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A History of the Nineteenth Century, Year by Year

Sidenote Sir Thomas Lawrence Sir Thomas Lawrence


style="text-align: justify;"> 1830

[Sidenote: First sewing machine]

Early in the year, Bartholemy Thimonnier, a French tailor, took out a patent for his invention of a sewing machine. It was an invention destined to revolutionize the manufacture of clothing and the matter of dress in all civilized countries. Thimonnier's device was a chain stitch sewing machine worked with a treadle. It had taken the inventor, ignorant as he was of mechanics, four years of painful application to perfect it. The first to recognize the real value of the invention was M. Beunier, supervisor of mines at Paris. He took Thimonnier to Paris and installed him as a partner and manager of a large clothing firm that manufactured army uniforms. They set up eighty machines and did so well with them that the workmen of Paris, profiting by the revolutionary disturbances of the times, wreaked their vengeance on the new labor-saving device by wrecking the establishment. The inventor was compelled to flee for life. During the same year, another Frenchman, Charles Barbier, invented the system of raised printing for the blind.

[Sidenote: Sir Thomas Lawrence]

Sir Thomas Lawrence, the celebrated English portrait painter, died at the outset of the year. In his early youth at Bristol and Oxford, this artist showed marked talent for portraiture, and became a pupil of Sir Joshua Reynolds

at the Royal Academy. His delicate pastel portraits obtained great vogue in the most aristocratic circles of London. On the death of his master, Lawrence was appointed painter to the King. He became the fashionable portrait painter of the age. As such, Lawrence was summoned to Aix-la-Chapelle during the International Congress of 1818 to paint the various dignitaries of the Holy Alliance. While at Vienna he painted the famous pastel of Napoleon's son, the little King of Rome--by all odds the most charming of all the many likenesses of that unfortunate eaglet. Lawrence returned to England a few days after the death of Benjamin West, and was immediately elected to succeed him as President of the Royal Academy. He held this office for ten years, until his death. Among the most noted works of Lawrence, executed during this time, were the portraits of Master Lambton and of the Duke of Wellington. Lawrence's ambitious essays beyond the limits of portrait painting, such as his once celebrated "Satan," obtained no lasting success. After the artist's death a number of his best known canvases were collected for permanent exhibition in the Waterloo Gallery of Windsor.

[Sidenote: Lister's microscope]

In this year Joseph Jackson Lister, an English amateur optician, contributed to the Royal Society the famous paper detailing his recent experiments with the compound microscope. Aided by Tully, a celebrated optician, Lister succeeded in making of the microscope a practical scientific implement rather than a toy. With the help of his own instrument Lister was able to settle the long mooted question as to the true form of the red corpuscles of the human blood.


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