Like many other wars, the Civil War caused military research that led to inventions that were aimed to tip the scale of battles. The period after saw veterans coming back to work on many related projects.
The Transcontinental Railroad was completed in 1869. The two coasts of the United States were now linked by rail through the middle. The ease of travel from the ports of the east coast to the vast open space of the midwest and west led to a huge boom in population. The improved railroad networks which grew in the post-war period allowed the economy of the United States to strengthen. Raw material and foodstuffs flowed from country to cities and fueled urban growth. Westward expansion from the eased travel sprawled the growth out from the east coast and across the entire country.
In 1879, Thomas Edison discovered electricity. This was one of the biggest discoveries of the modern world. Electricity was a huge upgrade from the dangerous and expensive alternatives such as kerosene that were in use before it. Power could now be used at previously unthinkable levels and allowed for innovation across industries.
To help the wounded from the war, prosthetics were improved significantly. For the first time on a large scale, amputees were given more realistic prosthetics than simple hooks of peg legs. Improvements on hinges for limbs and cosmetics to give a more life like appearance gave wounded veterans a luxury new to the world. Prosthetics would also be universally adopted and continuously improved thanks to the benefits they demonstrated with Civil War veterans.