this is the week that was

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The Independent Online
16 October:

1846: First successful use of anaesthetic, at Massachusetts General Hospital.

1902: The first Borstal opens in the village of Borstal, Kent.

1916: The first birth control clinic opens in the United States.

1923: In Switzerland, John Harwood patents the self-winding watch.

1928: Mary Pipkin patents the frosted light bulb.

1931: Divorce is legalised in Spain.

17 October:

1860: The first professional golf tournament is held in Scotland.

1902: The first Cadillac is made in Detroit.

18 October:

1826: Britain holds its last state lottery before 1994.

1865: Lord Palmerston said: "Die, my dear doctor? That's the last thing I shall do." Then he died.

1887: The US buys Alaska from Russia for $7.2m.

1927: Dancing bears are banned from the streets of Berlin.

1982: The first escape ramp for hedgehogs is installed in a cattle grid on the A117 near Ludlow, Shropshire.

1987: An American chopstick manufacturer announces the sale of 12 million pairs to Japan.

19 October:

1901: Albert de Santos wins pounds 1,000 for the first airship flight around the Eiffel Tower.

1970: BP announce the first oil strike in the North Sea.

20 October:

1818: The 49th parallel is established as the boundary between Canada and the United States.

1915: Women are allowed to apply for licences as bus and tram conductors in London.

21 October:

1824: Portland cement is patented by Joseph Aspdin.

1868: Birth of Sir Ernest Dunlop Swinton, the originator of the word "tank" for an armoured vehicle.

1958: The first life peers are introduced into the House of Lords.

1960: Launch of Dreadnought, Britain's first nuclear submarine.

22 October:

1797: Andre-Jacques Garnerin makes the first successful descent by parachute, from a balloon 6,000ft above Paris.

1903: Publication in London of the National Temperance Manifesto.

1909: Elise Deroche becomes the first woman to fly solo.

1910: Dr Crippen is convicted of murdering his wife.