HPS202 Textbook Reading - Cross and Szostak Ch 6

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History and Philosophy of Science and Technology
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HPS202 Cross and Szostak Ch 6 Iron, Steam, Rails ironmaking and power generations important in Industrial Revo along with textile, • British origin but adapted by Americans • 18CE Britain, coal replace charcoal as fuel in iron ore smelting, improvements in blowing machinery allow tripling of size of ironworks steam engine invented at beginning of century improved so applied to pumping water • and replacing waterwheels as power source • ironworks first operations to utilize steam engine, various stages of processing • American innovators quick to adopt textile advances but not coal for ironmaking or steam engines (abundance of wood in NA) • abundance of water power sites and absence of deep mines, at first no place for steam engines in US • after 1800 steam engines efficient enough to serve purpose of locomotion produced, boats and trains by steam, people no longer limited to wind or animal propulsion to get from one place to another • US fertile ground for new transport with landscape and rivers • steamboats most advances in America first, railroads first in Britain but requirements of rugged American landscape -> Americans improve both locomotives and tracks • transform landscape, legal codes revised, national market New Iron Age: Coal and Mass Production of Iron in 18CE Britain • 1700 British iron furnaces small and deep in forest; charcoal disintegrate to dust if carried long distances, smelting ore into iron • alleged that English iron industry switch to coal because running out of wood, but misleading; charcoal from young trees so different trees, furnace owners guard local forests and replant to guarantee supply... population and demand grow, even with timber imports price rise while coal price drop from improved transport • underground railways and wider markets, cost-cutting from tech innovation in mining • experimentation with coal in 18CE, Abraham Darby 1709 first commercially successfully smelting iron ore with coal, pots and pans, no concern of brittleness, increase quality and expand sales • problem of limited use of cast iron, falling prices of coal and coal-smelted pig iron, turn to tech advances to utilize materials to produce cheaper wrought iron • new forge technology, coal in forges possible only after series of improvements • Henry Cort 1784 consolidate advances to puddling and rolling effort; melting and stirring molten iron, add adjustable rollers so passed back and forth... • by 1800 use of charcoal on the way out of Britain • encourage increased scale of operation of furnace and forge • large-scale charcoal works est in American in 19CE when wood abundant and coal not close at hand, increased sales dependent on improved bellows HPS202 Cross and Szostak Ch 6 • wooden bellows replace leather, then iron blowing machine... waterwheels to steam engines, consolidation of ironworks steel expensive, not much iron transformed to steel; age of steel delayed until could be • produced large scale directly from pig iron • rolling mills for thin metal sheets introduced late 17CE, adjustable rollers improve • slitting mills for rods early 18CE, a little later wire works for needle makers simple tech reactions to grown and more regular and more concentrated supply or iron • and demand for finished goods • concentration of metalworking activities in centralized workplaces, mechanization substantial Steam Engines: Mines to Factories • steam engine symbolize Industrial Revo but invented before 18CE • alleged running out of water power that turn to steam; price of water rose as desirable places for waterwheels occupied by gristmills, but England well-watered • as coal production expand, miners deeper into earth, run into water problems, unable to drain tunnels without pump, increased cost of raising coal raise need for steam power • steam pump late 17CE, dangerous and limited capability • Thomas Newcomen’s engine 1810 simple, based on scientific principle, cylinder an atmospheric engine, not mass produced but for local craftsmen to build on site; use waste coal from mines so stay for decades, but others need better fuel supply, energy inefficiency from needing to be heated and cooled, improved with separate condenser • Watt’s engine possible now with steamproof valves, technique for planning, tighter fit between python and cylinder, crafted and distributed over new ntwk of waterways and turnpike roads not first but patent sun and planet system • • 19CE Trevithick (England) & Evans (US) develop engine where steam provide power stroke, portable power required for railroads and steamships possible Technology Transfer • at American Revo, American iron industry supplied domestic market and exported pig and bar iron to Britain, tech advances in British furnaces and forges decrease price and increase quality of British iron that lose export and compete with import • US slow to adapt new ironmaking tech unlike usual • tech transfer: actual movement of knowledge and successful adoption • situation favorable in 19CE from coal fields near Pittsburgh opening up, adaptation of new techniques, English workmen familiar with tech immigrate and supervise adaptation, tariffs against foreign imports • 1815 new tech steadily gain increasing role in iron industry • Newcomen steam engine slower start in US than puddling and rolling, 4 decades between Newcomen’s invention and Schuyler’s decision to use it to drain copper mine HPS202 Cross and Szostak Ch 6 • import parts and engine, and English steam builder to install and maintain • need to pump out mine only role for steam engine at time in America no imitators since drainage problems, abundance of water power, coal only • beginning... • Watt steam engine somewhat better but mines or industry not much use for it, later in 19CE make possible large industrial cities but in 18CE American still picturesque rural setting; generate interest in possibility for steam power • 1840s Corliss engine New Jersey, enhance fuel efficiency and allow ease of use; textile spinning • American John Fitch 1785 design Newcomen engine steamboat but not suited to locomotion, turn to Watt engine • transport links between colonies of Atlantic seaboard poor for decades after independence but improvements generation before age of steamboats and railroads • all-weather road system, turnpikes, canals process of linking dispersed American population already under way, aided by • steamboat and railroad Steamboat • Mississippi Ri
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