Captain Lindsey's Shanty World

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Nautical Timelines


back to top Military
1588       The Spanish Armada or "Great/Grand Armada" (Old Spanish: Grande y Felicísima Armada, "large and most fortunate fleet"; called by the English, with ironic intention, la Armada Invencible, "the Invincible Fleet") was the largest fleet up until its time, sent by the Catholic King Philip II of Spain in 1588 in a failed attempt to bring an end to his war with England by forcing the English government to a peace advantageous to Spain.
1755   1763   French and Indian War
1778       France at war with England
1805       The Battle of Trafalgar
1812   1815   War of 1812  armed conflict between the United States and Great Britain. 
1846   1848   Mexican-Americam War
1861   1865   American Civil War 
1898       Spanish American War
back to top Discovery
1513       Vasco Nuñez de Balboa crosses the isthmus at Panama and sees the Pacific Ocean
1513       Juan Ponce de Leon discovers Florida
1514       Portuguese arrive in China
1519 - 1522   Magellan's circumnavigation
1519       Cortez starts the conquest of Mexico
1523       Giovanni Verrazano sails along the coast of North America to Newfoundland
1533       Pizarro starts the conquest of Peru
1534       Jacques Cartier sails up the St. Lawrence river
1539       de Soto explores the Southeast of North America 
1540       Coronado explores the Southwest of North America
1542       Cabrillo sails up the West Coast
1577 - 1580   Sir Francis Drake's circumnavigation in his 'famous voyage' 
1609       Henry Hudson sails up the Hudson River
1609       Samuel Champlain explores Lake Champlain
1682       La Salle sails down the Mississippi River
1763 - 1767   Cook sailed the coast of Newfoundland, charting its bays and inlets 
1768       James Cook begins the first of his Pacific explorations.
1770       Cook documents location of Australia.
1776       Captain James Cook sailed from Plymouth in the HMS “Discovery” and HMS “Resolution” to search for a northeast or northwest passage.
1778       Cook explores Hawaiian Islands. He fails to locate Northwest Passage from Alaskan side.
1779       Cook killed in Hawaii.
1831 - 1836   Darwin's voyages on the Beagle
1848       The finding of gold in Sacramento, California.
1912       Scott Died trying to reach the South Pole
1914       The Endurance crushed by ice, causing her to sink in the Weddell Sea off Antarctica.
back to top Misc. Historic Events
1619       First African slaves in Virginia
1620       The voyage from Plymouth, England to Plymouth Harbour is about 2,750 miles, and took the Mayflower 66 days.
1692       Salem Witchcraft Trials
1789       Mutiny on the Bounty
1790's       First canals: Schuylkill & Susquehanna (Pennsylvania), Potomac (then Virginia) (1790s)
1817 - 1825   Erie canal is built
1820 -


  Growth of the cotton trade around the confluence of the Mississippi, the Ohio and Missouri rivers and Mobile Bay
1837       Queen Victoria took the throne
1845 - 1849   Irish Potato Famine
1848       December, gold found on Sutter's Mill, Colona, California 
1857       The Panic of 1857 was a notable sudden collapse in the economy of the United States 
1867       The opening of the Suez Canal saw the 'damnable tin-kettles' (steamships) taking over the China tea and the Australian wool trades. So sadly the great sailing ship era died.
