The Industrial Revolution was the transition to new manufacturing processes in Europe and the US, in the period from about 1760 to sometime between 1820 and 1840. This transition included going from hand production methods to machines, new chemical manufacturing and iron production processes, the increasing use of steam power and water power, the development of machine tools and the rise of the mechanized factory system; the Industrial Revolution led to an unprecedented rise in the rate of population growth. Textiles were the dominant industry of the Industrial Revolution in terms of employment, value of output and capital invested; the textile industry was the first to use modern production methods. The Industrial Revolution began in Great Britain, many of the technological innovations were of British origin. By the mid-18th century Britain was the world's leading commercial nation, controlling a global trading empire with colonies in North America and the Caribbean, with some political influence on the Indian subcontinent, through the activities of the East India Company.
The development of trade and the rise of business were major causes of the Industrial Revolution. The Industrial Revolution marks a major turning point in history. In particular, average income and population began to exhibit unprecedented sustained growth; some economists say that the major impact of the Industrial Revolution was that the standard of living for the general population began to increase for the first time in history, although others have said that it did not begin to meaningfully improve until the late 19th and 20th centuries. GDP per capita was broadly stable before the Industrial Revolution and the emergence of the modern capitalist economy, while the Industrial Revolution began an era of per-capita economic growth in capitalist economies. Economic historians are in agreement that the onset of the Industrial Revolution is the most important event in the history of humanity since the domestication of animals and plants. Although the structural change from agriculture to industry is associated with the Industrial Revolution, in the United Kingdom it was almost complete by 1760.
The precise start and end of the Industrial Revolution is still debated among historians, as is the pace of economic and social changes. Eric Hobsbawm held that the Industrial Revolution began in Britain in the 1780s and was not felt until the 1830s or 1840s, while T. S. Ashton held that it occurred between 1760 and 1830. Rapid industrialization first began in Britain, starting with mechanized spinning in the 1780s, with high rates of growth in steam power and iron production occurring after 1800. Mechanized textile production spread from Great Britain to continental Europe and the United States in the early 19th century, with important centres of textiles and coal emerging in Belgium and the United States and textiles in France. An economic recession occurred from the late 1830s to the early 1840s when the adoption of the original innovations of the Industrial Revolution, such as mechanized spinning and weaving and their markets matured. Innovations developed late in the period, such as the increasing adoption of locomotives and steamships, hot blast iron smelting and new technologies, such as the electrical telegraph introduced in the 1840s and 1850s, were not powerful enough to drive high rates of growth.
Rapid economic growth began to occur after 1870, springing from a new group of innovations in what has been called the Second Industrial Revolution. These new innovations included new steel making processes, mass-production, assembly lines, electrical grid systems, the large-scale manufacture of machine tools and the use of advanced machinery in steam-powered factories; the earliest recorded use of the term "Industrial Revolution" seems to have been in a letter from 6 July 1799 written by French envoy Louis-Guillaume Otto, announcing that France had entered the race to industrialise. In his 1976 book Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society, Raymond Williams states in the entry for "Industry": "The idea of a new social order based on major industrial change was clear in Southey and Owen, between 1811 and 1818, was implicit as early as Blake in the early 1790s and Wordsworth at the turn of the century." The term Industrial Revolution applied to technological change was becoming more common by the late 1830s, as in Jérôme-Adolphe Blanqui's description in 1837 of la révolution industrielle.
Friedrich Engels in The Condition of the Working Class in England in 1844 spoke of "an industrial revolution, a revolution which at the same time changed the whole of civil society". However, although Engels wrote in the 1840s, his book was not translated into English until the late 1800s, his expression did not enter everyday language until then. Credit for popularising the term may be given to Arnold Toynbee, whose 1881 lectures gave a detailed account of the term; some historians, such as John Clapham and Nicholas Crafts, have argued that the economic and social changes occurred and the term revolution is a misnomer. This is still a subject of debate among some historians; the commencement of the Industrial Revolution is linked to a small number of innovations, beginning in the second half of the 18th century. By the 1830s the following gains had been made in important technologies: Textiles – mechanised cotton spinning powered by steam or water increased the output of a worker by a factor of around 500.
The power loom increased the output of a worker by a factor of over 40. The cotton gin increased productivity of removing seed from cotton by a factor of 50. Large gains in productivity occurred in spinning and weaving of w
Great Dunmow is a historic market town and civil parish in the Uttlesford district of Essex, England. It is situated on the north of the A120 road midway between Bishop's Stortford and Braintree, 6 miles east of London Stansted Airport; the site of a Roman settlement on Stane Street, the town thrived during the Middle Ages. Many buildings survive from this period, including a sixteenth-century town hall. Dunmow means "Meadow on the Hill"; the settlement was variously referred to as Dunmow Magna, Much Dunmow, or most Great Dunmow. Great Dunmow borders the former estate of Easton Lodge in the neighbouring parish of Little Easton, a country house belonging to the Maynard family; the most notable member, Frances Maynard, became the Countess of Warwick and a mistress of King Edward VII. As the Prince of Wales he was a regular visitor to the Estate, travelling from London on the train to Easton Lodge railway station; the initials "CW" are visible on a number of Victorian era properties in Great Dunmow.
