Industrialization and its Discontents
The Industrialization of Europe and the West:
• Industrialization began in Britain, which had
several advantages.
– Abundant coal and iron reserves.
– Colonies gave Britain a larger global trading
– Colonial trade provided capital for new
– Thriving merchant class supported by Parliament’s
The British Empire, 1904
• Population doubled from 1600 to 1700 to
– c. 4.5 million to 9 million
– Population centered in cities
– Larger cities meant new markets for luxury goods.
– Calico Acts, 1700 and 1720
• prohibited cheap popular cotton from India
• led to its production in England.
• Britain’s wages were high:
– This requires labor saving machines.
• Scientific revolution centered in England,
– especially in practical application.
– scientific societies mixed scientists with inventors
and experimenters.
• 1700–1800 over 1,000 inventions
• Many for textiles
– Flying shuttle,
– Spinning jenny, and
– Water frame
– All sped up the spinning and weaving process.
• Power loom, 1787, still could not produce
enough textiles for market.
• Large machines and
• transportation of fuel and materials,
– led to large factories.
• Steam engines allowed factories to move
– to not be tied to running water for water wheels.
• Locating in cities gave access to roads, canals, and
• Factories drew workers, dramatically increasing
population of cities.
The Steam Engine
• Heron’s steam “engine”
• Thomas Savery,
– 1698, patents a
a steam-driven
water pump.
• James Watt produces an engine efficient enough
to drive machinery by 1776.
• Steam power augmenting water power in
textile manufacture by 1790.
• 1803: steam-driven boats pulling barges on
English canals.
• 1807 – 1807: Robert Fulton develops his
steamboat, the Clarmont.
“The Rocket”
• Railroads combined a Watt steam engine with
a moving carriage.
• First British freight line 1829
• First British passenger line 1830.
• From 1840 to 1870 miles of rail in Britain had
increased 900% due to popularity.
• Railroads moved bulk commodities.
• Railroad became its own industry, employing
• Robert Fulton steam boats
• Used on rivers in America,
– then in England,
– then in transatlantic crossings.
• 1816 steamship crossed the Atlantic in half
the time of sailing.
• In 1830s British East India Company began to
use steamships for maritime trade with India.
• First military use in the Anglo-Chinese Opium
War, 1839–1842.
“China Clippers” could achieve average
speeds of 16 knots (18 mph).
Max. speed of a World War II
“Victory Ship” was 15 – 17 kts.
• Industrialism spread to Belgium, northern
France, and northern Germany by 1830s.
• Changes since Napoleonic wars prepared
them for industrialization
– population increases,
– large supplies of coal.
• First water-powered textile factory in the
United States in 1793, in Rhode Island.
– American Civil War interrupted industrialization
but increases after war.
• By 1914 the United States was the largest
industrial economy in the world.
– Aided by growth of railroads,
• 2,800 miles in 1840
• 53,000 miles in 1870.
Steel was known in the ancient world,
As early as 4,000 BCE?
• Henry Bessemer, 1856, develops a method of massproducing high grade cheap steel.
• Germany will take the lead in world steel production by
– Able to use Britain’s industrialization as a model, build upon it.
• Steel was better than iron because it was harder and
– used in railroads,
– construction of skyscrapers, and
– ships.
The Chemical
• First commercial dye
was created in 1856.
“Perkin's mauve.”
• 1839 – 1844, Thomas Hancock and Charles
Goodyear develop the “vulcanizing” process for
• 1867, Alfred Nobel invents dynamite.
• Artificial silk (rayon) production begins in the
• 1909, Fritz Haber syntheses ammonia which
leads to more the efficient explosives used in
World War I.
• Electrical power was known by 1850
• Not widely used until Nikola Tesla invented the
Tesla Coil and alternating current (AC).
• This led to the invention of
transformers, and
power plants.
Electricity and Communication
• Electricity important in the telegraph, first used in
1840s by Samuel Morse.
• First transatlantic cables were laid in 1858,
common by 1866.
• Telephone invented in 1876, by Alexander
Graham Bell.
• Heinrich Hertz discovered that electromagnetic
radiation made radio waves.
• Guglielmo Marconi created the first device to use
radio waves in the 1890’s.
The Gasoline Engline
• Gasoline was produced as a byproduct of liquid
petroleum refined into kerosene.
• In 1864 Siegfried Marcus linked internal
combustion engine to a cart.
– Lighter than steam engines.
• Internal combustion engines used in a rigid
airship by von Zeppelin in 1900.
– Led to the invention of the airplane by 1903.
The “Motorwagon”
patented by Karl Benz, 1885
First successful airship flight in 1900
Designed by Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin
The Hindenburg over New York City
2 hours before its explodes on landing.
The Wright Brothers
The First Flight
17 December 1903

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