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|Centuries:||18th century – 19th century – 20th century|
|Decades:||1850s 1860s 1870s – 1880s – 1890s 1900s 1910s|
|Years:||1882 1883 1884 – 1885 – 1886 1887 1888|
|1885 in topic:|
|Archaeology – Architecture – Art – Literature – Music|
|Australia – Canada – France – Germany – Mexico – Philippines – South Africa – US – UK|
|Rail Transport – Science – Sports|
|Lists of leaders|
|Colonial Governors – State leaders|
|Birth and death categories|
|Births – Deaths|
|Establishments and disestablishments categories|
|Establishments – Disestablishments|
|Ab urbe condita||2638|
|British Regnal year||48 Vict. 1 – 49 Vict. 1|
— to —乙酉年十一月廿六日
|- Vikram Samvat||1941–1942|
|- Shaka Samvat||1807–1808|
|- Kali Yuga||4986–4987|
|- Ǹrí Ìgbò||885–886|
|Japanese calendar||Meiji 18
|Juche calendar||N/A (before 1912)|
|Julian calendar||Gregorian minus 12 days|
|Minguo calendar||27 before ROC
|Thai solar calendar||2428|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: 1885|
Year 1885 (MDCCCLXXXV) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar and a common year starting on Tuesday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar.
- January 3–4 – Sino-French War – Battle of Nui Bop: French troops under General Oscar de Négrier defeat a numerically superior Qing Chinese force in northern Vietnam.
- January 4 – The first successful appendectomy is performed by Dr. William W. Grant on Mary Gartside.
- January 17 – Mahdist War in Sudan: British victory at the Battle of Abu Klea.
- January 20 – LaMarcus Adna Thompson patents a roller coaster.
- January 24 – Irish terrorists damage Westminster Hall and the Tower of London with dynamite.
- January 26 – Mahdist War in Sudan: Troops loyal to the Mahdi Muhammad Ahmad conquer Khartoum. The British commander Charles George Gordon is killed.
- February 5 – King Léopold II of Belgium establishes the Congo Free State as a personal possession.
- February 7 – The play La vida alegre y muerte triste by dramatist José Echegaray opens.
- February 9 – The first Japanese arrive in Hawaii.
- February 21 – President of the United States Chester A. Arthur dedicates the Washington Monument.
- February 23 – An English executioner fails after several attempts to hang John 'Babbacombe' Lee, sentenced for the murder of his employer Emma Keyse; Lee's sentence is commuted to life imprisonment.
- February 26 – The final act of the Berlin Conference regulates European colonization and trade in the "scramble for Africa".
- February 28 – February concludes without having a full moon.
- March 3 – A subsidiary of the American Bell Telephone Company, American Telephone and Telegraph (AT&T), is incorporated in New York.
- March 4 – Grover Cleveland succeeds Chester A. Arthur as President of the United States.
- March 14 – Gilbert and Sullivan's comic opera The Mikado opens at the Savoy Theatre in London.
- March 26
- The Prussian government, motivated by Otto von Bismarck, expels all ethnic Poles and Jews without German citizenship from Prussia in the Prussian deportations.
- North-West Rebellion in Canada by the Métis people, led by Louis Riel, begins with the Battle of Duck Lake.
- First legal cremation in England: Mrs Jeannette C. Pickersgill of London, "well known in literary and scientific circles", is cremated by the Cremation Society at Woking, Surrey.
- March 30 – The Battle for Kushka triggers the Panjdeh Incident, which nearly gives rise to war between the British Empire and Russian Empire.
- March 31 – The United Kingdom establishes a protectorate over Bechuanaland.
- April 2 – Frog Lake Massacre: Cree warriors led by Wandering Spirit kill 9 settlers at Frog Lake in the Northwest Territories.
- April 3 – Gottlieb Daimler is granted a German patent for his single-cylinder water-cooled engine design.
- April 11 – Luton Town Football Club are created by the merger of (Luton) Wanderers F.C. and Luton Excelsior F.C. in England.
- April 14 – Final engagement of Sino–French War, with a French victory at Kép. China withdraws its forces from Tonkin.
- April 30 – A bill is signed in the New York State legislature forming the Niagara Falls State Park.
- May 2
- May 9–12 – Battle of Batoche: Canadian government forces inflict a decisive defeat on Métis rebels, bringing an end to their part in the North-West Rebellion.
