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The steam engine was the key invention leading to industrialization. Although variants had existed for centuries, the technical modifications made by James Watt in the 1760’s allowed for an efficient source of new power. Steam engines had been used for many years to pump water out of shafts in England to mine coal; with Watt’s improvements, coal production increased; with an increase in production, coal began to be used for other things rather than just heating. With an abundance of coal, iron production increased, leading to the ability to produce steel. An abundance of these metals allowed better steam engines to be built. First used as a water pump on land, placing it on iron rails created a locomotive, placing it on a boat created a steamship, linking it to a loom created a power loom, attaching it to a bellows created a blast furnace, which could produce more iron and steel. These inventions are really just modified steam engines, but their application forever altered and improved transportation, manufacturing, and metallurgy. An analogy to the influence of a single invention can be drawn to the “Computer Revolution” of our time. The first transistor, invented in 1947, led the way to integrated chips by 1970, and the application of these microprocesssors has forever altered our lives.
mechanical reaper and the cotton gin and steam engine and interchangeable parts
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The improved James Watt steam invention was probably the major jump-start to the industrial revolution.
There were several other inventions right around the 1750s that also enhanced productivity. Some of these inventions are tied to water power as in the textile industry, and others are tied to steam power as the locomotives and steel industry.
John Kay invented the flying shuttle in 1733 in Lancashire, England. This is a device that allows the shuttle to be thrown back and forth across the loom mechanically rather than by hand. This increased the speed by which cloth and woolen cloth could be produced.
Transportation canals which were used in the late 1761 to carry coal from the mines to the towns where it was used as fuel. The Bridgewater canal and other aquaducts were used to transport raw materials to the places of their manufacture. Use of manmade canals and water to transport larger quantities of raw material made the factory system more efficient.
1764, James Hargreaves invents the spinning jenny which could turn out more finished yarn than a single spinning wheel with one spindle.
1769, Richard Arkwright, invented a frame which pulls the raw cotton fiber into rollers which feed it into the spinning machine. His first attempt was powered by horses, but he later patented his machine to run on water power. This machine is called the water frame.
Samuel Crompton invented a machine which is something that is a combination of two machines. He noticed that the spinning jenny had a tendency to break the yarn, and the water frame produced strong yarn that was thick. His invention is called Crompton's mule and was patented in 1779.
John Wilkinson invented a machine in 1774: a precision water drill, that allowed steam power to literally take over the "power" industry. This water drill allows for the precision drilling required for cannon bore, rifle barrels, and steam engine cylinders.
Boulton and Watt market their new invention with a very profitable and lucrative method. They give the steam engines away free and install them free of charge with the stipulation that the new owner pay them 1/3 of the price saved on fuel consumption by using the new machine.
Arkwright moved work from the cottage to the factory. Bridgewater invented a canal system that allowed for raw materials to be cheaply and quickly transported outside of natural waterways. And, the Watt steam engine quickly took over horse or water power because it was cheaper and more efficient. It did not need to be fed, and industry could relocate closer to the source of raw materials.
In 1784 Henry Cort invented a machine to shake molten iron so that it was a better grade of iron. It could be hammered and was not brittle as previous cast iron had been. The second machine he invented was a rolling machine that turned out bars of steel.
IN 1793, the cotton industry needed to catch up with the industrialized textile industry. Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin which revolutionized the cotton industry by making it so much easier to separate the cotton fiber from the seeds.
The move from the farm to the city had begun.
The major inventions that contributed to the rise of the industrial revolution is stated below:
There are actually hundreds of inventions during the Industrial Revolution, but I think these are the outstanding ones to say the least. To see more, look at the link below
- steam locomotives, started by James Watt in the 1760s
- cotton spinning machine, patented in 1769
- iron founding, patented in 1763
- first mercury thermometer by Gabriel Fahrenheit
- flying shuttle by John Kay
- diving bell by Edmond Halley
- spinning jenny by James Hargreaves
- spinning frame by Richard Arkwright
- steamship by Jacques Perrier
- spinning mule by Samuel Crompton
- flush toilet by Alexander Cummings
- steel roller by Henry Cort
- steamboat by John Firtch
- first soft drink invented
- battery by Alessandro Volta
- cotton gin by Eli Whitney
- first ambulance built
- gas turbine by John Barber
- the first guillotine invented
- safety lock by Joseph Bramah
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