1914       Panama Canal Openned
back to top Inventions
1652       The hose 
1800       The battery
1804       Gas lighting
1810       The tin can
1814       The first steam locomotive
1815       The miner's lamp
1823       The Mackintosh raincoat
1831       The first commercially successful reaper.
1835       The wrench
1836       The propellor
1836       The revolver
1837       The telegraph
1837       The postage stamp
1838       Morse Code
1839       Rubber vulcanization
1845       Sewing machine
1849       The safety pin
1852       Gyroscope
1856       Pasteurization
1857       The Pullman Sleeping Car for train travel
1858       An internal combustion engine
1862       The machine gun
1866       Dynamite
1872       The first mail-order catalog
1876       The telephone
1876       The carpet sweeper.
1877       The first moving pictures
1880       A form of perforated toilet paper
1884       The steam turbine
1886       The four-wheeled motor vehicle
1886       Coca Cola
1891       The escalator
1892       The diesel-fueled internal combustion engine
1893       The zipper
1898       The roller coaster
1900       The zeppelin 
1902       Neon light
1902       The Teddy Bear
1903       The first gas motored and manned airplane
1905       The Theory of Relativity (E = mc2)
1906       Cornflakes
1907       Piloted helicopter.
1908       The gyrocompass
1908       Model T first sold.
1910       The first talking motion picture
1912       The tank
1912       Life Savers candy
1913       The bra
1914       The Morgan gas mask.
1916       Radios tuners that received different stations
1916       Stainless steel
1918       Fortune cookies
1919       The arc welder
1920       The tommy gun
1920       The Band-Aid (pronounced 'ban-'dade)
1923       The television or iconoscope (cathode-ray tube)
1923       Frozen food.
back to top Navigation
300   399   The earliest record of use of magnetic lodestone as a direction point was in a 4th century Chinese book
1086       Dream Pool Essay written by Song Dynasty scholar Shen Kua in AD 1086 contained a detailed description of how geomancer magnetized a needle by rubbing its tip with lodestone, and hung the magnetic needle with one single strain of silk with a bit of wax attached to the center of the needle.
1100   1199   Knowledge of the compass moved overland through the Arab countries and then to Europe sometime later in the 12th century.
1302       An Italian marine pilot, is sometimes credited with perfecting the sailor's compass by suspending its needle over a fleur-de-lis design, which pointed north. He also enclosed the needle in a little box with a glass cover.
1714       IThe Longitude Act was passed in response to the Merchants and Seamen petition presented to Westminster Palace.  A prize of £20,000 was offered for a method of determining longitude to an accuracy of half a degree of a great circle ( sixty nautical miles).
1761       Harrisons Chronometer H4 1st trial
1908       The gyrocompass is invented by Sperry
back to top Railroad
1862       President Abraham Lincoln signs the Pacific Railway Act, which authorizes the construction of the first transcontinental railroad. 
1869       The Central Pacific and Union Pacific meet at Promontory Summit, Utah for the driving of the golden spike on May 10th.
1883       The Northern Pacific is completed at Gold Creek, Montana.
1883       The Southern Pacific is completed.
1885       The Santa Fe is completed.
1893       The Great Northern is completed in the Cascade Mountains of Washington.
back to top Piracy
1690   1730   Golden Age of Piracy
All those in pirate costume singing shanties take note:that shanties were sung primarily in the mid-1800's. 
back to top Whaling
1750       Tryworks first used on board the whaleship.
1789       First American whaleship to enter the Pacific Ocean, Ship Beaver of Nantucket 
1820       Whaleship Essex struck by a whale
1835       Peak of Nantucket whaling, with 70+ vessels. 
1846       Peak of the American whaling fleet, with 736 ships registered
1851       Moby Dick
1857       Peak of New Bedford whaling, with a fleet of 329 vessels.
1857       New Bedford is the largest whaling port with 329 whalers.
1859       Oil discovered in Pennsylvania; beginning of the decline of whaling.
1864       Sven Foyn of Norway invented cannon to fire explosive harpoon; beginning of modern whaling.
1869       Last whaling voyage from Nantucket.
1925       Last sailing whaleship voyage, Schooner John R. Manta; first modern factory ships used. 
back to top US Presidents
1789 - 1797   1. George Washington
1797 - 1801   2. John Adams
1801 - 1809   3. Thomas Jefferson
1809 - 1817   4. James Madison
1817 - 1825   5. James Monroe
1825 - 1829   6. John Quincy Adams
1829 - 1837   7. Andrew Jackson
1837 - 1841   8. Martin Van Buren
1841 - 1841   9. William Henry Harrison
1841 - 1845   10. John Tyler
1845 - 1849   11. James Knox Polk
1849 - 1850   12. Zachary Taylor
1850 - 1853   13. Millard Fillmore
1853 - 1857   14. Franklin Pierce,
1857 - 1861   15. James Buchanan
1861 - 1865   16. Abraham Lincoln
1865 - 1869   17. Andrew Johnson,
1869 - 1877   18. Ulysses Simpson Grant
1881 - 1881   20. James Abram Garfield
1881 - 1885   21. Chester Alan Arthur
1885 - 1889   22. Grover Cleveland
1889 - 1893   23. Benjamin Harrison
1893 - 1897   24. Grover Cleveland,
1897 - 1901   25. William McKinley,
1901 - 1909   26. Theodore Roosevelt
1913 - 1921   28. Woodrow Wilson
1921 - 1923   29. Warren Gamaliel Harding,
1923 - 1929   30. Calvin Coolidge,
1929 - 1933   31. Herbert Clark Hoover,
back to top People
1460 - 1521   Juan Ponce de Leon was a Spanish explorer and soldier who was the first European to set foot in Florida. He also established the oldest European settlement in Puerto Rico and discovered the Gulf Stream. 