- May 20 – The first public train departs Swanage railway station on the newly built Swanage Railway in England.
- June 3 – Battle of Loon Lake: The Canadian North-West Mounted Police and allies force a party of Plains Cree warriors to surrender in the last skirmish of the North-West Rebellion and the last battle fought on Canadian soil.
- June 17 – The Statue of Liberty arrives in New York Harbor.
- June 23 – Robert Cecil, 3rd Marquess of Salisbury, becomes Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
- June 24 – Randolph Churchill becomes Secretary of State for India.
- July 6 – Louis Pasteur successfully tests his vaccine against rabies. The patient is Joseph Meister, a boy who was bitten by a rabid dog.
- July 14 – Sarah E. Goode is the first female African-American to apply for and receive a patent, for the invention of the hideaway bed.
- July 15 – The Reservation at Niagara Falls opens, enabling access to all for free. Thomas V. Welch is the first Superintendent of the Park.
- July 20 – Professional football is legalized in Britain.
- July 23 – Ulysses S. Grant, American Civil War general and the 18th President of the United States, dies at age 63.
- July 28 – Louis Riel's trial for treason begins in Regina.
- August 19 – S Andromedae, the only supernova seen in the Andromeda Galaxy so far by astronomers, and the first ever noted outside the Milky Way, is discovered.
- September 2 – The Rock Springs Massacre occurs in Rock Springs, Wyoming; 150 white miners attack their Chinese coworkers, killing 28, wounding 15, and forcing several hundred more out of town.
- September 6 – Eastern Rumelia declares its union with Bulgaria, completing the Unification of Bulgaria.
- September 8 – Saint Thomas Academy is founded in Minnesota.
- September 12 – Arbroath 36-0 Bon Accord, the highest score ever in professional soccer.
- September 15 – A train wreck of the P.T. Barnum Circus kills giant elephant Jumbo.
- September 18 – The union of Eastern Rumelia with Bulgaria is proclaimed at Plovdiv.
- September 30 – A British force abolishes the Boer republic of Stellaland and adds it to British Bechuanaland.
- October 3 – Millwall F.C. is founded by workers on the Isle of Dogs in London as Millwall Rovers.
- October 13 – The Georgia Institute of Technology is established in Atlanta, Georgia as the Georgia School of Technology.
- November – The Third Burmese War begins.
- November 7 – Canadian Pacific Railway: In Craigellachie, British Columbia, construction ends on a railway extending across Canada. Prime Minister Sir John A. Macdonald considers the project to be vital to Canada due to the exponentially greater potential for military mobility.
- November 14–November 28 – Serbo-Bulgarian War: Serbia declares war against Bulgaria but is defeated in the Battle of Slivnitsa on November 17–November 19.
- November 16 – Louis Riel, Canadian rebel leader of the Métis, is executed for high treason.
- December 1 – The U.S. Patent Office acknowledges this date as the day Dr Pepper is served for the very first time; the exact date of Dr Pepper's invention is unknown.
- December 28 – 72 Indian lawyers, academics and journalists gather in Bombay to form the Congress Party.
Date unknown 
- Karl Benz produces the Benz Patent-Motorwagen, regarded as the first automobile (patented and publicly launched the following year).
- Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach produce the Daimler Reitwagen, regarded as the first motorcycle.
- John Kemp Starley demonstrates the Rover safety bicycle, regarded as the first practical modern bicycle.
- Chile's Matrimony and Civil Registry laws come into effect.
- A cholera outbreak occurs in Spain.
- The Committee of Fifteen tries to expel all remaining Chinese from the Puget Sound area.
- Frindsbury Cricket Club, regarded as the home of cricket in the English county of Kent, is founded.
- The Home Insurance Building in Chicago, designed by William Le Baron Jenney, is completed. With ten floors and a fireproof weight-bearing metal frame, it is regarded as the first skyscraper.
- Bicycle Playing Cards are first produced.
- Soldiers' and Sailors' Families Association is established in the UK to provide charitable assistance.
- Camp Dudley, the oldest continually running boys' camp in America, is founded.
- John Ormsby publishes his new English translation of Don Quixote, acclaimed as the most scholarly made up to that time. It will remain in print through the 20th Century.
- Michigan Technological University (originally Michigan Mining School) opens its doors for the first time in what is now the Houghton County Fire Hall.
