This Week in History – August 29th to September 4th

This Week in History UPPER

The Pandora Society Bureau of Time Travel has collected a handful of historical events from each day of this week in the hopes of inspiring some writer to pen the next great Steampunk novel.

August 29th


  • 1831Michael Faraday discovers electromagnetic induction.
  • 1842Treaty of Nanking signing ends the First Opium War.
  • 1869 – The Mount Washington Cog Railway opens, making it the world’s first mountain-climbing rack railway.

August 30th

  • 1873 – Austrian explorers Julius von Payer and Karl Weyprecht discover the archipelago of Franz Josef Land in the Arctic Sea.
  • 1897 – The town of Ambiky is captured by France from Menabe in Madagascar.
  • 1909Burgess Shale fossils are discovered by Charles Doolittle Walcott.

August 31st


  • 1803Lewis and Clark start their expedition to the west by leaving Pittsburgh at 11 in the morning.
  • 1864 – During the American Civil War, Union forces led by General William T. Sherman launch an assault on Atlanta.
  • 1876Ottoman Sultan Murad V is deposed and succeeded by his brother Abdul Hamid II.

September 1st

  • 1836Narcissa Whitman, one of the first English-speaking white women to settle west of the Rocky Mountains, arrives at Walla Walla, Washington.
  • 1873Cetshwayo ascends to the throne as king of the Zulu nation following the death of his father Mpande.
  • 1878Emma Nutt becomes the world’s first female telephone operator when she is recruited by Alexander Graham Bell to the Boston Telephone Dispatch Company.

September 2nd


  • 1859 – A solar super storm affects electrical telegraph service.
  • 1867 – Mutsuhito, Emperor Meiji of Japan, marries Masako Ichijō. The Empress consort is thereafter known as Lady Haruko. Since her death in 1914, she is called by the posthumous name Empress Shōken.
  • 1885 – Rock Springs massacre: In Rock Springs, Wyoming, 150 white miners, who are struggling to unionize so they could strike for better wages and work conditions, attack their Chinese fellow workers killing 28, wounding 15 and forcing several hundred more out of town.

September 3rd

  • 1838 – Future abolitionist Frederick Douglass escapes from slavery.
  • 1875 – The first official game of polo is played in Argentina after being introduced by British ranchers.
  • 1878 – Over 640 die when the crowded pleasure boat Princess Alice collides with the Bywell Castle in the River Thames.

September 4th


  • 1882Thomas Edison flips the switch to the first commercial electrical power plant in history, lighting one square mile of lower Manhattan. This is considered by many as the day that began the electrical age.
  • 1888George Eastman registers the trademark Kodak and receives a patent for his camera that uses roll film.
  • 1923 – Maiden flight of the first U.S. airship, the USS Shenandoah.


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