V. The Modern Period, 1789–1914 > A. Global and Comparative Dimensions > 3. Technological Developments, 1800–1914
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  The Encyclopedia of World History.  2001.
 
(See Science and Technology)
 
3. Technological Developments, 1800–1914
 
Major technological innovations originated in Europe and North America. Although industrialization owed much to new inventions, the early stages (to the 1840s) were fueled more by the tinkerings of inventors and craftspeople than by scientists. The late 19th century witnessed the marriage of science and industry that continues to this day. The development of technology, no longer strictly the realm of independent inventors, was guided and financed by companies searching for new products, resulting in the burgeoning chemical and petrochemical industries. At the same time, technology became a part of everyday life, made the world a smaller place, and became a more important force in shaping European and world events.  1
The major achievements in technology included:  2
 
a. Energy and Power Sources
1800
 
The galvanic cell, or Voltaic pile, of Alessandro Volta (1745–1827) was the first electric battery (converting chemical energy into electrical energy).  3
 
1802
 
Richard Trevithick (1771–1833) built the first high-pressure steam engine, although the American Oliver Evans (1755–1819) had patented one in the United States in 1797. Other advances in steam engine technology included the compound engine (adding a high-pressure cylinder to the original Watt engine) by William McNaught (1813–81) in 1845.  4
 
1806
 
First gas lighting of cotton mills. Improvements made in production and distribution of gas as heat source (Bunsen burner, 1855) and for illumination (Welsbach gas mantle, 1885).  5
 
1827
 
Benoit Fourneyron (1802–67) developed the water turbine.  6
 
1832
 
The first mechanical generation of electricity by Hippolyte Pixii. Major improvements in electric generators followed: the improved armature (1856) designed by Werner von Siemens (1816–92); and the ring armature (1870) of Zénobe T. Gramme (1826–1901), which represented the first practical dynamo.  7
 
1854
 
Abraham Gesner (1797–1864) manufactured kerosene.  8
 
1859
 
William M. J. Rankine (1820–72) published the first comprehensive manual of the steam engine. The steam engine stimulated theoretical studies in thermodynamics by Clapeyron, Clausius, Joule, Lord Kelvin, and Gibbs.  9
 
1859
 
Edwin L. Drake (1819–80) drilled the first oil well in Titusville, Pa., opening up the Pennsylvania oil field and starting the large-scale commercial exploitation of petroleum. First oil pipeline (two-inch diameter, six miles long) constructed 1865 in Pennsylvania.  10
 
1876
 
Nicholas August Otto (1832–91) built the first practical gas engine, working upon the so-called Otto cycle, which is now almost universally employed for all internal combustion engines. Otto's work was based upon previous engines of Étienne Lenoir (1822–1900) and Alphonse Beau de Rochas (1815–91). The Otto cycle was employed in the gasoline engine patented (1885) by Gottlieb Daimler (1834–1900).  11
 
1882
 
The Pearl Street (New York City) electric generating station, a pioneer central power station designed by Thomas A. Edison (1847–1931), commenced operations a few months after Edison dynamos had been installed at Holborn Viaduct Station in England.  12
 
 
 
The Encyclopedia of World History, Sixth edition. Peter N. Stearns, general editor. Copyright © 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Maps by Mary Reilly, copyright 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

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