The year 1799 in science and technology involved many significant events, listed below.


July 15 - In the Egyptian port city of Rosetta (Rashid), French Captain Pierre Bouchard finds the Rosetta Stone, which will become the key to deciphering ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic writing.
July 25 - At Aboukir in Egypt, Napoleon Bonaparte gains French control of Egyptian artifacts by defeating 10,000 Ottoman Mamluk troops under Mustafa Pasha.


Pierre-Simon Laplace begins publication of Méchanique céleste.


Thomas Beddoes makes the first recorded use of the word Biology in its modern sense.[1][2]
George Shaw of the British Museum publishes the first scientific description of the platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus Shaw) in his magazine The Naturalists' Miscellany.[3]


Alexander von Humboldt and Aimé Bonpland begin a five-year exploration of the natural history of South America.


by summer - William Smith produces the first large-scale geological map, of the area round Bath, Somerset, England.[4]
December 11 - Smith draws up a table of strata round Bath.[4]

History of science

Benjamin Hutchinson publishes Biographia Medica in London, the first English language historical dictionary of international medical biography.


William Wallace becomes the first to publish the concept of the Simson line.[5]


Caleb Parry publishes An Inquiry Into the Symptoms and Causes of the Syncope Anginosa Commonly Called Angina Pectoris, illustrated by Dissections, describing the mechanisms for Angina.[6]
Maria Dalle Donne becomes the first female Doctor of Medicine, at the University of Bologna.[7]
Matthew Baillie begins publication in London of A Series of Engravings, Accompanied with Explanations, which are Intended to Illustrate the Morbid Anatomy of Some of the Most Important Parts of the Human Body, the first comprehensive atlas of pathology as a separate subject.


An all-platinum kilogramme prototype is fabricated with the objective of equalling as closely as feasible the mass of one cubic decimetre of water at 4 °C. The prototype is presented to the Archives of the French Republic in June and on December 10 is formally ratified as the Kilogramme des Archives and the kilogramme defined as being equal to its mass. This standard holds for the next ninety years.


Twelve-year-old Conrad John Reed finds what he described as a "heavy yellow rock" along Little Meadow Creek in Cabarrus County, North Carolina, and makes it a doorstop in his home. Conrad's father, John Reed, learns that the rock is actually gold in 1802, initiating the first gold rush in the United States.


Vice President of the United States Thomas Jefferson, writing in Transactions of the American Philosophical Society 4, describes the bones of Megalonyx jeffersonii, an extinct ground sloth.


Annalen der Physik first published.


Eli Whitney, holding a January 1798 United States government contract for the manufacture of muskets, is introduced by Oliver Wolcott, Jr. to the French concept of interchangeable parts, an origin of the American system of manufacturing.[8]


Copley Medal: John Hellins


January - James Meadows Rendel, English civil engineer (d. 1856)

19 March 1799 Birth of William Rutter Dawes in London, England
May 21 - Mary Anning, English paleontologist (d. 1847)
June 18 - Prosper Ménière, French physician (d. 1862)

12 August 1799, Birth of Francis Abbott in Derby, Derbyshire, England
September 8 - James Bowman Lindsay, Scottish inventor (d. 1862)
December 20 - Nicholas Callan, Irish physicist (d. 1864)
December 30 - David Douglas, Scottish botanist (d. 1834)
December (prob.) - Maria Ann Sherwood, English-born horticulturalist (d. 1870)


January 17 - Maria Gaetana Agnesi, Italian mathematician (b. 1718)
February 12 - Lazzaro Spallanzani, Italian physiologist (b. 1729)
February 19 - Jean-Charles de Borda, French mathematician and physicist (b. 1733)

24 February 1799 Death of Georg Christoph Lichtenberg in Göttingen, German
August 2 - Jacques Étienne Montgolfier, French inventor (b. 1745)
August 25 - John Arnold, English watchmaker (b. 1736)
October 6 - William Withering, English physician, discoverer of digitalis (b. 1741)
December 6 - Joseph Black, Scottish chemist and physicist (b. 1728)
December 31 - Louis-Jean-Marie Daubenton, French naturalist (b. 1716)

1799 Death of Jan Ingen-Housz


^ Contributions to Physical and Medical Knowledge, principally from the West of England p. 4.
^ "biology, n.". Oxford English Dictionary online version. Oxford University Press. September 2011. Retrieved 2011-11-01. subscription or UK public library membership required
^ "Historical Background and Naming". Australian Platypus Conservancy. Retrieved 2011-04-16.
^ a b Winchester, Simon (2001). The Map That Changed the World: William Smith and the Birth of Modern Geology. New York: HarperCollins. ISBN 0-14-028039-1.
^ Bogomolny, Alexander. "Simson Line: What is it?". Cut The Knot: Interactive Mathematics Miscellany and Puzzles. Retrieved 2012-01-23.
^ "Parry, Caleb Hillier". Whonamedit?. Retrieved 2011-02-27.
^ "The 18th Century Women Scientists of Bologna". ScienceWeek. 2004. Retrieved 2011-04-26.
^ Woodbury, Robert S. (1960). "The Legend of Eli Whitney and Interchangeable Parts". Technology and Culture 1.

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1798 - 1799 - 1800

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