER]

 

1874 [17th June] The French telegraph engineer Jean-Maurice-Émile Baudot [Wikipedia biography] develops the Baudot printing telegraph, a system capable of sending the full alphabet, plus the numbers and the most common punctuation marks, using only a five-key keyboard. The system will be adopted in 1877 by the French telegraph service, and improved versions will be in use in the British Post Office around the turn of the century. [THREAD = WW1 SIGNALLING AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS]

 

ASIDE: The historical importance of Baudot's system (also known as the International Telegraph Code No. 1) lies in the fact that it is the first to use on-off binary electrical switching. A five-key keyboard actually allows only a 32-item codebook, so Baudot prefixed his transmissions with a reserved code indicating whether what followed was from the alphabetic list, or a second list comprising the digits and the punctuation marks. The code was particularly efficient in practice because it could be punched across a paper tape, rather than along it (as with Morse code), allowing all five bit settings to be read simultaneously. The system will be widely enhanced in the early 20th century by the likes of Donald Murray [=>1900 (27th February)] and Frederick Creed [=>1902]. This tape format is also important to the history of computing, because during World War Two it was used (a) in two of the Nazi's main cipher machines (the Lorenz SZ40/42 and the Siemens and Halske Geheimschreiber), and (b) in many of the Allies' experimental code-breaking computers. Baudot also invented what would nowadays be termed "time-division multiplexing" technology, that is to say, a method by which a number of operators could send their messages in microscopic "time slots", to be separated out at the receiving end.

 

1874 [2nd July] The Dakota Gold Rush: It having been rumoured that gold had been found in the black hills, the U.S. Army resolves to check for itself and sends a column of 7th Cavalry under George A. Custer [1868 (27th November)<=>1876 (8th February)]. This historical event is noteworthy in the present context as an economic casus belli, in that it changed the Dakotas overnight from Indian land back into a land of opportunity (once a way could be found around the treaties which had so generously given it to the Indians in the first place). [THREAD = WAR AND ATROCITY]

 

1874 [23rd July] Cardiff Docks [VII - Roath Basin Opened/Roath Dock Authorised]: [Continued from 1866 (10th August)] The new Roath Basin opens for business, but because it lacks the necessary capacity Parliament authorises a new dock beyond it [continues at 1887 (24th August) ...]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1874 [7th August] The U.S. Army begins to develop an artillery proving ground at Sandy Hook, NJ [map, etc.]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF THE MODERN WORLD]

 

1874 [8th December] Seeing is Believing [IX - Early Moving Images (Janssen)]: [Continued from 1873 (1st April)] The French astronomer Pierre Janssen [Wikipedia biography] uses the Claudet principle of the rotating film disk [<=1852 (Claudet)] to take 48 Daguerrotype images in a space of 72 seconds. He names his apparatus the "Révolver Astronomique" [sub-thread continues at 1875 (13th January) ...]. [THREAD = THE BATTLE FOR HEARTS AND MINDS]

 

1874 [??th December] Having contracted with the Pinkerton Detective Agency [<=1862] to provide him with a small private army of "coal police" [= hired thugs], the Pennsylvania coal owner Franklin B. Gowen [Wikipedia biography] arbitrarily imposes a 20% wage cut in his collieries. [THREAD = THE WW1 WORKING CLASS SOLDIER]

 

**********  "SPINAL CONCUSSION" IS DEBATED  **********

**********  "SPINAL CONCUSSION" IS DEBATED  **********

**********  "SPINAL CONCUSSION" IS DEBATED  **********

1875  Nervous Shock [IV - "Railway Spine"]: [Continued from 1866] Following up on his earlier contribution to the railway compensation culture debate, the British physician John E. Erichsen [1866<=>1882 (??th January)] now publishes "On Concussion of the Spine, and Other Obscure Injuries of the Nervous System" [full text of 1882 edition online], in which, amongst other things, he further investigates the nature of "jar or shake of the [spinal] cord without obvious lesion". Here are some indicative conclusions ...

 

"The primary effects of these concussions or commotions of the spinal cord are probably due to molecular changes in its structure. The secondary are mostly of  an inflammatory character, or are dependent on retrogressive organic changes, such as softening, etc., consequent on interference with its nutrition. It would appear that surgeons and writers on diseases of the nervous system have included four distinct pathological conditions under this one term, '' Concussion of the Spine," viz., 1. A jar or shake of the cord, disordering, to a greater or less degree, its functions, without any lesion perceptible to the unaided eye. 2. Compression of the cord slowly produced by the extravasation of blood. 3. Compression of the cord by inflammatory exudations, serum, lymph, or pus within the spinal canal ; and, 4. Chronic alterations of the structure of the cord itself as the result of impairment of  nutrition consequent on the occurrence of one or other of the preceding pathological states, but chiefly of the third. These various conditions differ remarkably from one another in their symptoms and effects, and have only this in common, that they are not dependent upon an obvious external injury of the spine ..." (Erichsen, 1875; emphases added).

 

On the basis of his observations Erichsen then proposes a difficult-to-observe class of physical injury named "spinal concussion". The story here will be well recounted a hundred years later by the cultural historian Wolfgang Schivelbusch [Wikipedia biography] in his 1977 book "The Railway Journey: the Industrialisation of Time and Space in the 19th Century", especially Chapter 9 therein, entitled "Railroad Accident, 'Railway Spine', and Traumatic Neurosis" [full text online]. Here is an indicative extract ...

 

"Only material, i.e., pathologically demonstrable, damage caused to accident victims qualified them for compensation. Thus the compensation of physically injured victims caused no problems, but those victims who suffered damage without a pathologically demonstrable cause created - in the period between 1865 and 1885 - a legal and medical problem whose solution in the courts depended on the medical profession. The medical experts called upon in compensation cases had to determine whether the claimant's ailment was an imaginary one, simulated in order to receive compensation from the railroad company, or whether it was a manifestation of a new medical syndrome. The medical explanations given for the new symptoms changed significantly during those two decades. The initial explanation was a pathological one. The experts decided on either simulation or a supposed microscopic deterioration of the spinal cord ('railway spine') due to mechanical shock caused by the accident. [...] From the early 1880s on, the purely pathological view was superseded by a new, psychopathological one, according to which the shock caused by the accident did not affect the tissue of the spinal marrow, but affected the victim psychically. Now it was the victim's experience of shock that was the main causative factor of the illness. By the end of the 1880s, the concept of 'railway spine' had been replaced by that of 'traumatic neurosis'" (Schivelbusch, 1977, pp134-136; emphases added).

 

Schivelbusch continues ...

 

"Thus a newspaper report on an unhurt participant in the great disaster on the Paris-Versailles line in 1842: 'We saw a woman who had been in the first compartment of the car that followed right behind the locomotives; she had not received any injury, but had experienced a commotion so extreme when confronted by this horrible disaster that she did not remember anything of it at all. [...] Two things were constant in reports given by traumatised accident victims. Immediately after the accident the victim felt completely normal; after one or two days he became overwhelmed by the memory of the event. We have a report by Charles Dickens: On 9 June 1865, he experienced a minor railroad accident and escaped entirely unscathed. Four days later he discussed it in a letter, describing how he assisted other travellers immediately after the accident occurred. [He wrote:

 

 'I] was not on the least fluttered at the time ... But in writing these scanty words of recollection I feel the shake and I am obliged to stop'

 

[other examples given] In medical literature the new subject appeared for the first time in 1866. The Lancet published a three-part article by Thomas Buzzard entitled 'On cases of Injury from Railway Accidents'. In the same year William Camps [...] published 'Railway Accidents and Collisions' [... And] finally, that year also saw the publication of an epoch-making book by John Eric Erichsen, On Railway and Other Injuries of the Nervous System. [...] Here is William Camps' description of the particular nature of the railroad accident:

 

There is something in [railway collisions] which would seem to produce effects upon the nervous system quite beyond those of any ordinary injury. In some cases, we are told, the sufferer may not even have sustained any fracture, and the cuts and external injuries may be apparently slight [...] yet there may be coincident with all this such a shock to the system as for a time to shatter the whole constitution, and this, moreover, to such a degree, to such an extent, that the unfortunate sufferer may not altogether recover throughout the remainder of his life [...]" (Schivelbusch, 1977, pp137-139; emphases added).

 

Schivelbusch also identifies what he believes is the "decisive passage" in Erichsen's work, as follows ...

 

"'It is important to observe that a serious accident may give rise to two distinct forms of nervous shock ... The first is mental or moral, and the second purely physical. These forms of 'shock' may be developed separately, or they may co-exist. It is most important ... to distinguish between these two, and if co-existing to assign to each other its proper importance.' [... He also] detected a new, entirely specific quality in the rail accident that distinguished it from all other kinds of accidents:

 

During a hospital practice of thirty years I can scarcely recall to mind a single case in which the emotional or hysterical state that I am about to describe has been met with after, or as a consequence of, any of the ordinary accidents of civil life. But I have seen many instances of it after railway concussions. Is this due to the frantic terror which often seizes upon the sufferers from railway collisions, or is it due to some peculiarity in the accident, some vibratory thrill transmitted through the nervous system by the peculiarity of the accident? I am disposed to think that terror has much to do with its production. It must be remembered that railway accidents have this peculiarity, that they come upon the sufferers instantaneously without warning, or with but a few seconds for preparation, and that the utter helplessness of a human being in the midst of the great masses in motion renders these accidents peculiarly terrible." (Schivelbusch, 1977, pp142-143; emphases added).

 

The "Railway Spine/Spinal Concussion Debate" is noteworthy in the present context because precisely the same theoretical uncertainties - that is to say, whether an injury can be either entirely psychological or else so microscopically physical that it cannot be physically described - will arise in due course when dealing with WW1 cases of "shellshock" [continues at 1882 (??th January) ...]. [THREAD = WW1 MILITARY MEDICINE AND COGNITIVE SCIENCE]

 

1875  The British physician Sir James Paget, 1st Baronet [Wikipedia biography] publishes "Clinical Lectures and Essays" [full text online]. [THREAD = WW1 MILITARY MEDICINE AND COGNITIVE SCIENCE]

 

1875  The Aberdare Ironworks [<=1818] and the Plymouth Ironworks [<=1834], once prides of the early Industrial Revolution, go out of business due to the global downturn. [THREAD = THE WW1 WORKING CLASS SOLDIER]

 

1875  The Socialist Workers' Party of Germany [Wikipedia factsheet] popularises the use of the word "Genosse" [= "fellow traveller"1/"comrade"] as its preferred form of interpersonal greeting. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1CAUTION: In modern English usage the phrase "fellow traveller" has acquired the strongly negative connotation of "opportunistic hanger-on". In the original German sense a Genosse was someone you knew because they really were going the same way; hence, by extension, a friend of opportunity and shared objectives.

 

**********  PSYCHOLOGY BECOMES A SCIENCE1  **********

1875  The American philosopher-psychologist William James [Wikipedia biography=>1883] establishes an experimental psychology laboratory at Harvard University. [THREAD = WW1 MILITARY MEDICINE AND COGNITIVE SCIENCE]

 

1ASIDE: In its theoretical aspects psychology had been "mental philosophy" ever since Plato's time, with a recent sprinkling of "psychophysics" since Gustav Fechner [<=1860] and Hermann von Helmholtz [<=1863]. However, the understanding and treatment of mental illness and acquired neurological defects such as aphasia were simply specialisms within neurology.

 

1875  Blaenavon Iron and Coal Works [1836<=>1878 (??th May)] permits Sidney G. Thomas [1870=>1878 (??th May)] and Percy Gilchrist [Wikipedia biography=>1878 (??th May)] to conduct metallurgical experiments into the removal of phosphorus impurities during the Bessemer Conversion process [<=1855]. [THREAD = THE INDUSTRIAL AND SCIENTIFIC REVOLUTION]

 

1875  The American inventor Frank S. Baldwin [Wikipedia biography] patents the "pinwheel", as an alternative to the age-old cogwheel for carrying out the tens-carry operation in mechanical calculators. This device will become the core component of the commercially highly successful Odhner and Monroe type of calculator. In 1912 Baldwin will teamed up with Jay Randolph Monroe [no convenient biography] to found the Monroe Calculator Company [Wikipedia factsheet]. The modern term "number crunching" comes from the often ominous grinding noise the pinwheel calculators made when doing large sums. [THREAD = WW1 CYBERNETICS, COMPUTATIONAL SCIENCE, AND FIRE CONTROL]

 

1875  Erhard and Arthur Junghans [<=1861 (15th April)] update their family clock-making business with modern American mass production techniques. [THREAD = THE WW1 FINANCIAL AND ARMAMENTS INDUSTRIES]

 

1875  The French artillery officer Henri de Lahitolle [Wikipedia biography] designs the "Lahitolle Modèle 1875", a 95mm steel cannon with a screw breech. It will serve in WW1 both as a field and a fortress weapon. [THREAD = WW1 ARTILLERY]

 

1875  The French military engineer Henri-Louis-Philippe Mougin [Wikipedia biography] designs a turret for fort-based 155mm guns. Each turret weighs 160 tons, mounts two guns, rotates on a circular track set down into the structure of the fort, and is protected vertically by a laminated iron dome and horizontally by its concrete shoulder-work. The artillery pieces are specially built to be pivoted at the muzzle end, with elevation at the breech end, meaning that no part of the barrel needs to project beyond the confines of the turret. A cheaper casemate version is available for sites where top mounting is not practicable, or where costs need to be kept down. After proving ground trials the system will be installed at many of the Séré de Rivières series of forts [<=1872 (28th July)] under construction at this time. Around the same time the Gruson Armaments Company [<=1855 (1st June)] extends its portfolio of Festungsartillerie [= "fortress artillery"] by offering a high-performance Hartguss [= "hard cast"] steel Panzerturm [= "armoured tower/cupola"] fitted with two 150mm cannons. These are installed at a number of locations in the Metz sector, including Fort Woippy. [THREAD = WW1 PERMANENT FORTIFICATIONS]

 

1875  Fortress France and Belgium [III - Verdun-Marre/Souville]: [Continued from 1874] As part of the initial ("forts de la panique") phase of the Séré de Rivières upgrades [<=1872 (28th July)], construction work begins on Fort Marre and Fort de Souville, both "flat arrow" layouts on the heights around Verdun. These are positioned so as to form an inner ring of fortifications which will eventually include Tavannes, Belleville, Saint-Michel, Belrupt, Regret, and La Chaume [see http://thetunnel.free.fr/verdun/forteres.html for map] [continues at 1877 ...]. [THREAD = WW1 PERMANENT FORTIFICATIONS]

 

ASIDE - FORT DE SOUVILLE IN WW1: Fort Souville is destined to become a keystone in the defence of the Verdun sector after Douaumont is captured in the early days of the German 1916 Verdun Offensive [=>1916 (21st February)]. Both forts are now ruins in the countryside. Entry below ground is both formally forbidden, often illegal, and decidedly unsafe, but educational tourism of the Verdun battlefields is being increasingly encouraged officially and it is often possible to walk heritage trails through key sites [see the Verdun Open Air Museum website].

 

**********  NEURASTHENIA AGAIN  **********

1875  Neurasthenia [II - Mitchell (1875)]: [Continued from 1869] Silas Weir Mitchell [1872<=>1887] publishes "Fat and Blood: An Essay on the Treatment of Certain Forms of Neurasthenia and Hysteria" [Project Gutenberg full text online=>1887], in which he applies George M. Beard's [1869<=>1878] notion of "neurasthenia" to his own casebook, using seclusion, total rest, and careful nutrition in the treatment of "men or women subject to states of feebleness or neurasthenia". His casebook contains not just many underweight women, but occasionally also injured veterans, thus ...

 

"A woman, most often between twenty and thirty years of age, undergoes a season of trial or encounters some prolonged strain. [...] But, no matter how it comes about, whether from illness, anxiety, or prolonged physical effort, the woman grows pale and thin, eats little, or if she eats does not profit by it. Everything wearies her,—to sew, to write, to read, to walk,—and by and by the sofa or the bed is her only comfort. [...] If the case did not begin with uterine troubles, they soon appear, and are usually treated in vain if the general means employed to build up the bodily health fail, as in many of these cases they do fail. [...] If such a person is by nature emotional she is sure to become more so, for even the firmest women lose self-control at last under incessant feebleness. Nor is this less true of men; and I have many a time seen soldiers who had ridden boldly with Sheridan or fought gallantly with Grant become, under the influence of painful nerve-wounds, as irritable and hysterically emotional as the veriest girl" (op. cit.; Chapter III).

 

As we shall be seeing in due course, this usage will remain popular until well into WW1 to describe cases of shell-shock [=>1915 (Arthur J. Brock)] [continues at 1880 ...]. [THREAD = WW1 MILITARY MEDICINE AND COGNITIVE SCIENCE]

 

1875  The Swedish-born engineer Thorsten Nordenfelt [Wikipedia biography=>1888] comes to a financing agreement with Helge Palmcrantz [<=1873] to manufacture the latter's "xylophone" design as the Nordenfelt Machine Gun [Wikipedia image]. Different models will come in different calibres up to 1", and with different numbers of barrels. Around the same time Pratt and Whitney [1874<=>1879 (??th August)] demonstrate their version of the Gardner machine gun [<=1874] at the U.S. Naval Yard, Washington, DC. No orders are forthcoming, however. [THREAD = WW1 MACHINE GUNS]

 

**********  TWO IMPORTANT NEUROSCIENTISTS  **********

1875  Locating Brain Function [II - Meynert and Ferrier]: [Continued from 1874] The German-born Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist Theodor Meynert [Wikipedia biography=>1881 (31st March)] is appointed medical director of the University of Vienna Psychiatric Clinic, rapidly turning it into a centre of clinical and theoretical excellence. His contribution to neuroscience will be emphasised by future historians, thus ...

 

"Meynert combined his ingenious exact findings with results of the upcoming neurophysiology, neurochemistry and neuropsychology into a prodigious coherent system representing the complexity of the human brain-world relationship. These achievements reveal Meynert as the founder of scientific brain research" (Seitelberger, 1997 online).

 

Meynert's works are noteworthy in the present context (a) for drawing scientific attention to "cytoarchitectonics" [Wikipedia factsheet] - the study of neural microstructure - and the sheer impenetrability1 of that microstructure, even under the most powerful microscope, and (b) for his contributions to the already vigorous debate as to the localisability of cerebral function [<=1874 (Bartholow)]. Around the same time the British neurologist [Sir]1911 David Ferrier [Wikipedia biography=>1878] publishes a monograph on functional neuroanatomy entitled "The Functions of the Brain", in which he reports observations from a series of brain-stimulation studies in a variety of animals. The book includes a later-famous functional mapping of the dog's brain [see it now]. [THREAD = WW1 MILITARY MEDICINE AND COGNITIVE SCIENCE]

 

1RESEARCH ISSUE: Neuroscience in 2014 still has little to no idea how trillions of individually unremarkable microscopic connections between neurons somehow combine to give us our thoughts, memories, and emotions. For a review of some of the competing approaches see the Companion Resource. For our own standard introduction to neural microanatomy see the Companion Resource.

 

1875  The Irish-born American engineer John P. Holland [Wikipedia biography=>1897 (17th May)] submits designs for a submarine to the U.S. Navy. The proposal is declined, leaving Holland to spend the next 22 years working with private funding to build a working prototype. Around the same time Robert Whitehead [<=1860] buys out the failed Whitehead-Luppis torpedo company [<=1860], and starts to persuade the Austro-Hungarian War Office of the potential of the new weapon. [THREAD = THE WW1 SUBMARINE NAVIES]

 

****  "NEVER MORE BEAUTIFUL THAN HERE UNDER THE GUNS' NOISE"1  ****

1875  The academic Joseph Parry [Wikipedia biography=>1876] composes the folksong "Myfanwy" [hear it now (Trelawnyd Male Voice Choir)]. [THREAD = WW1 TRENCH SONGS]

 

1ASIDE - FOLKSONGS IN WW1: Another trenches favourite seems to have been David Owen's [Wikipedia biography] "Dafydd y Garreg Wen" [= "David of the White Rock"], composed around 1740 [hear it now]. Because this latter work includes the phrase "David, play, and come through the gates of death" (Hughes translation) it naturally appeals to soldiers in general (and soldiers named David in particular) on the eve of battle. Thus David Jones (Royal Welsh Fusiliers) gives it a mention in his 1937 memoir "In Parenthesis" (where it is sung by his semi-fictional Lance-Corporal Lewis [p42]), and so too does Ivor Gurney (Gloucestershire Regiment), from whose 1920 poem "First Time In" we have taken the headline quotation.

 

1875  The British research physiologist Richard Caton [Wikipedia biography] reports successfully using a galvanometer [Wikipedia factsheet] to detect electrical activity from the surface of the cerebrum in dogs and apes. [THREAD = WW1 MILITARY MEDICINE AND COGNITIVE SCIENCE]

 

1875 [1st January] Coal miners in Pennsylvania come out on strike. [THREAD = THE WW1 WORKING CLASS SOLDIER]

 

1875 [13th January] Seeing is Believing [X - Modern Magic (Psycho)]: [Continued from 1874 (8th December)] Maskelyne and Cooke's [1873 (1st April)<=>1894 (1st April)] latest attraction is a card-playing automaton named "Psycho" who uses "hiding in plain sight" trickery to create an illusion of autonomous machine intelligence. Specifically, what the audience sees is a doll figure participating in a round of whist, playing its 13 cards one by one to compete with three human opponents. The accompanying stage-patter emphasises that the figure is not influenced in any way by outside controllers, and, to this end, it is perched atop a clear glass cylinder so that the audience can see there is no control from below. Except that there is, for Psycho is being controlled by a bellows system puffing air up through the cylinder to activate a pressure switch hidden away in its nether regions. The showmen even make a great show of passing the all-important glass pipe around the audience to prove its innocence! The trick generates a surge of bookings and a wave of suggested explanations [sub-thread continues at 1877 (Reynaud) ...]. [THREAD = THE BATTLE FOR HEARTS AND MINDS]

 

ASIDE: Psycho is nowadays conserved at the Museum of London [see online exhibit].

