One of the major industrial revolutions that have been made was the Invention of electricity. This technology changed the way things were powered. Changes occurred in the way goods were being manufactured, how people communicated and the mean goods were transported from one place to another. Electricity was of great importance during the 1800s, when the second industrial revolution began. This is because it allowed factories to open for a longer time and produce more goods. The Invention of electricity by Michael Faraday made it easier for the industry as it replaced steam. Workers working in electric lighting factories could stay and work late and night, earning more and producing more goods. Unlike steam, electricity production became relatively cheap and safe lighting for people in America and worldwide. The Invention of electricity changed the lives of most Americans. It changed the nature of business, making it possible for new inventions and appliances that contributed to the rapid growth of the cities and industries. Electric power became one of the most important Inventions. Most inventions that came afterwards used electricity as their baseline. The Invention of an efficient electrical system has had the biggest impact on the industrialization of American Society.
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One of the greatest technologies invented by human beings to brighten dark corners was the Invention of electricity. The Invention of electricity reveals a series of discoveries that emerged from the initial, simplest discovery, and more complex discoveries were later made (Nye). Some of the pioneers that contributed significantly to the Invention of electricity include Benjamin Franklin, Alessandro Volta and Michael Faraday. However, Michael Faraday from Britain demonstrated the natural relation between electricity and magnetism that gave a heads up towards mechanical generation of electric current (Fulton-ind 263). This discovery led to dynamo’s innovation, which consisted of machines that generated power through the movement of a magnet on a copper wire. The power generated was used to power an electric motor, used to create electrical generators. Finding a market in Britain was erroneous as the country had a well-established tradition of using steam power, coal and coal gas, making it difficult to penetrate the market (Nye). However, other nations, such as Europe and North America, were more positive about the experiment. Different pioneers in the United States, such as Thomas Edison, could apply the existing knowledge to develop carbon-filament lamps that could be used for domestic purposes. People used them to light up their houses, which brought a change in America (Niiler). Later more inventions were made as they formed the basis of other inventions. As many people became familiar with this technology, many young people deepened their knowledge by discovering more about electricity, which led to creation of generators, motors, light devices and more electric devices. Edison contributed significance to developing the city’s electrical utility system and built the first central power plant in New York City. The transformation of power technology led to an evaluation in the industries and the American society as more and more people adopted the technology.
The Invention of electricity changed the lives of most American as it provided a cheap and efficient source of power for their factories. Factories did not have to be built next to rivers and could be built anywhere on the land (Nye). This created an economic boom for America as they could supply power. Electric power improved the industry world in three major ways (Fulton-ind 262). One factory no longer relied on the large steam engine to power their engines. Secondly, they did not have to locate their factories in waterways to power their engine and could be independently located. Finally, the production of goods increased significantly due to increased industries and was no longer dependent on sunlight. The factory could operate long hours, including day and night, as workers were no longer in darkness using the electric light (Nye). The Invention of electricity not only transformed the world of industries but also changed people’s daily life. People could light their homes using candles or oil lamps, among others. Besides, electric power was a cheaper and more convenient way to use for lighting (Fulton-ind 262). This Invention led to the creation of more and more electrical devices that made daily living easier and more convenient for Americans.
The Invention of electricity leads to the advancement in the Transportation sector. Besides lighting up the world invention of electricity led to improvement in transportation in the 1800s. Having more efficient and reliable steam engines led to an increase in the number of trains and steamships, and the combustion of engines led to the creation of cars and aeroplanes. During the 1800S, most people relied on boats and canals to travel long-distance (Fulton-ind 263). This changed when developing a more efficient steam engine and the train came into place (Britannica). The trains could transport heavy loads without waterways; they also moved faster than watercraft. More and more rail lines were built that connected different cities and crisscrossed all over the eastern part of the united states (Niiler). Besides, this improvement in steel production led to the expansion of the rail lines and steel, which were stronger, cheap, and efficient. The new process to create steel was created by Bessemer and named the Besser process, which led to financial success. This is because more factories used this process to increase their production of locomotives and railroads (Britannica). This steel was used to build bridges, allowing the train to crisscross any terrain. This railroad was able to link major cities in America and improve the network, which helped travel and trade (Fulton-ind 263). The market for goods increased as trains could be used to transport bulky goods, and the cost of transport decreased, creating a wide range of low-cost goods. More new products become available, and even perishable goods could get to the market before getting spoilt.
