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What A Great Idea
What A Great Idea: Inventions That
Changed the World

1000 Inventions & Discoveries
Inventions &

They All Laughed
They All Laughed...
From Light Bulbs to
Lasers: The Fascinating
Stories Behind the Great
Inventions That Have
Changed Our Lives

Girls Think of Everything
Girls Think
of Everything:
Stories of Ingenious Inventions by Women

World's Wackiest Inventions
World's Wackiest Inventions

How to Licence Your Million Dollar Idea
How to License
Your Million
Dollar Idea

Teacher's Best - The Creative Process

Inventions, Inventors, Machines & Tools Posters & Art Prints
for the social studies and science classroom, home schoolers and theme decor for office and studio.

history > INVENTIONS, MACHINES & TOOLS < social studies

The Industrial Revolution, Giclee Print, Illustrator Ronald Lampitt
The Industrial Revolution,
Giclee Print

The Agricultural and Industrial Revolutions were marked by the invention of mechanical labor saving devices that affected the production of textiles in factories instead of family cottage industy, advanced techniques of metal working, farm implements, and the use of coal. Every facet of culture and the economy (flow of resources) were affected by the more efficient and less labor intensive production of goods which entrenched a market economy capitalism.

inventions 1 | 2 | Machine Trades | vocational education
Heroes of Science & Technology | Technologies Past | Black Innovators

Two Alembics and Their Receivers, Copy of a Late 3rd or Early 4th Century Treatise, Giclee Print
Two Alembics
& Their Receivers,
Giclee Print

The invention of ameblics, the distillation apparatus for the separation of mixtures based on differences in their volatilities when boiled, is attributed to Abu Musa Jabir ibn Hayyan. Born in present day Iran, and known as Geber in the Middle Ages, he was an alchemist noted for his experimental work which lead to modern chemistry. Geber was also a philosopher and astronomer.

The Alchemist Geber Illustration from 'Science and Literature in the Middle Ages, Giclee Print
Geber Alchymiste Arabe,
Giclee Print

Geber quote:
• “The first essential in chemistry is that you should perform practical work and conduct experiments, for he who performs not practical work nor makes experiments will never attain the least degree of mastery.”

The Alchemical Works of Geber

Iron Foundry, c.1803-1806, Giclee Print
Iron Foundry,
c. 1803-1806,
Giclee Print

Metallurgy is the study and technology of exploiting the characteristics of elements that are hard, solid at room temperature, lusterous (shiny), ductile and malleable (can be bent and formed into shapes), and conduct electricity, heat and sound efficiently.

A factory for producing metal into casting for further processing is called a foundry.

The Bessemer Process for the Mass-Production of Steel, Developed by Sir Henry Bessemer, Giclee Print
The Bessemer Process,
Giclee Print

The Bessemer process, developed by Sir Henry Bessemer, was the first economical industrial scale process for the mass producing steel which has become a common material and a major component in buildings, tools, automobiles, and appliances.

Valley Forge, famous as a winter encampment for the Continental Army, was the site of a a foundry, and the Pine Barrens of New Jersey was a source of bog iron that was made into cannonballs.

Out of the Fiery Furnace: The Impact of Metals on the History of Mankind

Waterframe Spinning Frame Designed by Sir Richard Arkwright 18th Century, Giclee Print
Waterframe Spinning
Frame Designed by
Sir Richard Arkwright
Giclee Print

Sir Richard Arkwright
b. 1-3-1733; England
d. 8-2-1792

Arkwright was generally credited with inventing the spinning frame, a vast improvement on the spinning jenny of James Hargreaves. Though his patents were eventually revoked, because it was shown he had infringed on the original work of others, he was knighted for his considerable achievements of fueling the Industrial Revolution in England.

Portrait of Samuel Colt, Inventor of the Revolver, Giclee Print
Portrait of Samuel Colt, Inventor of the Revolver,
Giclee Print

Samuel Colt
b. 7-19-1814; Hartford, CT
d. 1-10-1862; Hartford

Industrialist and inventor Samuel Colt was granted a patent for a revolver mechanism on February 25, 1836; he also pioneered interchangeable parts with the goal of having an assembly line for production. Colt's work made a repeating firearm widely available, relatively inexpensive, and reliable.

