17th Century Timeline, 1600 Through 1699

The 1600s saw major changes in philosophy and science

Full color portrait of Sir Isaac Newton sitting in a chair.

attributed to 'English School'/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

Major changes in the fields of philosophy and science took place during the 17th century. Prior to the beginning of the 1600s, scientific study and scientists in the field were not truly recognized. In fact, important figures and pioneers such as the 17th-century physicist Isaac Newton were initially called natural philosophers because there was no such thing as the word "scientist" throughout most of the 17th century.

But it was during this period that the emergence of newly-invented machines became part of the daily and economic lives of many people. While people studied and relied upon the more or less unproven principles of medieval alchemy, it was during the 17th century that a transition to the science of chemistry took place. Another important development during this time was the evolution from astrology to astronomy. 

So by the end of the 17th century, the scientific revolution had taken hold and this new field of study had established itself as the leading society-shaping force that encompassed mathematical, mechanical, and empirical bodies of knowledge. Notable scientists of this era include the astronomer Galileo Galilei, philosopher René Descartes, inventor and mathematician Blaise Pascal, and Isaac Newton. Here is a brief historical list of the greatest technology, science, and invention hits of the 17th century.


German-Dutch spectacle-maker Hans Lippershey invents the first refracting telescope.


Dutch builder Cornelis Drebbel invents the earliest human-powered submarine.


English mathematician William Oughtred invents the slide rule.


French physician Jean-Baptiste Denys invents a method for blood transfusion.


Italian engineer and architect Giovanni Branca invents a steam turbine.


English astronomer and mathematician W. Gascoigne invents the micrometer.


French mathematician Blaise Pascal invents the adding machine.


Italian mathematician and physicist Evangelista Torricelli invents the barometer.


Scientist and inventor Otto von Guericke invents an air pump.


Dutch mathematician and scientist Christian Huygens invents a pendulum clock.


Cuckoo clocks were made in Furtwangen, Germany, in the Black Forest region.


Mathematician and astronomer James Gregory invents the first reflecting telescope.


Mathematician and physicist Isaac Newton invents a reflecting telescope.


The first reference to a candy cane is made.

French Benedictine monk Dom Pérignon invents Champagne.


German mathematician and philosopher Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz invents the calculating machine.


Dutch Microbiologist Anton Van Leeuwenhoek was the first to see and describe bacteria with a microscope.


Dutch mathematician, astronomer, and physicist Christian Huygens patents the pocket watch.


English architect and natural philosopher Robert Hooke invents the universal joint.


French physicist, mathematician, and inventor Denis Papin ​invents the pressure cooker.


English inventor and engineer Thomas Savery invents a steam pump.

mla apa chicago
Your Citation
Bellis, Mary. "17th Century Timeline, 1600 Through 1699." ThoughtCo, Jan. 26, 2021, thoughtco.com/17th-century-timeline-1992482. Bellis, Mary. (2021, January 26). 17th Century Timeline, 1600 Through 1699. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/17th-century-timeline-1992482 Bellis, Mary. "17th Century Timeline, 1600 Through 1699." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/17th-century-timeline-1992482 (accessed June 1, 2023).