Category:HistoryPaper Title:The Steam EngineText:In the never-ending search for energy sources, the invention of the steamengine changed the face of the earth. (Siegel, Preface) The steam engine wasthe principal power source during the British Industrial Revolution in the 18thcentury. The steam engine opened a whole new world to everyone.
The steam enginemaximized production, efficiency, reliability, minimized time, the amount oflabor, and the usage of animals. The steam engine in all revolutionized theEastern Hemisphere, mainly European society. What does revolutionize actuallymean? It means that something such as the steam engine brought about a radicalchange in something, and this something is the European Society. The steamengine specifically brought about a radical change in work, transportation ofgoods, and travel. The invention of the steam engine revolutionized Europeansociety by enabling tasks to be done quicker, cheaper, and more dependably. The steam engine use throughout the several professions revolutionizednumerous aspects of Western European Society.Order now
The first important use of thesteam engine came in 1776. The steam engine was used to show the Cornish minershow successful it could be in removing the water from the mineshafts. Thisproved to be of great importance to the Cornish, because one of their biggestproblems was the flooding of the mining shafts. (The Penetration of the Industryby Steam Power) The mine owners worriedthat the mines would have to beshut down unless water could be pumped out of the shafts. The enginesuccessfully raised water from the bottom of deep mines.
(Siegel, 17) Thissaved the shutting down of the mines, which were essential to further theeconomy. Not only did the steam engine save the mines, it provided a method ofmining that proved to be extremely quicker than the traditional techniques. Oneof the biggest incomes for the British was found in their textile industry. Inthe textile industry, the domestic system presented many problems for merchants.
They had difficulty regulating standards of workmanship and maintainingschedules for completing work. Workers sometimes sold some of the yarn or clothin their own profit. As the demand in cloth increased, merchants often had tocompete with one another for the limited amount of workers available inmanufacturing, which increased merchants costs. As a result, merchants turnedincreasingly to machinery, which was powered by the steam engine, for greaterproduction and also turned to factories for central control over their workers. (Johnson, 30) The steam engine proved to be a reliable investment for merchantsof the textile industries not only because it wasnt accident prone likehumans and increased production by unimaginable amounts, but it also moved thecompany into a factory, which helped to urbanize life to the way we live ittoday.
The steam engine was also used on the farm for several purposes. It wasused extensively for deep plowing, cultivating, mole draining and groundclearing. Great advances were also made in agriculture with the enginesenabling greater acreage to come under the plough and production increased bythe use of machines to do tasks formerly done by hand or by horses. (Johnson,39) These steam engines allowed farmers to grow crops in abundance with minimalmanual labor, which was an increase in quantity and quality productions since amachine and not a human was doing the work.
Another great contribution of thesteam engine was made in the iron/coal industries. Since iron was starting to beproduced so rapidly, more coal was needed to keep the steam engines running. Since the coal mining industry had to keep up, steam power was used for themining of coal, which proved to be much faster than customary methods. Becausethe steam engine was used to mine coal, and because England had largedeposits of coal to fuel the new steam engines, it enabled people to use moremachines and to build larger factories. (Industrial Revolution. EarthExplorer).
More machines and factories using the steam engine meant moreproduction, more reliability, and cheaper prices. The steel industry was alsorevolutionized through the use of the steam engine. Steel, smelted from iron,was beaten, rolled or shaped on steam-powered machines. This steel became verycheap, and was able to be used for the railroad tracks, and also used later onin construction.
(Gordon). Without the steal to be shaped so fast by the steamengines, countries couldnt have expanded its trade and travel the way it did. It is also said that, The water works and, in many cases, the canals couldnot exist without steam-power, for their very existence depended upon theregular raising of large quantities of water to high levels. Steam was the onlypower that made this possible.
(The Penetration of the Industry by steampower) Without the steam engine, these factories, mills, agricultural advances,and other industries could not have been revolutionized in the way they were. The steam engine used in means of travel revolutionized the transportation ofgoods, as well as the importing and exporting of them. The steam-poweredrailroad changed geography and history. When grain merchants transported theirgoods by horsepower, they could go only so far before the horse consumed morethan it could carry. (Gordon) In this aspect, the steam engine in railroadsallowed people to import and export their goods on a faster, more reliable,source. Another major effect of the steam engine on society was the increasedcommunication between different areas and countries relating to prices.
Beforethe steam engine in the railroad, prices of products varied dramatically fromarea to area. Prices were lower in the area that produced a certain good andhigher in an area that had to import it. Now for the first time prices seemed tobe relatively equal due to the steam engine in the railroads. (Johnson, 35) Theindustry that the steam engine developed depended on transport of raw materials.
The steam engine in ships carried these raw materials as well as finishedproducts through waterways, for long distances. Goods could be transported bywater at a speed of 20 miles per hour, which is a lot faster and economical thanother methods. Because of the steam engine, countries could now import andexport with other countries at a faster pace than the wooden ships. RoadLocomotives were fitted to carry out relatively long and fast journeys, haulingbig loads on the hard road surfaces. This was an alternative to transportingproducts through railways, because there was a lack of the choice of routes. (Wise, 56) The steam engine used in these Road Locomotives, provided yetanother means of transporting goods from one place to another quickly anddirectly which was important in transporting.
