The Impact of Innovations of Electricity in the 19th Century

The 19th century covers the period of second industrialization. It is a term applied to the sudden and remarkable series of change that is related to the growth of a nation. The industrial realization took part in two series, first is the industrialization that happened in Britain during the 18th century, and the second wave of industrialization that took place in the United States in the 19th century. As industrialization takes shape, did it create an impact to civilization, to the economy and to the nation as a whole? What were the contributions of the innovations of fuel power to industrialization?

Some concerns to be resolved in this study would answer the questions on the impact of electricity to changes in the industry, and to the people that is a basic partner in the industrialization The period of transition from the first industrialization to the second where innovations in source of fuel and electricity will be discussed to find out its effect to the people, the industry and to the economy. The First Industrialization Innovations in the use of energy as source of power had helped in the rapid change for industrialization, from agriculture to manufacturing and industrial process in the 18th century.

Britain has led the road to the first industrialization during the 18th century, and had used up oak wood to fuel its industries, aside from using it as heaters in the fireplaces. Finding the wood to be scarce, Britain shifted its use from wood to coal for industrial fuel, and has employed an abundant supply of labor to do the mining. Coal was used in manufacturing process of brewing, metalworking, glass and ceramic industries, but its use was not limited to the industries mentioned. An innovation to the use of coal was made in 1709 in converting coal to iron.

Iron has provided power to heavy industries, and the most notable contribution was for the development of the railroad which became a source of transportation and growth of economic activity. Steam engines The interest in industrialization had created “wave of enthusiasm” such that in the beginning of the eighteenth century in England, machinery had replaced manual labor operation, and had a need for other sources of power supply. Other source of power came around 1762, in the invention of steam engines that powered large factories.

On that same year, a factory owned by Matthew Boulton who had more than six hundred workers, experimented on the use of steam engine to supplement power in its factory operations which ran a variety of lathes and grinding machines. After that, grinding and mixing of pottery machines began to use steam engines. Subsequent experimentations of steam engines led to the development of steam vessel. The steam vessel was designed by an instrument-maker for Glasgow University, James Watt. Electricity The period of electricity came in 1873 when Michael Faraday demonstrated how it could be produced mechanically.

This demonstration led to the start of electricity. The use of electricity in beginning was limited to small producers because of short transmission lines and high cost. It was unavailable to others yet, and up to 1900, the source of cheap electricity for users in southern eastern France and northern Italy was thru generators using falling waters in the mountains. Soon, Italy had to resort to the use of electricity as there were no more coal resources. Subsequently villages in Rome, textile factories and automobile factories started using electricity . The Second Industrialization

According to history, real reason behind America’s industrialization was the passage of Embargo Act of 1807 and the War of 1812 such that the Embargo Act of America ended trade relations with other nations. The effects of war made an important signal that America needed a reliable transportation system and more economic independence. The following years of America’s industrialization had been devoted to the development of transportation, harnessing of electricity and improvements in the industrial and manufacturing processes and the government’s response of protective tariff

It was said that the first phase of industrialization belongs to Britain, but the second industrialization is the work of the United States/. Having just won their independence from Great Britain, Americans felt a need to become economically strong as a young nation. From a traditional agricultural economy in 1790, Americans have transformed to mechanization and eventually considered to be a power to reckon with until this period of time. America had followed some patterns of inventions, ideas and structures from Britain, and proceeded to make its own.

Like Britain, America used also wood for fuel which had a large resource from North America. Wood was used to fuel machineries, and was used for construction and for making machineries. Soon, America was known to be the best wood machinery maker in the world. It had invested a large amount of money in the construction of railroads, canals and bridges to provide transportation and a means of transportation and communication for industries and commerce to grow. Americans had built-in advantages in the industrialization scene.

First was there was no language barrier with the British, and any literature or information that came their way in terms of technology could be applied or improved further. Second, America has vast territorial lands which could be used for industrialization; it owns resources, capital and labor force working for fulfillment of their objectives. Third, America had opened its door to skilled immigrant workers to enhance technology transfer, and fourth, America enjoyed internal free market of goods and services.

To illustrate the triumph of America’s mechanization, their work was mostly admired in the first World Trade exhibits in Crystal Palace in London in 1871 The Age of Inventions Technology has spawned inventions and great inventors had contributed to the rapid changes in US industrial development. Natural gas was discovered in America in 1626 when French explorers saw the natives igniting gases that were sweeping into and around Lake Erie. It took several years before it was dug into a well in 1859, which started the natural gas industry.

Pipelines were constructed that safely brought gas from the underground sources to a practical use in the village of Titusville Pennsylvania. Other natural gas wells were found and were used for heating and cooking, but it had its disadvantage drawn from the pipeline infrastructure, and the difficulty of transporting. In its pure form, natural gas has no odor, no shape and no color. It is combustible, and emits a great deal of energy when burned. Normally, natural gas is used to heat homes, cook food and generate electricity.