Moreover, besides the revolution of inland transportation, the Invention of steamships changed travelling in waterways such as the ocean as steamships could travel in any weather, unlike the sailing ships that were being used that depended on the wind to power them. More people came on board and could travel far places using the steamship, thus making the country more economically viable (Nye). More people were able to move from place to place looking for a job or recreation. More advancements lead to the creation of the automobile. Several industries were used to create these automobile models, which gave Americans more freedom to travel anywhere (Fulton-ind 263). The use of roads spanned more miles compared to rail lines; besides being faster, they were able to be expanded for more miles as they required fewer resources and workforce than rail lines. Later advance in aircraft came to place which was not limited to land and the sea. Wilbur and Orville Wright contributed significantly to the succession of powered aeroplanes which could sustain flight. The creation of the airplanes paved the way for travel not only in the country but all over the globe as people transported goods from one place to another and also was used for fighting wars.
The Invention of electricity led to advancements in communication. Early people used slower means to convey information from one place to another. They used messengers who could travel by foot or boat to deliver messages. Therefore, there was a need to develop a better and faster way to communicate (Fulton-ind 265). The Invention of electricity made it possible for creating more reliable and faster means to communicate. This included the Invention of Telegram, the machine that could send messages instantly over wires. The person who invented this technology was Samuel Morse. By receiving support from the United States government was able to lay 35 miles of telegram wires between major cities at the time. This brought a new era of communication.
More people adopted the technology leading to an increase in the number of telegram companies operating by 1851. People could be able to send messages to their friends and families across different parts of the country (Fulton-ind 265). Besides, these comprehensive technology communications to several countries, including Europe, and many businesses could keep close contact with their suppliers and markets. This way, people were able to globalize communication. The telephone was later invented by Alexander Graham Bell, which could send multiple telegraph messages simultaneously. This remarkable discovery could send a message, but someone could hear the other person is the receiver. The demand for telephones increased as the demand increased. More lines of phone lines were established across the united state, and by 1900, most Americans had the telephone installed in their offices and home. These technologies led to the Invention of the Radio and phonograph, a wireless technology that used electrical, magnetic waves to convey messages. One of the pioneers of this technology was Guglielmo Marconi, who built the first wireless radio (Fulton-ind 266). This was used as a means of communication for ships and later used in television and radio for entertainment. Thomas Edison built the first phonography, which later became a record player and could record music, thus allowing music to be available to everyone. This revolution improved life for many Americans as it created jobs for the workers, contributed to the nation’s wealth and increased the production of Goods (Niiler 2). This eventually led to rising in the standard of living of the people living in the United States, bettering the houses, healthy diets, high wages, entertainment, better working conditions, and the creation of labour unions.
In conclusion, the Invention of electricity improved the lives of Americans greatly in many ways. It increased job opportunities, making it possible for more people to work in the factories during the day and others at night. More and more industries were built, increasing the production levels of goods and services. The Invention of electricity formed the bases of other information, such as rails, steamships, the automobile, telegrams, telephones, and aeroplane, making American lives better. Over the years, electricity has become an essential part of modern life, helping people in many different ways. This includes using electricity for lighting, heating, cooling, and refrigerating and also used for medical purposes by applying several electrical appliances such as computers, and scans, among others. Electricity brought about a public transport system as people could move from one place to another, look for jobs, and communicate with their friends and families even without being physically present. Besides, electricity has influenced modern society. It provides how people can entertain themselves using radios, television, cinema, and information spreads quickly from one place to other thanks to electricity.
Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopaedia. “Industrial Revolution”. Encyclopedia Britannica, 13 Mar. 2022, https://www.britannica.com/event/Industrial-Revolution. Accessed 20 April 2022.
Fulton-ind. “Life In The Industrial Age”. Fulton-Ind.K12.Ky.Us, 2022, https://www.fulton-ind.k12.ky.us/userfiles/105/Classes/3272/CH%208-1%20Text.pdf.
Niiler, Eric. “How The Second Industrial Revolution Changed Americans’ Lives”. HISTORY, 2019, https://www.history.com/news/second-industrial-revolution-advances.
Nye, David. « Electricity and Culture: Conceptualizing the American Case », Annales historiques de l’électricité, vol. 2, no. 1, 2004, pp. 125-137.