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1750-1754: Business and industry; science; education; philosophy and religion.

Medical care in the colonies was somewhat primitive and unorganized in the early eighteenth century. During this period both the quality and availability of medical treatment improved as medical education increased and general hospitals made their first appearance. In 1734 William Bull of South Carolina received a medical degree in Europe, the first of 40 or so colonial physicians to be educated abroad. Forerunners of hospitals were the pesthouses, such as those established in Boston (1717), Philadelphia (1742), Charleston, S.C. (before 1752), and New York City (1757). The first general hospital was organized in Philadelphia by Dr. Thomas Bond; it opened its doors Feb. 6, 1752, as the Pennsylvania Hospital. Admission was on a paying or charity basis for persons who were mentally or physically ill, except for incurables and those having infectious diseases.


The first essay on human dissection was written by doctors John Bard and Peter Middleton of New York City. The dissection was performed on the body of Hermannus Carrol, an executed murderer.


The Great Awakening, the New England religious revival sparked by Jonathan Edwards, came to an end when Edwards was compelled to resign from his pulpit at Northampton, Mass., by liberal members of his congregation. The liberals opposed his emphasis on the sinful nature of mankind.


The flatboat was invented by Jacob Yoder of Pennsylvania. It was a boon to colonial inland navigation.


Probably the first free manual training classes in America were established by the Rev. Thomas Bacon in Maryland. Enrollment was open to all without distinction as to sex or racial origin.


The first sugar cane grown in America was introduced into Louisiana by Catholic missionaries from San Domingo on the island of Hispaniola. It was used to make taffia, a kind of rum.

1752 Jan. 31

The first American-born nun in the Roman Catholic Church was Sister St. Martha Turpin, who celebrated the Ceremony for the Profession at the Ursuline Convent, in New Orleans, La.

1752 June

Benjamin Franklin conducted his celebrated experiment with kite and key to prove lightening a manifestation of electricity. A kite with a projecting wire was flown during a thunderstorm, and an electrical charge was conducted to the key through light twine. The experiment was conducted in a pasture near what is now the corner of Fourth and Vine streets in Philadelphia, Pa.


Benjamin Franklin received the Copley Medal of the Royal Society of London in recognition of his research in electricity. The award was voted unanimously by the Royal Society. Franklin's reputation as a scientist had grown rapidly in Europe after publication there of his works on electricity.


The practice of medicine in New York City was regulated for the first time. An ordinance required that "all the physicians and surgeons and apothecaries in the province are to be licensed...." The law was not strictly enforced until 1760, when the New York General Assembly provided a system of examination and licensing for those who intended to practice medicine or surgery within the province. Illegal practice was punishable by a fine of [pound]5.


The first steam engine in the colonies was brought to North Arlington, N.J., by John Schuyler to pump water from his copper mine. The machine came from England and was assembled in America by Joshua Hornblower.


The first clock made entirely in America was constructed by Benjamin Banneker, a 30-year-old black who had never seen a clock before. It continued to run accurately, striking all hours regularly, for 20 years.

1754 Oct. 31

King's College was chartered in New York City. Its first degrees were awarded in 1758. Sponsored by Episcopalian groups, King's College was incorporated as Columbia College, the dominant institution in the state of New York in an act passed in 1784. Bitter conflict between advocates of free public education and backers of Columbia College led to the separation of the college from the University of the State of New York by an act of the state legislature in 1787. The University of the State of New York, a university in name only, then concerned itself with primary and secondary school education while Columbia College remained the only institution of higher learning in the state. Columbia College became a university in 1912.
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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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