Industrial Revolution

  • Steam engine is invented

    Steam engine is invented
    Thomas Newcomen invents the first steam engine. It is not very useful yet, but the idea of using steam to make machines go will be important to the Industrial Revolution.
  • Spinning Jeny is invented

    Spinning Jeny is invented
    James Hargreaves, a British carpenter and weaver, invents the spinning jenny. The machine spins more than one ball of yarn or thread at a time, making it easier and faster to make cloth.
  • James Watt improves the steam engine.

    James Watt from Scotland designs a more efficient steam engine. One of the most important inventions of the Industrial Revolution, steam engines power the first trains, steamboats, and factories.
  • Eli Whitney patents the cotton gin.

    Eli Whitney creates a machine that makes it much easier to separate cotton seeds from cotton fiber. It greatly reduces the time it takes to clean cotton and helps the southern states make more money from cotton crops.
  • Samuel Morse invents the telegraph.

    Samuel Morse invents the telegraph, which allows messages to be sent quickly over a wire. By 1860, telegraph wires stretch from the east coast of the United States west of the Mississippi River.
  • Elias Howe invents the sewing machine.

    At a time when people had to make their own clothes at home or pay someone else to sew them by hand, Elias Howe invents the sewing machine. Now clothes can be made in large factories.
  • Elisha Otis invents the elevator safety break.

    Elevators were already invented by 1853, but people worried about elevator cars falling. Elisha Otis invents a safety break to prevent them from falling if a cable breaks, making people feel more confident about using elevators in tall buildings.
  • Alfred Nobel creates dynamite.

    Alfred Nobel creates dynamite.
    Alfred Nobel invents dynamite, which is a safer way to blast holes in mountains or the ground than simply lighting black powder. Dynamite is important in clearing paths to build things such as roads and railroad tracks.