- January 6 – Florence Turner, American actress (d. 1946)
- January 8 – John Curtin, Prime Minister of Australia (d. 1945)
- January 11
- January 12 – Harry Benjamin, American endocrinologist and sexologist (d. 1986)
- January 16 – Zhou Zuoren, Chinese writer (d. 1967)
- January 21 – Umberto Nobile, Italian politician and airship designer (d. 1978)
- January 26 – Michael Considine, Australian politician (d. 1959)
- January 27
- January 28 – Wladyslaw Raczkiewicz, former President of Poland (d. 1947)
- February 1 – Friedrich Kellner, German diarist, (d. 1970)
- February 7
- February 9 – Alban Berg, Austrian composer (d. 1935)
- February 13
- February 14
- February 15 – Princess Alice of Battenberg (d. 1969)
- February 18 – Richard S. Edwards, American admiral (d. 1956)
- February 21 – Sacha Guitry, Russian-born dramatist, writer, director, and actor (d. 1957)
- February 24
- March 6 – Ring Lardner, American writer (d. 1933)
- March 7 – John Tovey, British admiral of the fleet (d. 1971)
- March 11 – Sir Malcolm Campbell, English land and water racer (d. 1948)
- March 14 – Raoul Lufbery, World War I American pilot (d. 1918)
- March 31 – Pascin, Bulgarian painter (d. 1930)
- April 1 – Wallace Beery, American actor (d. 1949)
- April 3 – Allan Dwan, Canadian-born film director (d. 1981)
- April 4 – Bee Ho Gray, Wild West star, silent film actor and vaudeville performer (d. 1951)
- April 13
- April 17 – Karen Blixen, Danish author (d. 1962)
- May 2 – Hedda Hopper, American columnist (d. 1966)
- May 5 – Agustín Pío Barrios, Paraguayan guitarist and composer (d. 1944)
- May 7 – George 'Gabby' Hayes, American actor (d. 1969)
- May 9 – Eduard C. Lindeman, American social worker and author (d. 1953)
- May 12 – Paltiel Daykan, Russian-born Israeli jurist (d. 1969)
- May 14 – Otto Klemperer, German conductor (d. 1973)
- May 15 – Robert James Hudson, Governor of Southern Rhodesia (d. 1963)
- May 21
- May 22 – Toyoda Soemu, Japanese admiral (d. 1957)
- May 24 – Susan Sutherland Isaacs, educational psychologist and psychoanalyst (d.1948)
- May 27 – Richmond K. Turner, American admiral (d. 1961)
- June 5 – Georges Mandel, French politician and World War II hero (d. 1944)
- June 9 – John Edensor Littlewood, British mathematician (d. 1977)
- June 14 – E. L. Grant Watson, writer, anthropologist, and biologist (d. 1970)
- June 19 – John Palm, Curaçao born composer (d. 1925)
- June 22 – Milan Vidmar, Slovenian electrical engineer and chess player (d. 1962)
- July 4 – Louis B. Mayer, American film producer (d. 1957)
- July 6 – Ernst Busch, German field marshal (d. 1945)
- July 14 – King Sisavang Vong of Laos (d. 1959)
- July 28 – Monte Attell, American boxer (d. 1960)
- August 1 – George de Hevesy, Hungarian chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1966)
- August 7 – Billie Burke, American actress (d. 1970)
- September 7 – Eleonore Baur, German Nazi and only woman to participate in Munich Beer Hall Putsch (d. 1981)
- September 11 – D. H. Lawrence, English author (d. 1930)
- September 20 – Enrico Mizzi, 6th Prime Minister of Malta (d. 1950)
- September 22 – Ben Chifley, Prime Minister of Australia (d. 1951)
- September 22 – Erich Von Stroheim, Austrian-born motion picture actor & director (d. 1957)
- September 25 – Mineichi Koga, Japanese admiral (d. 1944)
- October 3 – Sophie Treadwell, American playwright and journalist (d. 1970)
- October 7 – Niels Bohr, Danish physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1962)
- October 11 – François Mauriac, French writer, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1970)
- October 24 – Rachel Katznelson-Shazar, Zionist political figure and wife of third President of Israel (d. 1975)
- October 30 – Ezra Pound, American poet (d. 1972)
- November 2 – Harlow Shapley, American astronomer (d. 1972)
- November 5 – Will Durant, American philosopher and writer (d. 1981)
- November 8