Road locomotives were extremelyefficient because if someone didnt have much money, than they could transporttheir goods via this transportation method. The coming of the lighter steamwagons revolutionized local delivery work, horses being brought within areasonable days journey of the market. Jobs, such as timber hauling,previously carried out by teams of horses and dozens of men could be done by twoengines and half a dozen men. (Johnson, 41) Steam engines used in the steamwagons brought about yet another technique to transport goods quickly,proficiently and in some cases cheaper, than the usual transporting of goodsthrough horses. Not only did the steam engine lead into the use of the means oftraveling, for the purpose of importing, local deliveries, and transports ofmaterials, but it made those three things quicker and cheaper.
Transportation, which is a necessity for everyone today, was revolutionizedbecause of the steam engine. The steam engine allowed people to travel from oneplace, to another, and start a new life, but also return to their old dwellingto perhaps visit family, to do business, or to do whatever that may be needed. It wasnt until the early 1800s that one of the greatest inventions causedby the steam engine was invented, the railroad. Since several entrepreneurs sawthat the potential of this was enormous, many entrepreneurial companies wereformed to build railroads.
The railroad caused an economic boom for manycountries. The country that was the most effected by this was Germany. When theystarted the development of the railroads, they made over 2000 miles ofconnecting tracks to every part of the country. These railroads caused Belgium,Germany, and France to become the most industrialized Continental powers duringthe mid-nineteenth century. (Johnson, 33-34) The steam engine allowed the peopleto travel to almost any destination safely, and at an extremely fast pace.
Thesteam engine used in railways was like a magic carpet fulfilling peopleshopes for a different future. They felt free to move from place to place. Manyended their rural isolation and relocated in urban centers (Siegel, 41) Thesteam engine was used in Britain for the first type of cars, and was used forother road paving machines. If the first car was not powered by a steam engine,there is slim to none chance that people would have had an interest in thesecars and started to experiment with them. And because of that, we would not havethe same extraordinary means of car transportation as we do today. For the roadpaving machines, the steam engine was used to power heavy lorries, road rollers,and traction engines.
Steam engines used in road rollers were used for improvingour roads for the 18th century and onward. It is to the credit of the rollersthat formed the base to most of our roads that their work is still standing upto traffic which the designers of that time could not possibly have foreseen. (Johnson, 26-27) Though steam engines used in road rollers to pave roads may notbe revolutionary to the mind at first, when thought about, one can see how it isrevolutionary. Without the roads to be paved, the cars would travel on thegravel, which was very uncomfortable and makes the travel incredibly slow.
Thesteam ship was another alternative to the many steam operated means oftransportation. Since you couldnt travel across Asia by railroads yet, andthere were no paved roads to take a steam-powered car to your destination, steamships allowed a quick travel through the seas, rivers, lakes, or canals toarrive at long distance destinations. Because of the steam engine in thesteamships, people could travel long distances like from Britain across theAtlantic in under three weeks, where as before it took over 2 months and wasunsafe, and unreliable. Now it is safe, reliable, and quick. (Sproule, 54) Thanksto steam power, distance and time had lost their old links with wind, terrain,and hurrying horses hooves. To the dizzied onlookers, it must have seemedthat the world was shrinking as they watched (Sproule, 56)The industrial revolution that started in about 1770 in Englandrevolutionized several aspects of life, as we know today.
The reason to most ofthis revolutionized life can be credited to the steam engine. The steam enginewas, and still is vital to the world today. What the steam engine did to theworld is something everyone should know and care about. The steam engine changedthe map of the world; it also changed the map of every country where it heldsway.
The towns with these steam powered factories, just grewand grewandgrew. Power sources no longer had to be by a river. Because of the steam engine,cities changed from centers of trade to production centers, industrializingeverywhere this steam fever went. The steam engine allowed a wave of newmachines to come into use, which gave way to tons of jobs. These jobs were abasis for the jobs we all have today. Animals no longer had to do so much work.
The steam engine replaced all the animals jobs in traveling and intransportation of goods. In all, the steam engine was a key that unlocked thedoors to the infinite amount of paths that have been walked through to reach totodays society. The steam engine, says Author H. W.
Dickinson, wasnever so important in the worlds economy as it is today. BIBLIOGRAPHYAuthor Unknown. Industrial Revolution. Earth Explorer. 2-1-1995. Online.
Electric Library. 11-24-99. Gordon, John S. What has Watt Wrought? Forbes Magazine. 7-7-1997:pp144. Online.
Electric Library. 11-24-99. Johnson, Brian. Steam Traction Engines, Wagons and Rollers. London: BlandfordPress, 1971.
Lord, John. The Penetration of Industry by Steam-Power. 12-2-1996. Online. Available: http://www.
history. rochester. edu/steam/lord/8. htm.
11-24-99. Siegel, Beatrice. Inventions that Changed our Lives: The Steam Engine. NewYork: Walker Publishing Company, 1986. Sproule, Anna. James Watt.
Great Britain: Exley Publications Ltd. , 1992. Wise, David B. Steam on the Road. London: Hamlyn Publishing Group Ltd.,1973.History