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.
John Dalton was a renowned British chemist, best remembered for introducing atomic theory into chemistry. This is the theory that all substances are made from tiny particles called atoms. His theory revolutionised scientific understanding, helping to explain chemical phenomena that had long puzzled scientists, and providing a theoretical foundation for chemistry that remains today.
James Joule became a world-renowned physicist, initially by seeking scientific advances to help his family brewery. He is best remembered for his discovery that different forms of energy - electrical, mechanical, heat - are interchangeable, and for establishing that energy can neither be created nor destroyed. The International unit of energy, the joule, is named in his honour.
Canals were an essential part of the Industrial Revolution and spawned Britain’s first successful steamboat, the Charlotte Dundas.
June 13, 2018 - Richard Moss
The central collection of the papers of Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832), the English philosopher whose ideas influenced prison reform, religion, poor relief, international law and even animal welfare during the Age of Revolution and beyond, have now been completely digitised.
In the 1700s smallpox was probably the single most lethal disease in Britain – especially among children. But in 1796 Edward Jenner made a discovery that would eradicate the disease and lead to a revolution in public health – it would become known as vaccination.
The invention of the electric telegraph transformed world communications. It also marked the first practical use of electricity.
A lamp that could light the way, without causing a disastrous explosion, was as essential a piece of a miner’s kit as a pick-axe.
The loom contributed to the transformation of textile weaving from a ‘cottage industry’ to a focus of mass production on an industrial scale.