 

1875 [??th January] Automation, Control, and Artificial Intelligence [XLVI - Analog Computing (Kelvin Again)]: [Continued from 1873 (18th January)] Sir William Thomson [1st Baron Kelvin]1892 [1872<=>1876] presents his tide-predicting machine [<=1872] to the Edinburgh Royal Society and then again on ??th August to the British Association for the Advancement of Science at Bristol [continues at 1876 (Kelvin) ...]. [THREAD = WW1 CYBERNETICS, COMPUTATIONAL SCIENCE, AND FIRE CONTROL]

 

1875 [29th January-30th November] The French Third Republic [III - The Eventual Constitution]: [Continued from 1871 (28th January)] This year-long debate gradually pieces together a compromise new French republican constitution featuring a President, a Senate, and a Chamber of Deputies. As finally agreed, the "Third Republic" will endure until the WW2 Battle of France [=>1940 (22nd June)]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1875 [11th March] The RMS Oceanic [1871 (16th March)<=>1890 (7th January)] is sold to the Occidental and Oriental Steamship Company [no convenient factsheet] to work the San Francisco - Yokohama - Hong Kong route. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1875 [16th April] Newport Docks [VII - Alexandra North Dock Opened]: [Continued from 1868 (??th May)] After seven years in the construction the Alexandra North Dock opens for business [continues at 1883 (30th January) ...]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1875 [21st April] Irish Home Rule [III - Enter Parnell]: [Continued from 1873 (21st November)] Charles S. Parnell [Wikipedia biography=>1882 (17th October)] is elected in a by-election as the latest Member of Parliament for the Home Rule League [1873 (18th November)<=> 1877 (28th August)]. His energy, his extensive contacts, and his sense of purpose will lift him rapidly through the ranks [continues at 1882 (17th October) ...]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

**********  THE BALKAN POWDER TRAIL IS LIT  **********

**********  THE BALKAN POWDER TRAIL IS LIT  **********

**********  THE BALKAN POWDER TRAIL IS LIT  **********

1875 [9th July] The Balkan Crisis [I - The Herzegovina Uprising, 1875-1877]: After months of tit-for-tat violence the province of Herzegovina descends into outright rebellion against the Ottoman Empire. Other non-Muslim provinces close at hand (Bosnia, Montenegro, and Serbia) either join in or give support, and the immediate "Balkan Crisis" culminates in the Serbo-Turkish [=>1876 (30th June)] and Russo-Turkish [=>1877 (24th April)] Wars, as well as the rebellions in Bulgaria [=>1876 (20th April)] and Romania [=>1877 (21st May)]. These events are noteworthy in the present context because the resulting treaties of Constantinople [=>1876 (23rd December)] and Berlin [=>1878 (13th June)], and the League of the Three Emperors [=>1879 (7th October)] then divide Europe into its 1914 antagonists and establish the famous "Balkan powder-keg" [Wikipedia factsheet]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1875 [22nd August] The Edgar Thomson Steel Works [Wikipedia factsheet], North Braddock, PA, goes into production. One of the main investors is the Scottish-born American entrepreneur Andrew Carnegie [Wikipedia biography=>1878 (??th May)]. [THREAD = THE WW1 FINANCIAL AND ARMAMENTS INDUSTRIES]

 

1875 [15th September] A new trans-Atlantic cable comes into operation. [THREAD = WW1 SIGNALLING AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS]

 

**********  A TUNE SO PITIFUL1  **********

1875 [11th November] Llanelli Rugby Football Club [modern corporate website] is founded, drawing supporters from the iron, steel, and tinplate works in the region. The club soon1 adopts the song "Sospan Fach" [= "The Little Saucepan" - hear it now (supporters' rendering); hear it now (sing-along rendering)] as its signature tune. [THREAD = THE WW1 WORKING CLASS SOLDIER]2

 

1ASIDE - SOSPAN FACH IN WW1: We have as yet been unable to determine who wrote this catchy little ditty3, or when, but it was definitely sung by Welsh battalions in WW1. It was much liked, for example, by the poet-hero Robert Graves [=>1914 (3rd August)] who, in his 1920 poem of the same name, recalls calling for "the Sospan" to be sung on a route march to cheer the spirits. "Four collier lads from Ebbw Vale" duly oblige, only to bring painful memories flooding back ...

 

"[...]

Who knows a tune so soft, so strong,

So pitiful as that 'Saucepan' song

For exiled hope, despaired desire

Of lost souls for their cottage fire?

 

Then low at first with gathering sound

Rose their four voices, smooth and round

Till back went Time: once more I stood

With Fusiliers in Mametz Wood.

[...]

The storm blows over, Sun comes out,

The choir breaks up with jest and shout

With what relief I watch them part -

Another note would break my heart!"

 

The full text of Graves' poem is contained, along with other material of relevance, in G.M.

Griffiths' 2011 [highly recommended] blog "Move Him Into the Sun".

 

2ASIDE: For reasons which do not presently concern us the game of rugby football is a middle class entertainment in the south-east of England but a working class entertainment in Wales and northern England.

 

3ASIDE: Sosban Fach was featured on 14th September 2014 in the first episode of Cerys Matthews' new investigative folksong TV series "Y Goeden Faled" [= "The Ballad Tree"] (S4C). It turns out that the received explanation is that the work was composed in about 1895 by two visitors to the spa town of Llanwrtyd Wells, Mid-Wales, specifically one W. Talog Williams and the Rev. D. M. Davies (although their relative contribution is unknown and was still much argued about in 1915), and specifically at Britannia House on Irfon Crescent, the town's main street (which nowadays boasts a commemorative plaque to this effect [see this at http://www.geograph.org.uk/ photo/3163828]).  The reason the song was then linked so firmly to Llanelli, 50 miles away, is that Llanwrtyd was a popular place for the tin-workers - who of course made sosbanau for a living - of Llanelli to visit, to take the waters, and then celebrate afterward.

 

1875 [16th November] The battleship HMS Superb [Wikipedia shipography=>1880 (15th November)] is launched at the Thames Ironworks and Shipbuilding Company [1863 (12th December)<=>1885 (15th June)]. [THREAD = THE WW1 SURFACE NAVIES]

 

**********  A CLEVER INSURANCE SCAM GOES WRONG  **********

1875 [11th December] Having contrived a plan to benefit from his own life insurance policy as "lost at sea", a Scottish-born Nova Scotian named Alexander Keith [Wikipedia biography=>d. self-inflicted wounds ca. 18th December] books a ticket on the SS Mosel [<=1872 (20th August)], plants a large time-bomb in his luggage, and covertly disembarks. Unfortunately for him his luggage is heavily handled while being lifted from the quay and the bomb goes off prematurely, killing 80 bystanders. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1876  Following the bankruptcy of Immanuel Nobel's [<=1855 (9th June)] munitions factory in St. Petersburg, Russia, his sons Ludwig Nobel [Wikipedia biography=>1879] and Robert Nobel [Wikipedia biography=>1879], buy into an oil refinery at Baku [modern Azerbaijan]. As the company expands, the Nobels establish an in-house research laboratory in order to explore profitable new oil by-products. In 1878 they order the world's first oil tanker [continues at 1879 ...]. [THREAD = THE WW1 FINANCIAL AND ARMAMENTS INDUSTRIES]

 

1876  Elliott Brothers [1873<=>1880 (25th March)] expands into the telegraph equipment industry. [THREAD = WW1 CYBERNETICS, COMPUTATIONAL SCIENCE, AND FIRE CONTROL] [THREAD = THE WW1 FINANCIAL AND ARMAMENTS INDUSTRIES]

 

**********  A NEW TECHNOLOGICAL ARMS RACE  **********

1876  The Armour Race [I - The Spezia Trials]: Europe's iron and steel works get together at Spezia, Italy, to compare performance. The Schneider Company [1871 (28th January [ASIDE])<=>1877], goes straight to the top of the class with its 22" [=56mm] mild steel plate. Their precise process is both a military and a commercial secret, or course, but the rumour is soon circulating that the 22" plate has been carefully hammered down from an ingot some four times as thick [continues at 1877 ...].

 

ASIDE: This entry needs four-threading (a/b) because good armour is needed both at sea and on land [THREAD = THE WW1 SURFACE NAVIES] [THREAD = WW1 PERMANENT FORTIFICATIONS], (c) because when it is your enemy's armour you need to hit it as often as possible (a far-from-straightforward task on land, let alone at sea) [THREAD = WW1 CYBERNETICS, COMPUTATIONAL SCIENCE, AND FIRE-CONTROL - see next entry], and (d) because when you hit it you need armour piercing projectiles in order to inflict maximum damage [THREAD = WW1 ARTILLERY].

 

**********  CONTINUOUS ANALOG COMPUTING IS BORN  **********

**********  CONTINUOUS ANALOG COMPUTING IS BORN  **********

**********  CONTINUOUS ANALOG COMPUTING IS BORN  **********

1876 Automation, Control, and Artificial Intelligence [XLVII - Analog Computing (Kelvin yet Again)]: [Continued from 1875 (??th January)] Having already demonstrated the principles of his tide predicting machine [<=1872 and 1875 (??th January)] Sir William Thomson [1st Baron Kelvin]1892 [1875 (??th January)<=>1882 (25th August)] now delivers the latest prototype to the Meteorological Office, who, after due evaluation, commission a full-scale version [sub-thread continues at 1880 (25th March) ...]. [THREAD = WW1 CYBERNETICS, COMPUTATIONAL SCIENCE, AND FIRE CONTROL]

 

**********  MUSIC TO DIE FOR  **********

1876  Following the success of "Myfanwy", Joseph Parry [<=1875] now composes the hymn tune "Aberystwyth" [hear it now=>1897 (Enoch Sontonga)]. [THREAD = WW1 TRENCH SONGS]

 

ASIDE - HYMNS IN WW1: Robert Graves [=>1929] notes ...

 

"The Welsh always sang when pretending not to be scared; it kept them steady. And they never sang out of tune." (Goodbye to All That, p81).

 

Soldiers being soldiers, however, bawdy versions were often sung to the same tune. One of the most famous of these is Joseph M. Scriven's (1855) "What a Friend We Have in Jesus" [hear it now] which reappeared in WW1 as "When this Bloody War is Over" [hear it now]. As for Aberystwyth, the lyric will normally be the 1740 Charles Wesley hymn "Jesus, Lover of my Soul" [full text]. The WW1 poet David Jones [=>1937] will later recall "... and the Royal Welsh sing Jesu lover of me soul ... to Aberystwyth" (In Parenthesis, p160), and Robert Graves [=>1929] further notes ...

 

" We marched towards the flashes, and could soon see the flare-lights curving across the distant trenches. The noise of the guns grew louder and louder. Presently we were among the batteries. From about two hundred yards behind us, on the left of the road, a salvo of four shells whizzed suddenly over our heads. This broke up Aberystwyth in the middle of a verse ..." (Goodbye to All That, p81).

 

1876  The German engineer Nikolaus Otto [Wikipedia biography=>1885] patents a four-stroke internal combustion gas engine. [THREAD = THE INDUSTRIAL AND SCIENTIFIC REVOLUTION]

 

1876  Alfred Nobel [1871<=>1887] patents "blasting gelatine", a solid combination of nitroglycerine and nitrocellulose, soon to be marketed as "gelignite". At around the same time his German headquarters company renames itself Dynamit A.G. [Wikipedia factsheet], a French development company is set up under the name Société Générale pour la Fabrication de la Dynamite, and the British Dynamite Company [<=1873 (14th January)] reorganises itself as Nobel's Explosives Company. [THREAD = THE WW1 FINANCIAL AND ARMAMENTS INDUSTRIES]

 

1876  The Philadelphia World Fair: To celebrate its centenary as an independent nation, the US stages a Centennial Fair in Philadelphia. Alexander Graham Bell [1874<=>10th March] exhibits his new telephone system and is awarded the Gold Medal in the electricals category. [THREAD = WW1 SIGNALLING AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS]

 

1876  A German career diplomat named Friedrich von Holstein [Wikipedia biography] joins the Political Section of the German Foreign Ministry, where, over the ensuing 30 years, he will acquire a reputation as a political "monster of the labyrynth". [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1876 [6th February/16th November] The International Committee for Relief to the Wounded [<=1870 (12th November)] is rebadged as the International Committee of the Red Cross [=>1914 (15th October)]. Later in the year the Muslim Ottoman Empire, unwilling to act under Christian/Crusader symbolism, adopts the Red Crescent [modern corporate website] as its equivalent of the Red Cross. [THREAD = WW1 RELIEF AGENCIES]

 

ASIDE - THE RED CROSS/CRESCENT IN WW1: This will be dealt with in due course [=>1914 (15th October) and follow the onward pointers].

 

1876 [8th February-21st April 1877] The Great Sioux War, 1876-1877: Prompted by the Dakota gold rush [<=1874], this war is fought between the U.S. Army and the Native American tribes resident in the Dakotan Black Hills. It begins with a telegram of authorisation from Philip H. Sheridan [Wikipedia biography] and continues as separate columns of advance, the first under George R. Crook [Wikipedia biography=>17th March], the second under George A. Custer [1874 (2nd July)<=>17th June], the third under Ranald S. Mackenzie [Wikipedia biography], and the fourth under Nelson A. Miles [Wikipedia biography=>1877 (8th January)]. Here are the most salient events ...

 

The Battle of Powder River, 1876; The Battle of the Rosebud, 1876; The Battle of the Little Bighorn, 1876; The Fort Robinson Massacre, 1876; The Battle of Wolf Mountain, 1877

 

The overall outcome is a victory for the U.S. Army and the dispersal of the Native Americans to less coveted hunting grounds. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1876 [17th February] With Kaiser Wilhelm I [1871 (18th January)<=>1888 (9th March)] already an Emperor [<=1871 (18th January)], the British Prime Minister, Benjamin Disraeli [Wikipedia biography], sets the Royal Titles Bill before Parliament, the main proposal of which is that the British monarch (currently a female, of course) should have included in her title the words "Empress of India". The Bill will be passed during the summer and celebrated formally at the First Delhi Durbar the following year [=>1877 (1st January)]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1876 [10th March] Encouraged by an ageing Joseph Henry [<=1835], assisted by the engineer Thomas A. Watson [Wikipedia biography], and with his patent application already filed, Alexander Graham Bell [1876<=>14th June] successfully transmits his first natural sounds along a wire. Bell's equipment will be demonstrated at the Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition later that same year. Commercial development of the product will take place in partnership with the lawyer Gardiner G. Hubbard (father of one of his pupils, later to become his wife) and the businessman Thomas Sanders (father of another of his pupils). Not surprisingly Bell's invention is poorly received by the already immensely powerful Western Union Telegraph Company [<=1851], who immediately secure the services of Thomas A. Edison  [Wikipedia biography=>1876 (14th June)] and Gray to try to devise a rival system (unsuccessfully, as it happens, for their attempts will eventually be adjudged in breach of Bell's patents). [THREAD = WW1 SIGNALLING AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS]

 

1876 [17th March] The Battle of Powder River: This battle is fought as part of the Great Sioux War [<=8th February] between elements of George R. Crook's [<=8th February] column under Joseph J. Reynolds [Wikipedia biography] and a Cheyenne Indian village on the west bank of the Powder River. The outcome is a burned village, destroyed winter stores, a handful of dead, and an enduring hatred of the white man. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1876 [30th March] The Explosive Substances Act, 1876: In an attempt to regulate health and safety within the munitions industry and thereby reduce the number of factory disasters [e.g.<=1871 (11th August)], the British Government passes an Act setting down not just factory design and production monitoring requirements but also appropriate standards for the safe transportation of explosives. [THREAD = THE WW1 FINANCIAL AND ARMAMENTS INDUSTRIES]

 

**********  THE BALKAN CRISIS SPREADS  **********

1876 [20th April-??th May] The Balkan Crisis [II - The Great Bulgarian Uprising]: [Continued from 1870 (12th March)] This nationalist uprising is fought between a Bulgarian nationalist army under Stefan Stambolov [Wikipedia biography=>1886 (28th August)] and an occupying Ottoman army under Hafuz Pasha [Wikipedia biography]. The outcome is that Ottoman rule is brutally1 re-established, but only in the short term [continues at 1876 (23rd December) ...]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1ASIDE: The British Parliament monitors the Turkish atrocities in Bulgaria in some detail - see Hansards, 1876-7.

 

1876  [26th April] HMS Vernon [<=1872] is joined by HMS Ariadne, a decommissioned 26-gun steam frigate, to become the HMS Vernon Shore Establishment [=>1895 (23rd April)]. The new establishment hosts the Royal Navy's new Mine and Torpedo School. The Gunnery School remains at HMS Excellent [<=1872]. [THREAD = THE WW1 SURFACE NAVIES]

 

1876 [27th April] HMS Inflexible [Wikipedia shipography=>1881 (5th July)] is launched at Portsmouth Dockyard and proceeds to the fitting-out basin to have her armament fitted. This will consist of four of the William Armstrong Company's [1862<=>8th May] new 80-ton 16" [=406mm] rifled muzzle-loaders. [THREAD = THE WW1 SURFACE NAVIES]

 

1876 [8th May] The Caio Duilio [1873 (24th April)<=>1880 (6th January)] is launched and proceeds to the fitting-out basin to have her armament fitted. This will consist of four of the William Armstrong Company's [27th April<=>1877 (20th July [ASIDE])] new 100-ton 450mm [=17.7"] rifled muzzle-loaders [continues at 1880 (6th January) ...]. [THREAD = THE WW1 SURFACE NAVIES]

 

1876 [14th June] Under licence from Alexander Graham Bell [10th March<=>1877 (9th July)] British investors form the Telephone Company Limited [no convenient factsheet=>1880 (13th May)]. At much the same time British believers in Edison 's [1876 (10th March)<=>1878] rival "speaking telegraph" system form the Edison Telephone Company London Limited [no convenient factsheet]. [THREAD = WW1 SIGNALLING AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS]

 

1876 [17th June] The Battle of the Rosebud: This battle is fought as part of the Great Sioux War [<=8th February] between George A. Custer's [8th February<=>25th June] column and a concentration of Lakota Sioux and Northern Cheyenne under Chief Crazy Horse [Wikipedia biography=>1877 (8th January)] on the Rosebud River [map, etc.]. The outcome is a Lakota/Cheyenne victory. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1876 [25th June] The Battle of the Little Bighorn: This battle is fought as part of the Great Sioux War  [<=8th February] between George A. Custer's [17th June<=>dies this day] column and a concentration of Lakota, Cheyenne, and Arapaho on the Little Bighorn River. The outcome is the famous "Custer's Last Stand". The battle is noteworthy in the present context for its flawed decision making [see Companion Resource]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1876 [30th June-3rd March 1878] The Balkan Crisis [III - The Serbo-Turkish War, 1876-1878]: [Continued from 20th April] This war of national assertion is fought between a Serbian/Montenegran nationalist army under Mikhail Chernyayev [Wikipedia biography] and an occupying Ottoman army under Abdülkerim Pasha [Wikipedia biography]. Italian and Russian volunteer brigades give valuable support to the nationalists. The eventual outcome, facilitated by the Russian victory in the broader Russo-Turkish War [=>1877 (24th April)] and rubber-stamped by the Treaty of San Stefano [=>1878 (3rd March)] is Serbian independence [continues at 23rd December ...]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1876 [14th July] HMS Thunderer [1873 (19th April)<=>1879 (2nd January)] suffers a boiler explosion which kills 45 crew [see the wreckage]. The incident is noteworthy in the present context as a case study in the need for proper training and maintenance when dealing with technology, for it will emerge during the Board of Inquiry that the boiler pressure gauge was inaccurate and the safety valves had seized. [THREAD = THE WW1 SURFACE NAVIES]

 

1876 [26th July] The foundation stone of the new Fulham Union Infirmary ["The Workhouse" factsheet] is ceremonially laid. The facility will be fully open for patients in 1884. [THREAD = WW1 MILITARY MEDICINE AND COGNITIVE SCIENCE]

 

ASIDE - FULHAM WAR HOSPITAL IN WW1: In 1915 Fulham Infirmary's facilities are requisitioned by the War Office as Fulham War Hospital, and capacity doubled to around 1000 beds. Patients include injured German prisoners-of-war. The considerably statelier Syon House [Wikipedia factsheet] (nowadays the Hilton London Syon Park) is requisitioned as an annexe for officers, and the equally well-appointed Fulham Palace [Wikipedia factsheet] is further requisitioned in 1918 as an annexe for the specialist treatment of shellshock.

 

3ASIDE: Sosban Fach was featured on 14th September 2014 in the first episode of Cerys Matthews' new investigative folksong TV series "Y Goeden Faled" [= "The Ballad Tree"] (S4C). It turns out that the received explanation is that the work was composed in about 1895 by two visitors to the spa town of Llanwrtyd Wells, Mid-Wales, specifically one W. Talog Williams and the Rev. D. M. Davies (although their relative contribution is unknown and was still much argued about in 1915), and specifically at Britannia House on Irfon Crescent, the town's main street (which nowadays boasts a commemorative plaque to this effect [see this at http://www.geograph.org.uk/ photo/3163828]).  The reason the song was then linked so firmly to Llanelli, 50 miles away, is that Llanwrtyd was a popular place for the tin-workers - who of course made sosbanau for a living - of Llanelli to visit, to take the waters, and then celebrate afterward.

