Timeline of World History TIMELINE OF WORLD HISTORY



1800 - 1899
1800-09 1810-19 1820-29 1830-39 1840-49 1850-59 1860-69 1870-79 1880-89 1890-99
1800 1810 1820 1830 1840 1850 1860 1870 1880 1890
1801 1811 1821 1831 1841 1851 1861 1871 1881 1891
1802 1812 1822 1832 1842 1852 1862 1872 1882 1892
1803 1813 1823 1833 1843 1853 1863 1873 1883 1893
1804 1814 1824 1834 1844 1854 1864 1874 1884 1894
1805 1815 1825 1835 1845 1855 1865 1875 1885 1895
1806 1816 1826 1836 1846 1856 1866 1876 1886 1896
1807 1817 1827 1837 1847 1857 1867 1877 1887 1897
1808 1818 1828 1838 1848 1858 1868 1878 1888 1898
1809 1819 1829 1839 1849 1859 1869 1879 1889 1899
  BACK-1815 Part II NEXT-1816 Part I    
FitzGerald Edward
1810 - 1819
History at a Glance
1810 Part I
Marie Louise, Duchess of Parma
Edict of Fontainebleau
First Republic of Venezuela
Mexican War of Independence
Argentine War of Independence
Colombian Declaration of Independence
Foolish Fatherland
Chilean War of Independence
Bolivian war of independence
Charles XIV John
Invasion of Guadeloupe
Cavour Camillo
1810 Part II
Cumberland Presbyterian Church
Montalembert Charles
Musset Alfred
Scott: "The Lady of the Lake"
Goya: "The Disasters of War"
The Nazarenes
Beethoven: "Egmont"
Chopin Frederic
Chopin - Nocturne Op.9 No.2
Frederic Chopin
Nicolai Otto
Nicolai - The Merry Wives of Windsor - Overture
Otto Nicolai
Rossini: "La Cambiale di Matrimonio"
Schumann Robert
Schumann - Piano sonata n.1 op.11
Robert Schumann
Spurzheim Johann Gaspar
Hahnemann Samuel
Girard Philippe
Humboldt University of Berlin
Krupp Friedrich Carl
Barnum Phineas Taylor
1811 Part I
George IV
Battle of the Danube
Massacre of the Mamelukes at Cairo
Napoleon Francois-Joseph Charles
Battle of Fuentes de Onoro
Paraguay independent of Spain
Venezuelan War of Independence
Peruvian War of Independence
San Martin Jose
Battle of Las Piedras
Artigas Jose Gervagio
Invasion of Java
Battle of Tippecanoe
1811 Part II
Bottiger Karl August
Niebuhr Barthold Georg
University of Oslo
Jane Austen: "Sense and Sensibility"
Stowe Harriet Beecher
Friedrich de la Motte-Fouque: "Undine"
Gautier Theophile
Goethe: "Aus meinem Leben: Dichtung und Wahrheit"
Gutzkow Karl
Thackeray William Makepeace
Dupre Jules
Jules Dupre
Ingres: "Jupiter and Thetis"
Thomas Lawrence: Portrait of Benjamin West
Thorvaldsen: "Procession of Alexander the Great"
1811 Part III
Liszt Franz
Franz Liszt - Liebestraum - Love Dream
Franz Liszt
Prague Conservatoire
Carl Maria von Weber: "Abu Hassan"
Avogadro Amedeo
Great Comet of 1811
Bunsen Robert
Poisson Simeon-Denis
Manning Thomas
Berblinger Albrecht Ludwig
1812 Part I
French invasion of Russia
Battle of Borodino
Kutuzov Mikhail
Malet Claude-François
Perceval Spencer
1812 Part II
War of 1812
Battle of Salamanca
Siege of Burgos
Battle of Tordesillas
Hegel: "Science of Logic"
Jewish emancipation
Browning Robert
Robert Browning 
"Dramatic Romances"
"The Pied Piper of Hamelin"
The Brothers Grimm: "Fairy Tales"
Lord Byron: "Childe Harold's Pilgrimage"
Dickens Charles
Charles Dickens
"Great Expectations"
Theatre Royal Drury Lane
Goncharov Ivan Aleksandrovich
Smiles Samuel
Krasinski Zygmunt
Kraszewski Joseph Ignatius
1812 Part III
Elgin Marbles
Rousseau Theodore
Theodore Rousseau
Pforr Franz
Franz Pforr
Beethoven: Symphonies No. 7 (Op. 92)
Encounter between Beethoven and Goethe at Teplitz
Beethoven: Symphonies No. 8 (Op. 93)
Flotow Friedrich
Friedrich von Flotow: Piano Concerto No. 2
Friedrich von Flotow
Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde, Vienna
Burckhardt Johann Ludwig
Krupp Alfred
Red River Settlement, Manitoba, Canada
Hampden Clubs
1813 Part I
German Campaign 1813–1814
Battle of Dresden
Battle of Lutzen
Battle of the Katzbach
Battle of Leipzig
Battle of York
Battle of Fort George
Capture of USS Chesapeake
Battle of Crysler's Farm
Capture of Fort Niagara
Battle of Buffalo
Battle of Vitoria
Siege of San Sebastian
First Serbian Uprising
1813 Part II
Herbart Johann Friedrich
Kierkegaard Soren
Schopenhauer: "On the Fourfold Root of the Principle of Sufficient Reason"
Colby College, Maine
The Baptist Union of Great Britain
Jane Austen: "Pride and Prejudice"
Buchner Georg
Byron: "The Giaour"
Hebbel Friedrich
Ludwig Otto
Shelley: "Queen Mab"
Turner: "Frosty Morning"
London Philharmonic Society
Rossini: "L'ltaliana in Algeri"
Verdi Giuseppe
Anna Netrebko "Final Scene" La traviata
Giuseppe Verdi
Wagner Richard
Richard Wagner - Ride Of The Valkyries
Richard Wagner
Campbell John
Blaxland Gregory
Across the Blue Mountains
Lord Thomas
1814 Part I
1814 campaign in France
Six Days Campaign
Battle of Champaubert
Battle of Montmirail
Battle of Chateau-Thierry
Battle of Vauchamps
Battle of Orthez
Treaty of Chaumont
Battle of Arcis-sur-Aube
Battle of Paris
Battle of Toulouse
Treaty of Fontainebleau
Treaty of Paris
Congress of Vienna
Napoleon's exile to Elba
1814 Part II
Christian VIII
Bakunin Mikhail
Battle of Chippawa
Burning of Washington
Battle of Plattsburgh
Treaty of Ghent
Anglo-Nepalese War of 1814–16
First Anglican bishop in Calcutta
Motley John Lothrop
1814 Part III
Jane Austen: "Mansfield Park"
Byron: "The Corsair"
Edmund Kean's Shylock
Lermontov Mikhail
Mikhail Lermontov
"Death of the Poet"
"The Demon
Walter Scott: "Waverley"
Williav Wordsworth: "The Excursion"
Adelbert von Chamisso: "Peter Schlemihl"
Goya: "The Second of May 1808"
Goya: "The Third of May 1808"
Ingres: "Grande Odalisque"
Millet Jean Francois
Jean Francois Millet
Orfila Mathieu Joseph Bonaventure
Industrial printing presses
Lord's Cricket Ground
1815 Part I
Battle of New Orleans
Hundred Days
Neapolitan War
Battle of Waterloo
Napoleon's surrender
Second Peace of Paris
Ney Michel
1815 Part II
Corn Law
Bismarck Otto
Spanish Invasion of New Granada in 1815–1816
Basel Mission
Beranger Pierre
Byron: "Hebrew Melodies"
Geibel Emanuel
Hoffmann: "Die Elixiere des Teufels"
Scott: "Guy Mannering"
Trollope Anthony
Anthony Trollope 
"Barchester Towers"
Wordsworth: "White Doe of Rylstone"
1815 Part III
Goya: "La Tauromaquia"
Menzel Adolf
Adolf Menzel
Turner: "Crossing the Brook"
Franz Robert
Robert Franz - Oh Wert thou in the Cauld Blast
Robert Franz
Kjerulf Halfdan
Halfdan Kjerulf - Spring Song
Halfdan Kjerulf
Robert Volkmann - Cello Concerto in A minor
Robert Volkmann
Davy lamp
Fresnel Augustin-Jean
Prout William
Prout's hypothesis
Steam battery "Demologos", or "Fulton"
Nations in Arms
Nations in Arms
Apothecaries Act
McAdam John Loudon
Robertson Allan
Eruption of Sumbawa Volcano
1816 Part I
Maria I, Queen of Portugal
John VI of Portugal
Argentine War of Independence
Argentine Declaration of Independence
Federal Convention
American Bible Society
Gobineau Joseph Arthur
Karamzin Nikolai
1816 Part II
Jane Austen: "Emma"
Bronte Charlotte
Charlotte Bronte
"Jane Eyre"
Byron: "The Siege of Corinth"
Freytag Gustav
Derzhavin Gavrila
Leigh Hunt: "The Story of Rimini"
Shelley: "Alastor"
Goya: "The Duke of Osuna"
Rossini: "Barbiere di Siviglia"
Spohr: "Faust"
Brewster David
Laennec Rene-Theophile-Hyacinthe
Siemens Werner
Cobbett William
Froebel Friedrich
1817 Part I
Habeas Corpus Suspension Act
Wartburg Festival
Second Serbian Uprising (1815-1817)
Third Anglo-Maratha War 1817-1818
Bockh August
Hegel: "Encyclopedia of the Philosophical Sciences"
Llorente Juan Antonio
Mommsen Theodor
David Ricardo: "Principles of Political Economy and Taxation"
Byron: "Manfred"
Thomas Moore: "Lalla Rookh"
Storm Theodor
Thoreau Henry David
1817 Part II
Constable: "Flatford Mill"
Daubigny Charles
Charles Daubigny
Thorvaldsen: Ganymede Waters Zeus as an Eagle
Leech John
John Leech
Watts George Frederic
George Frederic Watts
Rossini: "La Gazza ladra"
Rossini: "Cenerentola"
Ritter Carl
Long Stephen Harriman
"Blackwood's Magazine"
"The Scotsman"
Waterloo Bridge
1818 Part I
Chilean Declaration of Independence
Bavarian constitution proclaimed
Treaty of 1818
Dobrovsky Josef
Froude James Anthony
Marx Karl
Karl Marx
"Manifesto of the Communist Party"
- Marxism
Friedrich Engels
First International
1818 Part II
Byron: "Don Juan"
Keats: "Endymion"
Peacock: "Nightmare Abbey"
Walter Scott: "Heart of Midlothian"
Shelley Mary
Mary Shelley "Frankenstein"
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley 
"Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus"
Turgenev Ivan
1818 Part III
Burckhardt Jakob
Fohr Carl Philipp
Karl Philipp Fohr
Donizetti: "Enrico, Conte di Borgogna"
Gounod Charles
Gounod - Ave Maria
Charles Gounod
"Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht"
Rossini: "Mose in Egitto"
Bessel Friedrich Wilhelm
Encke Johann Franz
Oxley John
British Admiralty Expeditions
Scoresby William
Phipps Constantine Henry
Buchan David
Parry William Edward
Ross James Clark
Order of Saint Michael and Saint George
Raiffeisen Friedrich Wilhelm
1819 Part I
Founding of modern Singapore
Queen Victoria
Victorian Era
Peterloo Massacre
Albert, Prince Consort
Jakob Grimm: "German Grammar"
Hermes Georg
Schopenhauer: "Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung"
Sismondi Jean
Wilson Horace Hayman
1819 Part II
Byron: "Mazeppa"
Eliot George
George Eliot 
"Silas Marner"
Fontane Theodor
Howe Julia Ward
Keats: "Hyperion"
Keller Gottfried
Kotzebue August
Lowell James Russell
Shelley: "The Cenci"
Whitman Walt
Walt Whitman
"Leaves of Grass"
Washington Irving: "Rip van Winkle"
1819 Part III
Courbet Gustave
Gustave Courbet
Theodore Gericault: "The Raft of the Medusa"
Ruskin John
Thorvaldsen: "Lion of Lucerne"
Turner: "Childe Harold's Pilgrimage"
Museo del Prado
Chasseriau Theodore
Theodore Chasseriau
Offenbach Jacques
Offenbach - Barcarole
Jacques Offenbach
Schumann Clara
Mitscherlich Eilhard
Oersted Hans Christian
Central Asia Exploration
Moorcroft William
First Sightings of the Antarctic Continent
Bransfield Edward
Weddell James
Bellingshausen Thaddeus
Burlington Arcade, Piccadilly, London

