industrial revolution

James Watt and the Steam Age Revolution

James Watt and the Steam Age Revolution

James Watt (1736 – 1819) Painting by Carl Frederik von Breda On January 5, 1769,  Scottish inventor, mechanical engineer, and chemist James Watt finally received the patent for his steam engine: patent 913 A method of lessening the consumption of steam in steam engines-the separate condenser. Before James Watt was able to revolutionize Europe’s industries, folks had to find different ways to generate power. While the Romans during the first century…
Eli Whitney and the Cotton Gin

Eli Whitney and the Cotton Gin

  On December 8, 1765, American inventor Eli Whitney was born. Whitney is best known for inventing the cotton gin. This was one of the key inventions of the Industrial Revolution and shaped the economy of the Antebellum South. Whitney’s invention made upland short cotton into a profitable crop, which strengthened the economic foundation of slavery in the United States. Eli Whitney started operating a manufacturing operation in his father’s workshop…
Samuel Crompton and the Spinning Mule

Samuel Crompton and the Spinning Mule

On December 3, 1753, English inventor and pioneer of the spinning industry Samuel Crompton was born. Building on the work of James Hargreaves and Richard Arkwright he invented the spinning mule, a machine that revolutionised the industry worldwide. Samuel Crompton was born as the oldest son among three siblings in Bolton, Lancashire, UK to George Crompton, a caretaker at nearby Hall i’ th’ Wood, and his wife Betty. While he…
John Smeaton – the Father of Civil Engineering

John Smeaton – the Father of Civil Engineering

On June 8, 1729, English civil engineer John Smeaton was born. Smeaton actually is referred to having coined the term “civil engineering” to distinguish from military engineers. He was esponsible for the design of bridges, canals, harbours and lighthouses. He was also a capable mechanical engineer and an eminent physicist. John Smeaton was born at Austhorpe Lodge in the parish of Whitkirk, four miles east of Leeds, UK, as the…
Richard Arkwright – the Father of the Industrial Revolution

Richard Arkwright – the Father of the Industrial Revolution

Portrait of Sir Richard Arkwright by Mather Brown On August 3, 1792, Sir Richard Arkwright passed away. He was a self-made man and a leading entrepreneur during the early Industrial Revolution. Arkwright’s achievement was to combine power, machinery, semi-skilled labour and the new raw material (cotton) to create mass-produced yarn. His skills of organization made him, more than anyone else, the creator of the modern factory system. Later in his life Arkwright…
Designers Should Think Big – Isambard Kingdom Brunel

Designers Should Think Big – Isambard Kingdom Brunel

Isambard Kingdom Brunel (1808-1859)against the launching chains of the Great Eastern, 1857 On April 9, 1806, English engineer and entrepreneur Isambard Kingdom Brunel was born, whose designs revolutionised public transport and modern engineering. He developed and constructed dockyards, the Great Western Railway, a series of steamships including the first propeller-driven transatlantic steamship and numerous important bridges and tunnels. I first heard of Isambard Kubgdom Brunel, when I saw this great…
Thomas Newcomen and the Steam Engine

Thomas Newcomen and the Steam Engine

On February 26 (or maybe also 24), 1664, English inventor Thomas Newcomen was born, who created the first practical steam engine for pumping water, the Newcomen steam engine. As we know from a previous article on James Watt and the Steam Age Revolution, Watt was the one improving Newcomen‘s engine in the 18th and 19th century. Since the knowledge about the power of working with steam had been around for a…
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