 

1876 [18th November] The London Underground [II - Progress]: [Continued from 1863 (10th January)] The Metropolitan Railway Company [1863 (10th January)<=>1884 (6th October)] opens its latest station at Aldgate [see map at 1863 (10th January)] [continues at 1884 (6th October) ...]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1876 [23rd December-20th January 1877] The Balkan Crisis [IV - The Constantinople Conference]: [Continued from 30th June] This month-long session of European diplomacy attempts to settle the Herzegovinian [<=1875 (9th July)] and Bulgarian [<=20th April] questions. The parties involved are Britain, Russian, France, Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy, with the U.S.A. providing an independent secretariat. The eventual proposals are (a) that Bosnia and the northern part of Herzegovina should become independent, (b) that the southern part of Herzegovina should become part of Montenegro, and (c) that Bulgaria should be split into eastern and western autonomous provinces, with capitals at Tarnovo and Sofia, respectively. However after a month of discussions the Ottomans refuse to approve these proposals and prepare instead to settle the dispute militarily [continues 1877 (24th April) ...]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE] [THREAD = WW1 TREATIES AND ALLIANCES]

 

1877 Seeing is Believing [XI - Early Moving Images (Reynaud)]: [Continued from 1875 (13th January)] The French inventor Charles-Émile Reynaud [Wikipedia biography=1892 (28th October)] devises a variant form of the zoetrope [<=1867 (23rd April)] named the "Praxinoscope" [YouTube demonstration]. His shows soon cleverly combine praxinoscope main figures with a separately projected still background [sub-thread continues at 1879 (The Skladonowski Brothers) ...]. [THREAD = THE BATTLE FOR HEARTS AND MINDS]

 

1877  Fortress France and Belgium [IV - Aisne and Verdun]: [Continued from 1875] As part of the Séré de Rivières upgrades [<=1872 (28th July)], construction work begins on Fort de la Malmaison, on the heights to the north of the River Aisne, northeast of Soissons. Similarly on Fort de Condé-sur-Aisne above the confluence of the River Aisne and the River Vesle. This fort will feature in the September 1914 Aisne campaign, and survives today as a heritage museum [museum website]. Two further forts - Rozelier and d'Haudainville - are added to the outer ring of defences at Verdun [continues at 1881 ...]. [THREAD = WW1 PERMANENT FORTIFICATIONS]

 

**********  COMPOUND ARMOUR IS INVENTED  **********

1877  The Armour Race [II - Compound Armour]: [Continued from 1876] Still loyally working on weapons of revenge, the Schneider Company [1876<=>1889] at Le Creusot installs a 100-ton steam hammer for its heavy forging operations. The machine will remain in service until 1930 and still stands as a museum piece in Le Creusot town square [image]. Around the same time [Sir]1897 Alexander Wilson [Grace's Guide biography] at John Brown and Company [1863<=>1888 (15th March)] demonstrates that freshly melted steel can be poured onto a prepared hot iron ingot and bond properly with it, giving a "compound armour". Cammell and Company [1863<=>1903] achieve the same end by pouring fresh steel into the gap between heated iron and steel sheets. Both techniques aim, after rolling, to have steel as the surface third of the delivered plate, because it helps keep the plate from breaking up when struck. Around the same time Sir William Palliser [Wikipedia biography] devises "armour-piercing shot", that is to say, a solid or minimally hollowed out shot optimised during forging to penetrate an enemy's armour rather than produce a external blast [continues at 1889 ...]. [THREAD = THE WW1 FINANCIAL AND ARMAMENTS INDUSTRIES]

 

1877  The British artillery officer Frederick le Mesurier [no convenient biography] designs a 2.5" seven-pounder cannon capable of disassembly into mule-portable components for backwoods and mountain use. [THREAD = WW1 ARTILLERY]

 

1877  Thirteen acres of the ancestral Craiglockhart Estate, in the western suburbs of Edinburgh, are sold to the Craiglockhart Hydropathic Company [Wikipedia factsheet], in order to establish a curative spa. It will open for business in a purpose-built new mansion-hospital in 1880. [THREAD = WW1 MILITARY MEDICINE AND COGNITIVE SCIENCE]

 

1877  The British clergyman-inventor George Garrett [Wikipedia biography=>1878] invents a diving suit. [THREAD = THE WW1 SUBMARINE NAVIES]

 

1877  Built at John I. Thornycroft and Company [Wikipedia factsheet=>1892 (27th June)], Chiswick, HMS Lightning [Wikipedia shipography] enters service as the first seagoing vessel to be armed with Whitehead torpedoes [<=1860]. She will spend her operational life at the torpedo warfare school at HMS Vernon [<=1876]. [THREAD = THE WW1 SURFACE NAVIES]

 

1877 [not specifically dated] Zionism Pre-WW1 [II - Petah Tikva Founded]: [Continued from 1862] Helped by charitable funds from the French banker Baron Edmond de Rothschild [Wikipedia biography=>1882 (31st July)] the Hungarian farmer Yehoshua Stampfer [Wikipedia biography] draws together a consortium of like-mind Jews to create a Jewish settlement within Ottoman Palestine. They purchase land seven miles east of Tel Aviv and the first settlers arrive the following year. The name given to the new settlement is Petah Tikva [Hebrew = "Opening of Hope"; map, etc.] [sub-thread continues at 1882 (1st January) ...]. [THREAD = THE BATTLE FOR HEARTS AND MINDS] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF THE MODERN WORLD]

 

1877 [1st January] The First Delhi Durbar: The Viceroy of India, Sir Edward Bulwer-Lytton [Wikipedia biography], attends Delhi's inaugural "Durbar" [Hindi = "celebratory reception, setting for same"] and proclaims Queen Victoria [1859 (27th January)<=>1887 (20th June)] as the first "Empress of India" [<=1876 (17th February)]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1877 [8th January] The Battle of Wolf Mountain: This battle is fought as part of the Great Sioux War [<=1876 (8th February)] between Nelson A. Miles' [<=1876 (8th February)] column and a force of Lakota Sioux and Northern Cheyenne under Crazy Horse [<=1876 (17th June)]. The outcome is a wise withdrawal by the Native Indians given their lack of modern rifles and artillery. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1877 [29th January] HMS Foxhound [no convenient shipography] is the first warship to be launched  at the Barrow Shipbuilding Company [1871<=>1886]. [THREAD = THE WW1 SURFACE NAVIES]

 

1877 [1st February] The Krupp Company [1873<=>1891] develops a large firing range on the Ems Estuary, near Meppen, in north-western Germany. [THREAD = THE WW1 FINANCIAL AND ARMAMENTS INDUSTRIES]

 

ASIDE - SCHIESSPLATZ MEPPEN IN WW1: Basically if a cannon had Krupp on the label and was manufactured between 1877 and 1945 then that weapon's prototyping had been done at Meppen. When not evaluating designs the site was also used to impress potential foreign buyers and (when he comes of age) Kaiser Wilhelm II himself (many times).

 

1877 [3rd March] The U.S. Army establishes a frontier fort at Fort Huachuca, AZ [map, etc.] [Wikipedia factsheet=>1913]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

ASIDE - FORT HUACHUCA IN WW1: During WW1 Fort Huachuca will be the base camp for the "buffalo soldiers" of the aforementioned 10th U.S. Cavalry Regiment [1846 (26th June)<=>1898 (1st July)].

 

1877 [5th April] The German businessmen Hermann Blohm [Wikipedia biography] and Ernst Voss [Wikipedia biography] set up the Schiffswerft und Maschinenfabrik Blohm und Voss [modern corporate website=>1910 (7th April)] at Hamburg. [THREAD = THE WW1 FINANCIAL AND ARMAMENTS INDUSTRIES]

 

1877 [24th April-3rd March 1878] The Balkan Crisis [V - The Russo-Turkish War, 1877-1878]: [Continued from 1876 (23rd December)] Following the collapse of the Constantinople Conference [<=1876 (23rd December)], this 10-month war is fought in the Balkans and the Caucasus between an ailing Ottoman Empire and an expansionist Tsarist Russia. As with the Crimean War [<=1854 (28th March)], one of the casi belli was ongoing Ottoman persecution of its Orthodox Christian enclaves, not least the one in Bulgaria [<=1876 (20th April)]. But Russia was also still smarting at the peace terms imposed on it at the end of the Crimean War [<=1856 (Treaty of Paris)], and eager to turn anti-Turkish sentiment in the Balkans to its own advantage. Here is the main event ...

 

The Siege of Plevna, 1877

 

The war will be brought to an end by the Treaty of San Stefano [=>1878 (3rd March)], and successfully engineers independence for (and accordingly greater Russian influence in) Romania, Serbia, Montenegro, and Bulgaria. Russia receives a number of Ottoman provinces in the Caucasus. The war will be closely followed elsewhere across Europe, and the electrical engineer George Forbes [Wikipedia biography] takes time off from his university work to act as war reporter for The Times [continues at 21st May ...]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1877 [21st May-19th January 1878] The Balkan Crisis [VI - The Romanian War of Independence, 1877-1878]: [Continued from 24th April] This war of national independence is fought as an adjunct to the Russo-Turkish War [<=24th April] between Romanian nationalists under Prince Charles of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen [1866 (23rd February)<=>1881 (15th March)] and the Ottoman Empire under Abdul Hamid II of Turkey [Wikipedia biography=>1900 (1st May)]. The war will be brought to an end by the Treaty of San Stefano [=>1878 (3rd March)] and the outcome will be a Romanian victory [continues at 1878 (3rd March) ...]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1877 [9th July] Alexander Graham Bell [1876 (14th June)<=>1878 (14th January)] now sets up the Bell Telephone Company [Wikipedia factsheet=>1878] in order to exploit his patents. The company sells its first two telephones for $20. [THREAD = WW1 SIGNALLING AND  TELECOMMUNICATIONS]

 

1877 [20th July] The Siege of Plevna: This five-month siege takes place as part of the Russo-Turkish War [<=24th April]. It is fought between a Russian/Romanian army under Grand Duke Nicholas of Russia [Wikipedia biography] and a defending Ottoman army under Osman Pasha [Wikipedia biography]. The outcome is a slow and expensive Russian-Romanian victory. The battle is noteworthy in the present context (a) for demonstrating the value of cheap and quickly built trench-works and dugouts against an enemy bombardment, and (b) for demonstrating the value of repeating rifles against infantry in the open [Trenk (1997 online) reports that the Ottomans had purchased 5000 Winchester Model 1866 carbines and around 50 million rounds of ammunition].

 

RESEARCH ISSUE: Kidd (2006 online) asks why the defence of Plevna should have aroused such interest across the World, both as it happened and afterwards. There are, for example, 18 streets named after Plevna in Britain, and five townships of that name in North America (four in the USA and one in Canada). Some fights, it seems, attract a lot of cheering for the perceived "little guys"

 

ASIDE: Frederick von Herbert [no convenient biography] will recount his part in the conflict (as an infantry lieutenant in the Ottoman Army) in his book "The Defence of Plevna" (1911;  2013 full text online). The Turkish "success" will not go unnoticed amongst military theorists. George Sydenham Clarke [Wikipedia biography=>1882 (11th July)] covers in in detail in his 1890 monograph on "Fortification" [full text online]. Rogers (1975) will note an interesting technical side-effect of the campaign, as follows ...

 

"A revolution in the type of ordnance used in the field owed its origin apparently to the very effective head cover introduced by the Turks during their gallant defence against the Russians in the war of 1877. The Russian guns were quite ineffective against it and, as a result, similar protection for infantry manning defensive works came much into favour in many armies. The counter to it seemed to be in arranging a steep angle of descent for the projectile, which implied a return to the howitzer. In the days of [smooth-bore] ordnance, with its limited range, all field batteries had both guns and howitzers, but the latter had dropped out of use with the introduction of rifled pieces. Now there appeared to be a need for a rifled howitzer. To meet this need, [the William Armstrong Company [1876 (8th May)<=>1881], Elswick, Newcastle-upon-Tyne] produced a 12-cm [breech-loading] howitzer mounted on a field carriage of the ordinary travelling type and with a steel recoil cylinder. [...] The first field howitzer batteries were organised in 1896 and equipped with 5-in. howitzers, mounted on the above carriage, while siege trains were provided with a heavier 6-in. howitzer on a static mounting" (op. cit., p114).

 

1877 [24th September] The Battle of Shiroyama: This battle takes place during the Satsuma Rebellion [Wikipedia factsheet] between an Imperial Japanese army of some 30,000 troops under Prince Yamagata Aritomo [Wikipedia biography] and the 500 surviving samurai of the rebellion under Saigo Takamori [Wikipedia biography]. The outcome is an expensive government victory. The battle is noteworthy in the present context as a fight-to-the-last-man encounter. [THREAD = THE PSYCHOLOGY OF WAR]

 

1877 [11th October] Upon the death of William Beardmore I [<=1861] managerial responsibility for the Parkhead Forge [1861<=>1886], Glasgow, passes to his brother Isaac Beardmore [no convenient biography=>1886] and his equity therein to his 20-year-old son [Sir]1914 William Beardmore II [1st Baron Invernairn]1921 [Wikipedia biography=>1886]. One of the new team's first strategic decisions is to invest in one of the new Siemens-Martin Open Hearth Furnaces [<=1865]. [THREAD = THE WW1 FINANCIAL AND ARMAMENTS INDUSTRIES]

 

1877 [15th October] Upon his retirement due to ill health Delane [<=1854 (25th October)] is replaced as managing editor of The Times by the scholar-journalist Thomas Chenery [Wikipedia biography=>1884 (11th February)]. [THREAD = THE BATTLE FOR HEARTS AND MINDS]

 

1878 The Development of Photography [XV - Muybridge]: [Continued from 1872 (Muybridge)] Muybridge [1872<=>1883] spends much of this year applying for patents in various aspects of his multiple-exposure camera system. The nature of his inventions is clear, being stated, for example, in U.S. Patent 212,864 (granted 4th March 1879) as the taking of "instantaneous impressions of objects in motion" [sub-thread continues at 1881 (1st January) ...]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF THE MODERN WORLD]

 

1878  George M. Beard [1869<=>1880] publishes a paper entitled "Remarks on 'Jumpers or Jumping Frenchmen'" in which he describes a curious form of exaggerated tic syndrome1 which has been afflicting a community of French lumberjacks in the backwoods of Maine. Around the same time the German neurologist Adolph Kussmaul [Wikipedia biography] publishes a paper entitled "Die Storungen der Sprache" [in English as "Disturbances of Speech"], in which he includes a still-useful diagram of the mind's processing hierarchy for communication [details in the Companion Resource]. Around the same time the French neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot [Wikipedia biography=>1882] publishes "Leçons sur les Maladies du Système Nerveux" [full French text online] [in English (1889) as "Clinical Lectures on Diseases of the Nervous System" - full English text online], in which he cross-correlates the neurological and muscular aspects of progressive muscle-wasting diseases such as Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. [THREAD = WW1 MILITARY MEDICINE AND COGNITIVE SCIENCE]

Beard, G.M. (1878). Remarks on 'jumpers or jumping Frenchmen'. The Journal of Nervous and Mental Diseases, 5:526.

 

1ASIDE: The jumping is believed nowadays to be a variant form of Tourette's Syndrome [Wikipedia factsheet]. In the event the (then-as-now) highly regarded Charcot will do much to promote Beard's career by adopting many of the American's ideas concerning neurasthenia. Historical discussion of these events is presently led by the Rush University Medical Centre's Christopher G. Goetz [academic homepage].

 

1878  Hysteria [I - Lasègue (1878)]: The French psychiatrist Charles Lasègue [Wikipedia biography] publishes a paper entitled "Des Hystéries Périphériques" [= "On Peripheral Hysterias"] in which he describes cases of "hysterical anaesthesia", that is to say, the inability to feel stimulation of areas of one's own body without good physical reason. He also predicts that "the definition of hysteria has never been given and never will be [because] the symptoms are not constant enough, nor sufficiently similar in form or equal in duration and intensity" (cited in Showalter, 1997, p14) [Continued at 1982 (Charcot) ...]. [THREAD = WW1 MILITARY MEDICINE AND COGNITIVE SCIENCE]

Lasègue, C. (1878). Des Hysteries Périphériques. Archives Générales de Médicine, 1:641-656.

 

ASIDE: Compare Lasègue's position with the comment by Thomas Willis two centuries previously [<=1684]. A peripheral hysteria is one which is characterised by an apparent and patient-reported inability either to feel or control a limb.

 

1878  George Garrett [1877<=>1879 (26th November)] builds Resurgam I, a 14-feet long hand-cranked experimental submarine weighing less than five tons. [THREAD = THE WW1 SUBMARINE NAVIES]

 

ASIDE: Resurgam is the Latin for "I shall arise again". Not all who will serve in submarines do.

 

1878  Edison [1876 (14th June)<=>1880 (13th February)] invents the "phonograph", a machine for recording speech and music.  [THREAD = THE INDUSTRIAL AND SCIENTIFIC REVOLUTION]

 

**********  "JINGOISM" IS BORN  **********

1878  The British music hall performer Gilbert H. MacDermott [Wikipedia biography] pays a guinea to George W. Hunt [no convenient biography] for a song entitled "The Dogs of War" [full text and audio online]. The lyric includes the catchy chorus "We don't want to fight, but by jingo if we do, we've got the ships, we've got the men, and got the money too". It will be the public house anthem of the year amongst Britain's working class patriots. [THREAD = WW1 JINGOISM]

 

1878 [14th January] Alexander Graham Bell [1877 (9th July)] personally demonstrates his telephone apparatus to Queen Victoria [1877 (1st January)<=>1887 (20th June)]. At much the same time the American inventor David E. Hughes [Wikipedia biography] invents the carbon-granule microphone [Wikipedia factsheet]. Around the same time, the Bell Telephone Company [1877 (9th July)<=>1880 (20th March)] opens its first telephone exchange at New Haven, CT. For the next 20 years users have to gain the exchange operator's attention by hand-cranking a signal generator, before naming the party they wish to be put through to. [THREAD = WW1 SIGNALLING AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS]

 

**********  THE FIRST SELF-PROPELLED TORPEDO KILL  **********

1878 [16th January] Having been assigned by the Imperial Russian Navy to the Black Sea to oversee conversion of the civilian steamer Velikiy Knyaz Konstantin [Wikipedia shipography] into an experimental torpedo boat tender carrying four small steam torpedo boats, Stepan Makarov [Wikipedia biography] now mounts history's first self-propelled torpedo attack, sinking the Ottoman gunboat Intibah [no convenient shipography]. [THREAD = THE WW1 SURFACE NAVIES]

 

1878 [1st March] The London businessmen Joseph H. Nettlefold [Grace's Guide biography=>1902] and Frederick Nettlefold [Grace's Guide biography=>1902] inherit the family screw-manufacturing company. [THREAD = THE WW1 WORKING CLASS SOLDIER]

 

**********  BULGARIA IS STILLBORN  **********

1878 [3rd March] The Balkan Crisis [VII - The Treaty of San Stefano]: [Continued from 1877 (21st May)] This attempted treaty between the Russian and Ottoman Empires brings the Russo-Turkish War [<=1877 (24th April)] to an end. The main provision is that Bulgaria is proposed as a (pro-Russian) independent province - "Greater Bulgaria" - after 500 years of Ottoman rule. As things turn out, however, this proposal is immediately blocked by France and Britain as being far too advantageous to Russia, and further negotiations duly take place [continues at 13th June ...]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

**********  "JINGOISM" GETS ITS NAME  **********

1878 [13th March] The British politician George Holyoake [Wikipedia biography] has a letter published in today's Daily News under the tagline "The Jingoes in the Park" ...

 

ASIDE: The allusion here is to a presently popular song entitled "The Dogs of War" [full text and audio online], which the music hall performer Gilbert H. MacDermott [Wikipedia biography] had bought for a guinea from George W. Hunt [no convenient biography]. The lyric includes the catchy chorus "We don't want to fight, but by jingo if we do, we've got the ships, we've got the men, and got the money too". It will be the public house anthem of the year amongst Britain's working class patriots.

 

The term "jingoism" soon catches on, and comes to describe the sort of loud rote-learned and uncritical patriotism of common men, and - by implication - the politicians, businessmen, and opinion formers who pander to them. [THREAD = THE BATTLE FOR HEARTS AND MINDS]

 

RESEARCH ISSUE - THE APPEAL OF JINGOISM: Anecdotally there is little doubt that humankind is shamefully susceptible to the thrills of jingoism. Scientifically, however, there is no single theory as to the inner dynamics of the phenomenon.

 

1878 [9th April] The Factory and Workshop Act, 1878: The British Parliament passes an Act extending existing employment legislation to all trades and all children under 10 years of age. [THREAD = THE WW1 WORKING CLASS SOLDIER]

 

1878  [??th May] Following their joint experimentation at the Blaenavon Iron and Coal Works [1875<=>1880] Sidney G. Thomas [<=1875] and Percy Gilchrist [<=1875] patent a phosphorus-removal technique for use during Bessemer Conversion. The essence of the so-called "Thomas-Gilchrist Process" process is to pre-line the Bessemer Converter with sacrificial lime-rich brickwork, which then acts to leach any phosphorus impurities out of the melt in the form of a "basic slag". It follows that phosphorus-contaminated iron ore suddenly becomes far more valuable, with the aforementioned Andrew Carnegie [1875 (22nd August)<=>1883 (29th August)] one of many to purchase production rights. The inventors present their technique to a meeting of the Iron and Steel Institute in May 1879. [THREAD = THE INDUSTRIAL AND SCIENTIFIC REVOLUTION]

 

1878 [1st June] The Tay Bridge: After seven years in the construction, a new two-miles-long iron railway bridge is opened across the River Tay [continues at 1879 (28th December) ...]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

**********  BULGARIA IS BORN  **********

1878  [13th June-13th July] The Balkan Crisis [VIII - The Congress and Treaty of Berlin]: [Continued from 3rd March] The German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck [1873 (23rd October)<=>1888 (15th June)] leads diplomats from across Europe in discussions to help stabilise the situation in the Balkans (without giving too much away to the Russians). The main points of agreement are (a) Romania, Serbia, and Montenegro are confirmed as independent nations, (b) Russia gets to keep Bessarabia, (c) Bulgaria is to be split into Bulgaria and Rumelia, (d) the Ottomans get to keep Macedonia, and (e) (much to the irritation of the Russians) Bosnia and Herzegovina are ceded to Austria-Hungary but remain occupied by the Ottomans [continues at 29th July ...]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1878  [29th July-20th October] The Balkan Crisis [IX - The Invasion of Bosnia-Herzegovina, 1878]: [Continued from 13th June] Under authority granted by the Treaty of Berlin [<=13th June], Austria-Hungary conducts a brief but fiercely contested police action against Muslim partisans in Bosnia and Herzegovina, occupying Sarajevo and Mostar, their respective capitals [continues at 1881 (15th March) ...]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

ASIDE - BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA IN WW1: This aspect of Balkan history will be addressed in due course.

