XIX century and new industrial revolution in the U.K.

The Second industrial Revolution in Britain: the concept of interchangeable parts of economy, electrification, petroleum industry, technology of telegraph. Achievements of Britain in mass production techniques and development of more efficient machines.

Рубрика История и исторические личности
Вид доклад
Язык английский
Дата добавления 27.04.2012
Размер файла 32,9 K

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The project:

XIX century and new industrial revolution in the U.K.

The project is prepared by

Chulkova E.A. 308 group



1. Industry

2. Technology

3. Achievements of Britain


The New Industrial Revolution, also known as the Technological Revolution, was a phase of the larger Industrial Revolution corresponding to the latter half of the 19th century until World War I. It is considered to have begun with Bessemer steel in the 1860s and culminated in mass production and the production line.

The Second Industrial Revolution saw rapid industrial development in Western Europe (Britain, Germany, France, the Low Countries) as well as the United States and Japan. It followed on from the First Industrial Revolution that began in Britain in the late 18th century that then spread throughout Western Europe and North America.

The concept was introduced by Patrick Geddes, Cities in Evolution (1910), but David Landes' use of the term in a 1966 essay and in The Unbound Prometheus (1972) standardized scholarly definitions of the term, which was most intensely promoted by American historian Alfred Chandler (1918-2007). However some continue to express reservations about its use.

Landes (2003) stresses the importance of new technologies, especially electricity, the internal combustion engine, new materials and substances, including alloys and chemicals, and communication technologies such as the telegraph and radio. While the first industrial revolution was centered on iron, steam technologies and textile production, the second industrial revolution revolved around steel, railroads, electricity, and chemicals.

Vaclav Smill called the period 1867-1914 "The Age of Synergy" during which most of the great innovations were developed. Unlike the First Industrial Revolution, the inventions and innovations were science based.


The Bessemer process was the first inexpensive industrial process for the mass-production of steel from molten pig iron. Its inventor Sir Henry Bessemer, revolutionized steel manufacture by decreasing its cost, increased the scale and speed of production of this vital raw material, and decreased the labor requirements for steel-making. The Bessemer process was soon followed by the Siemens-Martin furnace which was used in the open hearth process. The open hearth furnace allowed recycling of scrap iron and steel. Because it was easier to control quality with the open hearth process, it became the leading steel making process in early 20th century.

The concept of interchangeable parts had been implemented in the early 19th century by inventors including Honore Blanc, Henry Maudslay, John Hall, and Simeon North. Interchangeable parts in firearms had been developed by the armories at Springfield and Harper's Ferry by the mid 19th century and mechanics familiar with armory practice introduced the concept to other industries, mainly in New England. The system relied on machine tools, jigs for guiding the tools and fixtures for properly holding the work and gauge blocks for checking the fit of parts. This method eventually became known as the American system of manufacturing. Application of the American system to the sewing machine and reaper industries in the 1880s resulted in substantial increases in productivity. The American system was applied in the bicycle industry almost from the beginning. A later concept developed during the period was scientific management or Taylorism developed by Frederick Winslow Taylor and others. Scientific management initially concentrated on reducing the steps taken in performing work such as bricklaying or shoveling by using analysis such as time and motion studies, but the concepts evolved into fields such as industrial engineering manufacturing engineering and business management that helped to completely restructure the operations of factories, and later, entire segments of the economy.

The use of wood for making paper freed paper makers from using cotton and linen rags, which had been the limiting factor in paper production since the invention of the printing press (ca. 1440). Finding a more abundant source of pulp became particularly important after a machine was invented for continuous paper making (Ptd. 1799). The first wood pulp (ca. 1840) was made by grinding wood, but by the 1880s chemical processes were in use, becoming dominant by 1900.

The petroleum industry, both production and refining, began in 1859 with the first oil well in Pennsylvania, U.S.A. The first primary product was kerosene for lamps and heaters. Kerosene lighting was much more efficient and less expensive than vegetable oils, tallow and whale oil. Although town gas lighting was available in some cities, kerosene produced a brighter light until the invention of the gas mantle. Both were replaced by electricity for street lighting following the 1890s and for households during the 1920s. Gasoline was an unwanted byproduct of oil refining until automobiles were mass produced after 1914, and gasoline shortages appeared during World War I. The invention of the Burton process for thermal cracking doubled the yield of gasoline, which helped alleviate the shortages.

