The Industrial Revolution changed the way the world works. Before the Industrial Revolution, people mainly depended on agriculture to provide them with food. However, agriculture was not very productive, so it only allowed people to live comfortably.
With the invention of the steam engine and the weaving loom, the Industrial Revolution changed the way the world works. Before the Industrial Revolution, people mainly depended on agriculture to provide them with food. However, agriculture was not very productive, so it only allowed people to live comfortably. With the invention of the steam engine and the weaving loom, the world’s economy transformed from being based on agriculture to being based on industry.
The invention of the steam engine is usually associated with Thomas Newcomen in the late 17th century. However, the real pioneer of steam power was Thomas Savery. Savery is credited with the invention of the first practical and efficient steam engine, though he did not recognize it as such. His first engine was used to pump water out of mines and was very inefficient. In 1698, he built a new steam engine which lowered the cost of pumping water. This new type of engine was Savery’s first major innovation.
Though Savery was an important figure in the development of the steam engine, his invention did not have a major impact on the economy. Then in the early 18th century, James Watts invented the rotative engine.
How the Industrial Revolution Changed the World
During the Middle Ages, Europe experienced a period of steady economic and population growth, known as the “Medieval Warm Period”. However, around the 14th century, European society began to change rapidly. This was due to several reasons, including the spread of the Black Death, which reduced the population by about one-third.
With the population reduction and the need to increase productivity to support the growing population, agriculture became mechanized, allowing more people to be put to work in industry. The discovery of the New World (North and South America) and the opening of Asia to European contact also contributed to the Industrial Revolution.
Development of the Steam Engine
The steam engine was the key invention that made the Industrial Revolution possible. It was invented in the late 18th century by James Watt. The basic idea of the steam engine is that of a water pump. Some of the water from a river or lake is used to drive a water wheel, which in turn, rotates an engine shaft. This, in turn, rotates an axle with a hooked end, which is connected to a piston inside a cylinder. The expanded compressed air from the piston drives the hooked end of the axle out of the cylinder, and the resulting force drives the piston back down again. The steam engine uses this same basic idea, but instead of using water, it uses the heat from fire to expand the air inside the cylinder.
Development of the Cylinder Engine
The first successful steam engines used pistons with rotary motion, rather than the swiveling pistons that were later used in reciprocating engines. The rotary piston was first used in a steam engine built by Thomas Newcomen in 1712. Newcomen’s engine used steam to power a piston that rotated a crank. The first successful reciprocating steam engine was built by Thomas Savery in 1798. Both the Newcomen and Savery engines used the cylinder with the piston inside.
The cylinder was used to contain the steam and the piston was used to convert the motion of the steam into rotary motion. The first steam-powered automobiles also used the cylinder.
Improvement of Railways in Great Britain
One of the most important developments in the history of the steam engine was the development of railways. The first known steam-powered railway was built in 1712. In 1804, William Jessop built the first steam locomotive in Great Britain. Jessop’s engine had two wheels and two horizontal cylinders. The first successful application of the steam locomotive was in 1811. This was in the form of a steam-powered horse-drawn tramway at Wolverhampton in Great Britain.
In the 1820s and 30s, the development of railways in Great Britain greatly increased the speed at which goods could travel and made mass production possible for the first time. Prior to the development of the railway, the distribution of manufactured goods was extremely limited, due to the fact that they had to be transported by boat, river, or sea. The first intermodal wagon on the British railway network was tested in 1830. It transported coal and stone on the same wagon.
The Industrial Revolution brought about major changes in almost every aspect of life, including agriculture, industry, and transportation. While agriculture was mechanized, it was not replaced completely by industrialization. Industry and transportation provided jobs for many who were formerly employed in agriculture and provided the materials for many new products. The Industrial Revolution also changed the way people lived, as they were able to travel and communicate faster than ever before.