(updated 16 Jan. 2014)

Leonardo to the Internet:

Technology and Culture from the Renaissance to the Present

Thomas J. Misa

Johns Hopkins University Press, 2011; 2nd edition
L2i 2nd cover


WWW sites

Chapter 3. Geographies of Industry (1740-1851)

From Misa . . . CONTRAST the 'old' and 'new' views of the industrial revolution. 


DISCUSS London as a site of industry -- as well as London's impact on Britain's trading, transport, and agriculture.

EXPLAIN why porter beer "deserves full recognition as an industrial-age product" and might be a paradigm case for industrialization.

DISCUSS London's building and engineering industries.  What was their contribution to industrialization?

What caused the environmental disaster known as London's "Great Stink" [1858] ("Great Stink-1" + "Great Stink-2" + "Great Stink-3")How bad was it? 

Identify the key mechanical inventions that transformed the carding, spinning, and weaving of cotton into cloth (many before 1790).  Why did a "revolution" in Manchester's cotton factories take another 40 years (to 1830s)? 

COMPARE London's and Manchester's engineering/machine tool industry.  DISCUSS the London-Manchester migrants.

Discuss the cultural changes evident in Manchester during 1800-50:

  • women's work and life
  • labor protests
  • literary responses [Dickens et al.]
  • F. Engels' Condition of the Working Class
From 1740 Sheffield was a famous center of metal-working and industry.  But before 1850 there were no factories.  How was there, all the same, an "industrial revolution" in Sheffield? 

DESCRIBE the impact of steam power on living and working in Sheffield.  Summarize the life-and-death statistics.

WHY were there "many paths" to the industrial revolution?  What common features, if any, existed in London, Manchester and Sheffield?

On balance, did Sweden, the U.S., or France have a British-style industrial revolution?


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