Turner J.M.W. "Crossing the Brook"
YEAR BY YEAR:  1800 - 1899
1815 Part III
Copley John Singleton, Amer. painter, d. (b. 1738)

John Singleton Copley. Self-Portrait. 1769
John Singleton Copley
  Neoclassicism and Romanticism
Realism, Impressionism and
Goya: "La Tauromaquia"
La Tauromaquia (Bullfighting) is a series of 33 prints created by Spanish painter and printmaker Goya Francisco, which was published in 1816. The works of the series depict bullfighting scenes.
Goya created Tauromaquia between 1815 and 1816, at the age of 60, during a break from his famous series The Disasters of War. The Disasters of War and the Caprichos, the series he had created before, served as visual criticism on subjects concerning war, superstition, and contemporary Spanish society generally, including anticlerical scenes. Because of their sensitive subjects, few people had seen these works during Goya's lifetime.
Bullfighting was not politically sensitive, and was published at the end of 1816 in an edition of 320—for sale individually or in sets—without incident. It did not meet with critical or commercial success.
  Goya was always charmed by bullfighting, a theme that obviously inspired him, since it was the subject of many of his works: in a self-portrait (1790 - 1795) he depicts himself as in a bullfighter suit; in 1793 he completed a series of eight paintings on tinplate, created for the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando, which depicted scenes from bulls' lives from the moment of their birth to the time they enter the bullring; In his series Los toros de Burdeos (The Bulls of Bordeaux) (1825), a series of prints of which Delacroix bought.

Indicative of his love for bulls is the fact that he signed one of his letters as Francisco de los Toros (Francisco of the Bulls).

Νο. 20: Ligereza y atrevimiento de Juanito Apinani en la de Madrid
The works
Goya used mainly the techniques of etching and aquatint in this series. The artist focuses on the violent scenes that take place in the bullring and the daring movements of the bullfighters. The events are not presented as they are viewed by a viewer, but in a direct way, in contrast with The Bulls of Bordeaux where the events are presented as a means of popular entertainment.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

see also: "Tauromaquia"
Francisco de Goya
  Neoclassicism and Romanticism
Realism, Impressionism and
Menzel Adolf

Adolf von Menzel, in full Adolf Friedrich Erdmann von Menzel (born December 8, 1815, Breslau, Prussia [now Wrocław, Poland]—died February 9, 1905, Berlin), German painter and printmaker, best known in his own day as a brilliant historical painter, whose patriotic works satisfied the public’s taste, engendered by Prussia’s continual expansion throughout the 19th century, for propagandistic art. In the 20th century he was chiefly esteemed for his sensitive treatment of light and the original compositions of his small genre pictures.