1475 - 1519   Vasco Nuñez de Balboa was a Spanish explorer, governor, and conquistador and is known as the first European to see the Pacific Ocean
1478 - 1541   Francisco Pizarro was a Spanish conquistador who traveled through much of the Pacific coast of America along Peru. He conquered the Incan empire, stealing immense loads of gold, silver, and other treasures. 
1480 - 1521   Ferdinand Magellan was a Portuguese explorer. He was the first to circumnavigate of the globe. He wanted to reach the spice islands or Southeast Asia by sailing west across the Atlantic Ocean.  He hoped to find a passage through South America so that he could sail all the way from the Atlantic to the Pacific. His voyage was financed by Spain.
1485 - 1528   Giovanni da Verrazzano  was born in  Italy in the Lesser Antilles. He was a Florentine explorer sailing under the French flag. He was the first European to sight New York and Narragansett bays.
1485 - 1547   Hernando Cortez  was a Spanish explorer.  After having organized an expedition in Cuba he conquered what is now central and southern Mexico.
He led the conquest of the Aztec empire. 
1491 - 1557   Jacques Cartier was an explorer of the St. Lawrence River.  His origional intent was to search for the Northwest Passage to the Orient.Cartier's exploration was the base for France's claim to Canada.
1500? - 1542   Hernando de Soto was a Spanish explorer  was the first European to explore Florida and the southeastern US. 
1500? - 1543   Juan Rodriuez Cabrillo was a soldier and explorer in the service of Spain, although thought to be Portugese.  He is  known as the discoverer of California.  He first spotted Point Loma from the south. He was the first explorer, sailing under the flag of Spain, to reach this far north along the coast.
1510 - 1544   Francisco Vásquez de Coronado was a Spanish explorer and conquistador. He was the first European to explore North America's Southwest
1524 - 1596   Sir Francis Drake was an English navigator, privateer, and one of the greatest sea-captains of all time. His 'famous voyage' of successful circumnavigation between 1577 and 1580 was one of many voyages.  April 4th, 1581 Queen Elizabeth boarded the elaborately decorated “Golden Hind” and knighted Drake. Sir Francis Drake,  A hero in the fight against the Spanish Armada  and his attack on Cadiz. His attack on Spanish ships in The Spanish Main the name El Draque, "The Dragon". 
1554 - 1616   Sir Walter Raleigh was an English adventurer, army commander, explorer, colonizer, and writer. He established one of the first colonies in North America, on Roanoke Island.  From 1578 to 1580, Raleigh went to sea to raid Spanish shipping in America.  Queen Elizabeth  I made him a knight.
1567? - 1635   Samuel de Champlain was a French explorer and navigator who mapped much of northeastern North America. He started a settlement in Quebec. Champlain also discovered the lake named for him Lake Champlain in 1609.  He was instrumental in establishing and administering the French colonies in the New World. 
1609 - 1611   Henry Hudson was an Englishman in Dutch service.
Hudson's first search for the Northwest Passage in 1609 yielded the discovery of the mouth of the Hudson River.
1643 - 1687   René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle was a French explorer sent by King Louis XIV to sail down the Mississippi River from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico and establish fur trade routes. He was the first European to travel the length of the river.
1728 - 1779   Captain James Cook was possibly the most renowned mariner in history, Cook was a British navigator and one of the world's greatest explorers. He commanded three voyages to the Pacific Ocean and sailed around the world twice. His voyages led to the detailed mapping of the Pacific Ocean.
1809 - 1882 Charles Darwin British Naturalist 
1819 - 1901   Queen Victoria  is associated with Britain's great age of the British Empire, industrial expansion and economic progress. She took the throne in 1837. 
1868   1912   Robert Falcon Scott was a British naval officer and Antarctic explorer. Scott led two expeditions to the South Pole, His expedition was the second to reach the South Pole and died on the second trip, along with his crew.
1874 - 1922   Sir Ernest Shackleton was an Irish born adventurer and explorer. He is probably best known for leading a thousand mile open boat journey across the Southern Ocean after losing his ship, the Endurance to the crushing ice floes of the Weddell Sea.