 

1878  [8th August] The Pontypridd, Caerphilly, and Newport Railway [I - The Initial Authorisation]: The owners of the Alexandra Docks, Newport [<=1875 (16th April)] are given the go-ahead to build a new railway line to link the Rhondda Valley coalfields directly to Newport rather than travel via Cardiff (this route being both congested and expensive per ton) [continues at 1884 (25th July) ...]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1878 [20th November] The Second Anglo-Afghan War, 1878-1880: This war of imperial confrontation by proxy is fought between Britain and Afghanistan in an attempt to "defend" the latter against Russian influence from the north. The British advance north-westward out of India in three separate columns under (1 - Peshawar, Khyber Pass, Ali Musjid, Jajalabad, Kabul from the east) Samuel Browne [Wikipedia biography=>1879 (2nd January)], (2 - Peshawar, Khost Valley, Shutargardan Pass, Kabul from the south) [Sir]1879 Frederick S. Roberts ("Bobs") [Baron Roberts of Kandahar]1892 [Earl Roberts]1901 [Wikipedia biography=>1879 (2nd January)], and (3 - Quetta, Kandahar) [Sir]1880 Donald M. Stewart [Wikipedia biography=>1879 (2nd January)]. The Afghans are led by Sher Ali Khan [Wikipedia biography=>1879 (21st February)]. The war then unfolds in two main phases, separated by the early, but to most Afghans unacceptable, Treaty of Gandamak [=>1879 (26th May)]. Here are the main events, phase by phase ...

 

PHASE ONE

The Early Advances, 1879; The Ford of Kabul Affair, 1879; The Kabul Massacre, 1879; The Battle of Charasiab, 1879; The Treaty of Gandamak, 1879

 

PHASE TWO

The Battle of Maiwand, 1880; The Siege of Kandahar, 1880;  The Evacuation of Kabul/The March on Kandahar, 1880; The Battle of Kandahar, 1880

 

The overall outcome of the war is a British victory and a for-the-time-being compliant Afghan administration under Abdur Rahman Khan [Wikipedia biography=>1880 (1st September)]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1879 Seeing is Believing [XII - Early Moving Images (The Skladonowski Brothers)]: [Continued from 1877 (Reynaud)] The German inventors Max Skladonowski [Wikipedia biography=1895 (1st November)] and Emil Skladonowski [ditto] set up a travelling magic-lantern show, which reportedly makes good use of a "dissolving" [<=1843 (Childe [RESEARCH ISSUE]) projection system [sub-thread continues at 1882 (27th March) ...]. [THREAD = THE BATTLE FOR HEARTS AND MINDS]

 

**********  THE LEE MAGAZINE SYSTEM IS BORN  **********

1879  James Paris Lee [1861<=>1885 (Remington-Lee) / 1895 (Lee-Enfield)] now patents a spring-loaded en bloc magazine and incorporates it with an ergonomically sound bolt action for his latest prototype rifle [continues at 1885 (Remington-Lee) ...]. [THREAD = WW1 SMALL ARMS]

 

1879  1500 workers are laid off at the Melingriffith Tinplating Works [1810<=>1887], Cardiff, due to adverse trading conditions. [THREAD = THE WW1 WORKING CLASS SOLDIER]

 

1879  Drawing on his experiences as a Union Brigadier-General in the American Civil War [<=1861 (17th April)] the banker John Beatty [Wikipedia biography] publishes "The Citizen-Soldier, or, Memoirs of a Volunteer" [Project Gutenberg full text online], a detailed diarised account of his time with the Third Ohio Battalion. The work is full of valuable anecdotes from a civilian suddenly finding himself leader of men. Here is what he has to say about music in his camp ...

 

"The parson [...] stumbles on a strain of "Sweet Home," then a scratch of "Lang Syne;" but the latter soon breaks its neck over "Old Hundred," and all three tunes finally mix up and merge into "I would not live alway, I ask not to stay," which, for the purpose of steadying his hand, the parson sings aloud. [... Willis then] plays a very fine thing, and when I ask what it is, replies: "Norma, an opera piece [probably the haunting Casta Diva aria - hear it now]." Since the parson's exit he has been executing "Norma" with great spirit, and, so far as I am able to judge, with wonderful skill.[... It ] goes far to carry one out of the wilderness." [THREAD = WW1 TRENCH ENTERTAINMENT]

 

1879  The German physician-physiologist-psychologist Wilhelm Wundt [Wikipedia biography=>1883] sets up an experimental psychology laboratory at Leipzig University. [THREAD = WW1 MILITARY MEDICINE AND COGNITIVE SCIENCE]

 

1879  The brothers George Cadbury [Wikipedia biography] and Richard Cadbury [Wikipedia biography] open a cocoa products factory on a green-fields site at what is now Bourneville [map, etc.], Birmingham. Working with the architect George H. Gadd [no convenient biography] they develop the site as their "factory in a garden", complete with an attached "model village" (later a "garden city"). Around the same time the American soap manufacturers Procter and Gamble [modern corporate website=>1887] introduce a floating soap under the brand-name "Ivory". [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1879  Ludwig Nobel [1876<=>1888 (12th April)] and Robert Nobel [<=1876] expand their oil refining business [<=1876] as the Branobel Company [Wikipedia factsheet<=>1896 (10th December)]. [THREAD = THE WW1 FINANCIAL AND ARMAMENTS INDUSTRIES]

 

1879 [2nd January] While undertaking gunnery practice in the Sea of Marmara, HMS Thunderer [1876 (14th July)<=>scrapped 1909] suffers a massive turret explosion, killing 11 of her crew [see the wreckage]. [THREAD = THE WW1 SURFACE NAVIES]

 

ASIDE: It emerged at the Committee of Inquiry that the explosion was the result of some confused safety checking during the reloading procedure. Specifically, a misfire in the left hand gun was not detected, leading to a second round being loaded on top of the first [see explanatory diagram]. The affair was discussed in Parliament 17th March 1879, and duly recorded in Hansard [full text online].

 

ASIDE - THE RELOADING PROCEDURE: Some idea of the complexities involved in reloading large turreted muzzle-loading ordnance can be gained from the following Hansard extract ...

 

"Now, in the first place, it is necessary, in order that the House may appreciate the Report of the Committee, that I should state very shortly the nature of the arrangements for working the guns and the general arrangements on board the ship. My Lords, the ship is a vessel with two turrets, and in each turret there were two guns. In the after turret of the ship the guns were 35 tons; but in the forward turret there were 38-ton guns. These larger guns, being of the length of 16 feet 6 inches, it was impossible to load them in the turret, and arrangements were made to draw in the guns from their position, and lower or depress the muzzle, so that they might be loaded from the battery deck. In addition to this, there was an arrangement to wash out, as well as load, the guns by hydraulic power; and there was also a contrivance that when the rammer which, made like a telescope in two joints, had reached the breach of the gun, it should indicate that the washing was completed, so that it might be known to the crew if the gun was not properly washed out. [...] Now, my Lords, permit me to call your Lordships' attention to the failures which took place in reference to the gun. First of all, the electrical appliances failed to fire the guns; then the men above failed to see after the first firing that the gun had not recoiled; then the men below, who had still more important duties to perform, failed to see that the gun was not properly washed out; the telescope rammer failed to ram, the indicator failed to indicate. Such, my Lords, were the failures connected with the loading of the gun".

 

GENERAL RESEARCH ISSUE: This is a good point at which to consider the problems arising when carrying out complex technical procedures in times of combat stress. Three highly technical areas of cognitive science are involved, two of them theoretical, and the third practical ...

 

RESEARCH ISSUE (1) - PROCEDURAL MEMORY: See the entry in Companion Resource.

 

RESEARCH ISSUE (2) - COGNITIVE OVERLOAD: See Companion Resource.

 

RESEARCH ISSUE (3) - BAULKING: A "baulk" in mechanical engineering is a physical obstacle to a particular undesirable control operation taking place in certain circumstances (thus it is generally impossible to select DRIVE on an automatic gearbox without simultaneously putting your foot on the brake pedal, or REVERSE when moving forwards, etc., etc). Baulking is good practice for all complex systems because "if it can go wrong it will go wrong"; unfortunately the baulks themselves add weight and complexity to the host system so it is not generally possible to baulk against every eventuality. On the occasion described above, the baulks on the ramming system seem to have been insufficient, or - where installed but faulty - had not "failed safe". The modern science of the safe human operation of complex systems is "cognitive ergonomics" [Wikipedia factsheet].

 

1879 [2nd January] The Early Advances: The British open the Second Anglo-Afghan War [<=1878 (20th November)] with a three-pronged advance across the Hindu Kush mountains. In the north, Samuel Browne [<=1878 (20th November)] takes his forces up through the Khyber Pass, capturing the fortresses of Ali Masjid and Jalalabad. 70 miles to the west [Sir]1879 Frederick S. Roberts ("Bobs") [Baron Roberts of Kandahar]1892 [Earl Roberts]1901 [1878 (20th November)<=>3rd September] takes his forces up the Kurram Valley, defeating a strong Afghan army at Peiwar Kotal and then following the pass in its natural west-then-north dogleg toward Kabul. And 300 miles further still to the south-west [Sir]1880 Donald M. Stewart [1878 (20th November)<=>1880 (8th August)] takes his force through the Bolan Pass to Quetta and thence through the Khojak Pass to Kandahar. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1879 [11th January-4th July] The Anglo-Zulu War, 1879: This war of imperial expansion is fought between a British taskforce under Sir Henry Bartle Frere, 1st Baronet [Wikipedia biography], Frederic Thesiger, 2nd Baron Chelmsford [Wikipedia biography=>22nd January], and [Sir]1885 Garnet Wolseley [1st Viscount Wolseley]1885 [1873 (7th March)<=>1882 (1st April)], and the dissident Zulu nation under its king Cetshwayo [Wikipedia biography]. The most notable engagements are ...

 

The Battle of Isandhlwana Hill, 1879; The Battle of Rorke's Drift, 1879; The Battle of Ulundi, 1879

 

The overall outcome is a British victory, two-one. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1879 [19th January] The first edition of the British boys' magazine "The Boy's Own Paper" [Wikipedia factsheet] is published. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE] [THREAD = WW1 ROMANTIC NATIONALISM]

 

1879 [22nd January] The Battle of Isandhlwana Hill: This battle is fought as part of the Anglo-Zulu War [<=11th January] between a British column under Frederic Thesiger, 2nd Baron Chelmsford [11th January<=>4th July] and the Zulu National Army under Ntshingwayo Khoza [Wikipedia biography]. The outcome is the total annihilation of the British column. The story is told in greater detail in our Companion Resource. One of the few British survivors of the massacre is a young lieutenant named Horace L. Smith-Dorrien [Wikipedia biography=>1900 (18th February)], of whom more later. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

WAR VIDEO: This is the battle dramatised in Douglas Hickox' (1979) movie "Zulu Dawn" [see clip now].

 

1879 [22nd-23rd January] The Battle of Rorke's Drift: This battle is fought as a follow-on engagement to the Battle of Isandhlwana Hill [<=above] between the Zulu army, fresh from its earlier victory, and the garrison at the mission station at Rorke's Drift. The outcome is a spirited defence followed by a Zulu withdrawal. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

WAR VIDEO: This is the battle dramatised in Cy Endfield's (1964) movie "Zulu" [see indicative clip now].

 

1879  [30th January] Jules Grévy [Wikipedia biography] replaces Patrice de MacMahon [1873 (24th May)<=>d. 1893 (17th October)] as president of the Third French Republic. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1879 [21st February] Upon the death of Sher Ali Khan [<=1878 (20th November)] his title passes to his son Mohammad Yaqub Khan [Wikipedia biography=>3rd September]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1879 [31st March] The Ford of Kabul Affair: This event takes place as part of the first phase of the Second Anglo-Afghan War [<=1878] when a British column attempts to ford the Kabul River at Kalai Sak, some 70 miles east of Kabul itself. Unfortunately the ford is poorly marked and 46 troopers are swept away and drowned. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

ASIDE - WAR POETRY: This event will be written up in Rudyard Kipling's (1890) poem "Ford o' Kabul River" [full text].

 

1879 [24th April] Upon the death of the coal-owner Samuel Thomas [<=1872] his assets pass to his oldest son David A. Thomas [1st Viscount Rhondda]1916 [Wikipedia biography=>1887]. For the time being, however, he will leave the day-to-day running of the Cambrian Colliery [1872<=>1908] to its managers. [THREAD = THE WW1 FINANCIAL AND ARMAMENTS INDUSTRIES]

 

1879  [10th May] Upon the death of the ironmaster Robert Thompson-Crawshay [<=1874] his estate is valued at £1.2 million and responsibility for the Cyfarthfa Ironworks [1874<=>1902] passes to his sons William Crawshay III [no convenient biography], Robert Crawshay II [no convenient biography], and Richard Crawshay [no convenient biography], who, trading as Crawshay Brothers (Cyfarthfa) Limited [no convenient factsheet=>1902], now invest in five new blast furnaces and four Bessemer Converters to upgrade their works from iron to steel manufacture. [THREAD = THE WW1 WORKING CLASS SOLDIER]

 

1879 [26th May] The Treaty of Gandamak: This treaty between Britain and Afghanistan brings the first phase of the Second Anglo-Afghan War [<=1878 (20th November)] to an end. Unfortunately its main provision - that the Afghan regime should henceforth conduct its foreign affairs subject to British scrutiny and approval - is not acceptable to many Afghans and they soon take steps to rid themselves of the British Residency in Kabul [=>3rd September], occasioning a further 15 months of fighting. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

**********  MACHINE GUNS GO TO WAR AGAIN  **********

1879 [4th July] The Battle of Ulundi: This battle is fought as part of the Anglo-Zulu War [<=11th January] between the main British column (complete with artillery and two Gatling Guns) under Frederic Thesiger, 2nd Baron Chelmsford [<=22nd January] and a much larger Zulu army under Ziwedu kaMpande [no convenient biography]. The outcome is a decisive British victory. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1879 [18th July] The new Cambridge Military Hospital [Wikipedia factsheet], Aldershot Garrison, opens for patients. [THREAD =WW1 MILITARY MEDICINE AND COGNITIVE SCIENCE]

 

ASIDE - CAMBRIDGE MILITARY HOSPITAL IN WWI: Aldershot will be the first war hospital to receive casualties repatriated from France, and will spearhead the development of plastic surgery techniques for battle injuries.

 

1879 [??th August] Disappointed at the failure of the Pratt and Whitney version of his gun [<=1875] to make any money, William Gardner [<=1874] sets up his own company to capitalise on his original patents. He demonstrates the resulting weapon to the British the following year, and receives an order for a five-barrel variant [YouTube factsheet and technical animation] for use in the Royal Navy. Gardner relocates to Britain to service the contract and later dies there. [THREAD = WW1 MACHINE GUNS]

 

1879 [3rd September] The Kabul Massacre: This massacre ushers in the second phase of the Second Anglo-Afghan War [<=1878 (20th November)]. The casualties are the British Governor, Sir Louis Cavagnari [Wikipedia biography] and around 75 members of his entourage. When the news reaches Peshawar Sir Frederick S. Roberts ("Bobs") [Baron Roberts of Kandahar]1892 [Earl Roberts]1901 [2nd January<=>6th October] mobilises an army of punishment and advances toward Kabul. Suspected of complicity in the massacre Mohammad Yakub Khan [<=21st February] is stripped of his throne and sent into exile [continues 6th October ...]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1879 [6th October] The Battle of Charasiab: [Continued from 3rd September] This battle takes place as part of second phase of the Second Anglo-Afghan War [<=1878] between the Kabul Field Force under Sir Frederick S. Roberts ("Bobs") [Baron Roberts of Kandahar]1892 [Earl Roberts]1901 [3rd September)<=>1880 (8th August)] and a significantly larger Afghan army under Nek Mohammed Khan [no convenient biography]. It takes place seven miles south of Kabul and results in a significant British victory, followed by the occupation of that city. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1879  [7th October] The League of the Three Emperors [III - The Dual Alliance]: [Continued from 1873 (23rd October)] Germany and Austria-Hungary sign a mutual defence treaty, in which they agree to assist each other should either party be attacked by Russia, or remain neutral at worst should either be attacked by "any other power" (meaning France) [continues at 1881 (18th June) ...]. [THREAD = WW1 TREATIES AND ALLIANCES]

 

1879 [26th November] George Garrett [<=1878] builds Resurgam II, a 45-foot-long steam-powered submarine. It sinks in an accident on 25th February 1880, but not before it has attracted a lot of interest. [THREAD = THE WW1 SUBMARINE NAVIES]

 

ASIDE: The wreck of Resurgam II was located in 1995 and may one day be raised. A replica is on show at the Woodside Ferry Terminal, Birkenhead, across from the U-534 Submarine Museum [museum website].

 

1879 [28th December] The Tay Bridge Disaster: After only 18 months in operation the new Tay Bridge [<=1878 (1st June)] collapses under the combine stresses of a passing train and lateral wind gusts estimated at 80 mph. All 75 passengers and crew are killed. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1880  The cleaning products company Joseph Pickering and Son [Grace's Guide factsheet], Sheffield, add a webbing cleaning cake named Blanco [Wikipedia factsheet] to their product portfolio. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF THE MODERN WORLD]

 

1880  The British archaeologist Flinders Petrie [Wikipedia biography=>1892] studies construction methods at the Great Pyramid of Giza. [THREAD = PRE-WW1 INTELLECTUAL RIVALRY]

 

1880  Neurasthenia [III - Beard (1880)]: [Continued from 1875] George M. Beard [1878<=>1881] now further expands his theory of neurasthenia with an article entitled "American Nervousness, with its Causes and Consequences", in which he proposes an energy flow metaphor to explain the relationship between "nervous energy" and a person's ability to cope with the stresses and strains of life in the increasingly frenetic 19th century [continues at 1881 ...]. [THREAD = WW1 MILITARY MEDICINE AND COGNITIVE SCIENCE]

 

1880  Meister, Lucius and Company [<=1863 (2nd January)] go public under the name Farbwerke Hoechst, A.G. [modern corporate website], and specialise in dyestuffs and related chemicals. Around the same time the recently widowed Mary K. Swan [née Glover] [no convenient biography] and [Sir]1918 George B. Hunter [Wikipedia biography] merge their respective shipbuilding businesses as C. S. Swan, Hunter, and Company [Wikipedia factsheet=>1903], Tyneside. [THREAD = THE WW1 FINANCIAL AND ARMAMENTS INDUSTRIES]

 

1880 [6th January] [Continued from 1876 (8th May)] The Caio Duilio [1876 (8th May)] enters service with the Royal Italian Navy. [THREAD = THE WW1 SURFACE NAVIES]

 

1880 [20th January or hereabouts] The British-born American engineer Elihu Thomson [Wikipedia biography=>1893 (??th April)] and the American engineer Edwin J. Houston [Wikipedia biography=>1893 (??th April)] set up in business as the American Electric Company [no convenient factsheet=>1883 (??th April)] to capitalise on the booming market in dynamos and electric arc lighting systems. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF THE MODERN WORLD]

 

1880 [13th February] The Edison Effect: Edison [1878<=>1881] takes out a protective patent on an electrical phenomenon he has noticed while improving his company's electric light bulbs. Specifically he has observed that a burned-out light bulb - one in which the anode and the cathode1 are no longer connected by the filament - will typically have eroded mostly at the cathode. Using a galvanometer he has also noted that there is a measurable flow of current between the two pins even without a filament - that is to say, through the vacuum between them. As with Frederick Guthrie's [<=1873] earlier experiment, Edison's observations are now interpreted as another early example of the phenomenon of "thermionic emission"  [<=1873], this time through a vacuum, and this time as part of a recognisable circuit. [THREAD = BASIC PHYSICS] [ THREAD = WW1 SIGNALLING AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS]

 

1ASIDE - CATHODE, ANODE, ETC.: Readers unfamiliar with basic D.C. circuit terminology may care to divert to this Northwestern University tutorial on the subject (for beginners). To cut a long story short, all chemical batteries create two "poles", the first, known as the "cathode", where there is an excess of negatively charged particles known as "electrons", one of whose properties is that they do not like being close to other like-charged particles. They therefore do their best to migrate away from the cathode, in this instance to the other pole created by the battery - the "anode" - where there is a comparative shortage of electrons. The difference in charge between the two poles determines the "voltage", or "potential difference", between them. Unfortunately for Edison the electron and its most important commercial applications will not be discovered for another 17 years [=>1897 (30th April)].

