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Victorian and Edwardian Events and Inventions

The events and inventions of the Victorian and Edwardian eras, from 1837 to 1914.

1830's

1837

Victoria became Queen at the age of 18.

 

1840's

1840

Victoria married Albert (they subsequently had nine children).

1845

Eliza Acton 'Modern Cookery for Private Families'

1848

Health of Towns Act

Wood-working machinery appeared, reducing the cost of many components of houses.

1850's

1851

The Great Exhibition was held in Hyde Park, London.

 

The sewing machine was invented.

1852

Houses of Parliament in London completed

1854

The Crimean War began.

1855

The first daily morning paper ('The Daily Telegraph') was published.

1856

The Crimean War ended.

 

Safety matches were invented.

1859

Charles Darwin 'Origin of the Species' was published.

Lending libraries began to appear.

1860's

1861

Prince Albert died.

 

'Beeton's Book of Household Management' was first published.

1863

The first underground line in London opened, using with steam engines.

 

The first London department store opened (William Whiteley's in Bayswater).

1864

The Chimney Sweep Act stopped children from being involved.

1867

The Parliamentary Reform Act extended the voting franchise to more men.

1869

Girton College, Cambridge was founded (the first women's college).

Tarmac on began to be used on city streets.

1870's

1870

The Education Act made education compulsory from 5 to 10 years old.

 

The first woman doctor qualified.

1871

The first Bank holidays were introduced (initially for the banks only, but they became public holidays).

 

Charles Darwin 'The Descent of Man' was published.

1872

Voting by secret ballot was introduced.

1873

Lawn tennis was invented.

1875

Public Health Act

1876

The telephone was invented.

1878

The light bulb was invented.

The typewriter was invented.

1880's

1881

Disraeli died

 

The first electric streetlights appeared.

 

The first houses were lit by electricity.

1882

The first trolley-bus was introduced.

1885

The first petrol-driven car appeared.

1887

Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee

 

The incandescent gas mantle was invented by Carl von Welsbach.

1888

John Dunlop introduced the pneumatic bicycle tyre.

 

The first cheap Kodak camera was available.

 

The first electric tram ran.

1889

'Penny-in-the-slot' meter was introduced for gas lighting.

Greenwich Mean Time was introduced.

Bicycles were now allowed on the roads.

Paid holidays began; typically people received one week.

1890's

1890

Free elementary education was introduced.

1891

Board schools became free (no fees).

1893

The first hollow lead toy soldiers were sold.

1894

Tower Bridge opened.

1896

The first domestic electric lighting appeared.

 

The first modern Olympic games were held in Athens.

 

The 'Daily Mail' was launched, at ½d.

1897

Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee

Cars began to appear.

Electric underground trains were introduced.

1900's

This decade was called the 'Belle Epoque'. It was a time of great change - with sky scrapers being built, cars more numerous, early films, flight, and artistic endeavour from people including such as Picasso.

1901

Queen Victoria died

 

The first vacuum cleaner was available.

1902

The coronation of King Edward VII.

1903

The first electric trams began running in London

1906

The first international rugby match was held, between England and France.

1908

The first Model T Ford was sold.

 

WH Hoover produced the first electrically powered upright vacuum cleaner.

1909

Louis Bleriot flew across the English Channel.

Asphalt and tar macadam became common after 1900.