A-3- THE START OF TECHNOLOGY
No one can ever estimate the age of technology or exactly when technology started. Mankind always tried to invent not only for the sake of inventing, but more often to meet a need.
Man's earliest ancestors sought protection from the elements and predators in natural shelters such as caves and rock overhangs.
Gradually, mankind improved their homes with polished stone floors and stone fireplaces, and even natural Air conditioning systems.
The construction of such habitats has been influenced by the need for shelter from cold & hot weather. The need to use food pots led to the invention of pottery at least 4000 BC, the same time, when Copper was treated to produce weapons, armor, and ornaments.
The need for transportation led to the invention of wheeled carts and boats around 3500 BC.
Around the same time writing was invented. He needs to see in the dark led to the invention of the candle back in 3000 BC.
Horses were tamed and used for transportation around the year 2000 BC.
An Alphabet was invented around 1500BC.
Coins were first circulated in 640 BC.
The need to discover led Democritus to speculate the existence of atoms in 440 BC.
Medicine was started through Hippocrates in 420 BC, and by 280 B.C. Sensory nerves were distinguished from motor nerves.
The first water clock was invented in 270 BC.
The radius of the earth and the distance to the moon were evaluated with 99% accuracy in 200 BC and 150 BC, respectively.
Hipparchus plotted the first detailed star map in 134 BC, while glass blowing was invented in Syria back in 100 BC.
Many years later, and after several kinds and stages of technological advancement, the microscope was invented in 1590 and the first telescope was invented in 1608.
A 6-digit calculator was invented in 1634, the mercury barometer was invented in 1634, and the battery was invented in the year 1800, and the submarine in 1801.
In 1807, the first vehicle rolled.
The first telephone call was accidentally made in 1875, while the first light bulb burned in 1879. In 1903 the first motor driven airplane was airborne, while the first supersonic flight took place in 1947.
The first television signal was broadcasted in 1925 and the first liquid fuel rocket launched in 1926.
The first nuclear reactor was operational in 1954; three years later the first satellite was launched, while the first laser was not made until 1960.
In 1969 an American landed on the moon.
In 1995 a spacecraft crossed over the poles of our sun.
In the years to come, European missions will land on comets, and around 2010, the International Space Station will be the base of collaborative space research and exploration, God willing.
The needs to discover, as well as other more basic human needs, were always the driving forces behind technology development.
It seems, however, that basic human needs were the ultimate drivers of technology during the first major era of technological advancement: The Industrial Revolution. With the growth of population, there was a greater need for more enhanced tools to meet the increasing needs of this population.
The development of tools and machines was barely noticed until the arrival of the Industrial Revolution in the mid 1700's. Exactly how and why the industrial revolution started, we shall see in the following exposure.
A-3-a- THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION
Throughout history, mankind lived in conditions that they had to accommodate with. People lived in big numbers in small areas that they fixed near the rivers. They had to perform every single job by hand even though it was required in large quantities.
A time came when this situation could not be afforded.
As a result, the industrial revolution rose during the 1750's, which was a time of drastic change from hand tools and hand made items to machine manufactured and mass-produced goods.
Definitely, such a process changed the human way of living and the path of entire nations. The industrial revolution can be subdivided into two revolutions each having it's own social and economic consequences:
The first revolution was born in England due to the dramatic increase in quest for cotton clothes.
Before this revolution, many people worked in this domain in slow rates, low efficiency and high cost. However, a British weaver called John Kay designed the flying shuttle that cut weaving time into half. Soon after, plenty of inventions occurred that served greatly in the process of manufacturing. The steam engines where invented, providing a faster mode of transportation than the use of horses and carriages.
The first modern steam engine was invented in the year 1705 by an engineer called Thomas Newcomen. The goal was to improve pumps used in manufacturing, James Watt Ada crank and a flywheel to the steam engine to provide rotary motion. With steam engines, cities were able to move further away from rivers and sources of water to start their cities in new untapped places.
The second industrial revolution had a similar, if not a larger effect than it's predecessor. Social and government policies were altered
Arts and culture flourished and was transformed into many different and unique styles.
The second industrial revolution witnessed the invention of electricity and the utilization of it's power to help people develop their technology and to improve social life. Michael Faraday, a British scientist, demonstrated how an electric current could be mechanically produced and developed related concepts and principles that are still applied in our time. Cheap electricity was produced back then by generators making use of falling water from the mountains. The applications of electricity were universal. It supplied people with light and capability to use machines.
The telegraph and the telephone were the first communication devices that were invented with the aid of electricity.
When Thomas Edison first generated light in 1879, one of the politicians commented saying: The world will never reach a technological level similar to what we reached. Little he knew.
Wireless communications stepped its first steps with the discovery of radio waves in 1885, and radio became widely spread no so long thereafter. Other advances in science were also made.
Marie Curie discovered radioactive elements that could be used as power sources as well as nuclear bombs.
During 1800's, chemical components were broken down such as cement and petroleum products. Petroleum was viewed as an alternate power source and Gasoline was used for transportation to replace steam engines with internal combustion engines.
Cars began to appear and later in 1903, brothers Wright successfully completed their first airplane flight.
A very important development was in the medicine field. Before the revolution, once an infection set in, nothing would be able to save the patient.
However, the discovery of the X-Rays enabled doctors a faster diagnosis for several diseases.
Vaccinations were found and new techniques for food and drink purification were followed and are still followed in our days.
A-3-b- SOCIAL PATTERNS
Life was drastically changed during the industrial revolution. People were living in germ infested, crowded places with very unhealthy conditions. Children and women worked in harsh conditions, working little hours with little pay.
The industrial revolution brought with it an increase in population and urbanization, as well as new social classes. The general population increase was aided by a greater food made available by the agricultural revolution, and by the growth of medical science and public health measures that highly decreased the death rate.
Due to the industrial revolution, half of the English people lived in cities.
By the mid 1800's large cities were formed in term of size and population. This rise of large cities was due to the following factors:
1- Industrialization: Which called for concentration of work force, the thing that started from that?
time and is getting stronger these days.
2- The necessity for marketing finished goods, which is made easier in large cities.
3- The natural tendency for established political centers such as London and Paris to become
centers for banking and marketing functions.
The industrial revolution created a new working class. The new class of industrial workers included all the men, women, and children's laboring in pottery works and mines as well as manufacturing plants. The industrial revolution has changed the world in many aspects and had its positive and negative consequences.
Art changed with changing social patterns. Romanticism painted emotions that people had no control over, such as love, and beauty. Socialists were some of the reformers who wanted to construct a better life for all mankind. A large drift from religious convictions occurred.
Other bad consequences of this revolution were the pollution with the continuous increase in CO2 levels in the atmosphere, and the increase in the number of workingwomen and children.