 

1880 [20th March] The Bell Telephone Company [<=1878] is re-incorporated as the American Bell Telephone Company [=>1882]. [THREAD = WW1 SIGNALLING AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS]

 

1880 [25th March] Automation, Control, and Artificial Intelligence [XLVIII - The Manufacturers (Elliott Brothers)]: [Continued from 1876 (Kelvin)] Following the death of Susan Elliott [<=1873 (18th January)] her business partner Willoughby Smith [1873 (18th January)<=>1890 (17th July)] becomes the driving force behind Elliott Brothers [1876<=>1890 (17th July)], but chooses to retain the Elliott name. Around the same time his sons William O. Smith [Grace's Guide biography=>1890 (17th July)] and Willoughby S. Smith [Grace's Guide biography=>1890 (17th July)] join the company [sub-thread continues at 1881 (Billings/Ventosa) ...]. [THREAD = WW1 CYBERNETICS, COMPUTATIONAL SCIENCE, AND FIRE CONTROL] [THREAD = THE WW1 FINANCIAL AND ARMAMENTS INDUSTRIES]

 

**********  IMPORTANT ARMY REORGANISATION  **********

**********  IMPORTANT ARMY REORGANISATION  **********

**********  IMPORTANT ARMY REORGANISATION  **********

1880 [28th April] With the Liberal Party re-elected, Hugh Childers [Wikipedia biography] is appointed Secretary for War, with a brief to rationalise the British Army's regimental structure following the earlier Cardwell Reforms [<=1870 (3rd March)]. The result is the "Childers System", where most regiments are identified by their county/city of origin and field two substantive battalions (so that they can routinely be rotated between foreign and home deployment) and maintain two reserve battalions. [THREAD = WW1 ARMIES, TRADITIONS, AND TACTICS]

 

1880 [6th May] The Royal Albert Dock [Wikipedia factsheet], London, opens for business. [THREAD = THE WW1 WORKING CLASS SOLDIER]

 

1880 [13th May] The competing British telephone companies, namely the Telephone Company Limited [<=1876 (14th June)] and the Edison Telephone Company London Limited [<=1876 (14th June)] decide to fight no longer and merge to form the United Telephone Company [Grace's Guide factsheet=>1889 (1st May)]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF THE MODERN WORLD]

 

1880 [27th July] The Battle of Maiwand: This battle takes place as part of the second phase of the Second Anglo-Afghan War [<=1878] between a British column under George Burrows [Wikipedia biography] and a much larger Afghan army under Mohammad Ayub Khan [Wikipedia biography=>28th July]. The Afghans have decided to threaten Kandahar with a large reserve force previously stationed in the north-east of their country around Herat, and thereby to outflank the British forces at Kabul. Burrows, not fully realising either his enemy's strength or the quality of their troops, has advanced to stand across their line of advance. The outcome is a major Afghan victory, with the British survivors being driven back into the fortifications at Kandahar. The expedition is noteworthy in the present context for the well-executed rear-guard covering action by a troop of Royal Horse Artillery under John R. Slade [no convenient biography]. The battle is also famously where the (fictitious) army surgeon John H. Watson [Wikipedia biography] is wounded in the shoulder. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1880 [28th July-31st August] The Siege of Kandahar: This five week siege is fought out as part of the second phase of the Second Afghan War [<=1878 (20th November)] between a besieging Afghan army under Mohammad Ayub Khan [27th July<=>1st September] and the British garrison at Kandahar under James Primrose [no convenient biography]. The defenders manage to hold out until a relief column arrives on 1st September [continues at 8th August ...]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1880 [??th August] Mapperley Hospital [Nottingham University factsheet], Nottingham, accepts its first patients. [THREAD = WW1 MILITARY MEDICINE AND COGNITIVE SCIENCE]

 

1880 [8th August] The Evacuation of Kabul/The March on Kandahar: This evacuation takes place as part of the second phase of the Second Anglo-Afghan War [<=1878 (20th November)]. Commanded now by [Sir]1880 Donald M. Stewart [<=1879 (2nd January)], the British have now decided to pull all their forces out of Afghanistan back into India, there to await political developments. However their garrison at Kandahar is still under siege. They therefore despatch a relief column under Sir Frederick S. Roberts ("Bobs") [Baron Roberts of Kandahar]1892 [Earl Roberts]1901 [1879 (6th October)<=>1st September] to force march the 300 miles to Kandahar, while Stewart leads the remaining forces back into India through the Khyber Pass. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1880 [1st September] The Battle of Kandahar: This battle takes place as part of the second phase of the Second Anglo-Afghan War [<=1878] between the British relief column under Sir Frederick S. Roberts ("Bobs") [Baron Roberts of Kandahar]1892 [Earl Roberts]1901 [8th August<=>1899 (23rd December)] and the besiegers of Kandahar since 28th July under Mohammad Ayub Khan [<=28th July]. The outcome is a decisive British victory and an end to organised Afghan resistance. The disputed Treaty of Gandamak [<=1879 (26th May)] is now implemented by the British-approved Abdur Rahman Khan [1878 (20th November)<=>1901 (1st October)], who will rule strongly for a further 20 years. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1880 [4th October] After five years of post-launch specification changes HMS Superb [1875 (16th November)<=>1882 (11th July)] is finally accepted into service. As commissioned she mounts 16 10" [=254mm] rifled muzzle-loaders. [THREAD = THE WW1 SURFACE NAVIES]

 

**********  PSYCHOTHERAPY BY INTERACTION IS BORN  **********

1880 [??th October] The Austrian psychiatrist Josef Breuer [Wikipedia biography=>1885 (??th October)] treats one Bertha ["Anna O"]1 Pappenheim [Wikipedia biography] for "paralysis and anaesthesias". [THREAD = WW1 MILITARY MEDICINE AND COGNITIVE SCIENCE]

 

1ASIDE: Pappenheim was (and still is) discussed pseudonymously as "Anna O". For want of a better idea, Breuer engaged her in his experimental "talking cure" (the patient's own description of the treatment), an early form of hypnosis-assisted psychoanalysis. What he did was to note down recurring thoughts from the patient's ramblings during a hysterical attack, and then to give her the opportunity after the attack had subsided to explore the deeper memory structures those themes might happen to be associated with. For example, after a period in which she refused to drink normally, a memory surfaced of an occasion when she had been sickened at the sight of a lapdog being allowed to drink from its mistress' glass. This mere act of recollection then seemed to dissolve the behavioural block. Anna O was eventually written up over a decade later as "Case 1 (Breuer)" in the chapters which Breuer contributed to the collaborative "Studies in Hysteria" (Freud and Breuer, 1895/1955) [=>1895]. For more detail see the Companion Resource.

 

1880 [13th December] The South African nationalist politician Paul Kruger [Wikipedia biography=>1895 (29th December)] is declared a member of the first Presidential Triumvirate of the South African [a.k.a. Transvaal] Republic [=>1881 (8th August)]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1880 [16th December-23rd March 1881] The First Anglo-Boer War, 1880-1881: This war of colonial resistance is fought between the South African Republic (colloquially "the Transvaal", or "the Boers") and Britain. The main event is ...

 

The Battle of Majuba Hill, 1881

 

The overall outcome is a Boer victory. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1880 [20th December] The British High Court decides that insofar as existing telegraphy law is concerned telephony is just a subcategory of telegraphy, and therefore subject to the same rules and regulations. The sticky end of this judgement is that the new telephone companies henceforth have to buy government licences. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF THE MODERN WORLD]

 

1881  Having witnessed a man accidentally electrocuted by one of the early commercial A.C. supply systems the American dentist Alfred P. Southwick [Wikipedia biography] contacts the politician David B. Hill [Wikipedia biography] (later New York State Governor) and together they begin to lobby for electrocution as a humane form of execution. The State of New York agrees to set up an investigative committee to look into the matter [continues at 1888 ...]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF THE MODERN WORLD]

 

1881  The German entrepreneur Emil Rathenau [Wikipedia biography=>1887] starts to acquire licences from Edison [1880 (13th February)<=>1884 (6th June)] to manufacture the latter's highly innovative electrical consumer products [continues 1887 ...]. [THREAD = THE WW1 FINANCIAL AND ARMAMENTS INDUSTRIES]

 

1881  Charles De Bange [1872<=>1882] starts to deliver his latest offering from the Paris Arsenal, namely a 155mm [= 6.1"] Breech-Loading Howitzer [Wikipedia factsheet]. [THREAD = WW1 ARTILLERY]

 

1881  Brunner, Mond, and Company [1873<=>1912] is reorganised as a limited liability company and enters a period of steady growth. [THREAD = THE WW1 FINANCIAL AND ARMAMENTS INDUSTRIES]

 

1881  Neurasthenia [IV - Beard (1881)]: [Continued from 1880] George M. Beard [1880<=>1884] now further develops his 1880 theory of neurasthenia with a full-length monograph entitled "American Nervousness - Its Causes and Consequences" [full text online], in which he explores what "nervousness" - "a lack of nerve force" - might be and attempts to demonstrate that it has been lately increasing in prevalence [continues at 1884 ...]. [THREAD = WW1 MILITARY MEDICINE AND COGNITIVE SCIENCE]

 

1881  Automation, Control, and Artificial Intelligence [XLIX - Further Developments (Billings and Ventosa)]: [Continued from 1880 (25th March)] The U.S. civil service statistician John S. Billings [no convenient biography=>1884] looked at the clerks patiently entering data from 1880 census returns and reputedly remarked: "There ought to be some mechanical way of doing this job, something on the principle of the Jacquard loom" (Cortada, 1993, p47). Around the same time the Spanish inventor V. Ventosa [no convenient biography] devises the "Ventosa Integrator" [see Clymer (1993 online; Figure 4) for diagram] for computing the components of wind velocity. The functional components are a sphere, a pivotable driving wheel angled to and by the present wind direction, and four driven output rollers. The Ventosa Integrator is another early example of a class of mechanical device which will go on to be termed "analog computers" [sub-thread continues at 1881 (10th February) ...]. [THREAD = WW1 CYBERNETICS, COMPUTATIONAL SCIENCE, AND FIRE CONTROL]

 

ASIDE: We forewarn once again that technology such as Ventosa's will feature massively in the fire control systems of the Dreadnought era of naval warfare [=>1901 (Arthur Pollen)].

 

1881  The Elswick 12-Pounders: Having had such weapons under evaluation for over 20 years [<=1854/1865] the William Armstrong Company [1877 (20th July [ASIDE])<=>1882], Elswick, Newcastle-upon-Tyne finally receives a production order for a series of 12-pounder field and naval rifled breech-loaders. All use the "interrupted screw" breech-locking system to achieve "Q.F." [= "quick fire"] status. [THREAD = WW1 ARTILLERY]

 

1881  Fortress France and Belgium [V - Verdun-Vaux]: [Continued from 1877] As part of the Séré de Rivières upgrades [<=1872 (28th July)], construction work begins on the Fort de Vaux [Wikipedia factsheet=>1914 (11th September)], on the heights to the northeast of Verdun, about two miles east of the Fort de Douaumont [=>1885]; also at Bois Bourrus, Moulainville, and Landrecourt. Vaux is nowadays a heritage museum [museum website] [continues at 1885 ...]. [THREAD = WW1 PERMANENT FORTIFICATIONS]

 

1881 [1st January] The Development of Photography [XVI - Eastman]: [Continued from 1878 (Muybridge)] Having been manufacturing glass photographic plates for several years, the American inventor-entrepreneur George Eastman [Wikipedia biography=>1884 (7th March)] starts filing for U.S. Patents for "photographic film", a pre-dried, long shelf-life, high-resolution , cheap and convenient, photosensitive medium. The essence of the invention is a paper strip strengthened with a coating of gelatin above and below, and then coated a second time above with the photosensitive emulsion. He and businessman Henry A. Strong [Wikipedia biography] establish the Eastman Dry Plate Company in order to market this advance [sub-thread continues at 1883 (Muybridge) ...]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF THE MODERN WORLD]

 

1881 [??th January] A young Serbian engineer named Nikola Tesla [Wikipedia biography=>1882 (24th March] gets a job with the team building Budapest Telephone Exchange, and is rapidly promoted to Chief Electrician on the project. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF THE MODERN WORLD]

 

ASIDE: We recommend John Forcina's Tesla Universe website for a fuller account of Tesla's contribution to the modern world.

 

1881 [24th January or hereabouts] George Westinghouse Jnr [1873 (28th October)<=>1886 (20th March)] establishes the Union Switch and Signal Company [Wikipedia factsheet] and starts to accumulate patents on railway switching and signalling equipment. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF THE MODERN WORLD]

 

1881 [10th February] Automation, Control, and Artificial Intelligence [L - Exploring the Possibilities (Olimpia Yet Again): [Continued from 1881 (Billings/Ventosa)] The French composer Jacques Offenbach [Wikipedia biography] premiers a new opera entitled "The Tales of Hoffmann" [Wikipedia factsheet], Act I of which is loosely based on Der Sandmann story of Hoffmann [<=1817]. The central characters in Act I include a Dr. Coppelius and (his creation) the life-sized singing and dancing automaton Olympia [see her pushing her clockwork to the limits (albeit she needs winding up now and then)] [sub-thread continues at 1882 (25th August) ...]. [THREAD = WW1 CYBERNETICS, COMPUTATIONAL SCIENCE, AND FIRE CONTROL]

 

1881 [27th February] The Battle of Majuba Hill: This battle is fought as part of the First Anglo-Boer War [<=1880 (16th December)] between a British column under Sir George Colley [Wikipedia biography=>dies this day] and a South African Republican militia column under Nicolaas Smit [Wikipedia biography]. The outcome is a British humiliation at the hands of the Boer irregulars. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1881 [13th March] Alexander II of Russia [<=1863 (22nd January)] is assassinated by a political extremist group and his imperial throne passes to his son as Alexander III of Russia [1868 (6th May)< =>1892 (17th August)]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1881 [15th March] The Balkan Crisis [X - The Romanian Kingdom]: [Continued from 1878 (29th July)] The Romanian Parliament now proclaim Romania as a kingdom, with Prince Charles of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen [<=1877 (21st May)] as their first king. He will henceforth be known as Carol I of Romania [=>1914 (3rd August)] [continues at 1882 (6th March) ...]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

ASIDE - ROMANIA IN WW1: Romania will enter WW1 in 1916 as an ally of Britain, France, and Russia but will rapidly be overrun by German and Austro-Hungarian forces.

 

1881 [23rd March] Swansea's telegraph exchange is the first in Britain to upgrade to a telephone exchange as well. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF THE MODERN WORLD]

 

1881 [31st March] A young Sigmund Freud [Wikipedia biography=>1885 (??th October)] qualifies as a physician at the University of Vienna, soon obtaining a junior post at the University of Vienna Psychiatric Clinic [<=1875] under Theodor Meynert [1875<=>1884]. [THREAD = WW1 MILITARY MEDICINE AND COGNITIVE SCIENCE]

 

1881 [2nd April] The SS Elbe [Wikipedia shipography=>1895 (31st January)] is launched at John Elder and Company [1868<=>1884 (20th September)], Govan, for service with the Norddeutscher-Lloyd Line [1872 (20th August)<=>1895 (31st January)]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1881 [15th-26th April] Russian Anti-Semitism [I - The Yelizavetgrad and Kiev Pogroms]: The Russian authorities begin a program of physical violence and economical repression against the Jewish population in Yelizavetgrad [= modern Kirovograd] and Kiev [continues at 1882 (15th May) ...]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1881 [7th June] The Mahdist War, 1881-1899: This 18-year war opens with a Sudanese uprising against Egyptian rule, and then, thanks to Britain's growing influence in Egypt, slowly evolves into a full-scale religious resistance war against Britain. The Sudanese are motivated throughout by the charismatic Muhammad ["the Mahdi"] Ahmad [Wikipedia biography<=>1883 (3rd November)]. Here are the main engagements ...

 

THE INITIAL UPRISING

The First Battle of Jabel Qadir, 1881; The Second Battle of Jabel Qadir, 1881; The Battle of El Obeid, 1883; The Siege of Khartoum, 1884

 

The overall outcome is a British/Egyptian victory and the (temporary) incorporation of the Sudan into Egypt. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1881 [18th June] The League of the Three Emperors [IV - Redeclared]: [Continued from 1879 (7th October)] After much behind-the-scenes diplomacy the Dreikaiserbund [<=1873 (23rd October)] is reinstated. However it will endure only for a further six years, collapsing (again) when Austria-Hungary and Russia fall out (again) over the situation in the Balkans [=>1886 (20th August)]. [THREAD = WW1 TREATIES AND ALLIANCES]

 

1881 [1st July] The Childers Reforms [<=1880 (28th April)] come into force on this date. In its initial form the resulting army establishment is as follows [all entries are =>1914 (4th August [British Army Establishment]) unless otherwise stated] ...

 

CAVALRY REGIMENTS (ELITE AND CEREMONIAL)

The 1st Regiment of Life Guards [<=1781] remains as such.

The 2nd Regiment of Life Guards [<=1781] remains as such.

The Royal Horse Guards (the Blues) [<=1781] remain as such.

 

CAVALRY REGIMENTS (LINE, HEAVY)

The 1st (King's) Regiment of Dragoon Guards [<=1781] becomes the 1st King's Dragoon Guards.

The 2nd (Queen's Bays) Regiment of Dragoon Guards [<=1781] becomes the 2nd Dragoon Guards (Queen's Bays).

The 3rd (Prince of Wales's) Regiment of Dragoon Guards [<=1781] becomes the 3rd (Prince of Wales's) Dragoon Guards.

The 4th (Royal Irish) Regiment of Dragoon Guards [<=1781] becomes the 4th (Royal Irish) Dragoon Guards.

 

ASIDE - THE 4TH (ROYAL IRISH) IN WW1: The 4th (Royal Irish) Dragoon Guards will have the dubious honour of firing the British Army's first shots in anger in the run-up to the Battle of Mons [=>1914 (25th August)].

 

The 5th Regiment of Dragoon Guards [<=1781] becomes the 5th (Princess Charlotte of Wales's) Dragoon Guards.

The 6th (Carabiniers) Regiment of Dragoon Guards [<=1781] becomes the 6th Dragoon Guards (the Carabiniers).

The 7th (The Princess Royal's) Regiment of Dragoon Guards [<=1781] remains as such.

 

CAVALRY REGIMENTS (LINE, LIGHT)

The 1st Royal Dragoons [<=1781] remain as such.

The 2nd (Royal Scots Greys) Dragoons [<=1781] become the 2nd Dragoons (Royal Scots Greys).

The 3rd (King's Own) Hussars [<=1781] remain as such.

The 4th (Queen's Own) Hussars [1781<=>1895 (20th February)] remain as such.

The 5th (Royal Irish) Dragoons [<=1781] become the Royal Irish Lancers.

The 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons [<=1781] remain as such.

The 7th (Queen's Own) Hussars [<=1781] remain as such.

The 8th (King's Royal Irish) Hussars [<=1781] remain as such.

The 9th (Queen's Royal) Lancers [<=1781] remain as such.

The 10th (Prince of Wales's Own Royal) Hussars [<=1781] remain as such.

The 11th (Prince Albert's Own) Hussars [<=1781] remain as such.

The 12th (Prince of Wales's) Royal Lancers [<=1781] remain as such.

The 13th Hussars [<=1781] remain as such.

The 14th (King's) Hussars [<=1781] remain as such.

The 15th (The King's) Hussars [<=1781] remain as such.

The 16th (Queen's) Lancers [<=1781] remain as such.

The 17th (Duke of Cambridge's Own) Lancers [<=1781] remain as such.

The 18th Lancers [<=1781] remain as such.

The 19th Lancers [<=1781] remain as such.

The 20th Lancers [<=1781] remain as such.

The 21st Lancers [<=1781] remain as such.

 

INFANTRY GUARDS REGIMENTS

The Scottish Regiment of Foot Guards [<=1781] becomes the Scots Guards.

The 1st Regiment of Foot Guards [<=1781] becomes the Grenadier Guards.

The 2nd (Coldstream) Regiment of Foot Guards [<=1781] becomes the Coldstream Guards.

 

INFANTRY COUNTY REGIMENTS

The 1st (Royal) Regiment of Foot [<=1781] becomes the Royal Scots (Lothian Regiment).

The 2nd (Queen's Royal) Regiment of Foot [<=1781] becomes the Queen's (Royal West Surrey) Regiment.

The 3rd Regiment of Foot [<=1781] becomes the East Kent Regiment (the Buffs).

The 4th (The King's Own) Regiment of Foot [<=1781] becomes the King's Own (Royal Lancaster) Regiment.

The 5th Regiment of Foot [<=1781] becomes the Northumberland Fusiliers.

The 6th Regiment of Foot [<=1781] becomes the Royal Warwickshire Regiment.

The 7th (Royal Fusiliers) Regiment of Foot [<=1781] becomes the Royal Fusiliers (City of London) Regiment.

The 8th (Queen's) Regiment of Foot [<=1781] becomes the Liverpool Regiment.

The 9th Regiment of Foot [<=1781] becomes the Norfolk Regiment.

The 10th Regiment of Foot [<=1781] becomes the Lincolnshire Regiment.

The 11th Regiment of Foot [<=1781] becomes the Devonshire Regiment.

The 12th Regiment of Foot [<=1781] becomes the Suffolk Regiment.

The 13th Regiment of Foot [<=1781] becomes the Somersetshire Light Infantry.

The 14th Regiment of Foot [<=1781] becomes the West Yorkshire Regiment.

The 15th Regiment of Foot [<=1781] becomes the East Yorkshire Regiment.

The 16th (Buckinghamshire) Regiment of Foot  [<=1781] becomes the Bedfordshire Regiment.

The 17th Regiment of Foot [<=1781] becomes the Leicestershire Regiment.

The 18th (Royal Irish) Regiment of Foot [<=1781] becomes the Royal Irish Regiment.

The 19th Regiment of Foot [<=1781] becomes the (Princess of Wales's Own) Yorkshire Regiment.

The 20th Regiment of Foot [<=1781] becomes the Lancashire Fusiliers.

The 21st (Royal North British Fusilier) Regiment of Foot [<=1781] becomes the Royal Scots Fusiliers.

The 22nd Regiment of Foot [<=1781] becomes the Cheshire Regiment.

The 23rd (Royal Welch Fusiliers) Regiment of Foot [<=1781] becomes the Royal Welsh Fusiliers.

The 24th Regiment of Foot [<=1781] becomes the South Wales Borderers.

The 25th Regiment of Foot [<=1781] becomes the King's Own Borderers.

 

ASIDE: There follows a number of regimental mergers. The logic here is that the high-numbered regiment was already in overseas service and simply became the 2nd battalion of the replacement regiment.

 

The 26th and 90th Regiments of Foot [<=1781] merge as the Cameronian Regiment.

The 27th and 108th Regiments of Foot [<=1781] merge as the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

The 28th and 61st Regiments of Foot [<=1781] merge as the Gloucestershire Regiment.

The 29th and 36th Regiments of Foot [<=1781] becomes the Worcestershire Regiment.

The 30th and 59th Regiments of Foot [<=1781] merge as the East Lancashire Regiment.