Adolf von Menzel
  In 1832 Menzel took charge of his dead father’s lithographic workshop and, self-taught, rapidly became famous in this medium by illustrating various histories of Prussia, especially those dealing with the reign of Frederick II the Great. These were followed by illustrations for similar publications, such as a lavish edition of Works of Frederick the Great (1843–49) containing 200 plates. In painting Menzel soon became famous for his glittering re-creations of such scenes as Frederick the Great’s concerts at his palace, Sanssouci, and The Ball Supper (1878), showing the court of King Wilhelm I vigorously enjoying a meal.

In later times Menzel was most admired for small paintings and drawings dating from about 1840 onward. These interior, street, and landscape scenes demonstrate Menzel’s unorthodox vision; subjects are viewed from high or low angles, and there are departures from conventions of grouping and framing, as well as innovative excursions into industrial subjects, as in Rolling Mill (1875).

In works such as Room with a Balcony (1845) and The Artist’s Sister in the Sitting Room (1847), Menzel presaged later developments of the Impressionist movement in France in his refined feeling for the effects of light and his use of open brushstrokes.

Encyclopædia Britannica


Rear of House and Backyard. c. 1846
Adolf Menzel
  Neoclassicism and Romanticism
Realism, Impressionism and
Turner: "Crossing the Brook"

Turner J.M.W. "Crossing the Brook"

Turner J.M.W. "Crossing the Brook" (detail)
J.M.W. Turner
  Neoclassicism and Romanticism
Realism, Impressionism and
Franz Robert
Robert Franz, (born June 28, 1815, Halle, Saxony [Germany]—died Oct 24, 1892, Halle, Ger.), German musician who is considered to have been one of the foremost composers of songs in the tradition of Franz Schubert and Robert Schumann.

Robert Franz
  Franz studied organ at Dessau from 1835 to 1837. Later he returned to Halle, where he became a friend of Wilhelm Osterwald, many of whose poems he set to music.

About the time he published his first songs (1843) he began to become deaf; nonetheless, he became organist at the Ulrichs Church, then conductor of the city’s Singakademie, and, finally, musical director at Halle University, where he was made a doctor of music in 1861.

Increasing deafness and nervous disorders caused him to retire in 1868, and he was supported for the rest of his life by a singer, Arnold von Pilsach. Franz Liszt, Joseph Joachim, and other prominent musicians arranged concerts for his benefit in 1872. In his later years Franz arranged works by Johann Sebastian Bach, George Frideric Handel, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and Schubert.

His songs, of which there are about 350, are remarkable for their sensitive musical prosody. About a quarter are to texts by Heinrich Heine. Most of his songs are strophic, with the music repeated after each verse, and were written for a mezzo-soprano of limited range. Among them are “Lullaby,” “Stormy Night,” and “Dedication.” He also wrote a few choral and religious works.

Encyclopædia Britannica
Robert Franz - Oh Wert thou in the Cauld Blast
'Oh Wert Thou in the Cauld Blast' - Robert Burns' last poem
In January 1796 Jessie Lewars helped to nurse Burns during his last illness. He wrote these lines to fit with her favourite song (Lennox Love to Blantyre). Some 35 years later Robert Franz set a German translation of Burns' final opus in his first collection of songs Op.1. Franz's tumultuous accompaniment now seems much more appropriate to Burns' text than the slight and inconsequential Scots melody that was originally set. And it was a joy to me to discover that - with only a few minor alterations - Burns' original poem was compatible with Franz's metre. So I've brought the two together for perhaps the first time in almost 200 years. This rendition is not for purists, but I hope you enjoy it nonetheless.

Oh, wert thou in the cauld blast,
On yonder lea, on yonder lea;
My plaid to the angry airt*
I's shelter thee, I'd shelter thee:

Or did misfortune's bitter storms
Around thee blaw, around thee blaw,
Thy bield should be my bosom,
To share it a', to share it a'.

Or were I in the wildest waste,
sae black and bare, sae black and bare,
The desert were a paradise,
If thou wert there, if thou wert there.

Or were I monarch o' the globe,
Wi' thee to reign, wi' thee to reign;
The brightest jewel in my crown,
wad be my queen, was be my queen.

Robert Franz
  Classical Music Timeline

Instruments Through the Ages

Classical Music History - Composers and Masterworks
Kjerulf Halfdan
Halfdan Kjerulf (15 September 1815 – 11 August 1868) was a Norwegian composer.

Halfdan Kjerulf
  Kjerulf was born in Christiania (now Oslo). He was the son of a high government official. His early education was at Christiania University, for a legal career, but his studies ended in 1839 as a result of illness, and the next year he spent some time in Paris. Soon after his return his father and two siblings died and he took a job as editor at one of Oslo's main newspapers, Den Constitutionelle (1836–1847), where he worked until 1845.

He started his career as a music teacher and composer of songs before ever having seriously studied music at all, and not for ten years did he attract any particular notice. He was counted among the National Breakthrough movement in literature and painting and music, typified by the poet Johan Sebastian Welhaven, whose poems he set.

In 1848 he studied with Carl Arnold, and after studying with Niels Gade in Copenhagen, the Norwegian Government paid for a year's instruction for him at Leipzig in 1850, where he was taught by Ernst Richter. For many years after his return to Norway, Kjerulf tried in vain to establish regular classical concerts, while he himself was working with Bjørnson and other writers at the composition of lyrical songs. He did present some concerts, at which he introduced the Norwegian public to Beethoven's Fifth Symphony and other standards otherwise little known to them. He obtained some official recognition during the 1860s. He died in Grefsen, near Christiania, in 1868, aged only 52.


His fame rests mainly on his beautiful and manly national partsongs and solos. His piano music is equally charming. Edvard Grieg was an enthusiastic admirer of it and he was undoubtedly influenced by it in writing his Lyric Pieces. It was recorded in its entirety in 2001 by Einar Steen-Nokleberg.

His piano students included Agathe Backer-Grøndahl and Erika Nissen (then known as Erika Lie).

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Halfdan Kjerulf - Spring Song
Halfdan Kjerulf
  Classical Music Timeline

Instruments Through the Ages

Classical Music History - Composers and Masterworks
Volkmann Robert

Friedrich Robert Volkmann, (Hungarian: Volkmann Róbert, 6 April 1815, Lommatzsch bei Meißen – 30 October 1883, Budapest) was a German composer.


Friedrich Robert Volkmann,
Robert Volkmann was born in Lommatzsch, Saxony, Germany. His father, a music director for a church, trained him in music to prepare him as a successor. Thus Volkmann learned to play the organ and the piano with his father, studied violin and cello with Friebel, and by age 12 he was playing the cello part in string quartets by Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven. In 1832 he entered the Freiberg Gymnasium for the purpose of becoming a teacher. There he studied music with August Ferdinand Anacker, who encouraged him to devote himself to music more fully. From there he went on to Leipzig in 1836 to study with Carl Ferdinand Becker. In Leipzig he met Robert Schumann, who encouraged him in his studies. They met again several times after that. When he finished his studies, he began working as voice teacher at a music school in Prague. He did not stay there long, and in 1841 he moved to Budapest, where he was employed as a piano teacher and a reporter for the Allgemeine Wiener Musik-Zeitung. He composed in virtual obscurity until 1852, when his Piano Trio in B-flat minor caught the ears of Franz Liszt and Hans von Bülow, who proceeded to play it several times all over Europe. In 1854 Volkmann moved to Vienna, only to return to Budapest in 1858.

