The Industrial Revolution

In Chapter 13 of McClellan and Dorn’s “Science and Technology in World History: An Introduction” an overview of the modern Industrial Revolution is presented. The industrial revolution was characterized by the development of several major industries and technologies: coal, the steam engine, iron production, textiles, and more. The development of the coal industry was driven by the lack of wood throughout Europe. The increased mining of coal led to the creation of theĀ steam engine, which was first created by Thomas Newcomen and then made more efficient by James Watt. These steam engines were used to pump water out of mines, power steamboats, andĀ mechanize the textile industry. A high-pressure steam engine, invented by Richard Trevithick, was used to power locomotives. Rail travel was made possible by the increased availability of iron, which was driven by the growth of the coal industry.

A major theme of this chapter is that the growth of these industries each contributed to the industrial revolution jointly and individually. In many cases, one industry contributed to the development of another industry and that industry contributed to another technology, etc. Another major theme of this chapter is that scientific theory was rarely used in the development of new technologies; most innovations were done by trial and error. I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the history of technology because it is logical and easy to read.

Word count: 232

Name: Connor Mackert



5 Replies to “The Industrial Revolution”

  1. The text was certainly easy to read and fascinating and you properly highlight that as well as the main points that McClellan and Dorn make, especially with regards to the idea that each innovation was built upon an existing technology, and this exchange of ideas led to what we know as the Industrial Revolutions. I found the Encyclopedia Brittanica link that was provided useful since it gave a history of the steam engine and its application to transportation. The other linked article was really nice because it had links to information about many different areas of the Industrial Revolution, showing the variety of industries present.

  2. Good summary of McClellan and Dorn’s chapter. I really like how you pointed out that developments in different industries influenced and effected each other. Do you think this is something we should be doing more of today? I feel like some of today’s industries are more isolated than they once were.

  3. Great job, Connor!

    Your blog post was a nice overview of how different industries affected the railroad system. What are some specific examples of how this interaction occurred? The links you supplied were very informative and gave auxiliary background about the different components affecting the railroad.


  4. This is a very good summary of the chapter and of the industrial revolution. I think that it is very interesting that these large industries advanced together and pushed each other to evolve. Many of these advancements came out of necessity even if the inventor wasn’t focused on that. Here is a website that goes more into depths about the transition period between wood and coal fuel.

  5. Good job summarizing the main ideas — I agree that it’s important to see that the various industries contributed jointly. I also agree that McClellan is an easy and logical read! Definitely would recommend.

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