industrial revolution

Humphry Davy and the Wonders of Electrolysis

Humphry Davy and the Wonders of Electrolysis

On November 19, 1807, British chemist and inventor Humphry Davy reported to the Royal Society about the isolation of potassium and sodium from different salts by electrolysis. Davy was one of the pioneers in the field of electrolysis using the newly invented voltaic pile to split up common compounds and thus prepare many new elements.[6] “Nothing is so fatal to the progress of the human mind as to suppose that our views…
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Designers Should Think Big – Isambard Kingdom Brunel

Designers Should Think Big – Isambard Kingdom Brunel

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. “If the Commission is to enquire into the conditions “to be observed,” it is to be presumed that they will give the result of their enquiries; or, in other…
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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. Steam Engines As we know from a previous article on James Watt and the Steam Age Revolution [5], 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…
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James Watt and the Steam Age Revolution

James Watt and the Steam Age Revolution

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. How to Generate Power 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 BC used undershot water wheels, the Europeans of the…
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Eli Whitney – The Invention of the Cotton Gin and the Antebellum South

Eli Whitney – The Invention of the Cotton Gin and the Antebellum South

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. Early Years Eli Whitney was born in Westborough, Massachusetts, on December 8, 1765, the eldest child of…
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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. Early Years 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…
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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’s Way to Civil Engineering John Smeaton was born at Austhorpe Lodge in the parish of Whitkirk, four miles east of…
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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 was also…
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