Thanks to the publisher Gustav Heckenast, who in 1857 bought the rights to publish all Volkmann's works in exchange for regular income regardless of sales, Volkmann was able to fully dedicate himself to composition, until Heckenast closed down his Budapest publishing house in the early 1870s.

While visiting Vienna in 1864, Volkmann became acquainted with Johannes Brahms, and they became close friends. In letters they addressed each other as "lieber Freund" ("dear friend").

From the 1870s Volkmann slowed down and composed very little. From 1875 until his death, he was professor of harmony and counterpoint at Budapest's National Academy of Music, where Liszt was the director. Volkmann died in Budapest on 30 October 1883.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Robert Volkmann - Cello Concerto in A minor
Jorg Baumann
Robert Volkmann
  Classical Music Timeline

Instruments Through the Ages

Classical Music History - Composers and Masterworks
Davy lamp

The Davy lamp is a safety lamp for use in flammable atmospheres, consisting of a wick lamp with the flame enclosed inside a mesh screen. It was invented in 1815 by Sir Davy Humphry. It originally burned a heavy vegetable oil. It was created for use in coal mines, to reduce the danger of explosions due to the presence of methane and other flammable gases, called firedamp or minedamp.

Sir Humphry Davy had discovered that a flame enclosed inside a mesh of a certain fineness cannot ignite firedamp. The screen acts as a flame arrestor; air (and any firedamp present) can pass through the mesh freely enough to support combustion, but the holes are too fine to allow a flame to propagate through them and ignite any firedamp outside the mesh.

The news about Davy's lamp was made public at a Royal Society meeting in Newcastle on 3 November 1815, and the paper describing the lamp was formally presented on 9 November. For it, Davy was awarded the Society's Rumford Medal. (Davy's invention had been preceded by that of William Reid Clanny, an Irish doctor at Bishopwearmouth, who had also read a paper to the Royal Society in May 1813. The more cumbersome Clanny safety lamp was successfully tested at Herrington Mill and he too won medals, from the Royal Society of Arts). The first trial of a Davy lamp with a wire sieve was at Hebburn Colliery on 9 January 1816.
Gas detection
The lamp also provided a test for the presence of gases. If flammable gas mixtures were present, the flame of the Davy lamp burned higher with a blue tinge. Lamps were equipped with a metal gauge (photo, right) to measure the height of the flame. Miners could place the safety lamp close to the ground to detect gases, such as carbon dioxide, that are denser than air and so could collect in depressions in the mine; if the mine air was oxygen-poor (asphyxiant gas), the lamp flame would be extinguished (black damp or chokedamp). A methane-air flame is extinguished at about 17% oxygen content (which will still support life) so the lamp gave an early indication of an unhealthy atmosphere allowing the miners to get out before they died of asphyxiation.

Accident rate
Ironically, the introduction of the Davy lamp led to an increase in mine accidents, as the lamp encouraged the working of mines and parts of mines that had previously been closed for safety reasons. Men continued to work in conditions which were unsafe due to the presence of methane gas. Although extractor ventilation fans should have been installed to reduce the concentration of methane in the air, this would have been expensive for mine owners, and thus such fans were not installed. A legal requirement for minimum air-quality standards eventually led to the introduction of more ventilation. The lamps also had to be provided by the miners themselves, not the owners, as traditionally the miners bought their own candles from the company store.

Davy lamp
Another reason for the increase in accidents was the unreliability of the lamps themselves. The bare gauze was easily damaged, and once just a single wire broke or rusted away, the lamp became unsafe. Even when new and clean, illumination from the safety lamps was very poor, and the problem was not fully resolved until electric lamps became widely available in the late 19th century.
Modern lamps
A modern day equivalent of the Davy Lamp is the Protector Garforth GR6S flame safety lamp which is used for firedamp testing in all UK coal mines. A modified version of this lamp has been used in the Olympic Flame torch relays. It was used in the relays for the Sydney, Athens, Turin, Beijing, Vancouver and Singapore Youth Olympic Games. It was also used for the Special Olympics Shanghai, Pan American and Central African games and for the London 2012 Summer Olympics relay.

Lamps are still made in Eccles, Greater Manchester, in Aberdare, South Wales and in Kolkata, India.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Augustin Fresnel: research on the diffraction of light
Fresnel Augustin-Jean

Augustin-Jean Fresnel, (born May 10, 1788, Broglie, France—died July 14, 1827, Ville-d’Avray), French physicist who pioneered in optics and did much to establish the wave theory of light advanced by English physicist Thomas Young.


Augustin-Jean Fresnel
  Beginning in 1804 Fresnel served as an engineer building roads in various departments of France. He began his research in optics in 1814. He lost his post temporarily during the period following Napoleon’s return from Elba in 1815. At the beginning of the 19th century, the scientific community championed Isaac Newton’s corpuscular, or particle, theory of light. However, in 1802 Young showed that an interference pattern is produced when light from two sources overlaps, which could happen only if light was a wave. Fresnel initially did not know about Young’s experiment, but his experiments with various devices for producing interference fringes and diffraction convinced him that the wave theory of light was correct. As a starting point for his mathematical description of diffraction, Fresnel used Dutch scientist Christiaan Huygens’s principle that every point on a wave front can be considered a secondary source of spherical wavelets.

Fresnel presented his work on diffraction as an entry to a competition on the subject sponsored by the French Academy of Sciences in 1819. The committee of judges included a number of prominent advocates of Newton’s corpuscular model of light, one of whom, mathematician Siméon-Denis Poisson, pointed out that Fresnel’s model predicted a seemingly absurd result: if a parallel beam of light falls on a small spherical obstacle, there will be a bright spot at the centre of the circular shadow—a spot nearly as bright as if the obstacle was not there at all.

An experiment was subsequently performed by the French physicist François Arago, and the spot (subsequently called Poisson’s spot) was seen, vindicating Fresnel, who won the competition.

Despite this triumph for the wave theory of light, the properties of polarized light could seemingly be explained only by the corpuscular theory, and beginning in 1816 Fresnel and Arago studied the laws of the interference of polarized light. In 1817 he was the first to obtain circularly polarized light. This discovery led him to the conclusion that light was not a longitudinal wave as previously supposed but a transverse wave. (Young had independently reached the same conclusion.)

On the recommendation of Arago, in 1819 Fresnel joined Arago on a government committee to improve French lighthouses. In 1821 he produced his first apparatus using the refracting properties of glass, now known as the dioptric system. On a lens panel he surrounded a central bull’s-eye lens with a series of concentric glass prismatic rings. The panel collected light emitted by the lamp over a wide horizontal angle and also the light that would otherwise escape to the sky or to the sea, concentrating it into a narrow horizontal pencil beam. With a number of lens panels rotating around the lamp, Fresnel was then able in 1824 to produce several revolving beams from a single light source, an improvement over the mirror that produces only a single beam. To collect more of the light wasted vertically, he added above and below the main lens triangular prism sections that both refracted and reflected the light. By doing this he considerably steepened the angle of incidence at which rays shining up and down could be collected and made to emerge horizontally. Thus emerged the full Fresnel catadioptric system.

Although his work in optics received scant public recognition during his lifetime, Fresnel maintained that not even acclaim from distinguished colleagues could compare with the pleasure of discovering a theoretical truth or confirming a calculation experimentally.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Lamarck Jean-Baptiste: "Histoire naturelle des animaux" (—1822)

Lamarck: "Histoire naturelle des animaux" (1815-1822)
Mesmer Franz Anton, Viennese physician, d. (b. 1733)

Franz Anton Mesmer
L. J. Prout: hypothesis on relation between specific gravity and atomic weight
Prout William

William Prout FRS (15 January 1785 – 9 April 1850) was an English chemist, physician, and natural theologian. He is remembered today mainly for what is called Prout's hypothesis.