The 31st and 70th Regiments of Foot [<=1781] merge as the East Surrey Regiment.

The 32nd and 46th Regiments of Foot [<=1781] merge as the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry.

The 33rd and 76th Regiments of Foot [<=1781] merge as the Duke of Wellington's (West Riding) Regiment.

The 34th and 55th Regiments of Foot [<=1781] merge as the Border Regiment.

The 35th and 107th Regiments of Foot [<=1781] merge as the Royal Sussex Regiment.

The 37th and 67th Regiments of Foot [<=1781] merge as the Hampshire Regiment.

The 38th and 80th Regiments of Foot [<=1781] merge as the South Staffordshire Regiment.

The 39th and 54th Regiments of Foot [<=1781] merge as the Dorsetshire Regiment.

The 40th and 82nd Regiments of Foot [<=1781] merge as the Prince of Wales Volunteers (South Lancashire Regiment).

The 41st and 69th Regiments of Foot [<=1781] merge as the Welsh Regiment.

The 42nd and 73rd Regiments of Foot [<=1781] merge as the Royal Highland Regiment (the Black Watch).

The 43rd and 52nd Regiments of Foot [<=1781] merge as the Oxfordshire Light Infantry Regiment.

The 44th and 56th Regiments of Foot [<=1781] merge as the Essex Regiment.

The 45th and 95th Regiments of Foot [<=1781] merge as the Derbyshire Regiment (the Sherwood Foresters).

The 47th and 81st Regiments of Foot [<=1781] merge as the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment.

The 48th and 58th Regiments of Foot [<=1781] merge as the Northamptonshire Regiment.

The 49th and 66th Regiments of Foot [<=1781] merge as Princess Charlotte of Wale's (Berkshire) Regiment.

The 50th and 97th Regiments of Foot [<=1781] merge as the Queen's Own (Royal West Kent) Regiment.

The 51st and 105th Regiments of Foot [<=1781] merge as the King's Own (South Yorkshire) Regiment.

The 53rd and 85th Regiments of Foot [<=1781] merge as the King's Light Infantry (Shropshire) Regiment.

The 57th and 77th Regiments of Foot [<=1781] merge as the Duke of Cambridge's Own (Middlesex) Regiment.

The 60th (King's Royal Rifle Corps) Regiment of Foot [<=1781] becomes the King's Royal Rifle Corps.

The 62nd and 99th Regiments of Foot [<=1781] merge as the Duke of Edinburgh's (Wiltshire) Regiment.

The 63rd and 96th Regiments of Foot [<=1781] merge as the Manchester Regiment.

The 64th and 98th Regiments of Foot [<=1781] merge as the (Prince of Wales's) North Staffordshire Regiment.

The 65th and 84th Regiments of Foot [<=1781] merge as the York and Lancaster Regiment.

The 68th and 106th Regiments of Foot [<=1781] merge as the Durham Light Infantry.

The 71st and 74th Regiments of Foot [<=1781] merge as the Highland Light Infantry Regiment.

The 72nd and 78th Regiments of Foot [<=1781] merge as the Seaforth Highlanders.

The 75th and 92nd Regiments of Foot [<=1781] merge as the Gordon Highlanders.

The 75th and 92nd Regiments of Foot [<=1781] merge as the Gordon Highlanders.

The 79th Regiment of Foot [<=1781] becomes the Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders.

The 83rd and 86th Regiments of Foot [<=1781] merge as the Royal Irish Rifles.

The 87th and 89th Regiments of Foot [<=1781] merge as Princess Victoria's (Royal Irish) Fusiliers.

The 88th and 94th Regiments of Foot [<=1781] merge as the Connaught Rangers.

The 91st and 93rd Regiments of Foot [<=1781] merge as Princess Louise's (Argyll and Sutherland) Highlanders.

The 100th and 109th Regiments of Foot [<=1781] merge as the Prince of Wales's Leinster Regiment (the Royal Canadians).

The 101st and 104th Regiments of Foot [<=1781] merge as the Royal Munster Fusiliers.

The 102nd and 103rd Regiments of Foot [<=1781] merge as the Royal Dublin Fusiliers.

 

With a few minor changes the above establishment is that available for deployment at the outbreak of WW1 [=>1914 (4th August)]. [THREAD = WW1 ARMIES, TRADITIONS, AND TACTICS]

 

1881 [5th July] After some delays for last-minute redesign work, HMS Inflexible [1876 (27th April)<=>1882 (11th July)] enters service with the Royal Navy. As completed she mounts four 80-ton 16" [=406mm] rifled muzzle-loading guns. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

**********  SOUTH AFRICA BECOMES INDEPENDENT  **********

1881 [8th August] The British Parliament recognises the South African [a.k.a. Transvaal] Republic [1880 (13th December)<=>1902] as independent. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1881 [9th September] The Orabi Coup: The Egyptian army officer Ahmed Orabi [Wikipedia biography=>1882 (20th May)] stages a military coup against the government of the Egyptian Khedive, Tewfik Pasha [Wikipedia biography=>1882 (20th May)]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1881 [9th December] The First Battle of Jabal Qadir: This battle is fought as part of the Mahdist War [<=7th June] between an Egyptian column under Rashid Bay Ayman [no convenient biography] and the Mahdist army at Jabal Qadir. The outcome is the annihilation of the Egyptian force. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1882  Having been at sea since 1845 and now largely obsolete the SS Great Britain [1852 (18th August)<=>1886] is refitted as a coal bunkering ship. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1882  [Sir]1908 Robert A. Hadfield [1st Baronet]1917 [1872<=>1886] brings "manganese steel", popularly known as "Hadfield Steel", to market. Around the same time William Denny and Company [<=1870 (10th September)], Dumbarton, build a 300-metre long testing tank in which they can evaluate different hull profiles, propulsion, and steering geometry for speed and stability. [THREAD = THE INDUSTRIAL AND SCIENTIFIC REVOLUTION]

 

ASIDE: The Denny Tank remains one of the major attractions at the Scottish Maritime Museum [museum website].

 

1882  The Schumann and Gruson companies [1873<=>1885 (1st January)] merge as specialists in cupolae and turrets for fortifications. Around the same time, the William Armstrong Company [<=1881], Elswick1, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, merges with the local shipbuilders, Charles Mitchell and Company [Wikipedia factsheet] to form Armstrong, Mitchell, and Company [Grace's Guide Factsheet=>1897]. Around the same time the Tredegar Ironworks [1835<=>1891] adds two eight-ton Bessemer Converters to service export contracts for steel rails. Around the same time the American-based Singer Sewing Machine Company [Wikipedia factsheet=>1911] sets up a foundry-factory in rapidly expanding Clydebank. [THREAD = THE WW1 FINANCIAL AND ARMAMENTS INDUSTRIES]

 

1ASIDE: Armstrong do much of their gun production at this time under the trading name Elswick Ordnance Company (EOC), and so the descriptors "Elswick" and "Armstrong" are both seen in the literature.

 

ASIDE - THE SINGER SEWING MACHINE COMPANY IN WW1: Within days of war breaking out the Singer works will have switched production to munitions components.

 

1882  The American Bell Telephone Company [1880 (20th March)<=>1885 (3rd March)] acquires the controlling interest in the rival Western Electric Company [Wikipedia factsheet=>1913 (18th October)], thus starting to "converge" telegraphy and telephony. Meanwhile in New York City the demand for office typewriting skills has become so great that the Y.W.C.A. begins offering keyboard skills courses to that city's young women. [THREAD = WW1 SIGNALLING AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS]

 

1882  Wireless Telegraphy, Telephony, and Broadcasting [I - Non-Hertzian Transmission] The British Post Office engineer [Sir]1899 William H. Preece [Wikipedia biography=>24th March] conducts a series of field experiments into the ability of earth conduction and electromagnetic induction to support "wireless" telegraphy. Minor successes are claimed between Southampton and the Isle of Wight, across Lake Coniston in the English Lake District, at Lavernock Point on the Bristol Channel, and between various of the Scottish Islands. Reports lack technical detail, however, and the outcome seems to be that the transmission range is at best only a mile or two and the reception quality very poor. This Non-Hertzian technology will eventually fall by the wayside once Hertzian waves [that is to say, "proper" wireless] become (a) discovered [=>1888], and (b) recognised as the way forward [=>1891] [continues at 1882 (24th March) ...]. [THREAD = WW1 SIGNALLING AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS]

 

1882  Having lived for four years in Ragusa [then part of Austria-Hungary], Arthur Evans [<=1871] is put on trial as a British agent-provocateur, and expelled the country. [THREAD = WW1 ESPIONAGE AND INTELLIGENCE]

 

1882  Charles de Bange [<=1872] joins the Cail Company [1844<=>1898 (30th August)], now diversified into the armaments industry, as technical consultant. [THREAD = THE WW1 FINANCIAL AND ARMAMENTS INDUSTRIES]

 

1882  Hysteria [II - Charcot (1882)]: [Continued from 1878] Jean-Martin Charcot [1878<=>1885 (??th October)] publishes a paper entitled "Essai d'une Distinction Nosographique des divers États Compris sous le Nom d'Hypnotisme", in which he starts to differentiate theoretically between the observable clinical subtypes of hypnogenic response. Charcot's lectures [still famous as the leçons du mardi] are by now something of a celebrity event, attracting academics from far and wide [continues at 1885 (??th October) ...]. [THREAD = WW1 MILITARY MEDICINE AND COGNITIVE SCIENCE]

 

**********  THE FULL METAL JACKET IS BORN  **********

1882  The Swiss military engineer Eduard Rubin [Wikipedia biography] experiments with lead-filled cupro-nickel bullets. [THREAD = WW1 SMALL ARMS]

 

1882 [1st January] Zionism Pre-WW1 [III - "Auto-Emancipation" Preached]: [Continued from 1877 (undated)] Appalled at the ongoing anti-Semitic violence in Russia [<=1881 (15th April)] the physician Leon Pinsker [Wikipedia biography] publishes a pamphlet entitled "Auto-Emancipation" [full text online], in which he calls for a national Jewish homeland and preaches positive action [hence the "do it yourself" implicit in the title] toward achieving this objective. His writings soon come to the attention of the India-born German-English Christian "Restorationist"1 [Wikipedia factsheet] clergyman, William Hechler [Wikipedia biography=>1885 (undated)], who takes it upon himself to facilitate the Jews' return to their Biblical Promised Land, that is to say, Palestine, presently, of course, a subordinated territory within the Ottoman Empire [sub-thread continues at 31st July ...]. [THREAD = THE BATTLE FOR HEARTS AND MINDS] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF THE MODERN WORLD]

 

1ASIDE - RESTORATIONISM: Why should Hechler have been so concerned? Well (a) because as a Christian he is driven by thoughts of immortality after the hoped-for "Second Coming" of Christ [Wikipedia factsheet], and (b) because as a Restorationist Christian he believes that this can only happen when the Jews have been repatriated. To Hechler, therefore, it has all been prophesied.

 

1882 [??th January] Nervous Shock [V - Erichsen (1882)]: [Continued from 1875] In the light of further clinical data and recent academic debate, John E. Erichsen [<=1875] now publishes a revised edition of "On Concussion of the Spine: Nervous Shock and Other Obscure Injuries of the Nervous System" [full text online] [continues at 1883 (Herbert W. Page) ...]. [THREAD = WW1 MILITARY MEDICINE AND COGNITIVE SCIENCE]

 

1882 [6th March] The Balkan Crisis [XI - The Kingdom of Serbia]: [Continued from 1881 (15th March)] Prince Milan I of Serbia [Wikipedia biography=>1885 (14th November)] is proclaimed king. In the seven years before he eventually decides to abdicate [=>1889 (3rd January)] he will do his best to reconcile the three-way tensions between Catholic Austria, Orthodox Russia, and Muslim Turkey [continues at 1885 (14th November) ...]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1882 [16th March] The Navy Estimates, 1882: In delivering the Navy Estimates this year the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty [Sir]1886 George Trevelyan [Wikipedia biography] explains the guns available [interested readers click here]. He also laments the cost of all the modern equipment, thus ...

 

"Hydraulic machinery for turning the turrets, air-compressing machinery for feeding the torpedoes, electrical apparatus for internal communication, for firing broadsides, for illuminating the sea during a nocturnal action - everything is more complicated, everything more special in its nature, everything, above all, the more cruelly expensive. With armour costing £90 a-ton, where, 10 years ago, it cost £40; with the gear for mounting a single pair of guns standing the nation at £l2,000, £15,000, £18,000; with torpedoes for offence, and torpedo-netting for defence, required for every vessel of size; defending our coasts; holding our own in the Mediterranean; providing for the protection of our commerce over the globe; surveying and mapping out the sea for the benefit of the entire civilized world; alone among nations making a serious and burdensome effort for the suppression of the Slave Trade, the British Navy cannot fail, under any Administration, to be a heavy call upon the resources even of such a nation as ours." [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1882 [24th March] Wireless Telegraphy, Telephony, and Broadcasting [not numbered1 - The Dolbear Ground Conduction Patent]: [Continued from 1882] The American inventor Amos E. Dolbear [Wikipedia biography] files for a U.S. Patent (eventually granted on 5th October 1886 as U.S. Patent 350299) under the title "Mode of Electric Communication" [full text online at http://earlyradiohistory.us/350299.htm]. The physical principle behind his method is "ground conduction", that is to say, using the earth itself as a transmitting medium instead of wires. This is achieved by wiring the transmitting apparatus output terminal to a positively charged earthing rod (treating it an underground aerial, in other words), and by wiring the receiving apparatus input terminal to a similar negatively charged earthing rod some distance away. A microphone in series in the primary coil circuit of the transmitter produces a voltage-modulated voice signal in the former which can be successfully detected by an earphone in the receiver "certainly more than half mile" away. A complementary transmitter-receiver pair in the reverse direction allows two-way conversation speech [as explained in the Companion Resource, the proper name for this arrangement is "half-duplex" - Ed.] [continues at 1888 ...]. [THREAD = WW1 SIGNALLING AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS]

 

1ASIDE: Although the Dolbear system is indeed "wire-less" we have not given it a sub-sequence number within our broader history of wireless telegraphy, etc., because it does not use a Hertzian wave.

 

ASIDE - GROUND CONDUCTION TELEGRAPHY IN WW1: In the event it took nearly 20 years of further research - much of it by the likes of Nikola Tesla [1881 (??th January)<=>??th April] and [Sir]1899 William H. Preece [1882<=>1884 (2nd September)] - in order to establish that ground conduction (or for that matter water conduction as well) was never going to compete with the ranges obtainable from Hertzian wave wireless systems such as that developed by Guglielmo Marconi [=>1893]. Nevertheless there was one area where the short range of ground conduction systems was not too much of a problem, and that was in the trenches of WW1, and here the early victory went to the Germans. We shall be telling this story in detail in due course [=>1916 (1st July)] so suffice it for the moment to warn that the German defenders on the Somme would be exploiting earth conduction physics to eavesdrop on British field telephone traffic in the hours before the battle.

 

1882 [27th March] Seeing is Believing [XIII - Early Moving Images (Marey and "La Chronophotographie")]: [Continued from 1879 (The Skladonowski Brothers)] The French zoologist Étienne-Jules Marey [Wikipedia biography=>1888 (29th October)] presents a paper to the Academy of Sciences in Paris, reporting the use of a "fusil photographique" [= "photographic rifle"; Wikipedia image] capable of capturing such transient zoological phenomena as bird and insect flight. The apparatus takes 12 exposures per second onto the same receiving plate. He starts to refer to his new science as "la Chronophotographie" [sub-thread continues at 5th June ...]. [THREAD = THE BATTLE FOR HEARTS AND MINDS]

 

1882 [1st April] [Sir]1885 Garnet Wolseley [1st Viscount Wolseley]1885 [1879 (11th January)<=>13th September] is promoted to Adjutant-General of the British Army. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1882 [15th May] Russian Anti-Semitism [II - The May Laws]: [Continued from 1881 (26th April)] The Tsarist government passes laws restricting the rights of their Jewish citizens. This and increasing anti-Semitic violence persuades increasing numbers of Jews to emigrate to western Europe, Ottoman Palestine1, and the Americas [continues at 1891 (23rd April)]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1ASIDE - THE BILU: Refugees to Ottoman Palestine took the name "Bilu" (an acronym derived from the Hebrew phrase for "House of Jacob, let us go"), and set about developing vineyards and similar agricultural cooperatives.

 

1882 [??th April] Nikola Tesla [24th March<=>1883 (10th June)] arrives in Paris to take employment with the European branch of the Edison Company [1878<=>4th September], installing their D.C. lighting systems. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF THE MODERN WORLD]

 

1882 [20th May] Italy joins the German alliance with Austria-Hungary, thereby creating the "Triple Alliance" [=>1892 (17th August)]. [THREAD = WW1 TREATIES AND ALLIANCES]

 

1882 [20th May] The Second Anglo-Egyptian War: Following the initial Orabi Coup [<=1881 (9th September)] this war is fought between a British and French amphibious assault taskforce under Sir Frederick Seymour [1st Baron Alcester]LATER THIS YEAR [Wikipedia biography=>11th July] and the "legitimate" Egyptians under Tewfik Pasha [<=1881 (9th September)], and the Egyptian rebels under Ahmed Orabi [1881 (9th September)<=>13th September]. The main events are ...

 

The Bombardment of Alexandria, 1882; The Battle of Tel el-Kebir, 1882

 

The overall outcome is the defeat of the rebels. The war is noteworthy in the present context for ushering in the 40-year British protectorate which will take Egypt up to and through WW1. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1882 [5th June] Seeing is Believing [XIV - Early Moving Images (Musée Grévin)]: [Continued from 27th March] In an attempt to cash in on those he was making (in)famous in his newspapers the French press magnate Arthur Meyer [Wikipedia biography] bankrolls the caricaturist Alfred Grévin [Wikipedia biography] as Director of the Musée Grévin [Wikipedia factsheet], a celebrity wax museum at 10 Boulevard Montmartre, Paris [sub-thread continues at 1884 (28th March) ...]. [THREAD = THE BATTLE FOR HEARTS AND MINDS]

 

1882 [7th June] The Second Battle of Jabal Qadir: This battle is fought as part of the Mahdist War [<=7th June] between an Egyptian column under Yusuf Hassan al-Shallali [no convenient biography] and the Mahdist army at Jabal Qadir. The outcome is the annihilation of the Egyptian force. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1882 [11th July] The Bombardment of Alexandria: This three-day bombardment takes place as part of the Second Anglo-Egyptian War [<=1882] between a British fleet under Sir Frederick Seymour [1st Baron Alcester]LATER THIS YEAR [<=1882 (20th May)] and the Egyptian Nationalist garrison in the Alexandrian coastal forts. The new HMS Superb [<=1880 (4th October)] takes this opportunity to test her 10" guns, and the even newer HMS Inflexible [1881 (5th July)<=>scrapped 1903] does likewise with her 16" main battery. The French fleet, having no specific orders for such an action, stand off and take no part. The outcome is a rather one-sided victory for the British. The bombardment is noteworthy in the present context (a) for the presence in the fleet of Prince Louis of Battenberg [1874<=>1892], and (b) because the ruins will be one of the sites inspected by Sir George Sydenham Clarke [1st Baron Sydenham]1913 [1877 (20th July [ASIDE])< =>1882 (13th September)] when he is asked to assess1 the effect of artillery against relatively simple, cheap, and quick to construct, fortifications. [THREAD = WW1 PERMANENT FORTIFICATIONS]

 

1ASIDE: Clarke's report to the Defence Committee will note caustically that only 20 of the 300 guns in the Egyptian forts had been destroyed.

 

1882 [31st July] Zionism Pre-WW1 [IV - Rishon LeZion Founded]: [Continued from 1882 (1st January)] Fleeing the ongoing anti-Semitic violence in Russia [<=1881 (15th April)] a party of dispossessed Ukrainian Jews founds another settlement in Ottoman Palestine, five miles south of Tel Aviv. They name it Rishon LeZion [Hebrew = "First to Zion"; map, etc.]. Once again Baron Edmond de Rothschild [<=1877 (undated)] provides enabling finance [sub-thread continues at 1885 (undated) ...]. [THREAD = THE BATTLE FOR HEARTS AND MINDS] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF THE MODERN WORLD]

 

**********  THE FATHER OF FIRE-CONTROL COMPUTING  **********

**********  THE FATHER OF FIRE-CONTROL COMPUTING  **********

**********  THE FATHER OF FIRE-CONTROL COMPUTING  **********

1882 [25th August] Automation, Control, and Artificial Intelligence [LI - Analog Computing (Kelvin Yet Again)]: [Continued from 1881 (10th February)] Sir William Thomson [1st Baron Kelvin]1892 [1876<=>1901] presents a paper entitled "The Tides" [Bartleby full text online] in which he includes a diagram [Figure 132, p10] of a "compounded analog computer", that is to say, one in which a number of separate ball-and-disc integrators [<=1881] cooperate in solving a "harmonic analysis" problem [the reverse engineering of an observed waveform into its underlying equation - Ed.]. In Thomson's case there are eleven such integrators, each sensitive to one of the eleven known influences on tidal height at any given point on the planet. Once each integrator has been initially positioned, then the device as a whole summates their outputs in the form of linear movements of a pen-tracking arm, thus enabling effectively instantaneous tidal predictions for the future to be traced onto a moving paper roll [sub-thread continues at 1883 (Campbell and Goolden) ...]. [THREAD = WW1 CYBERNETICS, COMPUTATIONAL SCIENCE, AND FIRE CONTROL]

 

ASIDE - THE ANALOG INTEGRATOR IN WW1: In Kelvin's own words, analog computation "substitutes brass for brains", being capable of delivering reasonably accurate results in real time at the turn of a handle or several. Kelvin will later [around 1899] make the acquaintance of the mechanical engineer and inventor Arthur Pollen [=>1901], and will advise him in general terms on how harmonic analysis by analog computer might overcome the mathematical problems involved in gun-laying. Indeed Kelvin is beginning to be recognised as the "father of fire-control computing" (e.g., Gallagher, 2014 online). When once asked how he got to be so clever Kelvin remarks: "I never satisfy myself until I can make a mechanical model of a thing. If I can make a mechanical model I can understand it" (cited in Ariew and Barker, 1996, p55).

