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Industrial Revolution in History of Engineering

One of the main events that marked the beginning of the industrial revolution era was the growth of the iron industry caused by the discovery of the puddling furnace method to produce iron. Due to a lack of wood resources, people were actively looking for alternative sources because wood was primarily used for fuel. According to McClellan and Dorn (2006), the initial method of iron production was developed in 1709 by Abraham Darby, but it remained as property of the Darby family for a long time.

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However, in 1784, Henry Cort introduced the puddling method that allowed the production of wrought iron, which caused a significant increase in the production of iron (McClellan & Dorn, 2006). Mathematics was used to construct massive structures such as the Egyptian pyramids from ancient times (Bertoloni et al., 2006). The event presents significant importance for the development of mathematics as it provided more opportunities for practical application of mathematics by introducing new opportunities for engineering.

I chose this event because its benefits emphasize the importance of a single event in the industrial timeline on the overall development of sciences, society’s quality of living, and the economy. Even though steam engines were discovered around the same period, their construction required iron; their implementation was troublesome as coal use was more widespread. The production of iron was stimulated by the ongoing Napoleon wars, which resulted in Britain becoming the largest producer of iron in the world. British massive supply of iron required a suitable transportation method, which stimulated the railroad construction process.

Therefore, the event caused significant economic and societal improvements as it contributed to the development of transportation systems construction of steam engines, and improved the state of the British economy.

References

Bertoloni, M. D., Dorn, H., & McClellan, J. E. I. (2006). Science and technology in world history: An introduction. Johns Hopkins University Press.

McClellan, J. E., & Dorn, H. (2006). Science and technology in world history: An introduction (2nd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press.

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