Second Industrial Revolution –
Scientific in nature; it entailed the creation of
whole new products altogether, transforming the way individuals lived their lives
in the space of a single generation. Could never have come about if they did not
have the resources necessary to make these inventions worthwhile or productive.
- the telephone and telegraph, typewriters, mass
newsprint--brought individuals, groups, and nations into almost instant
contact with one another, exposing formerly isolated peoples to one
another and making the long-distance governance of vast non-European
populations by small numbers of Europeans possible in ways it had not
- New medicines, food stuffs, preservatives, and purification
practices improved the health and longevity of the European population,
vastly increasing its size despite a falling birth-rate among middle- and
upper-class families and a vast outflow of migration to North America and
white colonies of settlement such as Australia, New Zealand, and Canada.
Dramatic developments in chemistry transformed medicine, hygiene,
and nutrition, which in turn had a huge impact on longevity and the
quality of people’s lives.
New dyes made it possible for scientists to stain bacteria and
differentiate them from one another, enabling the development of the
fields of microbiology, biochemistry, and bacteriology.
Anesthesia and the use of antiseptic practices turned medical practice
from an iffy proposition at best to a profession that could actually
improve peoples’ lives.
Sterilization and pasteurization made preserved foods safer and tastier;
they could be produced in bulk now and supplied in large volume to
large numbers of people at a reasonable price.
– New modes of transportation and conveyancing--
bicycles, trams, trolleys, buses, refrigerator ships, automobiles, airplanes,
the Panama and Suez canals, and tunnels through the Alps--enabled
people and goods to move and be moved quickly from formerly distant
parts of the world.
Transportation innovations improved food supplies as well.
Steamships could carry tons and tons of goods, and when they became
refrigerated they could bring fresh beef
iv. New materials –
One of the most important and ubiquitous of materials
produced during this period, steel, had been, until mid-century, a semi-
precious metal. Steel could be produced much more cost-effectively,
reaching 28 million tons by 1900.
When it was discovered that the addition of nickel would harden and
toughen steel, its quality increased dramatically and it became more
adaptable to a number of applications. Similarly, aluminum had been
used sparingly until it was found in 1886 that applying electricity to its