James Watt’s ingenious improvements to the steam engine transformed this relatively simple technology, making it more efficient and adapting it so it could be used to turn wheels. His ideas revolutionised steam power, literally driving the industrial revolution and transforming the British landscape and the lives of its people.
The advent of steam hauled railways in the 1820s quickly revolutionised passenger travel and the transport of goods across Britain and the wider world. This is an early train ticket for a journey from Liverpool to Warrington.
John McAdam revolutionised road travel in the 1800s, through his ‘Macadamisation’ method. The greatest advance in road construction since Roman times, his principles are still applied to road building today.
The spinning mule was invented by Samuel Crompton in 1779. It revolutionised textile production by vastly increasing the amount of cotton that could be spun at any one time. But this also meant textile manufacturers no longer needed to pay individual spinners to create spindles (wooden rods) wound with cotton thread, as just one operator could now use the machine to spin hundreds of spindles at once.
Canals were an essential part of the Industrial Revolution and spawned Britain’s first successful steamboat, the Charlotte Dundas.
June 13, 2018 - Richard Moss
Stephenson’s Rocket will return to Manchester for the first time in over 180 years in September 2018.
The guillotine is best known as a method of executing those condemned to death during the French Revolution.
The invention of the electric telegraph transformed world communications. It also marked the first practical use of electricity.