- Henry Mill patented the first writing device in London, England. The device was similar to a typewriter.
- Johann Heinrich Schulze creates a mixture of chalk, silver nitrate and nitric acid to produce a substance that turns dark when exposed to sunlight. The first step toward photography.
- English scientist Stephen Gray made the distinction between insulators and conductors.
- Claude Chappe invents the semaphore line, a method of communicating over long distances that operated in France from 1793 to 1846.