Electrification allowed the final major developments in manufacturing methods of the Second Industrial Revolution, namely the assembly line and mass production. The importance of machine tools to mass production is shown by the fact that production of the Ford Model T used 32,000 machine tools, most of which were powered by electricity. Henry Ford is quoted as saying that mass production would not have been possible without electricity because it allowed placement of machine tools and other equipment in the order of the work flow.

Electrification also allowed the inexpensive production of electro-chemicals, a few of the more important ones being: aluminum, chlorine, sodium hydroxide and magnesium. Railroads overtook steamboats operating on rivers and canals as the main transport infrastructure. The building of railroads accelerated after the introduction of inexpensive steel rails, which lasted considerably longer than wrought iron rails. Railroads lowered the cost of shipping to 0.875 cents/ton-mile from 24.5 cents/ton-mile by wagon. This increased the population of many towns. Improved roads such as the Macadam pioneered by John Loudon McAdam, were developed in the first Industrial Revolution, but the road network was greatly expanded during the second Industrial Revolution with a few hard surfaced roads being built around the time of the bicycle craze of the 1890s.

Iron had been used in ship building for a relatively short time before the development of inexpensive steel, after which steel quickly displaced iron.

The gasoline powered automobile was patented by Karl Benz in 1886, although others had independently built cars around that time. Henry Ford built his first car in 1896 and worked as a pioneer in the industry, with others who would eventually form their own companies, until the founding of Ford Motor Company in 1903. Ford and others at the company struggled with ways to scale up production in keeping with Henry Ford's vision of a car designed and manufactured on a scale so as to be affordable by the average worker. The solution that Ford Motor developed was a completely redesigned factory with machine tools and special purpose machines that were systematically positioned in the work sequence. All unnecessary human motions were eliminated by placing all work and tools within easy reach, and where practical on conveyors, forming the assembly line, the complete process being called mass production. This was the first time in history when a large, complex product consisting of 5000 parts had been produced on a scale of hundreds of thousands per year. The savings from mass production methods allowed the price of the Model T to decline from $780 in 1910 to $360 in 1916. In 1924 2 million T-Fords were produced and retailed $290 each.

2. Technology

By the middle of the 19th century there was a scientific understanding of chemistry and a fundamental understanding of thermodynamics and by the last quarter of the century both of these sciences were near their present day basic form. Thermodynamic principles were used in the development of physical chemistry. Understanding chemistry and thermodynamics greatly aided the development of basic inorganic chemical manufacturing and the aniline dye industries.

Control theory is the basis for process control, which is used in many forms of automation, particularly for process industries such as oil refining, paper and chemical manufacturing and for controlling ships and airplanes. Control theory was developed to analyze the functioning of centrifugal governors on steam engines. These governors had been used on wind and water mills to correctly position the gap between mill stones with changes in speed. The governor was adapted to steam engines by James Watt. Improved versions were used to stabilize automatic tracking mechanisms of telescopes and to control speed of ship propellers and rudders. However, these governors were sluggish and oscillated around the set point. James Clerk Maxwell wrote a paper mathematically analyzing the actions of governors, which marked the beginning of the formal development of control theory. The science was continually improved and evolved into an engineering discipline.

Telegraph lines were installed along rail lines for communicating with trains, and evolved into a communications network. The first commercial electrical telegraph was co-developed by Charles Wheatstone and William Fothergill Cooke, and was first successfully demonstrated on 25 July 1837 between Euston railway station and Camden Town in London.[19] The first lasting transatlantic telegraph cable was laid by Isambard Kingdom Brunel's ship the SS Great Eastern in 1866.[20] By the 1890s there was a telegraph network connecting major cities worldwide, which greatly facilitated international commerce, travel and diplomacy.

