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1880 1881 1882 1883 1884
| Decades: |
1860s 1870s - 1880s - 1890s 1900s
| 19th century|
The 1880s was the decade that spanned between the years 1880 and 1889. They occurred at the core period of the Second Industrial Revolution. Most Western countries experienced a large economic boom, due to the mass production of railroads and other more convenient methods of travel. The modern city as well as the sky-scraper rose to prominence in this decade as well, contributing to the economic prosperity of the time. The Eighties were also part of the Gilded Age, which lasted from 1874 to 1907.
Events and trends
- Development and commercial production of electric lighting was underway.
- Development and commercial production of gasoline-powered automobiles were undertaken by Karl Benz, Gottlieb Daimler and Maybach
- The first commercial production and sales of phonographs and phonograph recordings occurred.
- Steel frame construction of "sky-scrapers" happened for the first time.
- February 16, 1880: The American Society of Mechanical Engineers was founded in New York City.
- Construction began on the Panama Canal by the French. This was the first attempt to build the Canal; it would end in failure.
- Lewis Ticehurst invented the drinking straw.
- 1884: Smokeless powder was brought from France.
- 1885: Thomas Edison invents the first ever movie in Menlo Park, New Jersey.
- 1886: Earliest commercial automobile is invented.
- 1887: As the Prohibition movement gained nationwide prevalence, a "liquor-free" drink was brewed, known now as Coca-Cola.
- 1888: Infastructure reform movements begin when many cities are devastated by the Great Blizzard of '88.
- Heinrich Hertz discovered the photoelectric effect
- The Michelson-Morley experiment was undertaken, which suggested that the speed of light is invariant.
- The James-Lange theory of emotion was produced.
War, peace and politics
- 1884: International Meridian Conference in Washington D.C., held to determine the Prime Meridian of the world.
- 1884–1885: Berlin Conference, when the western powers divided Africa.
Literature and arts
- Friedrich Nietzsche published Thus Spoke Zarathustra.
- Mark Twain published Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
- Fyodor Dostoevsky wrote The Brothers Karamazov.
- Edward Bellamy published Looking Backward.
- Robert Louis Stevenson published Treasure Island and The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
- First edition of Oxford English Dictionary was published.
- Arthur Conan Doyle published his first Sherlock Holmes tale.
- African-American music and ragtime rise to popularity in the later part of the decade.
- Krakatoa, a volcano in Indonesia, erupted cataclysmically; 36,000 people were killed, the majority being slain by the resulting tsunami.
- About 300,000 Swedes emigrated to the United States
- Chinese, Scandinavian and Irish immigrants laid of railroad tracks in the USA.
- The last known surviving person born in the 1880s, María Capovilla, would die on August 27, 2006.
- Ned Kelly was hanged in the Melbourne Gaol.
- Emperor Franz Josef (Austria-Hungary)
- Prime Min Sir John A. Macdonald (Canada)
- Guangxu Emperor (China)
- Emperor Wilhelm I (German Empire)
- Emperor Wilhelm II (German Empire)
- Chancellor Otto von Bismarck (German Empire)
- King Umberto I (Italy)
- Pope Leo XIII
- Emperor Meiji (Japan)
- General Porfirio Díaz (Mexico)
- Czar Alexander II (Russia)
- King Alfonso XII (Spain)
- Queen–Empress Victoria (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland)
- Prime Min William Ewart Gladstone (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland)
- Prime Min Robert Arthur Talbot Gascoyne-Cecil, 3rd Marquess of Salisbury (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland)
- President James Garfield (United States)
- President Rutherford B. Hayes (United States)
- President Chester A. Arthur (United States)
- President Grover Cleveland (United States)
- Nasser-al-Din Shah of Qajar dynasty (Persia)
- Emperor Pedro II (Brazil)