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The steam engine, how did it effect the Industrial Revolution? The Industrial Revolution, which was started in England around 1770, would result in some of the greatest technological advancements in history. One of the major and most popular inventions during the Industrial Revolution was the steam engine. The invention of the steam engine dates way back to even before the Industrial Revolution, the earliest date being around 1698. It wasn t until the late 17th century and early 18th century that the steam engine crabbed interest in many inventors. This strong interest in the improvement of the steam engine would change the outcome of the Industrial Revolution forever.Thomas Savery, of England, built the first crude steam powered machine in 1698. Savery built his machine to help pump water out of coalmines. This machine was so simple that it had no moving parts. It also used up lots and lots of coal just to pump a small quantity of water. The first steam engine that had significant use was that of Thomas Newcomen known as The Newcomen Engine. The Newcomen engine, invented independently of that of Savery, constitutes unquestionably the greatest revolutionary advance in the whole history of mechanical power. This engine was used in the Cornish mining shafts as a mean to pump water out of the shaft. The Newcomen engine is probably one of the simplest steam engines invented compared to the modern steam engines not including Savery s engine. The engine consists of a large vertical cylinder that is fitted with a piston that is connected to a chain to one end of a beam. The beam is pivoted and connected at the other end to the pump. The steam is supplied by a large boiler, which has a valve where the steam is forced through. Once the steam builds up pressure, it is force through the valve pushing the piston down and bringing the beam along with it. So as you can see, it is very simply machine with probably very little purpose.It is not until a man by the name of James Watt comes along, that the steam engine gains a more useful status in the Industrial world. Although Watt did not invent the steam engine, but rather improve vastly on The Newcomen engine, he is basically referred to as the inventor of the modern steam engine. Watt s greatest discovery came in 1765 when came up with the theory of separate condensation. The made the steam engine a much more useful and economic source of power and for almost hundred years after, there were variations or improvement made on it. Now that Watt had his newly developed steam engine, it was only a matter of time before he would capitalize on it. It wasn t until Watt meets a man by the name of Boulton, that he forms a firm by the name of Boulton & Watt. This firm would become the leader in Steam engine production with Watt s newly improved steam engine. Since the capital needed to produce the steam engines was high, it was Boulton s money that was used in the production of the steam engine, but there were many difficulties in trying to raise the capital. Many banks were suspicious about them and did not lend them money because it was considered a risky business venture. It wasn t until 1784 when Lowe, Vere & Co., and Matthews took over the banking of Boulton & Watt. Now that they had a secure source of financing behind them, the business took off. This is when the steam engine comes to change the Industrial Revolution forever. The first important use of the steam engine came in 1776 when Boulton & Watt decided to build one steam engine free of charge so that that could show the Cornish miners how successful it could be in removing the water from the mine shafts. This proved to be of great interest to the Cornish because one of their biggest problems was the flooding of the mining shafts. Once Boulton & Watt proved that their engine was of great use to the Cornish, the Cornish miners flooded them with orders, which actually started the great interest of the steam engine and expanding the interest of the Boulton & Watt firm to entrepreneurs and the public. For the next 3 years this was the major use of the steam engine in Europe.A great invention that would effect the industrial revolution greatly was the Steamboat. In May 1804, A man by the name of Fulton went to France to study new ideas such as the steam engine. Fulton had already written to Boulton & Watt, ordering an engine to be built from plans, which he furnished them; but he had not informed them of the purpose to which it was to be applied. This engine was to have a steam- cylinder 2 feet in diameter and of 4 feet stroke. In the spring of 1807, the “Claremont”, as the new boat was christened, was launched from the shipyard of Charles Brown, on the East River, New York. In August the machinery was on board and in successful operation. The hull of this boat was 133 feet long, 18 wide, and 9 deep. The boat soon made trip to Albany, running the distance of 150 miles in 32 hours running time, and returning in 30 hours. The sails were not used on either occasion. Even though the boat was launched the US, it soon caught interest quickly in Europe. This early steamboat was a major invention during the industrial revolution because it opened up a whole way of traveling by water. Now countries could import and export with each other much quicker then before. The steamboat grew so much interest that almost every year a new faster and improved model was invented. This was only one of the great contributions of the steam engine to the industrial revolution.

