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1740-1744: Business and industry; science; education; philosophy and religion.

The first American scientific association, the American Philosophical Society, was founded in Philadelphia in 1743 as an outgrowth of the Junto, a club Benjamin Franklin and a group of friends had begun in 1727. The society was formed "for the promotion of useful knowledge among the British planters in America." Its first president was a lawyer named Thomas Hopkinson, and Franklin was the first secretary. In 1769 it merged with the American Society for Promoting Useful Knowledge, and Franklin was elected the first president of the combined organization. He held the post until his death in 1790. He was succeeded by David Rittenhouse, an astronomer and instrument maker, who was succeeded by Thomas Jefferson. In 1769 the society began publication of its Transactions. The original inspiration for the society was the Royal Society of England. The society continues to exist with a membership of distinguished persons in intellectual and scientific fields. It has a large library especially rich in materials dealing with the American Revolution and the history of science in America.


Jonathan Edwards began to write his "Personal Narrative" about this time. An account of Edwards's personal conversion, it was first published in The Life and Character of the Late Reverend, Learned and Pious Mr. Jonathan Edwards by Samuel Hopkins, which was printed in Boston in 1765.


The first brewery in Georgia was erected by Gov. James Edward Oglethorpe, supplying ample quantities of beer for his colonial troops.

The growth of the fishing industry in New England was reflected in the existence of some 1000 fishing ships.


The Great Awakening, a religious revival movement in New England, reached an oratorical peak with the famous sermon delivered by Jonathan Edwards at Endfield, Mass. Entitled "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God," Edwards's sermon proclaimed man's "abominable" sinfulness in the eyes of God.


The first true porcelain manufactured in the colonies was produced by Andrew Duche, a craftsman of Huguenot descent who had founded a pottery in Savannah, Ga., in 1730. Lack of financial backing hampered pottery manufacture, but Duche prospered by exporting his clay to England. In 1764 the Bristol Journal acknowledged that the first porcelain made in an English-speaking country came from North America.


The Moravian Seminary for Women was founded at Bethlehem, Pa. Men were first admitted in 1746, and in 1807 a full college curriculum was adopted. The institution is now known as Moravian College.


The so-called Franklin stove, a variation on an open firebox of German design, was invented by Benjamin Franklin.


The first brewery in Baltimore was established on the southwest corner of Baltimore and Hanover streets by Leonard and Daniel Barnetz of York, Pa.

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Author:Carruth, Gorton
Publication:Encyclopedia of American Facts & Dates, 9th ed.
Article Type:Reference Source
Date:Jan 1, 1993
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