Building the infrastructure to support the Industrial Revolution wasn't easy. The demand for metals, including iron, spurred industries to come up with more efficient methods for mining and transporting raw materials.
Over the course of a few decades, iron companies supplied an increasing amount of iron to factories and manufacturing companies. To produce the metal cheaply, mining companies would supply cast iron rather than its expensive counterpart -- wrought iron. In addition, people began to use metallurgy, or the deeper investigation of materials' physical properties, in industrial settings.
Mass producing iron drove the mechanization of other inventions during the Industrial Revolution and even today. Without the iron industry's assistance in the development of the railroad, locomotive transportation may have been too difficult or expensive to pursue at the time.
Interested in more industrial innovations? Check out the resources below.
- Carranza, F. A. "The Discovery of Anesthesia: The Tragic History of Wells and Morton." University of California Los Angeles. (Jan. 27, 2012) http://www.dentistry.ucla.edu/pic/members/carranza/anesthesia.html
- Computer History Museum. "The Babbage Engine." 2008. (Jan. 27, 2012) http://www.computerhistory.org/babbage/
- Dwyer, Frank Lewis. "Edison: His Life and Inventions." Kessinger Publishing. (Jan. 27, 2012) http://books.google.com/books?id=mD4-fWOs1MkC&q
- Exploratorium. "The Wheel." (Jan. 27, 2012) http://www.exploratorium.edu/cycling/wheel1.html
- Hardy, Rob. "Ether Day: The Strange Tale of America's Greatest Medical Discovery and the Haunted Men Who Made It." The American Journal of Psychiatry. Dec. 1, 2001. (Jan. 27, 2012) http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/article.aspx?Volume=158&page=2103&journalID=13
- Library of Congress. "The History of the Edison Cylinder Phonograph." (Jan. 27, 2012) http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/edhtml/edcyldr.html
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology. "Inventor of the Week: Charles Goodyear." (Jan. 27, 2012) http://web.mit.edu/invent/iow/goodyear.html
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology. "Inventor of the Week: John Dunlop." 2008. (Jan. 27, 2012) http://web.mit.edu/invent/iow/dunlop.html
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology. "Inventor of the Week: Thomas Alva Edison." (Jan. 27, 2012) http://web.mit.edu/invent/iow/edison.html
- National Museum of American History. "The Development of the Bicycle." (Jan. 27, 2012) http://americanhistory.si.edu/onthemove/themes/story_69_2.html
- National Park Service. "Thomas Edison: Frequently Asked Questions." Nov. 5, 2011. (Jan. 27, 2012) http://www.nps.gov/edis/faqs.htm
- Peckham, Matt. "Who Really Invented the Computer." Time Techland. Nov. 10, 2011. (Jan. 27, 2012) http://techland.time.com/2011/11/10/who-really-invented-the-computer/
- The Science Museum. "Babbage." (Jan. 27, 2012) http://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/onlinestuff/stories/babbage.aspx
- Thomas, Roger K. "Crawford W. Long's Discovery of Anesthetic Ether: Mesmerism, Delayed Publication, and the Historical Record." 2003. (Jan. 27, 2012) http://rkthomas.myweb.uga.edu/LongSSPP.htm
- University of California Los Angeles. "From the Amazon to the Indianapolis 500." (Jan. 27, 2012) http://www.botgard.ucla.edu/html/botanytextbooks/economicbotany/Naturalrubber/index.html
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