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Cotton Gin
Society: ASABEMain Category: Agricultural & BiologicalSub Category: ProcessingEra: 1750-1799DateCreated: 1794Cotton Exchange Commission BuildingSavannahState: GACountry: USAWebsite: Eli Whitney

This Creative Development Which Was Responsible For The Survival Of The Cotton Industry In The United States Occurred In General Nathaniel Greene's Plantation Near Savannah 10 Miles Northeast Of This Marker. Separation By Hand Labor Of The Lint From The Seed Of The Desired Upland Variety Of Cotton Produced Only One Pound Per Day Per Person. Eli Whitney, A Native Of Massachusetts And Yale Law Graduate, Came To Georgia To Teach School In Late 1792, At Age 27. Mrs. Catherine Greene, Widow Of General Greene, Invited Whitney To Her Plantation, And Urged Him To Design A Cotton Gin.

Montgolfier Balloon
Society: AIAAMain Category: Aerospace & AviationSub Category: Frontiers of KnowledgeEra: 1750-1799DateCreated: 1768-1790AnnonayCountry: FranceWebsite: Joseph Michel, Montgolfier, Jacques Etienne

On 4 June 1783, Joseph Michel and Jacques Etienne Montgolfier captured the imagination of the world with their first balloon flight at Cordeliers Square.  There were no passengers, but the Regional Council and the whole town population saw the machine go up and stay aloft at 500 meters for ten minutes. The scientific world raced to make use of the Montgolfiers’ discovery, and all accomplishments made since then by aeronauts, aviators, and astronauts can be traced directly to this site.

Image Caption: Physicist Pilatre de Rozier and Marquis d’Arlandes take flight in the Montgolfier-style balloon on November 21, 1783, 5 months after the initial launch.

We have all been taught to be critical of the written word, but we tend to let the omnipresent graphics of our era pass without close scrutiny. This we do at our own loss and peril. Graphics are rich stores of information, but often they lie about quantitative information and are unnerving and confusing when they could be aesthetically pleasing. In his recent book, The Visual Display of Quantitative Information, Edward R. Tufte tells us what we should treasure, reject, and censor in graphics—and much more.

Point of Beginning, U.S. Public Lands
Society: ASCEMain Category: CivilSub Category: Boundaries & SurveysEra: 1750-1799DateCreated: 1785East LiverpoolState: OHZip: 43920Country: USAWebsite:,-U-S--Public-Lands/Creator: Hutchins, Thomas

The "Land Ordinance of 1785" required that U.S. lands in the public domain be surveyed before sale, and that the surveys be made in accordance with a consistent, integrated system of lines grid-oriented to a true meridian (north-south reference line) and base line (east-west reference line), subdividing the land into approximately square parcels, called townships.  

Thomas Hutchins, the first Geographer of the United States, drove his stake near East Liverpool, Ohio to mark the Point of Beginning of the Geographer's Line, the first westward base line.

Image Credit: Courtesy Wikipedia/Nyttend Image Caption: This monument marks the site that served as the basis for the entire Public Land Survey System — the system by which most of the United States, outside of the original colonies, was surveyed.Era_date_from: 1785
Vancouver's Mapping of the West Coast of North America
Society: ASCEMain Category: CivilSub Category: Boundaries & SurveysEra: 1750-1799DateCreated: 1791-1795West Coast of North AmericaN/ACountry: USAWebsite: Vancouver, George

The voyage of Captain George Vancouver, 1791 -1795, was commissioned by the British Admiralty to map in detail the west coast of North America from Mexico to Alaska and to meet with Spanish authorities on the coast to enforce the terms of the Nootka Sound Convention of 1790. 

