Year 1885 (MDCCCLXXXV) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Tuesday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar).
Events of 1885
January - March
April - June
July - September
October - December
- The Benz Patent Motorwagen, the first purpose-built automobile, is built.
- The first genuine safety bicycle, the Rover, is built by John K Starley, the nephew of James Starley of Coventry Company.
- A cholera outbreak occurs in Spain.
- The Committee of Fifteen tries to expel all remaining Chinese from the Puget Sound area.
- Seattle and Tacoma are the scenes of raids on Asians.
- Nikola Tesla sells a number of his patents to George Westinghouse.
- The Luton Town F.C. is created by the merger of Luton Wanderers and Luton Excelsior.
- The first skyscraper (the Home Insurance Building) is built in Chicago, Illinois, USA (10 floors).
- Bicycle Playing Cards are first produced.
- SSAFA Forces Help (British charity) is established.
- 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. It is the first English translation of the novel to be printed on the Internet.
- Michigan Technological University (originally Michigan Mining School) opens its doors for the first time in what is now the Houghton County Fire Hall.
January - June
- January 6 - Florence Turner, American actress (d. 1946)
- January 8 - John Curtin, Prime Minister of Australia (d. 1945)
- January 11
- 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
- February 1 - Friedrich Kellner, German diarist, (d. 1970)
- February 7 - Sinclair Lewis, American writer, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1951)
- February 9 - Alban Berg, Austrian composer (d. 1935)
- February 13 - Bess Truman, First Lady of the United States (d. 1982)
- February 14 - Syed Zafarul Hasan, Muslim philosopher (d. 1949)
- February 15 - Princess Alice of Battenberg (d. 1969)
- 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 - Vean Gregg, American baseball player (d. 1964)
- May 2 - Hedda Hopper, American columnist (d. 1966)
- May 7 - George 'Gabby' Hayes, American actor (d. 1969)
- May 9 - Eduard C. Lindeman, American social worker and author (d. 1953)
- May 14 - Otto Klemperer, German conductor (d. 1973)
- May 21
- May 24- Susan Sutherland Isaacs, educational psychologist and psychoanalyst (d.1948)
- May 22 - Toyoda Soemu, Japanese admiral (d. 1957)
- 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 - December
- July 4 - Louis B. Mayer, American film producer (d. 1957)
- 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 11 - D. H. Lawrence, English author (d. 1930)
- September 22 - Ben Chifley, Prime Minister of Australia (d. 1951)
- September 22 - Erich Von Stroheim, motion picture actor & director (d. 1957)
- 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 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 - Eva Morris, last surviving person documented as born in 1885 (d. 2000)
- November 9 (October 28 (O.S.)) - Velimir Khlebnikov, Russian poet (d. 1922)
- November 11 - George Patton, American general (d. 1945)
- November 15 - Frederick Handley-Page, British aviation pioneer & aircraft company founder (d. 1962)
- November 20 - Heinrich Brüning, Chancellor of Germany (d. 1970)
- December 2 - George Minot, American physician, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (d. 1950)
- December 19 - Joe "King" Oliver, American jazz musician (d. 1938)
January - June
July - December