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The Industrial Revolution


The First Industrial Revolution: Textiles and Steam: 1712-1830

  • 1712: The Newcomen steam engine.
  • 1733: John Kay invents the flying shuttle.
  • 1764: James Hargreaves invents the spinning jenny.
  • 1769: Richard Arkwright patents the water frame.
    • James Watt patents a series of improvements on the Newcomen engine making it more efficient.
  • 1779: Samuel Crompton perfects the spinning mule.
  • 1785: Edmund Cartwright patents a power loom.
  • 1793: Eli Whitney patenets the cotton gin.
  • 1807: Robert Fulton begins steamboat service on the Hudson River.
  • 1830: George Stephenson begins rail service between Liverpool and London.

The Spread of the Industrial Revolution: 1830-1875

  • 1840: Samuel Cunard begins transatlantic steamship service.
  • 1856: Henry Bessemer develops the Bessemer converter.
  • 1859: The first commercial oil well is drilled in Pennsylvania.
  • 1866: The Siemens brothers improve steelmaking by developing the open hearth furnace.

The Second Industrial Revolution: Electricity and Chemicals: 1875-1905

  • 1836: Samuel F. B. Morse invents the telegraph.
  • 1866: Cyrus Field lays the first successful transatlantic cable.
  • 1876: Alexander Graham Bell invents the telephone.
  • 1879: Thomas Edison invents the indandescent light bulb.
  • 1892: Rudolf Diesel patents the diesel engine.
  • 1899: Guglielmo Marconi invents the wireless.
  • 1903: The Wright Brothers make the first successful airplane flight.


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