<< 1810-1819
1830-1839 >>
Date Event Subjects
1820 The founding of the American Antiquarian Society in this year had as a primary interest the study of early humans and their archaeological remains in North America. [0112] Organizations—Societies and Associations / Archaeology
1820 In answer to a challenge from Great Britain (asserted by Sidney Smith in the Edinburgh Review) that denigrated the contributions made by Americans to various fields, the Philadelphia Journal of the Medical and Physical Sciences was established by Nathaniel Chapman (1780-1853). Chapman was especially concerned with the indictment of American medicine and his journal was directed at that field. [0113] Periodicals and Publishing / Medicine
1820 The first meeting on American pharmacy, the United States Pharmacopoeial Convention, was held in the capitol in Washington, D.C. [0114] Pharmacology and Pharmacy
1820 The descriptive study of fishes in the United States began, in a sense, through Constantine Rafinesque's (1783-1840) work on fish of the Ohio River region. See his Ichthyologia Ohiensis (Lexington, Ky., 1820). [0115] Zoology / Ichthyology and Pisciculture
1820s During this time, botany became, and, for much of the remainder of the century, was the most popular science for recreational and general educational purposes. [0116] General or Miscellaneous / Botany
1821 Robert Hare (1781-1858) invented the deflagrator for the production of high levels of electric current. [0117] Chemistry / Instruments and Instrumentation
1822 John C. Warren (1778-1856) published Comparative View of the Sensorial and Nervous Systems in Men and Animals (Boston). It was based on extensive examinations of animal and human brains and was the earliest American work on comparative anatomy. Appended was an illustrated "Account of the Crania of Some of the Aborigines of the United States." [0118] Zoology / Anatomy
1822-1823 The Western Quarterly Reporter of Medical, Surgical and Natural Science was published at Cincinnati, the first journal devoted to science west of the Alleghenies. [0119] Periodicals and Publishing
1822-1824 Amos Eaton (1776-1842) engaged in a survey of the Erie Canal route, which was financed by Stephen Van Rensselaer. In 1824, Eaton published the outcome in A Geological and Agricultural Survey of the District Adjoining the Erie Canal (Albany). [0120] Geology
1823 The first state-sponsored geological survey was carried out by Denison Olmsted (1791-1859) in North Carolina. [0121] Government—State / Geology
1824 John Torrey (1796-1873) published Flora of the Northern and Middle Sections of the United States Or A Systematic Arrangement and Description of All the Plants Hitherto Discovered in the United States North of Virginia (New York), an attempt to encompass the entire range of botany of North America in one work. An intended second volume never appeared. [0122] Botany
1824 The Rensselaer School, the first such institution for study of science and engineering in the United States, was founded at Troy, N.Y. In 1851, it took the name Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. The school was founded by Stephen Van Rensselaer, at the suggestion of Amos Eaton (1776-1842) who directed it as senior professor. A one-year course of study was offered. [0123] Organizations—Academic
1824 The Franklin Institute of the State of Pennsylvania for the Promotion of the Mechanic Arts was founded in Philadelphia. The Institute's Journal began publication in 1826. [0124] Organizations—Societies and Associations / Technology and Invention
1825 The so-called "boatload of knowledge," Charles Lesueur (1778-1846), William Maclure (1763-1840), Thomas Say (1787-1834), and Gerard Troost (1776-1850), with Robert Dale Owen (1801-1877), went to New Harmony, Indiana, with plans to establish a model community. [0125] General or Miscellaneous
1825 A state weather service was established in New York. (Pennsylvania established such a service in 1837.) [0126] Meteorology and Climatology
1825 Robley Dunglison (1798-1869) was appointed to teach medicine at the University of Virginia as the first full-time professor of medicine in the country. [0127] Organizations—Academic / Medicine
1825 The Mathematical Diary was begun by Robert Adrain (1775-1843). Publication continued until 1832. [0128] Periodicals and Publishing / Mathematics
1825 William Beaumont (1785-1853) began his experimental studies of human digestion, using as his subject a French Canadian trapper, Alexis St. Martin, whom Beaumont had begun treating in 1822 when he suffered an abdominal gunshot wound. The injury did not close (i.e., it resulted in formation of a fistula). Continuing his studies until 1833, Beaumont sent specimens of St. Martin's gastric juice to several American chemists. The result of his studies was published in Experiments and Observations on the Gastric Juice and the Physiology of Digestion (Plattsburgh, N.Y., 1833). The work was widely noted, a German translation appeared in 1834, and helped to establish the chemical character of digestive processes. [0129] Zoology—Human / Physiology
1825 (January 8) Inventor Eli Whitney (b.1765) died in New Haven, Connecticut. [0130] General or Miscellaneous / Technology and Invention
1825 (December 6) President John Quincy Adams (1767-1848) prepared the first annual presidential message to Congress. Among his requests were for a national university and the construction of a national astronomical observatory at Washington. [0131] Government—Federal / Astronomy