Colt: The Making of an American Legend

BTW - Samuel Colt and Samuel Morse, were both friends and business collaborators.

Samuel Crompton circa 1780, Giclee Print
Samuel Crompton
circa 1780,
Giclee Print

Samuel Crompton
b. 12-3-1753; England
d. 6-26-1827

Crompton, who earned his living as a spinner, made improvements to Hargreaves' spinning jenny, calling it a spinning mule.

Interior of Cotton Factory: Mule Spinning Lancashire Child Sweeps Inside Moving Machine, Giclee Print
Interior of
Cotton Factory:
Mule Spinning,
Giclee Print

In this illustration of the interior of a Lancaster cotton factory with spinning mules, a child cleans the inside of a moving machine. The Luddites destroyed machines like these that eliminated jobs for skilled textile workers.

Robert Fulton, Giclee Print
Robert Fulton,
Giclee Print

Robert Fulton
b. 11-14-1765; Lancaster Co. PA
d. 2-24-1815

Robert Fulton was an artist and mechanical genius most remembered as the engineer credited with developing the first commercially successful steam-powered boat, the Clermont (named after the home of Robert R. Livingston), which carried passengers on the Hudson River between New York City and Albany, New York, beginning in 1807. The steamboat cut the week long trip by sloop to 60 hours.

Robert Fulton's Steamboat the 'Clermont', on the Hudson River, New York, 1807, Giclee Print
Robert Fulton's Steamboat the 'Clermont',
Hudson River, New York, Giclee Print

Fulton also developed the first practical submarine, commissioned by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1800.

Robert Fulton: From Submarine to Steamboat

Hargreaves' Spinning Jenny James Hargreaves in 1767 Invented This Jenny, Giclee Print
James Hargreaves' Spinning Jenny,
Giclee Print

James Hargreaves
b. c. 1720; England
d. 4-22-1778

James Hargreaves, a weaver and carpenter, is credited with inventing the Spinning Jenny in 1764 which revolutionized the textile industry. Hargreaves, seeing that several “spinsters” spinning raw fiber on a spinning wheel were unable to produce enough thread for a weaver to work efficiently, “framed” several spindles together allowing them to be powered by one person, thus multiplying the output of a single spinster by the number of spindles.

Cyrus McCormick, Inventor of the Mechanical Reaper
Cyrus McCormick,
Inventor of the Mechanical Reaper

Cyrus McCormick
b. 2-15-1809; Rockbridge Co., VA
d. 5-13-1884; Chicago

Inventor of a mechanical harvester, Cyrus McCormick was the founder of the McCormick Harvesting Machine Company.

The reaper was a tremendous labor saving device for farmers by using animals to pull a machine that could cut and gather grain in one process.

The Engine to Raise Water by Fire, a Diagram of Newcomen's Steam Engine, Giclee Print
The Engine to Raise
Water by Fire,
a Diagram of Newcomen's Steam Engine,
Giclee Print

Thomas Newcomen
b. 2-24-1664; Dartmouth, Devon, England
d. 8-5-1729

Ironmonger (someone who sells iron goods) Thomas Newcomen, considered a forefather to the Industrial Revolution, perfected a practical steam engine for pumping water out of the tin mines in southwest England (tin and copper are combined to make bronze). Inventor James Watts developed the technological improvements to Newcomen's “Engine to Raise Water by Fire” and thus made the external combustion steam engine fuel efficient.

Joseph-Nicephore Niepce French Physicist Credited with Making the World's First Photograph, Giclee Print
Joseph-Nicephore Niepce French Physicist Credited with Making the World's First Photograph,
Giclee Print

Nicephore Niepce, née Joseph
b. 3-7-1765; Chalon-sur-Saône, Saône-et-Loire, France
d. 7-5-1833

Physicist Nicephore Niepce is considered to have taken the first known photograph in 1825.

He and his brother Claude also invented the world's first internal combustion engine for which they received at patent in 1807 from Napoleon Bonaparte.

