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1870 to 1879 Important News, Key Events, Significant Technology

1870, 1871, 1872, 1873, 1874, 1875, 1876, 1877, 1878 and 1879 History

List of Major News Events From 1870 to 1879

  1. 1870 Congress Adopts the Fifteenth Amendment
  2. 1871 October 10th Great Chicago Fire
  3. 1872 March 1st Yellowstone National Park
  4. 1873 Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis patent "Blue Jeans"
  5. 1874 First Commercial Barbed Wire
  6. 1875 May 17th First Kentucky Derby
  7. 1876 June 25th The Little Bighorn/Custer's Last Stand
  8. 1877 Thomas Alva Edison announced his invention of the first phonograph
  9. 1878 Ready Made Mixed Paints (Henry Sherwin and Edward Williams) begin selling premixed paints in cans.
  10. 1879 July 17th 1st Woolworth 5 Cents Store Opened

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The Franco-Prussian War , Bismarck's influence on the German states leads to a year long conflict in which France is defeated. There can be no doubt of Prussia's dominance over the now unified Germany, and the war has ended France's presupposed hegemony over European affairs. Napoleon III had taken the advice of his military advisors and declared war on Prussia on July 19th , and his assumption of the French army's abilities was negated by Bismarck's ability to bring Baden, Bavaria and Württemberg into his alliance of the northern states. His political and military skills would lead to the Prussian Wilhelm I being made emperor of Germany (on January 18th 1871).

John D. Rockefeller , John D. Rockefeller forms the Standard Oil of Ohio company. By 1890, Standard Oil controlled 88% of the refined oil flows in the United States. John D. Rockefeller was a founder, chairman and major shareholder, and the company made him the richest man in modern history.

Congress Creates The U.S. Department of Justice , The U.S. Department of Justice is responsible for the enforcement of the law and administration of justice headed by The Attorney General.

Congress Adopts the Fifteenth Amendment , The Fifteenth Amendment (Amendment XV) to the United States Constitution prohibits each government in the United States from denying a citizen the right to vote based on that citizen's "race, color, or previous condition of servitude" (i.e., slavery). It was ratified on February 3rd , 1870. What is interesting is no mention was made of gender and it took another 50 years to guarantee women's right to vote with the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920.

Can Opener , 60 years after the Tin Can is invented, William Lions of Connecticut invents an efficient can opener.


British Colombia Becomes Part of Canada , British Colombia becomes part of Canada. On having been seen by Captain Cook in his look for the northwest passage, the area was mostly commonly used by fur traders. Finally recognized as an imperial territory by Britain it was named British Colombia in 1858 , and became part of Canada in 1871.

The Albert Hall , The Albert Hall is in London's South Kensington and was completed in 1871. It had been built in commemoration of Queen Victoria's husband Prince Albert. Designed by George Scott, it was intended to promote the period's arts and sciences, and commonly performed musical concerts. It is fronted by the Albert Memorial and close to the Victoria and Albert Museum. Concerts have been performed there by Wagner, Rachmaninov and Elgar (as well as later musicians).

Congress Passes The 1871 Indian Appropriation Act , This act ended the practice of the US government viewing Native American tribes, and lands as separate countries.

Great Chicago Fire , The Great Chicago Fire started on Sunday, October 8, and burned for three days before it finally burned itself out Tuesday, October 10, 1871. It killed hundreds and destroyed about 2,000 acres in the central business district, including hotels, department stores, Chicago's City Hall, the opera house and theaters, churches and printing plants, in other areas thousands of homes were destroyed leaving 90,000 homeless. Supposedly it started by a cow kicking over a lantern in a barn owned by Patrick and Catherine O'Leary, or Daniel "Pegleg" Sullivan, igniting some hay in the barn while trying to steal some milk, or Louis M. Cohn may have started the fire during a craps game.

Third Force Act Also Known as the "Ku Klux Act" Passed , Congress authorizes President Ulysses S. Grant to declare martial law, impose heavy penalties against terrorist organizations, and use military force to suppress the Ku Klux Klan (KKK).


Yellowstone National Park , Partly in Montana, Wyoming and Idaho, the Yellowstone National Park was appointed the United States' first national park on March 1st, 1872. It covers more than three and a half thousand square miles of plateaus, mountains and valleys. The park's fossils, lava flows, volcanic remains, forests and other mountainous features such as its hot springs and geysers (like Old Faithful) have made it a national treasure.