Prout was born in Horton, Gloucestershire in 1785 and educated at 17 years of age by a clergyman, followed by the Redland Academy at Bristol and Edinburgh University, where he graduated in 1811 with an MD. His professional life was spent as a practising physician in London, but he also occupied himself with chemical research. He was an active worker in biological chemistry and carried out many analyses of the secretions of living organisms, which he believed were produced by the breakdown of bodily tissues. In 1823, he discovered that stomach juices contain hydrochloric acid, which can be separated from gastric juice by distillation. In 1827, he proposed the classification of substances in food into sugars and starches, oily bodies, and albumen, which would later become known as carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.

William Prout
  Different species of urinary calculi noted by William Prout
Prout is better remembered, however, for his researches into physical chemistry. In 1815, based on the tables of atomic weights available at the time, he anonymously hypothesized that the atomic weight of every element is an integer multiple of that of hydrogen, suggesting that the hydrogen atom is the only truly fundamental particle (which he called protyle), and that the atoms of the other elements are made of groupings of various numbers of hydrogen atoms.

While Prout's hypothesis was not borne out by later more-accurate measurements of atomic weights, it was a sufficiently fundamental insight into the structure of the atom that in 1920, Ernest Rutherford chose the name of the newly discovered proton to, among other reasons, give credit to Prout. Prout contributed to the improvement of the barometer, and the Royal Society of London adopted his design as a national standard. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1819.

He delivered the Goulstonian Lecture to the Royal College of Physicians in 1831 on the application of chemistry to medicine. Prout wrote the eighth Bridgewater Treatise, Chemistry, Meteorology, and the Function of Digestion, considered with reference to Natural Theology. It was in this work that he coined the term "convection" to describe a type of energy transfer.

In 1814, Prout married Agnes Adam, daughter of Alexander Adam, of Edinburgh, Scotland, and together they had six children. Prout died in London in 1850 and was buried in Kensal Green Cemetery.

The Prout is a unit of nuclear binding energy, and is 1/12 the binding energy of the deuteron, or 185.5 keV. It is named after William Prout.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Prout's hypothesis

Prout's hypothesis was an early 19th-century attempt to explain the existence of the various chemical elements through a hypothesis regarding the internal structure of the atom. In 1815 and 1816, the English chemist William Prout published two papers in which he observed that the atomic weights that had been measured for the elements known at that time appeared to be whole multiples of the atomic weight of hydrogen. He then hypothesized that the hydrogen atom was the only truly fundamental object, which he called protyle, and that the atoms of other elements were actually groupings of various numbers of hydrogen atoms.


Prout's hypothesis was an influence on Ernest Rutherford when he succeeded in "knocking" hydrogen nuclei out of nitrogen atoms with alpha particles in 1917, and thus concluded that perhaps the nuclei of all elements were made of such particles (the hydrogen nucleus), which in 1920 he suggested be named protons, from the suffix "-on" for particles, added to the stem of Prout's word "protyle."

The discrepancy between Prout's hypothesis and the known variation of some atomic weights to values far from integral multiples of hydrogen, was explained between 1913 and 1932 by the discovery of isotopes and the neutron. According to the whole number rule of Francis Aston, Prout's hypothesis is correct for atomic masses of individual isotopes, with an error of at most 1%.

Prout's hypothesis remained influential in chemistry throughout the 1820s. However, more careful measurements of the atomic weights, such as those compiled by Jöns Jakob Berzelius in 1828 or Edward Turner in 1832, disproved the hypothesis. In particular the atomic weight of chlorine, which is 35.45 times that of hydrogen, could not at the time be explained in terms of Prout's hypothesis. Some came up with the ad hoc claim that the basic unit was one-half of a hydrogen atom, but further discrepancies surfaced.

This resulted in the hypothesis that one-quarter of a hydrogen atom was the common unit. Although they turned out to be wrong, these conjectures catalyzed further measurement of atomic weights, a great benefit to chemistry.

The discrepancy in the atomic weights was later understood to be the result of the natural occurrence of multiple isotopes of the same element. For example, in 1925 the problematic chlorine was found to be composed of the isotopes Cl-35 and Cl-37, in proportions such that the average weight of natural chlorine was about 35.45 times that of hydrogen. For all elements, each individual isotope (nuclide) of mass number A was eventually found to have a mass very close to A times the mass of a hydrogen atom, with an error always less than 1%. This is a near miss to Prout's law being correct.

Nevertheless, the rule was not found to predict isotope masses better than this for all isotopes, due mostly to mass-defects resulting from release of binding energy in atomic nuclei, when they are formed.

  Although all elements are the product of nuclear fusion of hydrogen into higher elements, it is now understood that atoms consist of both protons (hydrogen nuclei) and neutrons. The modern version of Prout's rule is that the atomic mass of an isotope of proton number (atomic number) Z and neutron number N is equal to sum of the masses of its constituent protons and neutrons, minus the mass of the nuclear binding energy, the mass defect. According to the whole number rule proposed by Francis Aston, the mass of an isotope is roughly, but not exactly, its mass number A = Z + N times an atomic mass unit (u), plus or minus binding energy discrepancy – atomic mass unit being the modern approximation for "mass of a proton, neutron, or hydrogen atom". For example iron-56 atoms (which have among the highest binding-energies) weigh only about 99.1% as much as 56 hydrogen atoms. The missing 0.9% of mass represents the energy lost when the nucleus of iron was made from hydrogen inside a star.

Literary allusions
In his 1891 novel The Doings of Raffles Haw, Arthur Conan Doyle talks about turning elements into other elements of decreasing atomic number, until a gray matter is reached.

In his 1959 novel Life and Fate, Vassily Grossman's principal character, the physicist Viktor Shtrum, reflects on Prout's hypothesis about hydrogen being the origin of other elements (and the felicitous fact that Prout's incorrect data led to an essentially correct conclusion), as he worries about his inability to formulate his own thesis.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Steam battery "Demologos", or "Fulton"

Demologos was the first warship to be propelled by a steam engine. She was a wooden floating battery built to defend New York Harbor from the Royal Navy during the War of 1812. The vessel was designed to a unique pattern by Fulton Robert, and was renamed Fulton after his death. Because of the prompt end of the war, Demologos never saw action, and no other ship like her was built.

On 9 March, 1814, Congress authorized the construction of a steam warship to be designed by Robert Fulton, a pioneer of commercial steamers in North America. The construction of the ship began on 20 June 1814, at the civilian yard of Adam and Noah Brown, and the ship was launched on 29 October. After sea trials she was delivered to the United States Navy in June 1816. The ship was never formally named; Fulton christened it Demologos or Demologus, though following his death in February 1815, the ship was named Fulton.

By the time she was completed, the war for which Demologos had been built had ended. She saw only one day of active service, when she carried President James Monroe on a tour of New York Harbor. A two-masted lateen rig was added by the orders of her first commander, Captain David Porter. In 1821 her armament and machinery were removed. The remainder of her career was spent laid up in reserve; after 1825 she served as the floating barracks for Brooklyn Navy Yard. She came to an end on 4 June 1829 in a gunpowder explosion.


