The First Industrial Revolution 1770-1860 2° lesson

Everything I have talked about so far would not be possible without the technological developments brought forward by the human being.

Industrial revolutions are always based on technological discoveries and new materials.

The advent of steam engines represented a fundamental moment that led to the use of coal instead of wood.

Coal could be easily transported and had a better energy development than wood.

Europe at that time was the largest consumer of timber, in fact this material was used to work glass, steel, iron, and many other elements.

The reckless use of wood led to the disappearance of many forests, as there was no respect for the environment nor the idea of replanting a tree, where it had been removed.

Unlike wood, coal could be extracted from quarries or mines, and a number of scientists began to develop steam machinery to create tools capable of working, or transporting materials and people.

In 1705 Thomas Newcomen invented the first reliable steam machine which was later improved by James Watt. His design was further modified by George Stephenson in 1829 for the creation of the Locomotive, which completely revolutionized the world.


These inventors owe their success to the miners, because they developed their idea using the rails that were used to transport coal out of the mines.

Just think that at the time the train ran at a speed of 6 kilometers per hour, and it was considered very fast!

The first railway was created in 1830 in England and precisely between Liverpool and Manchester. Right in that section, George Stephenson won a speed race against other inventors to demonstrate the speed and reliability of his vehicle, reaching a speed of 50 kilometers per hour.

From that race, the train became famous all over the world: let’s just think of the United States of America, where it was used to connect the whole country.

Native Americans often attacked the train because they considered it an enemy to be driven out.


The shape of the trains was different depending on the area of the world: if we look at that of the United States, we can see how in front of the locomotive there was a triangular accessory called buffalo chaser, whose name comes exactly from the function it was supposed to have.

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