World History 1846

About the history of the world in 1846, Elias Howe invents the sewing machines, the first use of anesthesia, U.S. declares war on Mexico.

TWO CENTURIES OF WORLD HISTORY: 1778-1978

1846

* After five years of work, Elias Howe of Massachusetts constructed and patented a practical sewing machine. He sold his British rights to William Thomas for pound 250. Howe proved the superiority of his machine by racing five seamstresses and winning. Going to work for Thomas, Howe constructed the first commercial sewing machine that could stitch leather.

Jan. 20 Two French priests-Father Evariste Huc and Father Gabet-arrived in Lhasa, Tibet, after a two-year journey from China through Mongolia-and were promptly expelled. Father Huc remarked on the similarities between Lamaist and Catholic rites and rituals in a travelogue, "Recount of a Trip through Tartary, Tibet, and China."

May 13 The U.S. declared war on Mexico by a vote of 40 to 2 in the Senate and 174 to 14 in the House.

Aug. 16 Col. Stephen W. Kearny's 1,700 frontiersmen, grandiosely labeled the Army of the West, occupied Santa Fe, N.M., after marching 1,000 mi. in less than two months from Ft. Leavenworth, Mo. Little opposition was offered by the province's 80,000 Mexican inhabitants, who were promptly claimed as U.S. citizens.

Oct. 16 An anesthetic was used for the first time in a major surgical operation. William Morton, a Boston dentist, administered ether to patient Gilbert Abbot, who reportedly felt no pain as Dr. John Warren removed a tumor from his jaw. In a letter to Morton in November, Oliver Wendell Holmes used the word anesthesia for the first time.

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