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Today's Hot Topic - The Industrial Revolution

The Industrial Revolution was the time period between the 18th and 19th century and changed the industry and economy of Europe and Britain! So today our overseas reporter, James Bailey come to the country of Britain for a more in depth look at this revolution. More details below!

What was the Industrial Revolution, exactly?

The Industrial Revolution was the time period between the 18th and 19th century that sparked new ideas about technologies, and had inventors brainstorming new ideas for new inventions to make the society and daily life easier or more entertaining. Most of the inventions that are going to be mentioned today were made to improve work life and make European jobs and life easier, and these ideas were spread to other countries and continents. It began in Coalbrookedale in England around 1709 by Abraham Darby inventing a new way to smelt iron using coal, instead of the previous used fuel, charcoal. This revolution slowed down until later in the 18th century, when James Watt improves the former steam engine made by Newcomen, ignited the revolution again. While some may argue about that Darby may not have ignited it, which could be right given that the revolution occurred at later times, such as when Watt improved, and Darby wasn't truly part of the revolution, just as a spark, or not even part of it at all. Now going back to what the Industrial Revolution is, it was a huge time for new inventors to start building off others' ideas, such as James Watt building off the preexisting steam train, which even started the revolution back up. Also the new inventions made not just working life easier, but some affected both work and casual life. Also this time gave new hope for working and using less workers. This improved economy, but not people may lose jobs with machines taking over and less work force was needed. This was good for slaves, sometimes because they were either set free or the bad side of it is they may be sold to another laborer or killed, which was more rare because the owners could get more money selling the slaves.

Who were the first inventors of the Industrial Revolution?

The first inventor of the Industrial Revolution was Abraham Darby who invented a new way of fueling smelting iron, using coal instead of charcoal, which made fires hotter and more time was able to be used for each supply of coal. This helped steam trains run off coal instead of charcoal and logs, as some trains used logs because they were more available due to the fact that most forested countries had plenty of trees to spare, and was generally cheaper than coal. These steam engines were improved by the (arguably) first true inventor of the Industrial Revolution, James Watt. He improved the already existing steam engine by adding a crank and fly wheel to add 10 times more rotary movement than Thomas Newcomen's. Eli Whitney's invention helped out the working life, especially slaves' lives because with his invention in 1793, the cotton gin, made it easier to pull out the seeds from cotton, making their lives easier and using less work, time and slaves to pull out seeds from and clean a length of cotton. This invention even helped the non slave life, as simple farmers without land could take cotton out without the need of slaves to pick out each individual seed and cleaned the cotton too. The cotton gin was not the only thing he invented, as he also made interchangeable gun parts in 1798, giving the ability to place on bayonets on different guns and being able to interchange barrels and stocks, but this made guns not as effective as hand built ones, as they could fall apart after repeated use or some pieces not fitting together, but these problems could be fixed in the future. Another metal-wise inventor was Henry Bessemer who invented a new way of mass-producing steel, by using a pig iron to oxidize and purify the steel, making the first steel ingot. This helped our modern world by having the ability to make the skyscrapers you see in cities. The next inventor was Edward Jenner who saved a large fraction of lives that were contracted with smallpox, a very deadly disease at the time, and he saved over 2/3rds of the population that were diagnosed with smallpox. He helped the work force of Europe by having more people surviving an able to return to work and do their jobs, giving Europe more economic growth. A very helpful scientist and inventor, Louis Pasteur helped Europe and other continents with his multiple discoveries and inventions towards the medical field. His most famous works are Fermentation and spontanious generation and discovered the reason undesired substances appear in alcohol during fermentation is due to life without oxygen and fermentation gave this life to these microbes and diseases that can come from this anaerobic life and started the research on germs and new discoveries on how to kill microbes and to control contamination. He also invented the global use of pasteurization which meant heating alcohols such as wines to 55 degrees Celsius to kill microorganisms in wine, and this helped the society by boosting the alcohol economy. Another way he helped was that he discovered a new way to treat and prevent rabies by saving the life of Joseph Meister.

How did their inventions change what the people did?

Their inventions helped many laborers use less work and protect themselves and the people they sell their good to. Such as Eli Whitney's cotton gin made slaves use less work, people and time to get a strip of cotton cleaned and pulled of it's seeds for later use and selling. Other ways the inventions helped was Eli Whitney's other invention, the interchangeable gun parts gave gun owners and the military the option to making their guns their way and customize it while the environment changes around them, they are able to change their gun parts and be more effective in battle. Abraham Darby and Henry Bessemer helped with metal production. Darby helped with new ways of fueling, using coal instead of charcoal, and Henry used pig iron to produce a cleaner steel product and oxidizing the steel. Edward Jenner saved over 2/3rd of the people who contracted smallpox which helped public life by allowing workers who contracted smallpox to return to their work and bring more money into their family and economy, by being able to pay taxes. Another medical inventor was Louis Pasteur who saved lives discovering anaerobic life after fermentation of wines and beers, and helped with the alcohol economy by also discovering a new way to kill microorganisms within alcohol by raising the temperature of these alcohols to 55 degrees Celsius, which kills most microorganisms, giving the alcohol economy a huge boost. He also saves lives by finding treatment and prevention of rabies, giving failing lives of people contracted with rabies another chance to live, which also helped their lives. So these changed their how most people lived their lives by either saving these lives and also helping mostly with work life because these helped make work easier and quicker to do. This also helped the slaves' lives because it made their work easier, like mentioned before, but it also gave the possibility of having them freed because they didn't need as much workforce.

How was society changed by each invention?

Society was changed for the better by giving people lives back and boosting the economy, all because of these men inventing new things people haven't even imagined before. The society has changed by having people coming out of their shells, inventing new technologies never thought before, giving the society and workforce new ways to do everyday things. This didn't only benefit the European society, as it did spread throughout the world, giving people new ideas and being able to invent these ideas. This even helped the armies with Eli Whitney's interchangeable gun parts and this helped the nations all around the world give even newer trades and even our society today, with stronger weapon parts and these current parents can stay together, and this technology is still used today, which explains how inventing these could give others hope that they can benefit the society and even the work they do themselves by inventing that one thing sitting in the back of their mind. The problem was that the economy and most workers only had enough to feed their family, not to go out and be able to buy parts for the invention they have been thinking of, and with the Industrial Revolution spurring, it got people to try to work harder for more money so they could go complete these unfinished projects that can make their work easier so they can get even more money for their family, or cut down work hours, depending on the job they have, such as if they were a contractor. And the Industrial Revolution is still not over, with people still coming up with new inventions to benefit the society of their own and help pay for their family and taxes, and this revolution 200 years back gave hope in many ways, not just restricting to workers, but casual people who want to see their society look and function better.

Today's Reporter, James Bailey

James currently goes to Patriot High School, an American school, which means he is an international student working in the journalist fields.