Montgomery Ward Begins First Mail Order Catalog , Montgomery Ward begins distributing a dry goods mail-order Catalog to rural customers offering wide selection of items unavailable to them locally. By 1883 , the catalog, which became popularly known as the "Wish Book", had grown to 240 pages and 10,000 items.

Mary Celeste Mystery , Crew from the Dei Gratia, a small British brig, spot the Mary Celeste, a brigantine merchant ship at full sail near the Azores Islands in the Atlantic Ocean. The ship was seaworthy, its stores and supplies were untouched, the personal belongings of passengers and crew were still in place, including valuables but not a soul was on board.


Japanese Calendars , In 1873 the Japanese started to use the Gregorian calendar as well as the one that was based on the emperor's years of rule (with 1873 being Meijing 6). Before this, they had received lunar calendars from China.

Blue Jeans , Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis patent "Blue Jeans", using heavy duty cotton cloth and copper rivets they produce trousers that are virtually indestructible aimed at Miners, Farmers, Mechanics and cattle raisers. They were called originally "Copper Riveted Overalls".


First Impressionist Exhibition , The artists that had gathered their inspiration from Édouard Manet's art had submitted their own work to the Exposition des Impressionistes that took place in Nadar's salon in Paris. There were pictures by Renoir, Sisley, Monet, Pissaro, Morisot, Guillaumin, Cézanne and Degas. The name Impressionism had come from Monet's 1872 Impression: Sunrise that was shown at the Musée Marmottan and copied into Louis Leroy's article in Le Charivari magazine.

First Commercial Barbed Wire , Joseph F. Glidden of DeKalb, Illinois, received a patent for modern barbed wire in 1874 after he made his own modifications to previous versions.

Republican Elephant , The republican elephant started when a political cartoonist (Thomas Nast) who did not think President Ulysses S. Grant should run for a third term had a cartoon published in Harper's Weekly in 1874 depicting the Republican Party as a stampeding Elephant.

1920's Fashion

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Examples of Ladies Hats From The 20's

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Examples of Ladies Dresses From The 1920's

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Children's Clothing Examples From The 1920s

Childrens Toys From The 1920's

Part of our Collection of Toys from The 1920's

Kids Toy Examples From The 1920s

1920s Music

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Twenties Music


Palo Duro , The U.S. Army attacks the Kiowa, Cheyenne and Comanche tribes at Palo Duro, Texas. The dissidents are made to register at Forts Darlington, Sill and Reno. The Kiowa, under Satanta, had surrendered to the Darlington Agency in 1874, and the Comanche at Fort Sill on June 2nd , 1875.

First Kentucky Derby , On May 17, 1875, in front of an estimated crowd of 10,000 people, a field of 15 three-year-old horses contested the First Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs, Louisville, Kentucky.


The Little Bighorn/Custer's Last Stand , The Battle of the Little Bighorn took place a week after General Crook's retreat from Rosebud Creek, when the Sioux, Cheyenne, Lakota, Arapaho and others fell on George Custer's 7th Cavalry on June 25th . The Indians, whose amalgamated tepees could show that there were about two thousand braves, attacked Custer's squadrons at Little Bighorn. Reno and Benteen's parts of the 7th suffered heavily, but were not wiped out. The Indians fled on the arrival of Terry and Gibbons' more numerous soldiers, but have retained their name for the Bighorn's slopes, " which is 'the greasy grass'. There is some debate on where exactly the 'last stand' took place, with Custer's body not actually having been found around his men. The greasy grass might have been in Wyoming and not Montana.

First Practical Telephone , Patent 174,465, was issued to Alexander Graham Bell on March 7, 1876, by the U.S. Patent Office. Bell's patent covered "the method of, and apparatus for, transmitting vocal or other sounds telegraphically ... by causing electrical undulations, similar in form to the vibrations of the air accompanying the said vocal or other sound".

Great Sioux War Of 1876 - 1877 , The Great Sioux War/Black Hills War was a series of battles and negotiations in the Montana Territory and Dakota Territory between the Lakota and Northern Cheyenne, and the United States between 1876 and 1877. The Indian Chiefs included Crazy Horse (Oglala Lakota Tribe), Sitting Bull (Hunkpapa Lakota Sioux), Little Wolf (Cheyenne) and Dull Knife (Cheyenne).

