|Gilbert and Sullivan Archive|
You are here: > > Discussion > 1877
Also Happened in 1877
David Duffey wrote: What else happened which was of interest in 1877? Not much I suppose.
Of central importance to SavoyNet was the simultaneous invention by Edison in the US and Charles Cros in France, of the phonograph. This momentous coincidence did not make the headlines.
But then neither did the famine in Northern China which killed 10 million people.
The Faustian legend was given an American twist by Louisa May Alcott in "A Modern Mephistopheles".
Henry James published "The American." In Canada William Kirby published "The Golden Dog".
Politically a turbulent year in the US:
Notable executions were those of Jack McCall for the murder of "Wild Bill Hickock" and, far more interestingly, Lt John D Lee, for the Mountain Meadow Massacre of 1859. Just what was Bringham Young's role in that business? Bringham Young died in 1877, after giving evidence in the second trial of Lee, having refused to testify in the first. Young is reputed to have had 27 wives and had a university named after him. I have never taken cult leaders' biographies at face value.
Oh, by the way, Mary, nee Baker, took a Mr Eddy as her third husband.
Giovanni Schiaparelli saw 'channels' [canali] on Mars, paving the way for Percival Lowell to call them a system of canals and postulate the existence of intelligent life on that planet.
The fist test match between England and Australian saw a remarkable innings by Charles Bannerman, 165 retired hurt, out of a score of 245 with the next highest score 18! Australian won (nothing changes). Possibly in commemoration the flag of Victoria was officially adopted.
The Australian Rules Football's Victorian Football Association was founded: now there is a game I do not even pretend to understand.
Angela Georgina Bardelt-Coutts founded a mission for Australian Aborigines.
Queen Victoria is proclaimed Empress of India, and the Indian Stock Exchange opens.
Russia declares war on Turkey and invades Rumania; the Russians cross the Danube (Donnau) and storm Kars. They take Plevna, Bulgaria: Bismark declines to intervene, but Disraeli takes an interest. Serbia declares war on Turkey.
The First Kaffir War begins.
The Satsuma revolt in Japan is suppressed.
Bernadette Sourbirous, who at the age of 14 had a vision of the BVM in a grotto at Lourdes, becomes a nun.
Sarah Bernhardt at the Comedie Francaise in Done Sol by Victor Hugo.
Coutts Lindsay founded the Grosvenor Gallery. Just what was his relationship with the delectable Virginia, Lady Eastnor (nee Pattle), said to be "so staggeringly good-looking that passers-by stopped dead in their tracks at the sight of her"? The painter G F Watts was also smitten, came to stay at her house for three days and remained for thirty years. She was one of six sisters. Their father's body travelled back from India encased in a barrel of rum. Unfortunately the sailors, sober men and true, tapped the barrel, got hopelessly drunk, and wrecked the ship.
It was in 1877 also that another Prattle sister (Adeline) married Lord Henry Somerset, who turned out to prefer his footmen's embraces to hers. The resulting scandal broke in 1878.
Annie Besant and Charles Bradlaugh were convicted of publishing obscene literature. They had published a book on birth-control.
Dame Ethel Smythe started at Leipzig Conservatory.
Anyone with anything more - or corrections, amendations to the above, will be welcome.
Henry Odum replied: Very interesting - and appreciated as always - just a correction: Crazy Horse was chief of the Sioux, not Cheyenne. To be specific, he was of the Oglala branch of the Sioux. Sitting Bull, I believe was of the Hunkpapa branch. Cheyenne warriors did assist the Sioux at Little Big Horn, but the Sioux were the dominant presence. And Chief Joseph: Yes indeed, the Nez Perce chief surrendered after an incredible, near successful attempt to evade American troops over miles of rugged country, under terrible conditions.
And Bruce Miller Actually, the phonograph did make the headlines. Edison's first phonograph was built in late November-early December of 1877 after months of experimentation. An article was published in the fall, written by an Edison assistant, proclaiming the invention. This forced Edison's hand and he came forth with a working prototype, which he brought to the offices of the Scientific American magazine - and the announcement created a world-wide sensation. Upon hearing of Edison's achievement, the French inventor Charles Cros demanded that a sealed paper he had submitted earlier in the year to the French Academy be opened. It revealed a conception which, had the inventor followed it up with a working instrument, probably would have worked; however, it required a number of industrial processes (similar to those used by Emile Berliner in his Gramophone) which would have required, probably, years to develop before becoming practical (as was Berliner's experience).
Both Cros and Edison were indebted to an earlier invention, the Phonautograph, invented by Leon Scott which could record but not reproduce sounds. Although Cros and Edison had almost simultaneous inspiration, to give him credit equal to Edison's would be in the same category as giving Elisha Gray equal credit with Alexander Graham Bell for inventing the telephone, despite the fact that he delivered his patent application only hours after Bell. Does anyone remember, or care to remember, who was the second flyer to cross the Atlantic after Lindberg?
And Ted Rice: Wasn't it Douglas "Wrong-way" Corrigan ?
Page Created 16 August, 2011