The war of 1812 resulted in the obstruction of the coastline of America hindering the fishing and shipping activities. So, after the war, America realized that she needed to improve- it required a better transport system and economic independence. She thus began an industrial revolution. Between 1815 and 1860, America advanced in her transportation and communication sectors (Brauer, 1988). The completion of Erie Canal in 1825 between Lake Erie and the Hudson River facilitated the transportation of products between the Great Lakes and the Atlantic, and this impacted positively on the economic development since the consumers could easily access the products. The construction of railroads, for instance, the Baltimore and Ohio railroad enhanced industrialization as it enabled manufacturing companies to link up with the consumers (Meyer, 2003). Inventions in the transportation sector also improved migrations/immigration and settlement of laborers who settled near the industries. This increased the quantity of labor and thus increased the rate of production.
During this period, there was also inventions of photography, stethoscope, the typewriter, braille printing, and the telegraph. These scientific discoveries facilitated communications, for instance, the telegraph revolutionized communicated since it enabled a large number of messages to be sent within a short period, and over long distances. As a result, there was increased production in industries (Brauer, 1988). Newspapers also emerged and led to a profound impact in industrialization due to the enhanced linked between enterprises and consumers or clients.
Porter (2009) reports that other scientific discoveries such as inventions of the first American sewing machine by Elias Howe in 1826, significantly impacted the textile industry. The fabric could be made quickly and fasterfabric. The design resulted in increased production of clothes in the textile industries.
What new power sources arose as a result of the scientific discoveries?
The discoveries of the sewing machine, locomotives, railroads, telegraph, photography, typewriter, microphone among other inventions resulted in the rise of different power sources. Power sources used in industrialization between 1815 and 1860 included electricity, coal, steam, wind, and water, natural gas as well as human and animal power (Meyer, 2003).
How was the power sources used, and what sources of power did they replace?
According to Brauer (1988), the first American sewing machine entirely used human power. Though it significantly increased the production in the textile industry, there was still a lot of manual work that needed to be done. Industrialization during the mentioned period also used wind and water power. Energy from wind was used to pump water in the industries. The moving water rotated waterwheels that produced energy that was used for the same purpose as that generated by the windmills. Water energy was also used to get rid of the waste products from different industries.
The invention of the railroads also incorporated manpower as well as animal power. Man could still use animals to pull cats along the railroads. The design of the locomotives relied on coal and steam power. Coal energy was a significant source of energy during the industrial revolution. During this period, steam-powered engines used coal-fueled boilers to run ships and trains. Coal replaced charcoal energy as the primary source of for steel furnaces. Again, coal was also employed at home, for instance, coal was used to fuel stoves.
Another source of energy in industrialization during this period was the natural gas. William Hart drilled the first natural gas well in 1821. The gas was a source of energy that was used as a primary source of fuel for lamps. However, since gas lines were not linked to houses by then, the natural gas was used mainly in fueling the street lamps (Meyer, 2003).. In 1859, oil energy started to replace coal energy. Petroleum was mined from well and refined into kerosene and used to fuel lamps in homes and some of the industries.
Stearns (2018) mentions that the inventions of the microphone, the telegraph, the microscope, and the typewriter, etc. relied upon electric energy. Though, between this periods, the electrical energy was still not stable until the late 1900s. The electric power later replaced man, steam, coal, natural gas, wind and water, and oil. However, no power source was replaced forever during this period. For instance, during industrialization, no type of power source could completely replace man energy to date. The workforce was still required in many cases. The steamships and steam trains still needed manpower to operate them. Though, the inventions of steam locomotives that use coal could have replaced other source of power such as manpower, animal power, natural gas, and oil power, no one single source of energy could replace one or all the power sources given the various spectra of power requirement in industrialization.
How was Communication Revolutionized by Industrialization?
Stearns (2018) mentions that due to the development and expansion of industries in America, affected by various scientific inventions, there was an increase in the number of manufactured products. So, there was a need for the companies to link up with client and consumers. Again, various companies needed to communicate with workers as well as storing a large quantity of data. Therefore there was a need for newspaper/newsletters to convey messages. This influenced the scientific discoveries such as the inventions of the typewriter, photography, braille printer, microphone, and the telegraph. The result was the development of the communication sector, for instance, the invention of the typewriter and braille printer that could be used in the publication of newsletters or newspapers. This invention also enhanced the storage of workers information in the various industries.
Brauer, K. J. (1988). The United States and British Imperial Expansion, 1815-60. Diplomatic History, 12(1), 19-37.
Meyer, D. R. (2003). The roots of American industrialization. JHU Press.
Porter, R. (2009): Scientific American magazine, Vol. 2 Issue 1 The advocate of Industry and Journal of Scientific, Mechanical and Other Improvements
Stearns, P. N. (2018). The industrial revolution in world history. Routledge.
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