December 17, 2011 | | 8 Comments
The development of the stationary steam engine was an essential early element of the Industrial Revolution. The world was becoming an industrialized place before the advent of steam power, but would never have progressed so quickly without it.
Factories that still relied on wind or water power to drive their machines during the Industrial Revolution were confined to certain locales. Steam meant that factories could be built anywhere, not just along fast-flowing rivers.
Thomas Watt and Matthew Boulton. a British manufacturer, tailored Watt’s steam engine to any company that could use it, amassing great fortunes for themselves but also sharing research over vast distances.
Transportation was one of those important beneficiaries. By the early 1800s, high-pressure steam engines had become compact enough to move beyond the factory, prompting the first steam-powered locomotive to hit the rails in Britain in 1804. For the first time in history, goods were transported over land by something other than the muscle of man or animal.
The United States was the pioneer in shipping, putting a passenger steamship on the water in 1807, which provided a new way of transportation to society.
Hulse, David H, The Early Development of the Steam Engine, TEE Publishing, Leamington Spa, UK, 1999
L.T.C. Rolt and J. S. Allen, The Steam engine of Thomas Newcomen, Landmark, Ashbourne, 1997