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.