Academic level – Undergrad 1-2
Type of paper – Research paper
Topic Title – Technological Innovations of the Industrial Revolution
Create a research paper that focuses on a specific issue and supports a thesis or main argument.
( Subject is Technological innovations of the Industrial Revolution)
It should be at least three pages long, typed and double-spaced, with at least THREE reference sources (each cited at least once in the paper).
The Industrial Revolution was a prominent turning point for humanity because it enhanced progress to a level previously unimaginable, creating different demands on the quality of life, factory production, and communication. It emerged due to the scope of technological innovations that often fostered each other and made progress even more significant. The steam engine, spinning jenny, electricity, telegraph and telephone, and internal-combustion engine fostered economic growth, employment, and pace of information exchange, the consequences of which remain visible today.
Steam engine’s emergence revolutionized the social and economic structures, transforming them into an inescapable progress in manufacturing and transportation. Watt’s steam engine became used so often that it was applied in almost all factories to maximize production. After that, it became used to power trains and steamboats, which made transportation more efficient, safe, and cost-effective. The invention of steam engines is often seen as the discovery that changed the entire human civilization, helping to improve life expectancy and decrease child mortality but also deepening the gap between low- and high-income families (Mohajan, 2019). Although it pushed society into a new period, it also made people work longer hours due to the increasing demands from employers. It led to significant societal changes, including urbanization, the growth of the middle class, and increased economic prosperity as a whole.
The creation of the spinning jenny significantly fostered production and automation in the textile industry, eventually transforming the entire market worldwide. This invention caused a growth of the textile industry, leading to an increase in demand for yarn and contributing to the further industrialization of the economy. Previously, weaving and spinning were much more demanding and exhaustive processes that required a significant amount of attention and physical effort. However, when spinning jenny was introduced, women and children became involved in the production, which brought more financial benefits for the families engaged in the enterprise (Styles, 2021). The factories with larger jennies appeared over several decades, quickly replacing their domestic counterparts. It had several positive and negative effects, mainly because the entire family had to be involved in out-of-home work to provide income. In the long-term perspective, it was among the contributing factors that changed the role of women in the workforce. Without it, the textile industry might not have grown at the pace it did, and the Industrial Revolution could have taken a different course.
Furthermore, electricity produced an enormous number of technological transformations that improved transportation, communication, and even the lifestyle of many people previously dependent on daylight. For the first time, people became able to travel via electric trains. The electric motors became a significant breakthrough in the factories, helping to increase production and decreasing the number of unskilled workers working for the progressively oriented factories. Electricity also allowed factories to be located in more convenient locations since they were no longer dependent on being situated near a source of water or coal. Even though many years had to pass before electricity was introduced in homes, it nonetheless changed the length of the day for many families. Importantly, it also transformed the length of the working shifts as it enabled many employees to stay at work for more extended periods.
Communications faced a dramatic change during the Industrial Revolution due to the invention of the telegraph and telephone, which was one of the first monumental shifts to a more globalized society and the improvement of scientific knowledge. Sir William Fothergill Cooke and Charles Wheatstone invented the telegraph, which helped people spread information and news fast, fostering objectivity and shifting people’s perception of what a person’s informational space consists of (Blondheim, 2019). Bell’s invention of the telephone was quickly popularized, which became a crucial element in many households. As a result, it essentially made a link between public and private vague, causing further societal transformations. Both of these inventions were instrumental in shaping the modern world and paved the way for even more advanced forms of communication in the future.
Finally, the internal combustion engine led to the creation of automobiles and finalized the technological revolution in developed countries. Created by Étienne Lenoir, the internal combustion engine was later modified by Nikolaus Otto, who made it cheaper and more efficient (Channell, 2019). The gasoline-powered engine became rapidly utilized in the first automobiles. It made transportation much faster and easier, enabling global connections across the globe. Even more, the internal combustion engine and the automobile inventions, as a result, heavily contributed to the development of air and marine travel and fostered research and development in the military field.
Concluding, the technological progress of the Industrial Revolution enhanced globalization and changed demands on workers, families, and the pace of goods and information spread. Although not all outcomes were positive, these changes caused a profound mark on the modern world, laying the foundation for many technological and economic advances that continue their progress in modernity. Regardless of the mixed impact, it became the cornerstone of cultural and social shifts that provided new roles to women and children, supporting the development of scientific thinking.
Blondheim, M. (2019). Telegraph: Invention and impact. In T. P. Vos & F. Hanusch (Eds.), The International Encyclopedia of Journalism Studies. essay, John Wiley & Sons.
Channell, D. F. (2019). The Rise of Engineering Science. Springer.
Mohajan, H. (2019). The First Industrial Revolution: Creation of a New Global Human Era. Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities, 5(4), 377–387.
Styles, J. (2021). The rise and fall of the spinning jenny: Domestic mechanisation in eighteenth-century cotton spinning. Textile History, 51(2), 195–236. https://doi.org/10.1080/00404969.2020.1812472