This section highlights the life-changing discoveries and innovations in scientific thinking, technology and medicine in the Age of Revolution, their impacts on work and society, and relationships with trade and the economy.
Rapid advancements in transport and manufacturing culminated in the development of the steam engine. This revolutionised industry, transforming the landscape and the way people lived and worked. Mines and factories opened in new industrial towns, and people and goods travelled further, faster and cheaper than ever before on thousands of miles of newly built canals and steam-powered railways. The printing press was industrialised, allowing the rapid spread of events and campaigns across the country and beyond, alongside new postal and telegraph systems. In medicine, anaesthetics were discovered and the first vaccinations introduced.
The period also saw electricity being generated for the first time, the discovery of new planets, the advent of photography, the first ‘computers’ and the birth of ‘scientists’ themselves – a term first coined in 1833.
From steam trains, canals and ocean liners, to bicycles and hot air balloons, the Age of Revolution saw major advancements in travel and transport, with people and goods travelling further, faster and more cheaply than ever before.
The industrial revolution transformed the British landscape, manufacturing and the way people lived and worked, but with progress came dire social consequences for many with long and dangerous working hours and conditions, overcrowding, disease and poverty.
Some of the astonishing innovations and discoveries spawned in the Age of Revolution, including the steam engine, anaesthetics, vaccinations and electricity, and their impact on people’s lives.
Advances in printing led to the mass production of newspapers, pamphlets, poster and satirical cartoons, democratising print and spreading the revolutionary word far and wide.
Industrialisation, overseas commerce and the move towards international free trade in the Age of Revolution.