A TIMELINE OF EVERYDAY LIFE 1450-2014
By Tim Lambert
1476 The printing press is introduced into England by Caxton
1477 Caxton prints the Canterbury Tales
1485 In England the Tudor dynasty begins. London probably has a population of 60-70,000.
1509 Wallpaper is printed in England for the first time/P>
1512 Henry VIII founds the Royal Mail for carrying royal messages
c 1525 Turkeys are introduced into England
1530 The population of England and Wales is about 3 million
1534 Henry VIII becomes supreme head of the Church of England
1565 The pencil is first mentioned
1576 The first theater in England opens
1577 William Harrison comments that for many people life is becoming more comfortable. Chimneys are becoming more common, so are soft mattresses and pewter.
1580s Potatoes are introduced into England
1596 A form of flushing lavatory is invented but the idea fails to catch on
1600 The population of England and Wales is about 4 million. The population of Scotland is about 800,000.
1608 The telescope is invented
1611 The King James Bible is published
1633 Bananas are first recorded in England
1635 Charles I opens the Royal Mail to the public
1641 The first English newspaper is published
1660 The famous diarist Samuel Pepys records drinking a new drink called tea
1665 Plague strikes London
1657 The pendulum clock is invented
1689 Dissenters (Protestants who do not belong to the Church of England) are allowed freedom of worship
1694 The Bank of England is founded
1702 The first daily newspaper in England is printed. The population of England and Wales is about 5 1/2 million. The population of Scotland is about 1 million.
1750 The first cricket club is formed at Hambledon
1759 Guinness is first brewed
1767 The first jigsaw puzzle is made. The first modern shower is invented.
1772 Fizzy drinks are invented. Joseph Priestley discovers a way to trap carbon dioxide in water and created carbonated water.
1775 Alexander Cumming invents a flushing toilet
1779 Samuel Crompton invents the spinning mule
1780 The Industrial Revolution begins to transform Britain
1782 A hand operated washing machine is invented
1784 Henry Cort invents the puddling process (used in making iron)
1785 The Times is first printed. Edmund Cartwright invents a loom that can be powered by a steam engine.
1792 Gas light is invented
1801 The population of Britain is about 9 million
1817 The kaleidoscope is invented
1825 The first passenger railway opens between Stockton and Darlington
1826 James Sharp invents the gas stove
1832 Cholera breaks out in many towns and cities in Britain
1833 A law bans children under 9 from working in textile factories
1835 Worcester sauce is invented
1837 The electric telegraph is invented
1840 The Penny Post is introduced. The electric clock is invented.
1842 A law bans children under 10 and all females from working underground in coal mines
1843 The first Christmas card is made
1844 A law bans children under 8 from working
1847 A law bans women and children from working more than 10 hours a day in textile factories. Chloroform is used as an anaesthetic by James Simpson. The Christmas cracker is invented.
1848 Cholera breaks out in many towns and cities
1849 The safety pin is invented by Walter Hunt
1850 The clothes wringer (also called a mangle) is invented by Robert Tasker
1851 In Britain for the first time more than half the population live in towns. The wringer (mangle) is invented by Robert Tasker.
1852 In Britain the first modern public lavatory opens in London. Francis Wolle invents a machine for making paper bags.
1853 Potato crisps are invented
1855 In Britain The Daily Telegraph is first printed.
1857 Toilet paper is invented by Joseph Gayetty
1860 Linoleum is invented by Fredrick Walton
1861 Garibaldi biscuits are invented
1863 The London Football Association devises rules for football
1864 A man named John W. Reed invents the modern rolling pin with handles
1865 Antiseptic surgery is introduced by Joseph Lister. The Salvation Army is founded. The picture postcard is invented.
1869 Kendal Mint cake is invented
1870 In Britain the state decides to provide schools for all children
1871 Bank Holidays are introduced
1874 The first successful typewriter is invented. Jeans are invented.
1875 Milk chocolate is invented. Snooker is invented. A law bans boys from climbing up chimneys to clean them. John B. Porter invents a portable ironing board.
1876 The carpet sweeper is invented by Melville Bissell. The telephone is invented by Alexander Graham Bell.
1879 The first practical electric light bulbs are invented by Thomas Edison. By now most working class homes in towns have gas light.
1880 In Britain school is made compulsory for 5 to 10 year olds
1882 The electric iron is invented by Henry Seely. The electric fan is invented by Dr Schuyler Wheeler. Electric Christmas tree lights are invented.
1885 Cream crackers are invented. The safety bicycle goes on sale. The first car is made. A man named Mason Pearson invents the rubber cushion brush.
1886 Josephine Cochran invents the first practical dishwasher
1887 Softball is invented
1888 The first modern deodorant is invented. The first cheap camera is introduced and photography becomes a popular hobby. In Britain The Financial Times is first printed.
1889 The jukebox is invented. The lift is invented.
1890 The first electric underground trains in London run. The electric car heater is invented by Thomas Ahearn.
1891 Basketball is invented
1892 Collapsible toothpaste tubes are invented. Digestive biscuits are invented by Alexander Grant. Snakes and Ladders is introduced.
1893 Wine gums are first sold. Electric ovens go on sale in Britain. The electric toaster is invented. The zip fastener is invented.
