Industrial Revolution brought us many inventions used to this day. Can you imagine your life without light bulbs? Or having surgery without anaesthesia? Or how would our social media profiles look like without photographs? We’ve chosen 5 Industrial Revolution inventions that have had a great impact on the quality of life.
Industrial Revolution Inventions:
The stream engine is probably the most important invention not only of Industrial Revolution but rather all times. It not only created the revolution but also had an enormous economical impact. In 1781 James Watt patented the first steam engine with uninterrupted rotary motion. Its power increased from 10 hp to 10,000 hp by 1883. Steam engine changed the transport industry as such. It was light enough to be used for trains and steamboats. Factories, which were at the heart of the revolution, could now operate in the absence of water power.
Introduction of light bulbs meant that factories could work even at nighttime. This invention is commonly attributed to Thomas Edison, who developed the entire system in 1879. However, some earlier research had also been done. Sir Joseph Swan patented a bulb in Great Britain in 1880. It had not only had an impact on the industry but on everyday life, as electricity and improved lighting became widely available.
Although not often mentioned in relation to Industrial Revolution, anaesthetics have definitely revolutionised the world. It changed the history and allowed for further medicine development. Ether was first demonstrated as anaesthetic in 1846. Before that, when performing painful medical procedures, it was almost impossible to relieve patients. Alcohol and opium had been used but not with much success. Nitric oxide was discovered to be very useful during shorter procedures and was widely used by dentists.
Although cameras had been known for some time before Industrial Revolution, preserving images had been problematic. Solution came when Nicephore Niepce decided to expose chemical-coated paper to camera images in 1820s. It first took 8 hours to produce an image, which was later reduced and quality improved. Today most people use phones to capture moments of their lives, but the ability to preserve prints is still crucial for many.
In the era of smartphones, tablets and laptops, telegraph sounds like an ancient device. It had the same basic function – to enable people in different locations to communicate. The recipient had to decode Morse’s alphabet in order to understand the message. It not only allowed for it to be passed almost instantly, but also influenced development of media and news agencies.