World History 1877

About the history of the world in 1877, canals are discovered on Mars, Edison invents the phonograph.

TWO CENTURIES OF WORLD HISTORY: 1778-1978

1877

* Giovanni Schiaparelli, 42, director of the Milan Observatory, though he observed grooves, or channels, on the planet Mars, which Galileo had noticed 267 years earlier. Writing in Italian, Schiaparelli described them as canali ("channels"), but the English-speaking world soon called them canals.

* The imperial government of Japan suppressed a revolt led by Takamori Saigo, head of the once powerful Satsuma clan. The westernization of Japan continued.

Dec. 6 At the world's first industrial research laboratory at Menlo Park, N.J., Thomas Alva Edison, 30, cranked a tinfoil-wrapped cylinder against a needle and squawked in his flat, high-pitched voice, "Mary had a little lamb,/Its fleece was white as snow." When Edison recranked the needle over the grooves scratched in the tinfoil and heard his voice played back to him, the phonograph was born. The prototype was constructed by John Kruesi, one of Edison's mechanics.

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