Demologos, first steam warship
Design and impact
Demologos had an entirely unique and innovative design. A catamaran, her paddlewheel was sandwiched between two hulls. Each hull was constructed 5 ft (1.5 m) thick for protection against gunfire. The steam engine, mounted below the waterline in one of the hulls, was capable of giving 5.5 knots (10.2 km/h) speed in favorable conditions.

Although designed to carry 30 32-pounder guns, 24 port and starboard, 6 fore and aft, the Navy had trouble acquiring sufficient guns, and a varying number were mounted while in actual service. Demologos was also fitted for two 100-pounder Columbiads, one mounted fore and another aft, these weapons were never actually furnished to the vessel.

Fulton's design solved several of the problems inherent in warships powered by paddlewheels which led to the adoption of the paddle-steamer as an effective warship in following decades. By placing the paddlewheel centrally, sandwiched between two hulls, Fulton protected it from gunfire; this design also allowed the ship to mount a full broadside of guns.

The steam engine offered the prospect of tactical advantage against sail-powered warships. In a calm, sailing ships depended on the manpower of their crews to tow the ship from the boats, or to kedge with anchors. Demologos, with steam, might have found it easy to outmaneuver a ship-of-the-line in calm weather.

The innovative construction and steam power also fundamentally limited the role Demologos could fill.

  With an unreliable engine and a hull unsuited to seaways, Demologos was unable to travel on the high seas. The United States Navy planned to build a number of similar steam batteries, but none of these plans got off the drawing board until the USS Fulton of 1837. A number of European navies also considered acquiring the Demologos, but these inquiries came to nought.

The Demologos was ultimately a dead end in the introduction of steam power to the warship. Armed paddle steamers proliferated in the 1830s and 40s as armed tugs and transports. During the Civil War, the United States Navy operated a number of iron clad steam-powered paddle-wheel gunboats as a part of the Mississippi River Squadron. Known as City class ironclad gunboats as they were named after cities on the Mississippi River or its tributaries, these ships utilized a double-hulled configuration similar to Fulton's design, with the paddle wheel in the center. The wheel was protected by armored plate, allowing full broad-sides, as well as bow and stern shots. An example, the USS Cairo, is on display at the Vicksburg National Military Park. Paddle-wheel propulsion, more usually side-paddle configurations, in military use continued until World War II with the USS Wolverine and USS Sable training aircraft carriers. These designs were typically limited to use in the Brown-water navy or on large lakes.

Steam-powered paddle wheel propulsion would ultimately be eclipsed by the introduction of the screw propeller in the 1840s, enabling steam-powered version of the ship of the line and the frigate before steam power was properly adapted for use in a Blue water navy.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Three-view of Demologos as originally portrayed to the US government.
The resulting vessel differed greatly from this early proposal.
Nations in Arms
Between 1763 and 1815 revolution and war changed the face and the heart of the Western world.
In 1763, at the end of the Seven Years War, the British settlements along the Atlantic coast of North America were still colonies, dependent upon Britain. Across the sea in France, a monarchy that could trace its roots back over eight hundred years ruled over a privileged aristocratic society, while serfs still worked the fields of their lords.

The American and French Revolutions not only stand out as paramount events in the history of those two countries, but went on to influence every corner of the western world. The revolutionary tide that began in the United States eventually swept through Latin America as well. The transformation of French society that followed the fall of the Bastille to a Parisian crowd in 1789 changed not only France but Europe for ever.

Warfare too was transformed. The French Revolution realized the ideal of the nation in arms, and so nationalism added its force to the western emphasis on discipline. Common soldiers were now expected to display the same kind of commitment once reserved only to officers, and the new loyalties of the rank and file influenced tactics, logistics, and strategy. Eventually, Napoleon demonstrated the potential implicit in the new form of warfare and thus altered the conduct of military operations forever.

Nations in Arms

Apothecaries Act

The Apothecaries Act 1815 was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom (citation 55 Geo.lll, c.194) with the long title "An Act for better regulating the Practice of Apothecaries throughout England and Wales".

The Act introduced compulsory apprenticeship and formal qualifications for apothecaries, in modern terms general practitioners, under the license of the Society of Apothecaries. It was the beginning of regulation of the medical profession in the UK. The Act required instruction in anatomy, botany, chemistry, materia medica and "physic", in addition to six months' practical hospital experience.

Despite the Act, training of medical people in Britain remained disparate. Thomas Bonner, in part quoting M. Jeanne Peterson, notes that "The training of a practitioner in Britain in 1830 could vary all the way from classical university study at Oxford and Cambridge to a series of courses in a provincial hospital to 'broom-and-apron apprenticeship in an apothecary's shop'".

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Brit. income tax ended (resumed 1842)
Economic postwar crisis in England
Brit. road surveyor John Macadam constructs roads of crushed stone
McAdam John Loudon

John Loudon McAdam (21 September 1756 – 26 November 1836) was a Scottish engineer and road-builder. He invented a new process, "macadamisation", for building roads with a smooth hard surface that would be more durable and less muddy than soil-based tracks.

Modern road construction still reflects McAdam's influence. Of subsequent improvements, the most significant was the introduction of tar (originally coal tar) to bind the road surface's stones together – "tarmac" (for Tar Macadam) – followed later by the use of hot-laid tarred aggregate or tar-sprayed chippings to create better road metalling. More recently, oil-based asphalt laid on reinforced concrete has become a major road surface, but its use of granite or limestone chippings still recalls McAdam's innovation.


John Loudon McAdam
  Early life
McAdam was born in Scotland. He was the youngest of ten children and second son of the Baron of Waterhead. The family name was traditionally McGregor, but was changed to McAdam (claiming descent from the Biblical Adam) for political reasons in James VI's reign. He moved to New York in 1770 and, as a merchant and prize agent during the American Revolution, made his fortune working at his uncle's counting house. He returned to Scotland in 1783 and purchased an estate at Sauchrie, Ayrshire.

Besides taking part in local Ayrshire affairs, McAdam operated the Kaims Colliery. The colliery supplied coal to the British Tar Company, of Archibald Cochrane, 9th Earl of Dundonald and partners in the coal tar trade; McAdam ran its kilns. He further was involved in the ironworks at Muirkirk, which was a customer for the coke byproduct of the tar business. This business connection is the only direct relationship of McAdam and tar.

Road Builder
McAdam became a trustee of the Ayrshire Turnpike in 1783 and became increasingly involved with day-to-day road construction over the next 10 years. In 1802 he moved to Bristol, England and he became general surveyor for the Bristol Corporation in 1804. He put forward his ideas in evidence to Parliamentary enquiries in 1810, 1819 and 1823. In two treatises written in 1816 and 1819 (Remarks on the Present System of Road-Making and Practical Essay on the Scientific Repair and Preservation of Roads) he argued that roads needed to be raised above the surrounding ground and constructed from layered rocks and gravel in a systematic manner.

McAdam had also been appointed surveyor to the Bristol Turnpike Trust in 1816, where he decided to remake the roads under his care with crushed stone bound with gravel on a firm base of large stones. A camber, making the road slightly convex, ensured rainwater rapidly drained off the road rather than penetrate and damage the road's foundations. This construction method, the greatest advance in road construction since Roman times, became known as "macadamisation", or, more simply, "macadam". The macadam method spread very quickly across the world.
The first macadam road in North America, the National Road, was completed in the 1830s and most of the main roads in Europe were subject to the McAdam process by the end of the nineteenth century.

Although McAdam was paid £5,000 for his Bristol Turnpike Trust work and made "Surveyor-General of Metropolitan Roads" in 1820, professional jealousy cut a £5,000 grant for expenses from the Parliament of the United Kingdom to £2,000 in 1827. His efficient road-building and management work had revealed the corruption and abuse of road tolls by unscrupulous Turnpike Trusts, many of which were run at a deliberate loss despite high toll receipts.