- November 9 (October 28 (O.S.)) – Velimir Khlebnikov, Russian poet (d. 1922)
- November 11
- November 15 – Frederick Handley-Page, British aviation pioneer & aircraft company founder (d. 1962)
- November 20 – Heinrich Brüning, Chancellor of Germany 1930-1932 (d. 1970)
- November 30 – Albert Kesselring, German field marshal (d. 1960)
- December 2 – George Minot, American physician, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (d. 1950)
- December 13 – Mario Talavera, Mexican songwriter (d. 1960)
- December 19 – Joe "King" Oliver, American jazz musician (d. 1938)
Date unknown 
- January 11 – Mariano Ospina Rodríguez, President of Colombia (b. 1805)
- January 13 – Schuyler Colfax, Vice President of the United States (b. 1823)
- January 26 – Charles "Chinese" Gordon, British general (killed in battle) (b. 1833)
- February 1 – Sidney Gilchrist Thomas, inventor (b. 1850)
- February 8 – Nikolai Severtzov, Russian explorer and naturalist (b.1827)
- March 12 – Próspero Fernández Oreamuno, President of Costa Rica (b. 1834)
- April 2 – Justo Rufino Barrios, Central American leader (b. 1835)
- April 25 – Queen Emma of Hawaii (b. 1836)
- May 2 – Terézia Zakoucs Hungarian Slovene authoress (b. 1817)
- May 4 – Irvin McDowell, American general (b. 1818)
- May 17 – Jonathan Young, United States Navy commodore (b. 1826)
- May 19 – Robert Emmet Odlum swimming instructor that becomes the first person to jump from the Brooklyn Bridge and subsequently dies.
- May 22 – Victor Hugo, French author (b. 1802)
- June 17 – Edwin Freiherr von Manteuffel, German field marshal (b. 1809)
- June 22 – Muhammad Ahmad, Mahdi (b. 1844)
- July 23 – Ulysses S. Grant, American Civil War general and the 18th President of the United States (b. 1822)
- August – Aga Khan II, religious leader (b. 1830)
- August 10 – James Wilson Marshall, American contractor and builder of Sutter's Mill (b. 1810)
- August 29 – Moriz Ludassy, Hungarian journalist (b. 1825)
- September 6 – Narcís Monturiol i Estarriol, Catalan intellectual, artist and engineer, inventor of the first combustion engine-driven submarine, which was propelled by an early form of air-independent propulsion (b. 1819).
- September 15 – Jumbo, the great elephant & star attraction in PT Barnum's circus (train accident) (b. 1861)
- October 29 – George B. McClellan, American Civil War general (b. 1826)
- November 16 – Louis Riel, Canadian leader (b. 1844)
- November 24 – Nicolás Avellaneda, Argentine president (b. 1837)
- November 25
- November 26 – Thomas Andrews, Irish chemist (b. 1813)
- December 8 – William Henry Vanderbilt, American entrepreneur (b. 1821)
- December 15 – Ferdinand II of Portugal, consort of Queen Maria II (b. 1816)
In fiction 
- Palmer, Alan; Veronica (1992). The Chronology of British History. London: Century Ltd. pp. 310–311. ISBN 0-7126-5616-2.
- Williams, Hywel (2005). Cassell's Chronology of World History. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson. pp. 438–440. ISBN 0-304-35730-8.
- The Hutchinson Factfinder. Helicon. 1999. ISBN 1-85986-000-1.
- "Cremation". The Times (31405) (London). 1885-03-27. p. 10.
- Benz, Carl Friedrich (1925). Lebensfahrt eines deutschen erfinders; erinnerungen eines achtzigjahrigen. Leipzig: Koehler & Amelang.
- Gardiner, Mark (1997). Classic motorcycles. MetroBooks. p. 16. ISBN 1-56799-460-1.
- Brown, Roland (2005). The Ultimate History of Fast Motorcycles. Bath: Parragon. p. 6. ISBN 1-4054-5466-0.
- Wilson, Hugo (1993). The Ultimate Motorcycle Book. Dorling Kindersley. pp. 8–9. ISBN 1-56458-303-1.
- "Icons of Invention: Rover safety bicycle, 1885". Making the Modern World. Science Museum (London). Archived from the original on 22 May 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-27.
- "Home Insurance Building". SkyscraperPage. Archived from the original on 29 June 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-27.