Another great contribution of the steam engine was to the Iron industry. In 1805, Iron manufactures accounted for 6 percent of British income, up from approximately 1 percent forty years earlier. Since iron was starting to be produced so rapidly, more coal was needed to keep the steam engines running and for the melting of the iron. This consequently led to an increase in business for the coal miners. Since the coal mining industry had to keep up, steam power was used for the mining of the coal, which proved to be much faster then traditional methods. This all led to one of the greatest advantages for the British. The biggest income source for the British though was their textiles. With the used of new machines powered by steam engine, the amount of textile produced had sawed. The estimated increase was about 5% per from 1800 to 1850. By 1821, textiles had accounted for 14% of the British national income If you think about it, it is an extraordinary amount of income for one product. Since Britain was the leader in international trade, most of the iron and textiles that they produced were designated for export. This greatly increased the income coming into their economy. It wasn t until the early 1800 s that one of the greatest inventions caused by the steam engine was invented, the railroad. The invention of the railroad would change the Industrial Revolution forever. It was in 1830 that the first railroad system was opened connecting Liverpool to Manchester. Since many business minded people saw that the potential of this was enormous, many entrepreneurial companies were formed to build railroads. After the formation of these new companies, by 1847 there were nearly 6,500 miles of railroad connecting many different location of Britain. This figure would soon grow at an enormous rate each year. The only problem with this mass construction of the railroad was the high cost to produce it. This high cost of production would cause 3% of the national income in the 1840 s to be contributed to the construction of the railroad. This may not seem like a lot, but for one project it is an enormous amount of money. The railroad caused an economic boom for many countries. Now that there was a fast way to transport goods, many countries started to export. Not only did they produce goods for the immediate vicinity, but also they started producing for other parts of the countries. Another major effect of the railroad on the Industrial Revolution was the increased communication between different areas and countries relating to prices. Before the railroad, prices of products varied dramatically from area to area. Prices were lower in the area that produced a certain good and higher in an area that had to import it. Now for the first time prices seemed to be relatively equal due to the railroad. The country that was the most effected by this was Germany. In Germany, the Zollverein abolished internal tariffs, set a common and low external tariff, and encouraged trade. This decision made by the Zollverien would bring one of the greatest inventions in transportation to Germany, the railroad. The most important decision for Germany came in 1853 when Germany decided to start in the development of the railroad. By the end of 1846, Germany had 2,000 miles of railroad connecting almost every part of the country. The railroad caused Belgium, Germany, and France to become the most industrialized Continental powers during the mid-nineteenth century. As you can see, the railroad thus increased the size of the area being touched by the Industrial Revolution to a considerable extent.Another great invention caused by the steam engine was the steamboat. Most canals before the invention of the steamboat had barges that were pulled by horses from the shores. These barges moved at a speed of about 4 miles per hour, which caused transportation of goods by water to be very slow. Whit the invention of the steamboat, now goods could be transported by water at a speed of 20 miles per hour which is a lot faster and economical. As you can see from the evidence I have supported, the steam engine was one of the greatest inventions to come along. It caused so many technological and economical advancements that I could sit here and write forever on it. During the Industrial Revolution, inventors were coming up with new uses for the steam engine every year. Even though many inventors had inventors different steam engine, it is the more efficient Watt engine that led to the further modification and to the modern use of steam power causing great advancements during the Industrial Revolution. Horsepower Capacity of The World s Steam Engines In Thousands of HorsepowerCountry 1840 1850 1860 1870Great Britain 620 1,290 2,450 4,040Germany 40 260 850 2,480France 90 270 1,120 1,850Belgium 40 70 160 350Europe s Total 860 2,240 5,540 11,570United States 760 1,680 3,470 18,460World Wide 1,650 3,990 9,380 18,460

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