Thursday, July 2, 2015

On this the 2nd of July


Lost amid the rumble of fireworks and the chatter of firecrackers this time of year is the little known and seldom observed date of the start of the Industrial Revolution.  On this date in 1698 Thomas Savery obtained a patent for

"A new invention for raising of water and occasioning motion to all sorts of mill work by the impellent force of fire, which will be of great use and advantage for drayning mines, serveing townes with water, and for the working of all sorts of mills where they have not the benefitt of water nor constant windes."

Savery's patent forced Thomas Newcomen into partnership with him and it is Newcomen who is perhaps a bit more famous for his Newcomen engine.

Animation: Emoscopes

So there you have it, the foundations of modern society, a profound influence on everyone from Dickens to Marx.  So the question is, is humanity better off for it or not? 

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