Technological Advancements 1750-1900

Timeline created by Plopoku
In History
  • Spinning jenny

    Spinning jenny
    James Hargreaves invented the spinning jenny in England. This reduced the amount of work needed to produce yarn, so a worker could work on 8 or more spools at the same time. It held more than 1 ball of yarn, so it could make more yarn in less time. This made the textile industry more efficient, lowering the cost by allowing the workers to make yarn faster.
  • Steam engine

    Steam engine
    In Great Britain, James Watt invented an improved steam engine that actually worked in a convenient way, unlike the former steam engines. This allowed many manufacturing machinery to be powered, speeding up industrial productions. Steam engines were also used to power vehicles such as tractors and steam locomotives. The steam engine is one of the most important and revolutionary inventions for the industrial revolution.
  • Indoor plumbing

    Indoor plumbing
    Thomas Crapper patented the first indoor toilet. During the Industrial Revolution, towns and cities grew at astonishing rates, causing problems such as overcrowding, pollution from factories, and disease. Preindustrial diseases and newer diseases brought to Europe lowered the life expectancy of Europe’s cities significantly, and struck at a time when most people had no knowledge of disease transmission and treatment. Indoor plumbing allowed better sanitation in cities.
  • Threshing machine

    Threshing machine
    Andrew Meikle invented the threshing machine. This machine was horse powered and greatly improved agricultural productivity in Europe and the Americas, and made its way to Asia as well. It separated grains so that people didn’t have to separate grains by hand anymore. This saved a lot of time for laborers, especially after people found ways to power it with steam.
  • Cheap iron

    Cheap iron
    Although iron has been in use for thousands of years, its production was costly and it was rare and valuable outside of China before the eighteenth century. However, in 1709, Abraham Darby’s discovery of coke being used to produce iron instead of charcoal allowed Britain and eventually the rest of Europe to manufacture and sell iron at a low price. Iron’s strength as a building material also allowed cities to expand vertically.
  • Guillotine

    In France, Joseph Ignace Guillotin introduced the guillotine as a more humane and painless form of execution. The guillotine became the standard sentence for capital crimes, replacing hanging for commoners and beheading by axe for nobles. Using this common penalty indicated the removal of the distinction between social classes. The guillotine is now a symbol of the excessive violence of the French Revolution, in which numerous people were executed daily during the Reign of Terror.
  • Cotton gin

    Cotton gin
    In America, Eli Whitney patented the first cotton gin, which separated cotton seeds from the fiber and greatly increased the efficiency of harvesting cotton. By the 1820s, cotton farming spread southward and allowed America to create its own cotton industry, adding to the rapidly growing domestic market.
  • Battery

    Italian scientist Alessandro Volta invented batteries, which allowed electricity to be produced without use of water or hand power. This led to the application of electricity to later inventions, particularly those relating to communication, such as the electric telegraph. Batteries continue to be a part of modern daily life.
  • Miner's lamp

    Miner's lamp
    Humphry Davy invents the miner's lamp, also known as the Davy lamp. It was used by miners mining in coal mines to keep the miners safe from gas explosions such as methane. This lamp could sense flammable gases, so it would burn brighter and turn blue, which would warn the miners of the danger. This saved many lives in England as well as the rest of Europe.
  • Electric telegraph

    Electric telegraph
    The first practical electric telegraph was introduced in England by Charles Wheatstone and William Cooke. Samuel Morse, an American, also introduced a telegraph that used a system of dots and dashes. The electric telegraph was first used by railroad companies to send messages across stations, increasing the safety and efficiency of railroads. By the 1840s, telegraph wires were prominent throughout the eastern United States and Europe, leading up to modern globalization.
  • Bicycle

    Kirkpatrick Macmillan, a Scottish corn trader, invented a bicycle. This bicycle was driven by a large rear wheel, and this allowed for quicker and much easier transportation, as opposed to going places on foot or riding a horse. This is a prototype for the bicycles we ride today, and it spread throughout Europe and gradually to all the other countries as well.
  • Sewing machine

    Sewing machine
    Elias Howe invented the first practical sewing machine. The machine was first put to use in factories, where it increased clothes production and lowered costs. The sewing machine also had an impact on women because women workers could operate the machines and find jobs in a factory. However, the machine’s efficiency eventually put traditional seamstresses out of work. Later, the sewing machine became modified for home use and became a part of daily life.
  • Interchangeable parts

    Interchangeable parts
    Due to the recent availability of cheap iron, guns and other hardware were widely produced. While guns and other pieces of equipment were traditionally made by hand and painstakingly fitted together, the idea of using identical, interchangeable parts allowed for mass production of metal items and greater efficiency of factories. This system was introduced as the “American system of manufactures” and was a dominant characteristic of American industry.
  • Typewriter

    Christopher Sholes, an American engineer, invented the first practical and modern typewriter. This could print characters on paper, and became extremely important for writers, businesses, and offices. This was important for spreading information more quickly, and news could be relayed in a more convenient way. This was used not only in the US, in Europe and spread to other places as well.
  • Traffic light

    Traffic light
    J P Knight invents traffic lights in the United Kingdom. It directed traffic on several streets in the UK safely until one day, it exploded. Even though this first nonelectrical traffic light ended up being dangerous, it became the prototype for the traffic lights we use everywhere now that keep transportation safe.
  • Telephone

    Alexander Graham Bell is credited with the invention of the telephone. The telephone allowed people over great distances to converse in a matter of seconds, and contributed to the trend of global communication that began with the industrial revolution. The telephone was used for both commercial and private use, and the installation of pay phones in later years gave the general public greater access to improved communication for a low cost.
  • Electric light

    Electric light
    Thomas Edison developed the electric light in the late nineteenth century. This new and more reliable light source was well suited for home use, and remains extremely relevant in modern times. It also enabled factory workers to continue their jobs after daylight hours. The mass installation of electric lights in cities also became something of an industry, and added to the cities’ growing infrastructure.
  • Dishwashing machine

    Dishwashing machine
    Josephine Cochrane invented the dishwasher in the United States, which revolutionized the cleaning of dishes. This dishwasher was motor powered, and it was nothing close to as laborious as the old fashioned way, consisting of hard, physical scrubbing. This saved a lot of time for servants and reduced the amount of chips plates of obtain. A motor turned a wheel while soapy, hot water sprayed the dishes. This dishwasher was a prototype for the modern dishwasher that we all use to this day.
  • Radar

    German physicist Heinrich Hertz invented the radar, which uses radio waves to determine different properties of certain objects, such as speed, direction, altitude, and range. It can be used to detect ships, missiles, planes, and spacecrafts. The radar would later become an important tool for militaries to both keep track of their navy as well as look out for enemy ships.
  • Zipper

    American, W.L. Judson, an American engineer, invented the zipper. This intricate design was more commonly known as a “clasp-locker” at the time, and revolutionized clothing, shoes, bags, and anything else people could think of to put it on. It made putting clothing/shoes on much faster, and allowed people to keep their objects safe in their bag while having easy access to them. This is a prototype for the common zippers we use today.
  • Motion picture camera

    Motion picture camera
    The French Lumiere Brothers invented a motion picture camera called the cinematographe. It is portable and processes film. This allowed the projection of motion pictures to an audience of more than 1 person. The cinematograph became a popular attraction and pastime for people all over the world, spreading from Europe all the way to the US, India, and China. People from all social classes were able to watch these movies together -- even the poorest people could afford to watch.