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Effect Of The Steam Engine On The Industrial Revolution

1874 words - 7 pages

Effect of Steam Engine on Industrial Revolution
The economy of England during the 18th century was one that needed rebuilding after many years of war with other countries. A breakthrough of new technology and ideas boosted the economy, creating a time known commonly as the Industrial Revolution. Specifically, there was one invention that defined the Industrial Revolution. The steam engine, a device powered by coal used to run machines at an efficient rate, was developed during the Industrial Revolution. The invention of the steam engine had a major effect on the economy of England during the Industrial Revolution through its use in mining, transportation, and factories.
Thomas Savory created the very first steam engine in 1698, however it was hardly used due to its unreliability ().Savory's engine was widely advertised, however it could only be put under a certain amount of pressure before it exploded (). Industrialist Matthew Boulton brought Watt over to England to work with him on building his steam engine, providing him with the inventors and equipment needed to complete the engine ().Watt moved to the center of the Industrial Revolution in Birmingham, England, working with other inventors to build his steam engine (). Many different industrialists were able to provide their facilities and equipment to help Watt make his steam engine (). Boulton, partnering with Watt, was able to acquire a 25 year extension to Watt's patent, allowing Watt to build over 500 steam engines (). Not only did the steam engine allow for more efficient production, but it also assisted in transportation, migration, and the idea of imperialism (Delay).
James Watt figured out that steam could be used not only to create a vacuum but also to create enough pressure to move the cylinder ().Watt's improved engine had separate compartments for hot and cold water, creating a vacuum that got the piston moving. This meant that one no longer had to rely on atmospheric pressure to drive the engine, making it faster (Go Social Studies Go). Using a vacuum to drive the engine not only sped up the machine, but also made the steam engine much more cost efficient and cheaper, needing much less coal to run (Go Social Studies Go). James Watt's improved steam engine also allowed the coal cylinder to remain hot at all times, making an even more fuel efficient engine (The Industrial Revolution).
The production coming from English coal-mining took a dramatic turn for the better once the steam engine was introduced. While digging for coal, miners dug so deep that flooding began to be a major issue in mines. The traditional way to get water out of mines was to attach a horse to a wheel by use of a harness, which would then bring water up to the surface very slowly (Go Social Studies Go). The problem with the traditional method was not only that is was very inefficient, but it also cost lots of money to pay for the horses to control this wheel. A man named Thomas Newcomen then created the...

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