1895 Volleyball is invented. Netball is first played in England. X rays are discovered.
1896 In Britain The Daily Mail is first printed
1897 Candy floss is invented
1899 More than 25% of the population was living at or below subsistence level.
1900 Meccano is invented. The tape recorder is invented. Life expectancy at birth is 47 for a man and 50 for a woman.
1901 The vacuum cleaner is invented. Marconi sends a radio message across the Atlantic. The first safety razors go on sale. The population of Britain is about 41 million.
1903 The ice cream cone is patented. The Daily Mirror is first printed.
1905 Dairy Milk is introduced
1907 Synthetic hair dye is invented
1908 Custard creams are invented
1910 Walnut whip is introduced. Bourbon biscuits are invented. Neon lights are invented.
1913 Steel wool cleaning pads are invented. Mascara is invented. The modern bra is invented. The first domestic fridge is sold. The first crossword appears.
1914 Salad cream is invented. A typical working class family spends 60% of its income on food.
1915 Milk Tray is introduced. Lipstick is first sold in push up tubes.
1916 False eyelashes are invented
1918 In Britain the minimum age for leaving school is set at 14.
1919 Passenger flights begin between London and Paris
1920 Flake is introduced
1921 Choc-ices go on sale in the USA. Fruit and Nut is introduced.
1922 The BBC begins broadcasting radio
1923 Milky Way is introduced in the USA
1924 Tizer goes on sale. Vinyl is invented.
1926 The steam iron is introduced. Electric traffic lights are installed in London.
1927 The first film with sound, The Jazz Singer is made. Jaffa cakes go on sale.
1928 Sliced bread is sold for the first time in the USA.
1929 Crunchie is introduced
1930 Snickers and Freddo are introduced. The first Football World Cup is held.
1932 Terry's Chocolate Orange and All Gold are introduced. Mars bars are first made. Lip-gloss goes on sale. In Britain unemployment reaches 22.8%
1933 Whole nut is introduced. So are lovehearts and Black Magic.
1934 In built up areas of Britain a 30-mile an hour speed limit is introduced. Percy Shaw invents cats eyes.
1935 Monopoly is introduced. Aero and Kit Kat are introduced. Milky Way is introduced in Britain. Nylon is invented. A typical working class family spends 35% of its income on food. Bra cup sizes are introduced.
1936 Maltesers and Blue Riband are introduced. Dairy Box and Quality Street are also introduced. Spam is invented. The BBC begins broadcasting television. Belisha beacons are introduced to make crossing the road easier.
1937 Smarties and Rolo are introduced. Milky Bar is introduced.
1938 Cadburys Roses are introduced. The Beano is first published. Freeze dried coffee is invented. In Britain unemployment stands at about 10%
1939 In Britain by law all workers are allowed 1 week annual holiday
1941 Polyester is invented. Antibiotics are introduced.
1942 Soft toilet paper is introduced
1946 The bikini is invented
1947 In Britain the minimum age for leaving school is raised to 15. Transistors are invented.
1948 Polo mints are introduced. Hairspray is invented.
1949 Cludeo is introduced. Jet passenger aircraft are introduced.
1950 Harry Wasylyk invents the bin liner or garbage bag
1951 Bounty is introduced. Dennis the Menace first appears. Zebra crossings are introduced. Correction fluid is invented.
1955 Fish fingers go on sale
1956 The film Rock Around the Clock is shown in Britain
1957 Munchies are introduced
1958 Picnic is introduced. Washing up liquid is also introduced.
1959 Caramac is introduced. In Britain 32% of households own a car. Barbie doll is invented.
1960 Starburst is introduced. The first ready salted crisps are sold. Lasers are invented. Galaxy goes on sale. In Britain 44% of households own a washing machine.
1962 After Eight Mints are introduced. Topic is introduced.
1963 Toffee Crisp is introduced
1964 BBC 2 begins broadcasting
1965 Chewits are introduced. The mini skirt is invented.
1967 Twix is introduced. The first ATM in Britain is installed. The quartz crystal watch is introduced. BBC 2 is the first British TV station to be broadcast in color.
1969 Capital punishment for murder is abolished in Britain. The pelican crossing is introduced. Lollipop men and women are introduced. Monty Pythons Flying Circus is first broadcast.
1971 Curly Wurly is introduced. The first email is sent. In Britain the currency is decimalized. In Britain life expectancy is 68 for a man and 72 for a woman.
1972 The minimum age for leaving school is raised to 16
1973 In Britain unemployment is about 3%
1974 Skittles (sweets) are introduced
1975 In Britain 90% of homes have a vacuum cleaner, 85% have a fridge and 70% own washing machine. Furthermore 52% have a telephone and 47% have central heating.
1976 Yorkie, Double Decker and Lion Bar are introduced
1982 Channel 4 begins broadcasting. Trivial Pursuit is introduced.
1983 Wispa is introduced. The £1 coin is introduced. In Britain seat belts are made compulsory.
1985 The first mobile phone call in Britain is made. Pictionary is introduced.
1986 Hobnobs are introduced. The Independent is first printed. In Britain the official unemployment rate reaches 14.1%
1987 The cane is abolished in state schools
1989 Satellite television begins in Britain
1992 The first commercial text is sent. In Britain speed cameras are introduced.
1994 The Channel Tunnel opens
1996 In Britain smartphones are introduced
1998 Student grants are abolished
2009 In Britain 36% of households own a dishwasher
2012 In Britain 50% of the population owns a smartphone
Everyday Life in the 16th Century
Everyday Life in the 17th Century
Everyday Life in the 18th Century
Everyday Life in the 19th Century
Everyday Life in the 20th Century
A Timeline of England
A Timeline of Sweets