 

**********  DIRECT CURRENT AS POWER SOURCE  **********

1882 [4th September] The Edison Company [??th April<=>1885 (??th April)] switches on a commercial D.C. electrical power service in Lower Manhattan, New York City. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF THE MODERN WORLD]

 

1882 [13th September] The Battle of Tel el-Kebir: This battle takes place as part of the Second Anglo-Egyptian War [<=1882] between a British army under [Sir]1885 Garnet Wolseley [1st April<=>1884 (1st September)] and an Egyptian army under Ahmed Orabi [20th May<=>d. 1911 (21st September)]. The outcome is a decisive British victory. The battle is noteworthy in the present context (a) for the contribution of 8th Railway Company, Royal Engineers, in keeping Wolseley's troops supplied, (b) for front line use of cabling, and (c) for first use of a field post-office. [THREAD = WW1 ARMIES, TRADITIONS, AND TACTICS]

 

1882 [17th October] Irish Home Rule [IV - The Irish National League]: [Continued from 1875 (21st April)] Charles S. Parnell [1875 (21st April)<=>d. 1891 6th October)] founds the Irish Parliamentary Party [Wikipedia factsheet=>1885 (18th December)] to fight for Irish independence [continues at 1885 (18th December) ...]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1883 The Development of Photography [XVII - Muybridge]: [Continued from 1881 (1st January)] Muybridge [1878<=>1887] now undertakes a four-year programme of zoological research at the University of Pennsylvania, using his repeated exposure technique to analyse the movements of humans and animals [sub-thread continues at 1887 (Muybridge) ...]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF THE MODERN WORLD]

 

1883  A young Royal Navy lieutenant named John Jellicoe [Wikipedia biography=>1905] qualifies as a gunnery officer and will serve in a number of progressively more senior positions over the ensuing 22 years. [THREAD = THE WW1 SURFACE NAVIES]

 

1883  Nervous Shock [VI - Page (1883)]: [Continued from 1882 (??th January)] The British surgeon Herbert W. Page [no convenient biography=>1891] publishes "Injuries of the Spine and Spinal Cord without Apparent Mechanical Lesion, and Nervous Shock, in their Surgical and Medico-Legal Aspects" [full text online], in which he reviews the neurological basis of the long-standing but still vigorous "railway spine" debate [<=1875]. His main interest is in "concussion of the spine", that is to say, a short-term loss of function following a whole-body impact of some sort, much like the states of "concussion" [Wikipedia factsheet] already known about with a head impact. More controversially he allows in Chapters 4 and 5 for a range of "fright"-induced effects of a collision, thus ...

 

"Compare two cases of like injury, the one received by accident on a railway and the other by being knocked down and run over in the street, and the probabilities are great that the manifestations of shock will in the former case be more extreme than in the latter. And the difference lies in this, that in the one case there is an element of great fear and alarm, which has perhaps been altogether absent from what may be called the less formidable and less terrible mode of accident. How largely fright may of itself conduce to the condition recognised as shock is well shown by a case communicated to us by a surgeon of large experience, who, summoned to a railway station to see and conduct to the hospital a railway servant who had had his foot, as was supposed, run over on the line, found him in a state of collapse, and in greatest alarm as to the injury to his limb. Upon examination it was discovered that the only damage was the dexterous removal of the heel of his boot by the wheel of a passing engine. And medical literature abounds with cases where the gravest disturbances of function, and even death or the annihilation of function, have been produced by fright and by fright alone" (op. cit., p147).

 

Page also touches upon the possibility of "hysteria in men"1, thus ...

 

"We are much inclined to agree with Mr Jordan [...] that 'the frequency of hysteria (if such a term may be used) in men is not fully recognised' but if the manifestations thereof, as we may admit, are absent or but rarely seen in ordinary men, a condition closely allied to the 'hysteria' of women is very common, or is commonly developed, in men, after the great psychical shock of a railway accident. We know no clinical picture more distressing than that of a strong and healthy man reduced by apparently inadequate causes to a state in which all control of the emotions is well-nigh gone; who cannot sleep because he has before his mind an ever-present sense of the accident; who starts at the least noise; who lies in bed almost afraid to move; whose heart palpitates whenever he is spoken to; and who cannot hear or say a word about his present condition and his future prospects without bursting into tears" (op. cit., p173).

 

NOTE THE SIMILARITY BETWEEN THE PSYCHOLOGICAL AFTER-EFFECTS OF RAILWAY ACCIDENTS AS DESCRIBED ABOVE AND SHELLSHOCK IN WW1 [continues at 1889 ...]. [THREAD = WW1 MILITARY MEDICINE AND COGNITIVE SCIENCE]

 

1ASIDE - HYSTERIA IN MEN: Readers unfamiliar with the history of hysteria as a psychiatric diagnostic entity should note that said condition has traditionally been seen (although not always explicitly described as such) as the result of unexpressed sexual needs in young women. For a much longer history see the Companion Resource [scroll to the entry for "hysteria" and follow any onward pointers].

 

1883  Having studied under both William James [<=1875] and Wilhelm Wundt [<=1879] the American psychologist G. Stanley Hall [Wikipedia biography=>1887] sets up his own experimental psychology laboratory at Johns Hopkins University. Around the same time the German psychiatrist Emil Kraepelin [Wikipedia biography=>1891] publishes "Compendium der Psychiatrie", in which he attempts a detailed (and in 2014 still influential) classification of psychiatric illness. [THREAD = WW1 MILITARY MEDICINE AND COGNITIVE SCIENCE]

 

1883  The Dutch linguist Auguste Kerckhoffs [Wikipedia biography] publishes a two-part paper entitled "La Cryptographie Militaire", in which he considers the practicalities of battlefield communication systems. [THREAD = WW1 ESPIONAGE AND INTELLIGENCE] [THREAD =WW1 SIGNALLING AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS]

 

ASIDE: Kahn (1996; Chapter 8) discusses Kerckhoffs' work in some detail and draws particular attention to his insight that different rules applied to the occasional communications of ambassadors than did to heavily used battlefield communication systems. In fact, there were two fundamental requirements for a successful field cipher system, namely (a) that it could cope with the volume of traffic likely to be thrown at it, and (b) that its inventors/manufacturers were not necessarily the best people to appraise their systems' weaknesses - thieves needed to be set to catch thieves.

 

1883  Automation, Control, and Artificial Intelligence [LII - Control Technology (Campbell and Goolden)]: [Continued from 1882 (25th August)] The British engineers Sir Archibald Campbell [1st Baron Blythswood]1892 [Wikipedia biography] and W. T. Goolden [no convenient biography] devise a simple analog computer to measure the rotational speed of ships' propeller shafts [=>Care (2008 online) for the full story] [sub-thread continues at 1884 (23rd September) ...]. [THREAD = WW1 CYBERNETICS, COMPUTATIONAL SCIENCE, AND FIRE CONTROL]

 

1883  The young American gun designer John Moses Browning [Wikipedia biography] starts a profitable 15-year association with the Winchester Repeating Arms Company [1883<=>1895], adding significantly to its product portfolio, not least with the lever action Winchester Model 1886 [Wikipedia factsheet]. Other Browning designs will be developed by the Colt Company [=>1895]. [THREAD = WW1 SMALL ARMS]

 

1883 [19th January] The Hamburg-America Line's [1864 (2nd May)<=>1891] SS Cimbria [no convenient shipography<=>sinks this day] collides with a freighter in fog and sinks rapidly, with the loss of 430 passengers and crew. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1883 [30th January] Newport Docks [VIII - Alexandra South Dock Authorised]: [Continued from 1875 (16th April)] Such is the present demand for coal exporting capacity in South Wales that a private member's bill is placed before Parliament seeking permission to extend the North Dock [continues at 1892 (??th December)]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1883 [??th April] Elihu Thomson [1880 (20th January)<=>1892 (22nd March)] and Edwin J. Houston [<=1880 (20th January)] recapitalise and reorganise their American Electric Company [<=1880 (20th January)] as the Thomson-Houston Electric Company [Wikipedia factsheet=>1892 (24th March)]. The new investors are led by the American entrepreneur Charles A. Coffin [Wikipedia biography=>1892 (24th March)]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF THE MODERN WORLD]

 

1883 [6th June] The Chilean Navy Ship Esmeralda [Wikipedia shipography=>1884 (16th October)] is launched at Armstrong, Mitchell, and Company [1882<=>1897], Elswick, Newcastle-upon-Tyne. [THREAD = THE WW1 SURFACE NAVIES]

 

**********  ALTERNATING CURRENT AS POWER SOURCE  **********

1883 [10th June] While on detachment in Strasbourg, Nikola Tesla [1882 (??th April)<=>1884 (6th June)] demonstrates a prototype A.C. motor before potential investors (but fails to realise any substantive orders). [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF THE MODERN WORLD]

 

1883 [29th August] Funded by the increasingly philanthropically-minded industrialist Andrew Carnegie [1878 (??th May)<=>1886], the first of many "Carnegie Libraries" opens at (his home town) Dunfermline, Scotland. [THREAD = THE WW1 FINANCIAL AND ARMAMENTS INDUSTRIES]

 

ASIDE: A total of 2509 Carnegie Libraries will be built in Britain and the U.S. between 1883 and 1929, often twinned with public baths.

 

1883 [3rd-5th November] The Battle of El-Obeid: This battle is fought as part of the Mahdist War [<=1881 (7th June)] between a large but low grade Egyptian column under (the mercenary) William Hicks [Wikipedia biography] and a 40,000-strong Mahdist army under Muhammad ["the Mahdi"] Ahmad [<=1881 (7th June)] personally. Outnumbered five-to-one and totally out-fervoured Hicks' column is summarily annihilated. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1884  The Swedish steel company Bofors-Gullspang [Wikipedia factsheet=>1894] uses its Siemens-Martin Open Hearth Furnaces [<=1865] to diversify into weapons manufacture. Around the same time the German glassmakers and technologists Otto Schott [Wikipedia biography], Ernst K. Abbe [Wikipedia biography], and Carl Zeiss [Wikipedia biography] found Glastechnische Laboratorium Schott und Genossen in Jena, Austria. Over the coming years the company will specialise in high quality optics using borosilicate glass. WW1 applications will include sniper scopes and rangefinders. Around the same time Armstrong, Mitchell, and Company [1883 (6th June)<=>1887] further extends its steelworks-shipyard at Elswick [map, etc.], Newcastle-upon-Tyne, so that he can offer the War Office a "one-stop shop" capable of building ships in one yard, and then fitting them out with Elswick guns produced in the steelworks next door. The firm will prosper accordingly. [THREAD = THE WW1 FINANCIAL AND ARMAMENTS INDUSTRIES]

 

1884  The physician and amateur historian Thomas A. Wise [no convenient biography] publishes "History of Paganism in Caledonia" in which he notes similarities between ancient Scottish religious artefacts and those from other cultures in India, Australasia, and North America. [THREAD = WW1 ROMANTIC NATIONALISM]

 

1884  Neurasthenia [V - Beard (1884)]: [Continued from 1881] George M. Beard [<=1881] now publishes a monograph entitled "Practical Treatise on Nervous Exhaustion" [1894 (Third Edition) full text online] in which he restates his earlier arguments [q.v.]. [THREAD = WW1 MILITARY MEDICINE AND COGNITIVE SCIENCE]

 

1884  Theodor Meynert [<=1881 (31st March)] now publishes "Psychiatrie: Klinik der Erkrankungen des Vorderhirns" [in English as "Psychiatry: Clinical Disorders of the Forebrain"] [full text online], in which he reviews forebrain anatomy and its associated pathology in minute detail. [THREAD = WW1 MILITARY MEDICINE AND COGNITIVE SCIENCE]

 

ASIDE: Despite the sustained popularity of this work at the time, Meynert is nowadays an undeservedly oft-forgotten hero of scientific neuropsychology.

 

1884  Drawing on George Garrett's experience with Resurgam II [<=1879], the Nordenfelt Company [<=1875] contracts with the Stockholm shipyard Bolinders [Wikipedia factsheet] to begin work on the Nordenfelt I [no convenient shipography], a small experimental submarine. Three further boats - Nordenfelt II (1886), Nordenfelt III (1887), and Nordenfelt IV (1887) - will follow in short course. [THREAD = THE WW1 SUBMARINE NAVIES]

 

1884  The British politician Archibald Primrose, 5th Earl of Rosebery [Wikipedia biography] visits Australia, and sets out his vision for an enlightened form of empire, namely a "Commonwealth of Nations" [Wikipedia factsheet]. This vision will be further developed three years later at the First Colonial Conference [=>1887]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1884  The American-born (but largely British resident) inventor [Sir]1901 Hiram S. Maxim [Wikipedia biography] patents what will become known to history as the "Maxim Gun". Sold under licence to the European powers it will appear in WW1 as both the German MG08 Spandau [=>1901] and the British Vickers Machine Gun [=>1896]. [THREAD = WW1 MACHINE GUNS]

 

********** KEY WW1 TECHNOLOGY **********

===== THE STEAM TURBINE =====

1884  The British engineer Charles A. Parsons [Wikipedia biography] demonstrates the advantages of the steam turbine over the reciprocating steam engine. [THREAD = THE WW1 SURFACE NAVIES]

 

ASIDE: To quantify this advantage, the turbine-driven destroyer HMS Viper [=>1899] was capable of a top speed of 36.5 knots, whilst the conventional reciprocating engines in HMS Havock [=>1892] delivered only 27 knots!

 

1884  The French chemist Paul Vielle [Wikipedia biography] patents "Poudre B" [= "powder B"], a dried and then flaked form of nitrocellulose, which, unless deliberately compressed, deflagrates rather than detonates. It is also around three times as powerful, weight for weight, as gunpowder, is unaffected by damp, and is virtually smokeless when fired. [THREAD = WW1 SMALL ARMS]

 

1884 [8th January/18th February] On 8th January Charles G. Gordon [Wikipedia biography=>13th March] departs Britain for Cairo, there to organise the orderly evacuation of the remaining Egyptian garrisons in Sudan. He arrives at Khartoum on 18th February and sets about evacuating women and children from the area. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1884 [11th February] Upon the death of Chenery [<=1877 (15th October)] editorship of The Times passes to the journalist George E. Buckle [Wikipedia biography=>1911 (31st July)]. [THREAD = THE BATTLE FOR HEARTS AND MINDS]

 

1884 [13th March - 1885 (26th January)] The Siege of Khartoum [I - The Early Stages]: Following the defeat at the Battle of El-Obeid [<=1883] this siege takes place between the Mahdist-Sudanese army and the British-Egyptian garrison at Khartoum under Charles G. Gordon [8th January<=>1885 (26th January)]. The outcome is the total destruction of the garrison [continues at 1st September ...]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1884 [28th March] Seeing is Believing [XV - Early Moving Images (The Eden Musée)]: [Continued from 1882 (5th June)] The Eden Musée [Wikipedia factsheet] opens at 55 West 23rd Street, New York City, purveying musical entertainment, a wax museum, a magic-lantern show, and the like [sub-thread continues at 1886 (Rivière and Friese-Greene) ...]. [THREAD = THE BATTLE FOR HEARTS AND MINDS]

 

1884 [6th June] Nikola Tesla [1883 (10th June)<=>1885 (??th April)] arrives in New York City. He meets his C.E.O. Edison [1881<=>2nd September] the next day and is put in charge of modernising D.C. Generator design. He reportedly recommends A.C. as technically a better prospect but Edison rejects his advice. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF THE MODERN WORLD]

 

1884 [9th June] The foundation stone is laid of the new German Parliament building, the Reichstag [Wikipedia factsheet=>1894 (5th December)]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

**********  GERMANY GOES COLONIAL  **********

1884 [5th July] As its first move in the "Race for Africa", Germany proclaims Kamarun [= modern Republic of Cameroon] and Togoland [= modern Ghana] as her first overseas "protectorates" [i.e., colonies]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

ASIDE - KAMARUN AND TOGOLAND IN WW1: Kamarun and Togoland are occupied with minimal resistance by British, French, and Belgian troops immediately after the war breaks out.

 

1884 [16th July] George Kynoch and Company [1874<=>1888], presently the second largest cartridge manufacturer in Britain, producing some 800,000 cartridges daily, is reorganised as a limited liability company. [THREAD = THE WW1 FINANCIAL AND ARMAMENTS INDUSTRIES]

 

1884 [25th July] The Pontypridd, Caerphilly, and Newport Railway [II - Open for Freight]: [Continued from 1878 (8th August)] The PC&NR runs its first coal train from Pontypridd to Alexandra Docks, Newport [continues at 1887 (28th December) ...]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1884 [7th August] Germany now proclaims German Southwest Africa [= modern Namibia] as a "protectorate". [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

ASIDE - GERMAN SOUTHWEST AFRICA IN WW1: After an 11-month campaign German Southwest Africa will be occupied by South African troops on 9th July 1915.

 

1884 [14th August] Barry Docks [I - The Authorisation]: Sponsored by coal interests unable to use rival facilities at Cardiff and Newport the British Parliament passes the Barry Dock and Railway Company Act (1884), authorising the construction of coal exportation facilities at Barry, some ten miles west of Cardiff [continues at 1889 (18th July) ...]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1884 [1st September] The Siege of Khartoum [II - The Relief Attempt]: [Continued from 13th March] [Sir]1885 Garnet Wolseley [1st Viscount Wolseley]1885 [1882 (13th September)<=>1885 (26th January)] leads a relief column in an attempt to raise the six-month-long siege at Khartoum [continues at 1885 (26th January) ...]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

**********  THE EDISON EFFECT GETS ITS NAME  **********

1884 [2nd September-11th October] The Franklin Institute, Philadelphia, hosts an exposition of electrical physics. Edison [6th June<=>1888] attends to demonstrate his specially prepared one-way transmitting vacuum bulbs [<=1880 (13th February)]. There to represent the British Post Office [Sir]1899 William H. Preece [1882 (24th March)<=>1892 (26th November)] is fascinated by the demonstration and is gifted several bulbs to take back to Britain for his own research, during which he soon coins the epithet "Edison Effect" to describe the principles involved. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF THE MODERN WORLD]

 

1884 [20th September] RMS Etruria [Wikipedia shipography=>1885 (25th April)] is launched at John Elder and Company [1881 (2nd April)<=>1886] for service with the Cunard Line [1871 (16th March)<=>1892 (8th September)]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1884  [23rd September] Automation, Control, and Artificial Intelligence [LIII - The Manufacturers (Hollerith)]: [Continued from 1883 (Campbell and Goolden)] The U.S. Census Bureau civil servant and mechanical engineer Herman Hollerith [Wikipedia biography=>1911] files for his first patent [U.S. #395,792] for a punched card data recording system. It will be money well spent [sub-thread continues at 1885 (1st January) ...]. [THREAD = WW1 CYBERNETICS, COMPUTATIONAL SCIENCE, AND FIRE CONTROL]

 

ASIDE: It was actually a colleague of Hollerith's, John Shaw Billings [<=1881], who had the basic punched card idea.

 

1884 [6th October] The London Underground [III - The Circle Line Completed]: [Continued from 1876 (18th November)] With the completion of the latest underground station at Tower Hill [see map at 1863 (10th January)] the Circle Line is now fully open, with trains operated (clockwise) by the Metropolitan Railway Company [<=1876 (8th November)] and (counter-clockwise) by the District Railway Company [Wikipedia factsheet] [continues at 1890 (4th November) ...]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

**********  THE "ELSWICK CRUISER" IS BORN  **********

1884 [16th October] The Chilean Navy ship Esmeralda [1883 (6th June)<=>1894 (15th November)] enters service. Capable of 18.3 knots she is the fastest armoured warship afloat and the model for many look-alike designs. [THREAD = THE WW1 SURFACE NAVIES]

 

1884 [3rd November] Germany proclaims German New Guinea, the Bismarck Islands, and the German Solomon Islands as her southeast Asian protectorates. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

ASIDE - GERMAN SOUTHEAST ASIA IN WW1: These territories will be occupied with minimal resistance by (New Guinea) Australian and (the islands) Japanese troops in the first weeks of the war.

 

********** THE WORLD GETS ITS FIRST SKYSCRAPER  **********

1884 [21st December] After a year in the construction the Home Insurance Building [Wikipedia factsheet], Chicago, is opened. It is a 10-storey 138-foot skyscraper designed by William le Baron Jenney [Wikipedia biography]. It is the world's first building based entirely on a structural steel skeleton frame. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1885  The British businessmen William Hesketh Lever [1st Viscount Leverhulme]1922 [Wikipedia biography], his brother James Darcy Lever [Wikipedia biography], and the industrial chemist William H. Watson [Grace's Guide biography] set up as Lever Brothers [modern corporate website=>1888], Warrington, to produce soap. At around the same time the American businessman Robert W. Johnson [Wikipedia biography] and his brothers set up Johnson and Johnson [modern corporate website] to produce ready-to-use surgical dressings. Around the same time the British-born Australian soap-maker Charles Upfold [Wikipedia biography] expands his family business at Tighes Hill, Newcastle, New South Wales. One of his best-selling products is "Siren" soap. His company will be bought out by Lever Brothers [<=1885] in 1919. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1885  [Continued from 1879] Having been collaborating with Remington and Sons [<=1853] and the Sharps Rifle Manufacturing Company [<=1848 (12th September)], James Paris Lee [1879<=>1888 (Lee-Metford) / 1895 (Lee-Enfield)] now sees his 1879 prototype bolt-action magazine rifle come to market as the M1885 Remington-Lee Rifle [Wikipedia factsheet]. [THREAD = WW1 SMALL ARMS]

 

1885  The French chemist Eugène Turpin [Wikipedia biography] gets positive results from a high brisance [<=1832 (ASIDES)] mixture of picric acid [1873<=>1888] and guncotton. He patents the concoction under the name "melinite" [=>1897], and it will be accepted into production by the French Army two years later. [THREAD = THE WW1 SURFACE NAVIES] [THREAD = WW1 ARTILLERY]

 

1885  The German engineers Wilhelm Maybach [Wikipedia biography=>1888 (10th August)] and Gottfied Daimler [Wikipedia biography] unveil the Standuhr [= "grandfather clock"] prototype of a single cylinder, petrol-driven, internal combustion engine capable of propelling bicycles, carriages, and boats. Around the same time George Forbes [<=1877 (24th April)] is awarded a patent for the use of carbon brushes in dynamos and electric motors. [THREAD = THE INDUSTRIAL AND SCIENTIFIC REVOLUTION]

 

1885  Now resident in New York City the anarchist Johann Most [1874<=>1902] publishes a pamphlet entitled "The Science of Revolutionary Warfare", a practical manual of armed street confrontation based on Mikhail Bakunin's [<=1872 (2nd September)] notion of the "propaganda of the deed". [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1885  Fortress France and Belgium [VI - Verdun-Douaumont]: [Continued from 1881] As part of the Séré de Rivières upgrades [<=1872 (28th July)], construction work begins on the Fort de Douaumont [Wikipedia factsheet<=>1916 (25th February)], on the heights to the northeast of Verdun. It is the largest and highest of the forts in this sector, and will thus be a focus for both French and German alike during the Battle of Verdun [=>1916 (21st February)] [continues at 1887 ...]. [THREAD = WW1 PERMANENT FORTIFICATIONS]

 

ASIDE - DOUAUMONT TODAY: The fort is nowadays one of the principal sites in the Verdun open air heritage museum [see museum website].

