The year 1787 in science and technology involved some significant events.


January 11 - William Herschel discovers Titania and Oberon, the first moons of Uranus found.
Caroline Herschel is granted an annual salary of £50 by King George III of Great Britain for acting as assistant to her brother William in astronomy.[1]


William Curtis begins publication of The Botanical Magazine; or Flower-Garden Displayed in London. As Curtis's Botanical Magazine, it will still be published into the 21st century.
Spanish physician Francisco Xavier Cid publishes Tarantismo Observado en España, a study of tarantulas and the tarantella as a cure for their bite.
King George III of Great Britain, writing as Ralph Robinson of Windsor, contributes to Arthur Young's Annals of Agriculture.


The element silicon is first identified by Antoine Lavoisier.
Guyton de Morveau, Jean-Henri Hassenfratz, Antoine François, Antoine Lavoisier, Pierre Adet and Claude Berthollet publish Méthode de nomenclature chimique in Paris the first modern system of chemical nomenclature.


Ernst Chladni publishes Entdeckungen über die Theorie des Klanges, demonstrating modes of vibration.


Principal Triangulation of Great Britain completed under the direction of General William Roy.


June - William Symington patents improvements to the Watt steam engine.[2]
c. July - John Wilkinson launches an iron barge in the English Midlands.[3]
August 27 - Launching a 45-foot (14 m) steam-powered craft on the Delaware River, John Fitch demonstrates the first United States patent for his design.
December 3 - James Rumsey demonstrates a water-jet propelled boat on the Potomac.
First production of all-iron edge rail (for underground colliery rail transport), at Plymouth Ironworks, Merthyr Tydfil, South Wales.[4]
First introduction of a plateway, underground at Sheffield Park Colliery, Yorkshire, England, by John Curr.[5]


Copley Medal: John Hunter


30 January 1787 Birth of Giovanni-Sante-Gaspero Santini in Caprese Michelangelo, Tuscany, Italy

March 6 - Joseph von Fraunhofer (d. 1826), Bavarian physicist.
March 8 - Karl Ferdinand von Graefe (d. 1840), Polish-born German surgeon.
March 16 - Georg Ohm (d. 1854), German physicist.
June 7 - William Conybeare (d. 1857), English geologist.
June 27 - Thomas Say (d. 1834), American naturalist.
August 24 - James Weddell (d. 1834), Flemish-born Anglo-Scots seal hunter and Antarctic explorer.
Josephine Kablick (d. 1863), Czech botanist and paleontologist.
Pierre Charles Alexandre Louis (d. 1872), French physician.

1787 Birth of Johannes Purkinje


February 13 - Ruđer Bošković, Ragusan physicist, mathematician and astronomer (b. 1711)
May 10 - William Watson, English physician, botanist and physicist (b. 1715)


^ Ogilvie, Marilyn Bailey (1986). Women in Science: Antiquity through the Nineteenth Century. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press. pp. 97–98. ISBN 0-262-65038-X.
^ Harvey, W. S.; Downs-Rose, G. (1980). "The Improved Atmospheric Engine". William Symington, inventor and engine builder. London: Northgate Publishing. pp. 19–32. ISBN 0-85298-443-X.
^ "John Wilkinson (1728 - 1808)". History - Historic Figures. BBC. Retrieved 2011-06-29.
^ van Laun, John (2001). Early Limestone Railways. London: Newcomen Society. pp. 203–4. ISBN 0-904685-09-8.
^ Occasional Paper (Railway and Canal Historical Society, Early Railway Group) 184,192.

Antoine Lavoisier publishes Méthode de nomenclature chimique, the first modern system of chemical nomenclature.

Jacques Charles proposes Charles's Law, a corollary of Boyle's Law, describes relationship between temperature and volume of a gas

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