  Death and descendants
McAdam died in Moffat, Dumfriesshire, while returning to his home in Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire, from his annual summer visit to Scotland. His three sons, and in turn four grandsons, followed him into the profession and assisted with the management of turnpike trusts around the country.

His second surviving son, James Nicholl MacAdam, the "Colossus of Roads", was knighted for managing turnpike trusts — a knighthood, it is said, previously offered to his father but declined.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Robertson Allan

Allan Robertson (11 September 1815 – 1 September 1859) was a golfer, considered one of the first professional golfers. He was born in St Andrews, Scotland, the "home of golf".


Allan Robertson
  In the mid-19th century golf was played mainly by well-off gentlemen, as hand-crafted clubs and balls were expensive. Professionals made a living from playing for bets, caddying, ball and club making, and instruction. Robertson was the most famous of these pros. Tradition has it that Robertson himself was never beaten as an individual when playing for money. He sometimes played at less than his ability in order to minimize the odds he had to give to opponents. Robertson is generally regarded as being the best golfer from 1843 onwards, even after the arrival of the Park and Morris families. Robertson defeated Willie Dunn Sr. of Musselburgh, who was generally recognized as the top player, in a grand challenge match in 1843; the two played 20 rounds over 10 days, with Robertson coming out on top. Indeed, Robertson was the first to score below 80 on the Old Course at St Andrews, which he did the year before his death, playing a guttie ball.

Robertson was considered the premier ball and club maker of the time, and exported his merchandise all over the world. It was a lucrative trade with an ever-increasing market. The business was originally set up by his grandfather, who passed it down to his son before Robertson himself finally inherited it. Today a Robertson ball carrying his stamp Allan is highly prized by collectors.
Old Tom Morris worked from 1835, when he was 14, as an apprentice in Robertson's shop, and it is said that the two were never beaten when playing as partners. Morris defeated Robertson for the first time in a friendly match in 1843, winning a jacket, but the two generally did not compete head-to-head for stakes.

Robertson, as the acknowledged best player, could refuse any challenge according to the custom of the time, and said he preferred Morris as his playing partner; Morris was in an awkward position with respect to individual playing reputations, since he worked for Robertson, who eventually fired him after a disagreement over equipment. However, for many years before that, Robertson and Morris had a lucrative playing partnership. Musselburgh's young star Willie Park, Sr., then aged 20, beat Morris head-to-head over the Old Course in 1853, and then publicly issued a head-to-head challenge to Robertson, which was not taken up.
Challenge matches, usually backed by noblemen and wealthy businessmen, were the main form of golf competition at the time.

Robertson significantly improved the Old Course by enlarging its greens, to allow for the increase in golf popularity. The out-and-back flow of play over a narrow strand of fairway at the Old Course eventually led to the establishment of huge double greens, virtually unique in Scotland; these have occasionally been imitated in modern golf design. Robertson's first golf course design work, in which he was assisted by Morris, was at Carnoustie in 1842, when the two laid out ten new holes. Carnoustie gradually evolved into one of the world's best courses.

The relationship between Robertson and Morris soured when the guttie ball was introduced (see golf ball - history). Robertson caught Morris playing with a guttie, and fired him on the spot. Robertson attempted to suppress the popularity of the new and cheaper ball, which hastened the end of his own 100-year-old business making the featherie ball. Morris accepted the march of progress and felt obliged to leave Robertson and set up his own workshop. Morris moved to Prestwick in 1851, on the west coast of Scotland, to build a new golf course, where he served as professional and greenkeeper.

  The guttie ball revolutionized golf and Robertson's featherie business did indeed collapse, although Robertson quickly moved to manufacture the guttie, which was made from liquid rubber (gutta percha) found in Malaysia.

Robertson died a few months after an attack of jaundice. The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews (R&A) issued a statement on his death exalting his contribution to golf, and organised an annual collection to provide for his widow. Robertson's portrait is displayed in the R&A's gallery. His grave is in the cathedral grounds at St Andrews. His epitaph reads: "Allan Robertson - who died 1st Sept. 1859 aged 44 years old. He was greatly esteemed for his personal worth and for many years was esteemed as the champion golfer of Scotland."

The Open Championship in golf came about as a result of Robertson's death. Since he was recognized as the best player during much of his lifetime, golfers at Prestwick Golf Club formed a competition in 1860, to decide who would succeed him as the "Champion Golfer". The Open, continuing annually ever since except for war years, is the longest-running golf championship, and the oldest of the four major championships.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Eruption of Sumbawa Volcano

Mount Tambora, Indonesian Gunung Tambora , dormant volcanic mountain on the northern coast of Sumbawa island, Indonesia. It is now 2,851 metres (9,354 feet) high. It erupted violently in April 1815, when it lost much of its top. The blast, pyroclastic flow, and moderate tsunamis that followed caused the deaths of at least 10,000 islanders and destroyed the homes of 35,000 more. Some 80,000 people in the region eventually died from starvation and disease related to the event. Before its eruption Mount Tambora was about 4,300 metres (14,000 feet) high.

Many volcanologists regard the eruption as the largest in recorded history; it expelled roughly 100 cubic km (24 cubic miles) of ash, pumice, and aerosols into the atmosphere. As this material mixed with atmospheric gases, it prevented substantial amounts of sunlight from reaching Earth’s surface, eventually reducing the average global temperature by about 3 °C (5.4 °F). The immediate effects were most profound on Sumbawa and surrounding islands; many tens of thousands of people perished from disease and famine since crops could not grow. In 1816, parts of the world as far away as western Europe and eastern North America experienced sporadic periods of heavy snow and killing frost through June, July, and August. Such cold weather events led to crop failures and starvation in these regions, and the year 1816 was called the “year without a summer.”

Encyclopædia Britannica


Aerial view of the caldera of Mount Tambora, formed during the colossal 1815 eruption.
1815 eruption
Chronology of the eruption
Mount Tambora experienced several centuries of inactive dormancy before 1815, as the result of the gradual cooling of hydrous magma in a closed magma chamber. Inside the chamber at depths between 1.5 and 4.5 km (0.93 and 2.80 mi), the exsolution of a high-pressure fluid magma formed during cooling and crystallisation of the magma. Overpressure of the chamber of about 4,000–5,000 bar (58,000–73,000 psi) was generated, and the temperature ranged from 700 to 850 °C (1,300–1,600 °F). In 1812, the caldera began to rumble and generated a dark cloud.

The estimated volcanic ashfall regions during the 1815 eruption. The red areas show thickness of volcanic ash fall. The outermost region (1 cm (0.39 in) thickness) reached Borneo and Sulawesi.

The first explosions were heard on this Island in the evening of 5 April, they were noticed in every quarter, and continued at intervals until the following day. The noise was, in the first instance, almost universally attributed to distant cannon; so much so, that a detachment of troops were marched from Djocjocarta, in the expectation that a neighbouring post was attacked, and along the coast boats were in two instances dispatched in quest of a supposed ship in distress.

—Sir Stamford Raffles' memoir.

On 5 April 1815, a moderate-sized eruption occurred, followed by thunderous detonation sounds, heard in Makassar on Sulawesi, 380 km (240 mi) away, Batavia (now Jakarta) on Java 1,260 km (780 mi) away, and Ternate on the Molucca Islands 1,400 km (870 mi) away. On the morning of 6 April, volcanic ash began to fall in East Java with faint detonation sounds lasting until 10 April. What was first thought to be sound of firing guns was heard on 10 April on Sumatra island more than 2,600 km (1,600 mi) away.

