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Portland cement was used by the famous English engineer Marc Isambard Brunel several years later when constructing the Thames Tunnel. Another major industry of the later Industrial Revolution was gas lighting. The process consisted of the large-scale gasification of coal in furnaces, the purification of the gas removal of sulphur, ammonia, and heavy hydrocarbons , and its storage and distribution.

The first gas lighting utilities were established in London between and They soon became one of the major consumers of coal in the UK. Gas lighting affected social and industrial organisation because it allowed factories and stores to remain open longer than with tallow candles or oil. Its introduction allowed nightlife to flourish in cities and towns as interiors and streets could be lighted on a larger scale than before.

A new method of producing glass, known as the cylinder process , was developed in Europe during the early 19th century. In this process was used by the Chance Brothers to create sheet glass. They became the leading producers of window and plate glass. This advancement allowed for larger panes of glass to be created without interruption, thus freeing up the space planning in interiors as well as the fenestration of buildings. The Crystal Palace is the supreme example of the use of sheet glass in a new and innovative structure. The paper machine is known as a Fourdrinier after the financiers, brothers Sealy and Henry Fourdrinier , who were stationers in London.

Although greatly improved and with many variations, the Fourdriner machine is the predominant means of paper production today. The method of continuous production demonstrated by the paper machine influenced the development of continuous rolling of iron and later steel and other continuous production processes.

The British Agricultural Revolution is considered one of the causes of the Industrial Revolution because improved agricultural productivity freed up workers to work in other sectors of the economy. Industrial technologies that affected farming included the seed drill , the Dutch plough , which contained iron parts, and the threshing machine. The English lawyer Jethro Tull invented an improved seed drill in It was a mechanical seeder which distributed seeds evenly across a plot of land and planted them at the correct depth.

This was important because the yield of seeds harvested to seeds planted at that time was around four or five. Tull's seed drill was very expensive and not very reliable and therefore did not have much of an effect. Good quality seed drills were not produced until the mid 18th century. Joseph Foljambe's Rotherham plough of was the first commercially successful iron plough.

Machine tools and metalworking techniques developed during the Industrial Revolution eventually resulted in precision manufacturing techniques in the late 19th century for mass-producing agricultural equipment, such as reapers, binders and combine harvesters. Coal mining in Britain, particularly in South Wales , started early. Before the steam engine, pits were often shallow bell pits following a seam of coal along the surface, which were abandoned as the coal was extracted.

In other cases, if the geology was favourable, the coal was mined by means of an adit or drift mine driven into the side of a hill. Shaft mining was done in some areas, but the limiting factor was the problem of removing water. It could be done by hauling buckets of water up the shaft or to a sough a tunnel driven into a hill to drain a mine. In either case, the water had to be discharged into a stream or ditch at a level where it could flow away by gravity. The introduction of the steam pump by Thomas Savery in and the Newcomen steam engine in greatly facilitated the removal of water and enabled shafts to be made deeper, enabling more coal to be extracted.

These were developments that had begun before the Industrial Revolution, but the adoption of John Smeaton 's improvements to the Newcomen engine followed by James Watt's more efficient steam engines from the s reduced the fuel costs of engines, making mines more profitable. The Cornish engine , developed in the s, was much more efficient than the Watt steam engine.

Coal mining was very dangerous owing to the presence of firedamp in many coal seams. Some degree of safety was provided by the safety lamp which was invented in by Sir Humphry Davy and independently by George Stephenson. However, the lamps proved a false dawn because they became unsafe very quickly and provided a weak light. Firedamp explosions continued, often setting off coal dust explosions , so casualties grew during the entire 19th century. Conditions of work were very poor, with a high casualty rate from rock falls.

At the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, inland transport was by navigable rivers and roads, with coastal vessels employed to move heavy goods by sea. Wagonways were used for conveying coal to rivers for further shipment, but canals had not yet been widely constructed. Animals supplied all of the motive power on land, with sails providing the motive power on the sea.

The first horse railways were introduced toward the end of the 18th century, with steam locomotives being introduced in the early decades of the 19th century.

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The Industrial Revolution improved Britain's transport infrastructure with a turnpike road network, a canal and waterway network, and a railway network. Raw materials and finished products could be moved more quickly and cheaply than before. Improved transportation also allowed new ideas to spread quickly. Before and during the Industrial Revolution navigation on several British rivers was improved by removing obstructions, straightening curves, widening and deepening and building navigation locks.

Britain had over 1, miles of navigable rivers and streams by Canals and waterways allowed bulk materials to be economically transported long distances inland. This was because a horse could pull a barge with a load dozens of times larger than the load that could be drawn in a cart. In the UK, canals began to be built in the late 18th century to link the major manufacturing centres across the country.

Known for its huge commercial success, the Bridgewater Canal in North West England , which opened in and was mostly funded by The 3rd Duke of Bridgewater. By the s a national network was in existence. Canal construction served as a model for the organisation and methods later used to construct the railways.

They were eventually largely superseded as profitable commercial enterprises by the spread of the railways from the s on. The last major canal to be built in the United Kingdom was the Manchester Ship Canal , which upon opening in was the largest ship canal in the world, [86] and opened Manchester as a port. However it never achieved the commercial success its sponsors had hoped for and signalled canals as a dying mode of transport in an age dominated by railways, which were quicker and often cheaper.

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Britain's canal network, together with its surviving mill buildings, is one of the most enduring features of the early Industrial Revolution to be seen in Britain. France was known for having an excellent system of roads at the time of the Industrial Revolution; however, most of the roads on the European Continent and in the U. Much of the original British road system was poorly maintained by thousands of local parishes, but from the s and occasionally earlier turnpike trusts were set up to charge tolls and maintain some roads.

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Increasing numbers of main roads were turnpiked from the s to the extent that almost every main road in England and Wales was the responsibility of a turnpike trust. Heavy goods transport on these roads was by means of slow, broad wheeled, carts hauled by teams of horses.


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Lighter goods were conveyed by smaller carts or by teams of pack horse. Stagecoaches carried the rich, and the less wealthy could pay to ride on carriers carts. Reducing friction was one of the major reasons for the success of railroads compared to wagons. This was demonstrated on an iron plate covered wooden tramway in at Croydon, England.

A party of gentlemen were invited to witness the experiment, that the superiority of the new road might be established by ocular demonstration. Twelve wagons were loaded with stones, till each wagon weighed three tons, and the wagons were fastened together.


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A horse was then attached, which drew the wagons with ease, six miles in two hours, having stopped four times, in order to show he had the power of starting, as well as drawing his great load. Railways were made practical by the widespread introduction of inexpensive puddled iron after , the rolling mill for making rails, and the development of the high-pressure steam engine also around Wagonways for moving coal in the mining areas had started in the 17th century and were often associated with canal or river systems for the further movement of coal.

These were all horse drawn or relied on gravity, with a stationary steam engine to haul the wagons back to the top of the incline.

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The first applications of the steam locomotive were on wagon or plate ways as they were then often called from the cast-iron plates used. Horse-drawn public railways did not begin until the early years of the 19th century when improvements to pig and wrought iron production were lowering costs. See: Metallurgy.


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