The Camera: Inventions That Shaped the World

Adolphe Sax, French Inventor of Musical Instruments, Giclee Print
Adolphe Sax,
Inventor of Musical Instruments,
Giclee Print

Adolphe Sax
b. 11-6-1814; Belgium
d. 2-4-1894

Aldophe Sax, a musician, is best known for inventing the saxophone (1841).

Berthold Schwarz German Monk and Alchemist Possibly Legendary, Giclee Print
Berthold Schwarz,
Giclee Print

Berthold Schwarz
fl. 13th century; Germany

While the ancient Chinese, Arabs, and Greeks were familiar with burning mixtures, it was a Franciscan monk by the name of Berthold Schwarz (Berthold the Black), whose work as an alchemist with a burning powder called gunpowder, is generally credited as leading to the invention of firearms in Europe.

German Monk Berthold Schwarz is Credited with the Invention of Gunpowder, Giclee Print
German Monk Berthold Schwarz is Credited with the Invention of Firearms,
Giclee Print

Gunpowder: Alchemy, Bombards, and Pyrotechnics: The History Of The Explosive That Changed The World

Werner von Siemens, Photographic Print
Werner von Siemens, Photographic Print

Werner von Siemens
b. 12-13-1816; Lenthe, Kingdom of Hanover, Germany
d. 12-6-1892; Berlin

Inventor and industrialist Werner von Siemens was the founder of the electrical and telecommunications company Siemens. The Siemens' name has been adopted as the SI (Internationals System of Units) unit of electrical conductance, the siemens.

Jethro Tull, Giclee Print
Jethro Tull,
Giclee Print

Henry Jethro William Tull
b. 3-30-1674; Berkshire
d. 2-21-1741; Hungerford

Jethro Tull, an English agricultural pioneer and proponent of a scientific / empirical approach to farming, helped transform agricultural practices by inventing or improving implements.

Jethro Tull's Wheat Drill, Giclee Print
Jethro Tull's Wheat Drill,
Giclee Print

While Tull is most associated with improving the seed drill which allowed seeds to be spread evenly in spacing and depth by just one person and a team of horses. Tull was most interested in soil preparation.

Discovering Horse Drawn Farm Machinery

Eli Whitney, Giclee Print
Eli Whitney,
Giclee Print

Eli Whitney
b. 12-8-1765; Westborough, Massachusetts
d. 1-8-1825; New Haven, CT

Eli Whitney, credited with the invention of the cotton gin (short for cotton engine) in 1793, was finanically backed and probably inspired with the workable solution for removing seeds from cotton by Catherine Littlefield Greene, the mother of the children he tutored.

Whitney is also remembered as the champion of interchangable parts. The 'gin and interchangeable parts contributed to the conditions that set up the US Civil War. The bottle neck of processing cotton was removed, so more cotton was grown and the demand for cheap labor in the form of slaves grew in the South; in the North great wealth accured because of the efficiency of manufacturing made possible by standarized parts.

Eli Whitney and the Birth of American Technology
Mothers and Daughters of Invention: Notes for a Revised History of Technology

War Machine by Leonardo da Vinci Fine Art Print
War Machine by
Leonardo da Vinci
Art Print

War Machine by Leonardo da Vinci

Leonardo da Vinci posters

Pullman Facts - The Hidden Mechanisms of a Pullman Car, Art Print
Pullman Facts -
The Hidden Mechanisms
of a Pullman Car,
Art Print

Pullman Railroad Car

Though the first railroad sleeping cars ran in the United States in 1838, it was industrialist and inventor George Pullman's 1858 design for an improved sleeping car that became synonymous for luxury. Pullman's design may have been inspired by his experience of building coffins; he also took advantage of the marketing opportunity by arranging for President Lincoln's body to returned to Springfield, IL in a Pullman car. Pullman was also known for his paternalistic and ruthless labor practices (Pullman Strike, Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters).

Night Trains: The Pullman Systems in the Golden Years of American Rail Travel
portraits of George Pullman

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inventions posters pg 1 | 2 | machine trades | Black Innovators series | vocational education

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