World History 1844

About the history of the world in 1844, Goodyear patents rubber vulcanization, YMCA is founded, Morse sends a telegraph from D.C. to Baltimore.

TWO CENTURIES OF WORLD HISTORY: 1778-1978

1844

* Charles Goodyear of New Haven, Conn., patented his vulcanization process. Natural rubber withstands cold and moisture, but melts when exposed to heat. After years of intensive testing, Goodyear determined the exact combination of chemicals, heat, and raw rubber needed to produce a rubber which was not affected by high temperatures. He manufactured the first rubber products, and as a result we have the Goodyear tire today.

* George Williams, a London drapery worker, and 11 of his friends founded the Young Men's Christian Association for the "improvement of the spiritual condition of young men in the drapery and other trades." The YMCA spread rapidly, reaching North America in 1851 with clubs in Montreal and then Boston.

* Gummed envelopes were first used in England.

* Sir Austin Layard began first excavations of Assyrian and Babylonian ruins at Nimrud, discovering remains of 9th-and 7th-century B.C. palaces and an immense statue of a winged bull, which is now displayed in the British Museum.

May 24 Samuel F.B. Morse telegraphed the message "What hath God wrought?" from the Supreme Court chambers in Washington, D.C., across 37 mi. of line to his business partner, Alfred Vail, in Baltimore, Md. This made commercial telegraph service possible. Morse had received the patent for the telegraph in 1840, devised the Morse code, and lobbied for government money to construct the first telegraph line. He received this money in 1843 and began constructing the first telegraph system, stringing his lines on poles rather than laying them underground. By 1860 the U.S. had 50,000 mi. of telegraph lines.

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