1825-1826 Richard Harlan (1796-1843) published Fauna Americana: Being a Description of the Mammiferous Animals Inhabiting North America (Philadelphia, 1825), a work that never came to completion. A pioneering systematic effort in American zoology, but based substantively on the works of others, it was criticized by his contemporaries. An important feature of the work was its inclusion of fossils. The next year, a similar but less derivative work by John D. Godman (1794-1830), entitled American Natural History (Philadelphia, 1826-1828), began publication. A bitter dispute erupted between the two authors. [0132] Zoology / Mammalogy
1825-1833 Charles Lucien Bonaparte (1803-1857) published American Ornithology or the Natural History of Birds Inhabiting the United States, Not Given by Wilson (Philadelphia), in four volumes. For volume one, Titian Ramsay Peale (1799-1885) prepared all but one of the plates and also collected many of the specimens. In 1826, Bonaparte published Observations on the Nomenclature of Wilson's "Ornithology" (Philadelphia). [0133] Zoology / Ornithology
1826 William Darlington (1782-1863) published Florula Cestrica (West Chester, Penn.). An expanded work, Flora Cestrica (West Chester, Penn.), appeared in 1837 with a second edition in 1853. Both works dealt with plants in the vicinity of West Chester, Pennsylvania. [0134] Botany
1826 Before this date, science in the schools of New York state included only natural Philosophy, astronomy, and chemistry. By 1830, some schools had begun to introduce geology, mineralogy, mechanics, natural history, and botany. [0135] General or Miscellaneous / Education in science
1826 The Philadelphia Society for Promoting Agriculture published a geological map of the area by Gerard Troost (1776-1850). [0136] Geology
1826 Ebenezer Emmons (1799-1863) published Manual of Mineralogy and Geology (Albany). [0137] Geology
1826 (July 4) Thomas Jefferson (b.1743) died at Monticello. [0138] General or Miscellaneous
1826 (October 7) The first railroad in the country was completed at Quincy, Massachusetts. The three-mile long metal rail, serving the granite quarry, was designed for horse-drawn vehicles. [0139] Technology and Invention
1827 The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society was established as the first of its kind in the country. [0140] Organizations—Societies and Associations / Botany
1827 Joseph Henry (1797-1878) began his studies of electricity and magnetism. [0141] Physics / Electricity and Electronics
1827-1838 John James Audubon's (1785-1851) The Birds of America, a four-volume work consisting of 435 aquatint copper engravings, depicting 1065 birds, was issued (Edinburgh and London). The text relating to the illustrations was published in five volumes as Ornithological Biography (Edinburgh, 1831-1839). An American edition of The Birds of America, produced at New York 1840-1844, included the text but the illustrations were not up to the standard (or size) of the British originals. [0142] Zoology / Ornithology
1828 Robert Hare (1781-1858) published Compendium of the Course of Chemical Instruction ... (Philadelphia), a textbook with more than 200 copper plate engravings of apparatus. [0143] Chemistry
1828 Lardner Vanuxem (1792-1848), in his work on the Atlantic coastal plain, was the first to correlate America strata with the Cretaceous in Europe. He used fossil evidence in reaching his conclusions. [0144] Geology / Paleontology
1828 The influential Yale [University] Report of 1828, among other aspects, promoted the expansion of natural science teaching in the college curriculum. [0145] Organizations—Academic
1828-1830 Constantine Samuel Rafinesque (1783-1840) published Medical Flora, or Manual of the Medical Botany of the United States of North America (Philadelphia), in two volumes. It included 100 woodcut plates by the author. [0146] Botany / Medicine
1829 The first volume of Nathaniel Bowditch's (1773-1838) translation and commentary on Pierre-Simon Laplace's Mecanique Celeste appeared, though his work on the project had been completed in 1818. Subsequent volumes appeared 1832, 1834, and 1839, the last after his death in 1838. (Because of its timing, Bowditch was unable to translate Laplace's fifth volume.) [0147] Astronomy
1829 Almira Hart Lincoln Phelps (1793-1884) published the most popular botanical work in the nineteenth century, Familiar Lectures on Botany (Hartford, Conn.). It had 29 editions and sold some 375,000 copies. [0148] Botany
1829 When John Quincy Adams (1767-1848) left the presidency, he was the last chief executive to have a broad and working knowledge of science. [0149] General or Miscellaneous
1829 William E. Horner (1793-1853) published A Treatise on Pathological Anatomy (Philadelphia), the first such work produced in the United States. [0150] Medicine / Pathology
1829 Jacob Bigelow (1786-1879) published Elements of Technology (Boston), based on his lectures as Rumford Professor on the Application of Science to the Useful Arts in Harvard University. This publication introduced the word "technology" in its modern usage. [0151] Technology and Invention
1829 (June 27) James Louis Macie Smithson (b.1765) died in Genoa, Italy. The Englishman's first beneficiary died in 1835 and the residue of Smithsonian's estate, by terms of his will, went to the United States to establish a Smithsonian Institution "for the increase & diffusion of knowledge among men." The proceeds were in excess of $500,000. [0152] Organizations—Research Institutions


Created and Maintained by Dr. Clark A. Elliott Waltham, MA
clark_elliott at verizon dot net / Content updated 16 June 2008
Technical presentation by Andrew J. Elliott.