Image Credit: Courtesy Wikipedia/RobbotImage Caption: A view of Mount Rainier from Captain Vancouver's voyage.Era_date_from: 1791
Society: ASCEMain Category: CivilSub Category: BridgesEra: 1750-1799DateCreated: 1779Coalbrookdale-IronbridgeZip: TF8 7ALCountry: UKWebsite: Darby III, Abraham

This bridge is recognized as the first iron bridge in the world. This rural region of England was an important industrial area thanks to coal deposits near the surface. In 1776 the nearest bridge that enabled people and goods to pass over the River Severn was two miles away at Buildwas. There was a ferry crossing, but the trip was difficult and dangerous especially in winter. In 1776, an Act to build a bridge to remedy this situation received Royal Assent.

Image Credit: Courtesy Wikipedia/JasonjsmithImage Caption: This bridge is recognized as the first iron bridge in the world.Era_date_from: 1779
Forth & Clyde Canal and Union Canal
Society: ASCEMain Category: CivilSub Category: Water TransportationEra: 1750-1799DateCreated: 1768-1790Forth to Bowling on the Clyde, ScotlandGlasgowCountry: UKWebsite: Smeaton, John

It took 22 years to complete the 35-mile waterway, as funding problems caused the work to shut down from 1777 to 1785.  

The notion of creating a canal that crossed Scotland was conceived in the 17th century during the reign of Charles II, but would not be realized for nearly 100 years.  The Forth and Clyde Canal, known as The Great Canal in its early years, was the first major transportation project in Scotland and the world's first man-made, sea-to-sea ship canal.   

Image Credit: Courtesy Wikipedia/Michel Van den Berghe (CC BY-SA 2.0) Image Caption: The Forth and Clyde Canal, known as The Great Canal in its early years, was the first major transportation project in Scotland and the world's first man-made, sea-to-sea ship canal. Era_date_from: 1768
U.S. Capitol
Society: ASCEMain Category: CivilSub Category: BuildingsEra: 1750-1799DateCreated: 1793Capitol HillWashingtonState: DCZip: C 20016Country: USAWebsite: Thornton, William , Latrobe, Benjamin

The United States Capitol is among the most symbolically important and architecturally impressive buildings in the nation. Construction of the original Capitol began in 1793, but it has been through several additions and alterations. Over its lifetime, the Capitol building has been built, burnt, rebuilt, extended, and restored.

Image Credit: Courtesy Flickr/Jiuguang Wang (CC BY-SA 2.0)Image Caption: U.S. CapitolEra_date_from: 1793
Springfield Armory
Society: ASMEMain Category: MechanicalSub Category: ManufacturingEra: 1750-1799DateCreated: 1794202-206 Pearl StreetSpringfieldState: MAZip: 01105Country: USAWebsite: Blanchard, Thomas, Buckland, Cyrus, Knox, Henry, Warner, Thomas, Washington, George

George Washington's concern over standardization of rifles for the Continental Army led to the formation of national armory and to his selection of Springfield as its site. Completed in 1794, it was the first national armory in the United States. Like the Robbins and Lawrence Armory, the Springfield Armory was an outstanding machining center for the design and mass production, employing notable engineers such as Thomas Blanchard (1788-1864), Thomas Warner, and Cyrus Buckland.

Image Caption: This illustration from 1850 shows the growth of Springfield Armory since its inception in 1794. The building in the foreground is the Main Arsenal building that acts as the Springfield Armory National Historic Site visitor center today.Era_date_from: 1794
Sewall's Bridge
Society: ASCEMain Category: CivilSub Category: BridgesEra: 1750-1799DateCreated: 1761York RiverYorkState: MEZip: 03909Country: USAWebsite: Sewall, Samuel

Sewall's Bridge is a singular example of an era when wooden trestle bridges carried highway traffic across New England waterways. It is the earliest pile-trestle bridge for which an authentic construction record exists, and the oldest for which builder's drawings survive. Spanning the York River, it was named for Major Samuel Sewall, Jr., the civil engineer who designed and constructed it.

Image Credit: Public Domain (State Historical Society of Colorado)Image Caption: Sewall's BridgeEra_date_from: 1761
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