 

1885  The French chemist Eugène Turpin [Wikipedia biography] patents the use of pressed and cast 2,4,6 trinitrophenol [<=1841] as a high-explosive filling for shells. [THREAD = WW1 ARTILLERY]

 

ASIDE: Trials with the new high-brisance explosives soon expose the unsuitability of masonry-built fortifications, which - compared with reinforced concrete structures - are easier to shatter apart under the sharp pressure waves produced.

 

**********  CLASSIC WW1 WEAPONS TYPE  **********

===== THE DESTROYER ===

1885  Japanese Navy designers place an order with Yarrow, London, for HIJMS Kotaka [Wikipedia shipography=>1890 (19th August)], a torpedo boat large enough to accompany a battle fleet into action. The vessel is to be built in sections and shipped to Yokosuka, Japan, for final assembly. [THREAD = THE WW1 SURFACE NAVIES]

 

ASIDE: Although ordered as a torpedo boat, hindsight nowadays has it that Kotaka was a transitional torpedo boat destroyer. An order from the Spanish navy for the Destructor [= "Destroyer"], an even bigger vessel, helps consolidate the concept of "the Destroyer" as an ontologically valid new type of vessel [=>1886 (29th July].

 

1885 [not specifically dated] Zionism Pre-WW1 [V - Hechler Joins the Diplomatic Service]: [Continued from 1882 (31st July)] William Hechler [1882 (1st January)<=>1894 (undated)] obtains employment as Chaplain to the British Embassy in Vienna, where he will remain for 25 years. He devotes his spare time to researching the scriptures [sub-thread continues at 1886 (undated) ...]. [THREAD = THE BATTLE FOR HEARTS AND MINDS] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF THE MODERN WORLD]

 

1885 [1st January] Automation, Control, and Artificial Intelligence [LIV - Theoretical Background (Hele-Shaw)]: [Continued from 1884 (23rd September)] The British academic, inventor, and consulting engineer Henry S. Hele-Shaw [Wikipedia biography] presents a paper to the Physical Society, London, in which he notes the fundamental difference between "continuous computing" - nowadays known as "analog computing" - and "discontinuous computing" - nowadays known as "digital computing". A lively academic debate ensues [for more on the technicalities of the continuous-discontinuous debate see the Companion Resource, comparing Section 2 with Section 3] [sub-thread continues at 1889 (30th November) ...]. [THREAD = WW1 CYBERNETICS, COMPUTATIONAL SCIENCE, AND FIRE-CONTROL]

 

1885 [1st? January] To help the Romanians decide how best to fortify their capital Bucharest, the Belgian fortress designer Henri Brialmont [<=1874] arranges a specially arranged shoot-off - the "Cotraceni tests" - between Mougin turrets [<=1875] fitted with de Bange guns and Schumann-Gruson turrets [<=1882] fitted with Krupp guns [check out the contestants]. Both systems perform well but the Schumann-Gruson armour broke up less readily when hit repeatedly. The Schumann-Gruson designs will be featured the following year in the journal Scientific American [=>1886 (6th March)]. [THREAD = WW1 ARTILLERY] [THREAD = WW1 PERMANENT FORTIFICATIONS]

 

1885 [26th January] The Siege of Khartoum [III - The City Falls]: [Continued from 1884 (1st September)] After more than 10 months under siege the Mahdist Army finally breaks into the city, killing Charles C. Gordon [1884 (13th March)<=>dies this day] and putting his entire garrison to the sword. The relief column under [Sir]1885 Garnet Wolseley [1st Viscount Wolseley]1885 [1884 (1st September)<=>1901 (1st November)] arrives two days later. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1885 [3rd March] The American Bell Telephone Company [<=1882] reorganises its long-distance operations under a new and separate company, the American Telephone and Telegraph Company ["Ma Bell"] [Wikipedia factsheet=>1893 (8th May)]. [THREAD = WW1 SIGNALLING AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS]

 

1885 [30th March] The Panjdeh Incident: A border incident between Russian and Afghan forces at Panjdeh in north-western Afghanistan results in a full-scale diplomatic row between Britain and Russia. Much alarmed at the prospect of Russians as neighbours the north Indian maharajas club together to fund an additional 20,000 reserves for the Indian Army. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1885 [??th April or hereabouts] Having made as many improvements as he can to their D.C. generators, and having received what he believes to be insufficient reward, Nikola Tesla [1884 (6th June)<=>1887 (??th April)] resigns from the Edison Company [1882 (4th September)<=>1891 (20th May)]. At much the same time the Italian physicist Galileo Ferraris [Wikipedia biography=>1888 (11th March)] begins to develop a new kind of A.C. electric motor based on induction. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF THE MODERN WORLD]

 

1885 [25th April] RMS Etruria [<=1884 (20th September)] departs Liverpool for New York City on her maiden voyage. Capable of 19 knots she will win the prestigious Blue Riband award four times in the late 1880s. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF THE MODERN WORLD]

 

1885 [15th June] HMS Benbow [Wikipedia shipography=>1888 (14th June)] is launched at the Thames Ironworks and Shipbuilding Company [1875 (16th November)<=>1900 (5th July)]. [THREAD = THE WW1 SURFACE NAVIES]

 

**********  VACCINATION IS BORN  **********

1885 [6th July] After nine-year-old Joseph Meister has been bitten by a rabid dog, Louis Pasteur [Wikipedia biography] experimentally uses an untried rabies vaccine on him, and the disease duly fails to develop. [THREAD = WW1 MILITARY MEDICINE AND  COGNITIVE SCIENCE]

 

1885 [18th August] Project managed by George A. Fuller [Wikipedia biography] the new Chicago Opera House opens for business. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF THE MODERN WORLD]

 

1885 [??th October] Hysteria [III - Freud Becomes Interested]: [... Cointinued from 1882] Sigmund Freud [1881 (31st March)<=>1887 (28th December)] is awarded a four month travelling scholarship to study under Jean-Martin Charcot [<=1882]. While he is there he becomes particularly interested in the maestro's views on hysteria and its treatment using hypnosis. One reason for this interest is that he has become friends with Josef Breuer [1880 (??th October)<=>1895], who has told him all about his treatment of Bertha ["Anna O"]1 Pappenheim [<=1880 (??th October)]. [THREAD = WW1 MILITARY MEDICINE AND COGNITIVE SCIENCE]

 

1885 [8th October] SS La Bourgogne [Wikipedia shipography=>1898 (4th July)] is launched at Toulon for service with Compagnie Générale Transatlantique [Wikipedia factsheet]. She will make her maiden voyage between Le Havre and New York City on 19th June 1886, achieving a speed of 17 knots. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1885 [14th-28th November] The Balkan Crisis [XII - The Serbo-Bulgarian War, 1885]: [Continued from 1882 (6th March)] This brief border dispute war is fought between Serbia under Milan I of Serbia [1882 (6th March)<=>1889 (6th March)] and the presently disorganised principality of Bulgaria. The outcome is a decisive Bulgarian victory [continues at 1886 (28th August)]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1885 [18th December]  Irish Home Rule [V - The 1885 General Election]: [Continued from 1882 (17th October)] Riding a wave of popular and intellectual support the Irish Parliamentary Party [1882 (17th October)<=>1886 (8th June)] wins 86 seats in Parliament and exchanges its support for the raising of the Government of Ireland Bill [a.k.a the "First Home Rule Bill"] [continues at 1886 (8th June) ...]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

**********  THE REDCOATS FIGHT FOR THE LAST TIME  **********

1885 [30th December]  The Battle of Gennis: This battle is fought in northern Sudan as part of the Mahdist War [<=1881 (7th June)] between a large Mahdist army and the British garrison at Gennis under [Sir]1886 Francis W. Grenfell [1st Baron Grenfell]1902 [Wikipedia biography] and [Sir]1906 William F. Butler [Wikipedia biography]. The outcome is a British victory. The battle is noteworthy mainly for being the last fought in red tunics rather than sand or khaki. [THREAD = WW1 ARMIES, TRADITIONS, AND TACTICS]

 

1886 Seeing is Believing [XVI - Early Moving Images (Rivière and Friese-Greene)]: [Continued from 1884 (28th March)] The French showman Henri Rivière [Wikipedia biography] has a hit with the "Ombres Chinoises", a shadow theatre show within the broader attractions of the Le Chat Noir [Wikipedia factsheet] nightclub in Montmartre, Paris. At around the same time in Britain the photographer-inventor William Friese-Greene [Wikipedia biography] and his instrument-maker John A. R. Rudge [no convenient biography] begin a four-year collaboration  to develop a motion picture camera, but with only limited commercial success [sub-thread continues at 1888 (Méliès)  ...]. [THREAD = THE BATTLE FOR HEARTS AND MINDS]

 

1886  Following up on his success with manganese steel, [Sir]1908 Robert A. Hadfield [1st Baronet]1917 [1882<=>1888 (20th March)] now patents and brings "silicon steel" to market. [THREAD = THE INDUSTRIAL AND SCIENTIFIC REVOLUTION]

 

1886  Upon the retirement of Isaac Beardmore [<=1877 (11th October)] his nephew [Sir]1914 William Beardmore II [1st Baron Invernairn]1921 [1877 (11th October)<=>1888] replaces him as CEO of the Parkhead Forge [1877 (11th October)<=>1916 (17th March)]. Around the same time John Elder and Company [<=1884 (20th September)], Govan, reorganises itself as the Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering Company [Wikipedia factsheet<=>1892 (8th September)]. At much the same time the American industrialist Andrew Carnegie [1883 (29th August)<=>1892] installs Open Hearth Furnaces [<=1865] in his steelworks. Around the same time two Tyneside heavy engineering firms, the locomotive manufacturer R. and W. Hawthorn [Wikipedia factsheet] and the shipbuilder A. Leslie and Company [Wikipedia factsheet] merge to create Hawthorn Leslie and Company [Wikipedia factsheet=>1899 (6th September)].  [THREAD = THE WW1 FINANCIAL AND ARMAMENTS INDUSTRIES]

 

ASIDE: Parts of the Fairfield works are nowadays preserved as a heritage museum [see Fairfield Heritage Centre website].

 

**********  IMPORTANT WW1 WEAPONRY  **********

===== THE "BL" STEEL CASING SHRAPNEL SHELL =====

1886  After 30 years of experience with the cast iron casing Boxer shrapnel shell [<=1864] the British Army adopts a steel casing "BL shrapnel" round for use with its new "BL" [= breech-loading] ordnance. [THREAD = WW1 ARTILLERY]

 

1886  The British entrepreneur David S. Cargill [Wikipedia biography] founds the Rangoon Oil Company [Wikipedia factsheet=>1908 (26th May)] to develop oil resources in Burma, Bangladesh, and Assam. [THREAD = THE WW1 FINANCIAL AND ARMAMENTS INDUSTRIES]

 

1886  Gold is discovered in the Transvaal, resulting in the by-now-usual influx of workers and associated opportunists, both honest and otherwise. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1886  A group of Welsh ex-patriots based in London club together as Cymru Fydd [= "Wales will"] in order to lobby more effectively for Welsh independence from England. [THREAD = WW1 ROMANTIC NATIONALISM]

 

**********  THE FRENCH GET THEIR WW1 RIFLES  **********

**********  THE FRENCH GET THEIR WW1 RIFLES  **********

**********  THE FRENCH GET THEIR WW1 RIFLES  **********

1886  The French Army formally approves the Fusil Modèle 1886 - more commonly the Lebel Rifle [YouTube tutorial] - a "rugged and reliable" 8mm bolt-action general service weapon fitted with an eight-round under-barrel tube magazine. This weapon is noteworthy in the present context for being the first standard issue weapon to adopt Eduard Rubin's full metal jacket ammunition [<=1882] and Paul Vielle's smokeless powder [<=1884]. Some 2.9 million units will be produced over the ensuing 30 years. Around the same time, in collaboration with the Österreichische Waffenfabrik [<=1869 (1st August)], Steyr, the Austrian gunsmith Ferdinand von Mannlicher [Wikipedia biography=>1900] patents the "Mannlicher System" for a bolt-action rifle. The weapon will now be further developed prior to entering service in the Austro-Hungarian Army as the Steyr-Mannlicher M1895 [Wikipedia factsheet=>1895]. Around the same time the French Army is issued with a new 52cm-long [=20 inches] spike bayonet to go with its Lebel Rifles. [THREAD = WW1 SMALL ARMS]

 

1886  John Fisher [1862<=>1904] becomes Director of Naval Ordnance, and sets about upgrading naval gunnery (i.e., equipment, tactics, training, etc.) to increase its effective range. [THREAD = THE WW1 SURFACE NAVIES]

 

1886  Working to a design by the French architect Victor Laloux [Wikipedia biography] construction begins of a new Basilica to showcase the relics of Saint Martin of Tours [1870 (11th November)<=>1896 (30th May)]. [THREAD = WW1 ROMANTIC NATIONALISM]

 

1886 [not specifically dated] Zionism Pre-WW1 [VI - Arab Attacks Jewish Settlers]: [Continued from 1882 (31st July)] The first attack by a diasporic [= displaced] Arab against Jewish settlers takes place at Petah Tivka [maplink at 1877 (undated)]. They have not stopped since [Wikipedia factsheet] [sub-thread continues at 1894 (undated) ...]. [THREAD = THE BATTLE FOR HEARTS AND MINDS] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF THE MODERN WORLD]

 

1886 [8th June] Irish Home Rule [VI - The First Home Rule Bill]: [Continued from 1885 (18th December)] This first attempt at creating home rule for Ireland is voted down 341 against 311. [continues at 1893 (Second Home Rule Bill) ...]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1886 [6th March] The academic journal Scientific American publishes an article [full text online] entitled "The Use of Iron in Fortification", which features, amongst other things, a description of a Schumann-Gruson [<=1885] cupola. [THREAD = WW1 PERMANENT FORTIFICATIONS]

 

1886 [20th March] The American physicist-inventor William Stanley Jnr [Wikipedia biography] ceremonially switches on an area A.C. power supply at Great Barrington, MA. The system is based around a steam-powered alternator by the Siemens Company [1867 (31st December)<=>1892 (6th December)] and transformers and switchgear funded by George Westinghouse Jnr [<=1881 (24th January)]. The secret of the system's success is the use of transformed up voltage for the long distance lines, followed by transformed down voltage for local subscribers. Impressed by the success of this pilot project Westinghouse has already (1st January) established the Westinghouse Electric Company [Wikipedia factsheet=>1888] to capitalise on the technology and Stanley founds the Stanley Electrical Company [no convenient factsheet] to produce the transformers. Orders flood in. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF THE MODERN WORLD]

 

1886 [1st-4th May] The Haymarket Square Riot: On 1st May 1886 American trade unions call mass demonstrations in New York City, Detroit, Milwaukee, and Chicago to celebrate the recently declared "Labour Day" (and the eight-hour working day it is bringing). Emotions have been whipped up by anarchist agitators led by August Spies [Wikipedia biography=>21st June] and in an armed confrontation on 3rd May two workers are shot by police. The workers then stage a further protest in Haymarket Square, Chicago, at the climax of which a dynamite bomb is thrown into police ranks killing seven policemen and injuring around 60 others. Eight suspected perpetrators - most of them German immigrants - are rounded up the following day. [THREAD = THE WW1 WORKING CLASS SOLDIER]

 

1886 [25th May] Having been badly damaged by fire the SS Great Britain [1882<=>1914 (7th December)] is retired as a storage facility at Port Stanley on the Falkland Islands. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1886 [21st June] The trial starts in Chicago of the eight men accused of the Haymarket Square murders [<=1886 (4th May)]. Seven will in due course be sentenced to death and, of these, four, including the aforementioned August Spies [1st May<=>executed 1887 (11th November)], will be executed. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

RESEARCH ISSUE - THE TERRORIST MIND: This as-yet-unanswered question has been nicely discussed by the American academic James H. Billington [Wikipedia biography] in his 1999 book "Fire in the Minds of Men".

 

1886 [29th July] The Spanish Navy's Destructor [Wikipedia shipography] is launched at J. and G. Thomson and Company [1871<=>1888 (20th October], Clydebank. When completed the following spring she will further consolidate the torpedo boat destroyer [<=1885 (HIJMS Kotaka)] as a design entity. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1886 [28th August] The Balkan Crisis [XIII - Stambolov's Bulgarian Regency]: [Continued from 1885 (14th November)] Stephan Stambolov [1876 (20th April)<=>1887 (7th July)] defeats a Russian-inspired coup in Bulgaria and assumes the Regency for the ousted Alexander Battenburg, Prince of Bulgaria [Wikipedia biography=>d. 1893 (23rd October)]. Stambolov's "reign" will last until 7th July 1887, by which time agreement has been reached to parachute in Ferdinand of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha [Wikipedia biography=>1887 (7th July)] as Alexander's successor [continues at 1887 (7th July) ...]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1886 [30th September] Recently graduated from the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, a young John J. ("Black Jack") Pershing [Wikipedia biography=>1898 (1st July)] reports for duty with the 6th U.S. Cavalry Regiment at Fort Bayard, NM. [THREAD = WW1 ARMIES, TRADITIONS, AND TACTICS]

 

ASIDE - JOHN J. PERSHING IN WW1: Three decades later Pershing will lead the American Expeditionary Force into action.

 

1886 [28th October] The formal dedication takes place on Liberty Island, New York City, of a 46-metre [= 150 foot] copper over iron and steel sculpture of the French revolutionary icon, Marianne [<=1792 (28th October)]. She will become better known in the English-speaking world as the "Statue of Liberty". [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF THE MODERN WORLD]

 

1886 [18th November] Thanks to the demand for workers' housing Clydebank has now grown large enough to become a borough within Greater Glasgow. [THREAD = THE WW1 WORKING CLASS SOLDIER]

 

1887 The Development of Photography [XVIII - Muybridge]: [Continued from 1883 (Muybridge)] Muybridge [1883<=>1888 (27th February)] capitalises upon his research at the University of Pennsylvania at Philadelphia by publishing "Animal Locomotion" [full text online] [sub-thread continues at 1888 (4th September) ...]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF THE MODERN WORLD]

 

1887  William C. Procter [Wikipedia biography] launches a workers' profit-sharing scheme within Procter and Gamble [<=1879]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1887  G. Stanley Hall [<=1883] founds the American Journal of Psychology [Wikipedia factsheet]. [THREAD = WW1 MILITARY MEDICINE AND COGNITIVE SCIENCE]

 

1887  Alfred Nobel [1876<=>1888 (12th April)] patents "ballistite", a powdered derivative of his blasting gelatine intended to serve as a smokeless propellant in small arms and artillery rather than as a blasting explosive. [THREAD = WW1 SMALL ARMS] [THREAD = WW1 ARTILLERY]

 

1887  The Germans begin work widening the Eiderkanal [<=1784] into the Kaiser Wilhelm Kanal. [THREAD = THE WW1 SURFACE NAVIES]

 

1887  Fortress France and Belgium [VII - The Verdun Upgrades]: [Continued from 1885] A modernisation program sees the Verdun forts upgraded with additional concrete topworks [continues at 1897 ...]. [THREAD = WW1 PERMANENT FORTIFICATIONS]

 

1887  Armstrong, Mitchell, and Company [<=1884] start a major production run on a 120mm [= ca. 4.7"] quick-firing design. Most units go as secondary armament on pre-Dreadnought capital ships and main armament on cruisers, but a hundred or so are mounted on army gun carriages and used on the Western Front in WW1 in the hands of Royal Garrison Artillery batteries. [THREAD = WW1 ARTILLERY]

 

1887  The First Colonial Conference takes place in London, providing a forum for dominion governments to help evolve the relationship between themselves and the British Empire. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1887  David A. Thomas [1st Viscount Rhondda]1916 [1879 (24th April)<=>1888 (14th March)] takes out a lease on Llanwern House [Wikipedia factsheet]. [THREAD = THE WW1 FINANCIAL AND ARMAMENTS INDUSTRIES]

 

1887  Having prospered greatly from his 1881 investment Emil Rathenau [<=1881] consolidates production under the name Allgemeine Elektricitäts-Gesellschaft [commonly just "AEG"] [modern corporate website=>1899]. [THREAD = THE WW1 FINANCIAL AND ARMAMENTS INDUSTRIES]

 

ASIDE - AEG IN WW1: During WW1 AEG converted production to munitions [example].

 

1887 [9th April] HMS Victoria [Wikipedia shipography=>1890 (??th March)] is launche