Electrification was called the "most the most important engineering achievement of the 20th century" by the National Academy of Engineering. In 1881, Sir Joseph Swan, inventor of the first feasible incandescent light bulb, supplied about 1,200 Swan incandescent lamps to the Savoy Theatre in the City of Westminister, London, which was the first theatre, and the first public building in the world, to be lit entirely by electricity. Electricity was used for street lighting in the early 1880s. Electric lighting in factories greatly improved working conditions, eliminating the heat and pollution caused by gas lighting, and reducing the fire hazard to the extent that cost of electricity for lighting was often offset by the reduction in fire insurance premiums. Frank J. Sprague developed the first successful DC motor in 1886 which he successfully adapted to power street railways, and by 1889 there were 110 electric railways either in operation and using his equipment or in planning. The electric street railway became a major infrastructure before 1920. AC motors were developed by Nikola Tesla (Westinghouse) and others in the 1890s and soon began to be used in the electrification of industry. Household electrification did not become common until the 1920s, and then only in cities. Fluorescent lighting was commercially introduced at the 1939 World's Fair.

The Corliss steam engine (1849) was a significant improvement in efficiency, and later steam engines were designed with multiple expansions (stages) which resulted in even greater efficiency. The steam turbine was developed by Charles Parsons in 1884. Unlike steam engines, the turbine produced rotary power rather than reciprocating power that required a crank and heavy flywheel. The large number of stages of the turbine allowed for high efficiency and reduced size by 90%. The turbine's first application was in shipping followed by electric generation in 1903.

The first widely used internal combustion engine was the Otto type (1876). From the 1880s until electrification it was successful in small shops because small steam engines were inefficient and required too much operator attention. The Otto engine soon began being used to power automobiles, and remains as today's common gasoline engine.

3. Achievements of Britain

machines industrial rrevolution britain

New products and services were introduced which greatly increased international trade. Improvements in steam engine design and the wide availability of cheap steel meant that slow, sailing ships were replaced with faster steamship, which could handle more trade with smaller crews. The chemical industries also moved to the forefront. Britain invested less in technological research than the U.S. and Germany, which caught up.

Michael Faraday discovered electromagnetic induction, and his inventions of electromagnetic rotary devices formed the foundation of electric motor technology. In 1880, pioneer of electric light Sir Joseph Swan began installing light bulbs in homes and landmarks in England, with the Savoy in London electrically lit in 1881. The Bessemer process was the first inexpensive industrial process for the mass-production of steel from molten pig iron. The process named after its inventor Sir Henry Bessemer, revolutionized steel manufacture by decreasing its cost, from ?40 per long ton to ?6-7 per long ton during its introduction, along with greatly increasing the scale and speed of production of this vital raw material. The process also decreased the labor requirements for steel-making. After the introduction of the Bessemer process, steel and wrought iron became similarly priced, and most manufacturers turned to steel. The availability of cheap steel allowed large bridges to be built and enabled the construction of railroads, skyscrapers, and large ships. Other important steel products--also made using the open hearth process--were steel cable, steel rod and sheet steel which enabled large, high-pressure boilers and high-tensile strength steel for machinery which enabled much more powerful engines, gears and axles than were possible previously. With large amounts of steel it became possible to build much more powerful guns and carriages, tanks, armored fighting vehicles and naval ships. Industrial steel also made possible the building of giant turbines and generators thus making the harnessing of water and steam power possible. The steam turbine invented by Sir Charles Parsons in 1884, has almost completely replaced the reciprocating piston steam engine primarily because of its greater thermal efficiency and higher power-to-weight ratio. As the turbine generates rotary motion, it is particularly suited to be used to drive an electrical generator - about 80% of all electricity generation in the world is by use of steam turbines. The introduction of the large scale steel production process perfected by Henry Bessemer, paved the way to mass industrialization as observed in the 19th-20th centuries.

The development of more intricate and efficient machines along with mass production techniques (after 1910) greatly expanded output and lowered production costs. As a result, production often exceeded domestic demand. Among the new conditions, more markedly evident in Britain, the forerunner of Europe's industrial states, were the long-term effects of the severe Long Depression of 1873-1896, which had followed fifteen years of great economic instability. Businesses in practically every industry suffered from lengthy periods of low -- and falling -- profit rates and price deflation after 1873.

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