At about 7 pm on 10 April, the eruptions intensified. Three columns of flame rose up and merged. The whole mountain was turned into a flowing mass of "liquid fire". Pumice stones of up to 20 cm (7.9 in) in diameter started to rain down around 8 pm, followed by ash at around 9–10 pm. Pyroclastic flows cascaded down the mountain to the sea on all sides of the peninsula, wiping out the village of Tambora. Loud explosions were heard until the next evening, 11 April. The ash veil had spread as far as West Java and South Sulawesi. A "nitrous" odour was noticeable in Batavia and heavy tephra-tinged rain fell, finally receding between 11 and 17 April.

  The explosion is estimated to have been a VEI-7. It had roughly four times the energy of the 1883 Krakatoa eruption, meaning it was equivalent to an 800 Mt (3.3×1012 MJ) explosion. An estimated 160 km3 (38 cu mi) of pyroclastic trachyandesite were ejected, weighing about 140 billion tonnes. This has left a caldera measuring 6–7 km (3.7–4.3 mi) across and 600–700 m (2,000–2,300 ft) deep. The density of fallen ash in Makassar was 636 kg/m2 (130.3 lb/sq ft). Before the explosion, Mount Tambora was about 4,300 m (14,100 ft) high, one of the tallest peaks in the Indonesian archipelago. After the explosion, it measured only 2,851 m (9,354 ft).

The 1815 Tambora eruption is the largest observed eruption in recorded history (see Table I, for comparison). The explosion was heard 2,600 km (1,600 mi) away, and ash fell at least 1,300 km (810 mi) away. Pitch darkness was observed as far away as 600 km (370 mi) from the mountain summit for up to two days. Pyroclastic flows spread at least 20 km (12 mi) from the summit.
Due to the eruption, Indonesia's islands were struck by tsunami waves reaching heights up to 4 m (13 ft).


On my trip towards the western part of the island, I passed through nearly the whole of Dompo and a considerable part of Bima. The extreme misery to which the inhabitants have been reduced is shocking to behold. There were still on the road side the remains of several corpses, and the marks of where many others had been interred: the villages almost entirely deserted and the houses fallen down, the surviving inhabitants having dispersed in search of food.
Since the eruption, a violent diarrhoea has prevailed in Bima, Dompo, and Sang'ir, which has carried off a great number of people. It is supposed by the natives to have been caused by drinking water which has been impregnated with ashes; and horses have also died, in great numbers, from a similar complaint.

—Lt. Philips, ordered by Sir Stamford Raffles to go to Sumbawa.

All vegetation on the island was destroyed. Uprooted trees, mixed with pumice ash, washed into the sea and formed rafts up to 5 km (3.1 mi) across. One pumice raft was found in the Indian Ocean, near Calcutta on 1 and 3 October 1815.[6] Clouds of thick ash still covered the summit on 23 April. Explosions ceased on 15 July, although smoke emissions were still observed as late as 23 August. Flames and rumbling aftershocks were reported in August 1819, four years after the event.

A moderate-sized tsunami struck the shores of various islands in the Indonesian archipelago on 10 April, with a height of up to 4 m (13 ft) in Sanggar around 10 pm. A tsunami of 1–2 m (3.3–6.6 ft) in height was reported in Besuki, East Java, before midnight, and one of 2 metres (6.6 ft) in height in the Molucca Islands. The total death toll has been estimated to be around 4,600.

The eruption column reached the stratosphere, an altitude of more than 43 km (27 mi). The coarser ash particles fell one to two weeks after the eruptions, but the finer ash particles stayed in the atmosphere from a few months up to a few years at altitudes of 10–30 km (6.2–18.6 mi). Longitudinal winds spread these fine particles around the globe, creating optical phenomena. Prolonged and brilliantly coloured sunsets and twilights were frequently seen in London between 28 June and 2 July 1815 and 3 September and 7 October 1815. The glow of the twilight sky typically appeared orange or red near the horizon and purple or pink above.

The estimated number of deaths varies depending on the source. Zollinger (1855) puts the number of direct deaths at 10,000, probably caused by pyroclastic flows. On Sumbawa island, 38,000 deaths were due to starvation, and another 10,000 deaths occurred due to disease and hunger on Lombok island.

Petroeschevsky (1949) estimated about 48,000 and 44,000 people were killed on Sumbawa and Lombok, respectively. Several authors use Petroeschevsky's figures, such as Stothers (1984), who cites 88,000 deaths in total. However, Tanguy et al.. (1998) claimed Petroeschevsky's figures to be unfounded and based on untraceable references.

Tanguy revised the number solely based on two credible sources, q.e., Zollinger, who himself spent several months on Sumbawa after the eruption, and Raffles's notes. Tanguy pointed out that there may have been additional victims on Bali and East Java because of famine and disease.

Their estimate was 11,000 deaths from direct volcanic effects and 49,000 by posteruption famine and epidemic diseases. Oppenheimer (2003) stated a modified number of at least 71,000 deaths in total.

  Global effects
The 1815 eruption released sulfur dioxide (SO2) into the stratosphere, causing a global climate anomaly. Different methods have estimated the ejected sulphur mass during the eruption: the petrological method; an optical depth measurement based on anatomical observations; and the polar ice core sulfate concentration method, using cores from Greenland and Antarctica. The figures vary depending on the method, ranging from 10 to 120 million tonnes.

In the spring and summer of 1815, a persistent "dry fog" was observed in the northeastern United States. The fog reddened and dimmed the sunlight, such that sunspots were visible to the naked eye. Neither wind nor rainfall dispersed the "fog". It was identified as a stratospheric sulfate aerosol veil. In summer 1816, countries in the Northern Hemisphere suffered extreme weather conditions, dubbed the Year Without a Summer. Average global temperatures decreased about 0.4–0.7°C (0.7–1.3°F), enough to cause significant agricultural problems around the globe. On 4 June 1816, frosts were reported in Connecticut, and by the following day, most of New England was gripped by the cold front. On 6 June 1816, snow fell in Albany, New York, and Dennysville, Maine. Such conditions occurred for at least three months and ruined most agricultural crops in North America. Canada experienced extreme cold during that summer. Snow 30 cm (12 in) deep accumulated near Quebec City from 6 to 10 June 1816.

The second-coldest year in the Northern Hemisphere since c.1400 was 1816, and the 1810s are the coldest decade on record, a result of Tambora's 1815 eruption and other suspected eruptions somewhere between 1809 and 1810 (see sulfate concentration figure from ice core data). The surface temperature anomalies during the summer of 1816, 1817, and 1818 were −0.51°C (−0.92°F), −0.44°C (−0.79°F) and −0.29°C (−0.52°F), respectively. As well as a cooler summer, parts of Europe experienced a stormier winter.

This climate anomaly has been blamed for the severity of typhus epidemics in southeast Europe and the eastern Mediterranean between 1816 and 1819. The climate changes disrupted the Indian monsoons, caused three failed harvests and famine contributing to the spread of a new strain of cholera originating in Bengal in 1816. Many livestock died in New England during the winter of 1816–1817. Cool temperatures and heavy rains resulted in failed harvests in Britain and Ireland. Families in Wales travelled long distances as refugees, begging for food. Famine was prevalent in north and southwest Ireland, following the failure of wheat, oat, and potato harvests. The crisis was severe in Germany, where food prices rose sharply and demonstrations in front of grain markets and bakeries, followed by riots, arson, and looting, took place in many European cities. It was the worst famine of the 19th century.

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