Practical Internal Combustion Engine , Nikolaus August Otto builds the first practical four-stroke cycle Internal Combustion Engine. Like all inventions before and since each inventor builds on knowledge gained from earlier inventions or multiple inventors working far apart who come up with similar inventions, so often it depends on the researcher and research material available to make the decision of who and when.


Queen Victoria's Appointment as Empress of India , Queen Victoria's appointment as Empress of India was made on India having been formally made into part of the British Empire. There is some debate on whether this was made as a comparison to the Russian and German imperial titles, or that it would allow a degree of hierarchy to permeate the British rule of the Indian nobles.

Sitting Bull , In January, Crazy Horse had fought Brigadier General Miles at the Battle of Wolf Mountain in what was to become Montana. Mills had remained in the field over winter in order to avenge Custer. In May, Sitting Bull had taken his people into Canada as a sanctuary against an American reprisal on Little Bighorn, but the Canadians would provide the necessities that the American reservations would offer. He was forced to surrender in 1881 with a tribe that was becoming handicapped by the lack of food and clothing.

The Phonograph , Thomas Alva Edison announced his invention of the first phonograph, a device for recording and replaying sound, on November 21st , 1877.

The "Molly Maguires" , Ten members of the Irish Miners Group The "Molly Maguires" were hanged for murder, the hangings brought about an end to the group as members now feared for their lives and loved ones lives. "Molly Maguires" were a group of Irish anthracite miners who were fighting for better working and living conditions in the coal fields of Pennsylvania, and were considered militant union activists but to understand the whole story my advice is look up "Molly Maguires" on your favorite search engine to gain a better perspective of the whole story.


Ready Made Mixed Paints , After thousands of years where paint is mixed by on the spot, two Americans (Henry Sherwin and Edward Williams) begin selling premixed paints in cans.

The Second Afghan War , British troops entered Afghanistan on November 21, 1878 to circumvent the Russian movements onto that side of the Hindu Kush. The British forces moved across the country and made an agreement to not to move further than they had, and were able to secure their ability to prevent any further encroachments from the Russians. Sher Ali's regent, Yaqub, agreed to allow the British a control of the region's foreign affairs. The Political resident in Kabul, Sir Louis Cavagnari was killed shortly after his arrival in scenes that were reminiscent of the First Afghan War and the troops moved back along the Khyber Pass. Unlike the earlier war, the uprising was contained and the troops reentered Kabul. Yaqub's power was taken away from him. The Second Afghan War had claimed about two and a half thousand British lives, and the troops returned to their placatory positions. They installed Abdur Rahman as emir and confirmed Yaqub's Treaty of Gandamac. The British were left in control of the same territories and retained their control of Afghanistan's foreign policy. After a period, and the payment of a subsidy, the British withdrew.

19th Amnedment The Nineteenth Amendment's text was drafted by Susan B. Anthony with the assistance of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and was first introduced


Isandhlwana and Rorke's Drift Zulus Attack , Isandhlwana and Rorke's Drift took place in South Africa on the 22nd and 23rd of January. The initial defeat had cost the lives of about 1,700 men, and whilst they had been attacked by nearly 20,000 Zulus it had made their colonial rule seem less tenable. The rearguard of the Zulu army went on to attack the 120 men that were left at the outstation of Rorke's Drift without success. It has become an extremely favorable demonstration of the British Army's ability to face insurmountable odds, and the larger forces went on to derogate the Zulu fighting forces at Ulundi.

Incandescent Light Bulb , Thomas Alva Edison filed his first patent application for "Improvement In Electric Lights" on October 14, 1878 (U.S. Patent 0,214,636). The first successful test was on October 22, 1879, and lasted 13.5 hours. Historians list 22 inventors of incandescent lamps prior to Thomas Edison but Edison's, although not first light bulb, is considered to be the first practical incandescent lamp.

1st Woolworth 5 Cents Store Opened , Frank Winfield Woolworth opens the Great 5 Cents Store in Utica, New York. Pledging to sell "nothing" that cost more than a nickel expanding over the next 50 years to 1000 stores, but due to changes in the retail market the last Woolworth's shop in the United States was closed down on July 17th , 1997.

First Cash Register , James Ritty and John Ritty patent the first cash register in Dayton Ohio as "Ritty's Incorruptible Cashier", it was later sold and became "The National Cash Register Company" NCR.