Known as Daisy Greville, Countess of Warwick she was a generous philanthropist in the local community. As of 2018, Robert Nicholson is Emeritus Mayor of Great Dunmow; the town's history is explained in the Maltings Museum on Mill Lane. A Roman small town developed on the junction between Stane Street and the Roman roads which ran north-east to south-west from Sudbury to London and north-west to southeast from Cambridge to Chelmsford; the main settlement area spread westwards with cemeteries on the outskirts. There was a second Roman settlement at Church End to the north of present-day Great Dunmow; the site included a rural Roman Temple. Between the occupation by the Romans and the time of the Saxons, the town acquired its name – in AD951 it was named Dunemowe, Dommawe. In the Domesday Book, Dunmow had seven manors, some of which still exist, in name at least – including Bigods, Newton Hall, Merks Hall and Shingle Hall; the earliest record of a church in the town is in 1045, in 1197 Geoffrey de Dunmow was rector.
In medieval times, Dunmow was a thriving commercial centre, with market charters granted in 1253 and two fairs held annually until the 19th century. Dunmow's Corporation was granted in 1555 and confirmed in 1590. Both Roman settlements were reoccupied during the Saxon period, at Great Dunmow in the seventh century and at Church End in the Saxon period; the earliest medieval settlement appears to have been a continuation of the late Saxon settlement at Church End, where the parish church is located. The granting of a market charter may mark the time of the movement of the main focus of settlement from Church End to the High Street and market-place; the medieval and post-medieval development of Great Dunmow is reflected both in the surviving built heritage, which includes 167 Listed Buildings and the below-ground archaeology. Great Dunmow was located on the GHQ Line, a series of defences and concrete Pillboxes built to hinder an anticipated German invasion. Many of these still remain and are visible along the Chelmer Valley, one being located on the west bank of the River Chelmer in meadows behind the Dourdan Pavilion and recreation ground.
Easton Lodge became RAF Great Dunmow in World War II and for a time was home to squadrons from the USAAF and the RAF. The site of the former air field is now owned by Land Securities who hope to build a development including around 9,000 homes alongside significant supporting community and retail infrastructure, intending to call it Easton Park; the crews of two aircraft based at RAF Great Dunmow were killed in aircraft crashes close to the town on 20 March and 21 November 1945. A declassified military nuclear bunker on the outskirts of the town was sold for a reported £22,000 and is now used as a secure data centre for nuclear weapons research. Great Dunmow is 8.3 miles from Braintree railway station to the east and 9.2 miles from Bishop's Stortford railway station to the west. Until 1952 the town was served by the Bishop's Stortford-Braintree Branch Line a line between these stations, which opened to passengers on 22 February 1869 and closed on 3 March 1952; the line continued in use for freight trains and occasional excursions, closing in stages with the final section to Easton Lodge closing on 17 February 1972.
It is now possible to walk or cycle in either direction along the former track bed to Braintree station, or to the edge of Bishop's Stortford. As the crow-flies it is just under 6 miles from Stansted Airport and the nearby M11 motorway to the west; the A120 from the M11 to Braintree by-passes the town, the former route has now been re-designated the B1256. The latter itself was a bypass, built on the route of station; until the 1970's the A120 went through Great Dunmow town centre. The town is well known for its four-yearly ritual of the "Flitch Trials", in which couples must convince a jury of six local bachelors and six local maidens that, for a year and a day, they have never wished themselves unwed. If successful the couple receive a flitch of bacon; the last flitch trials were held in the town in the summer of 2016, with the next scheduled for 2020. The custom is ancient, is mentioned in the Wife of Bath's Prologue and Tale in Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales, it acts as a major plot point in Made in Heaven.
Great Dunmow is twinned with the following town: Dourdan in France Evelyn Anthony – Award-winning novelist and writer Thomas Bowyer – Protestant martyr who refused to renounce his faith and adopt Catholicism
The pound sterling known as the pound and less referred to as sterling, is the official currency of the United Kingdom, Guernsey, the Isle of Man, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, the British Antarctic Territory, Tristan da Cunha. It is subdivided into 100 pence. A number of nations that do not use sterling have currencies called the pound. Sterling is the third most-traded currency in the foreign exchange market, after the United States dollar, the euro. Together with those two currencies and the Chinese yuan, it forms the basket of currencies which calculate the value of IMF special drawing rights. Sterling is the third most-held reserve currency in global reserves; the British Crown dependencies of Guernsey and the Isle of Man produce their own local issues of sterling which are considered equivalent to UK sterling in their respective regions. The pound sterling is used in Gibraltar, the Falkland Islands, Saint Helena and Ascension Island in Saint Helena and Tristan da Cunha; the Bank of England is the central bank for the pound sterling, issuing its own coins and banknotes, regulating issuance of banknotes by private banks in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Banknotes issued by other jurisdictions are not regulated by the Bank of England. The full official name pound sterling, is used in formal contexts and when it is necessary to distinguish the United Kingdom currency from other currencies with the same name. Otherwise the term pound is used; the currency name is sometimes abbreviated to just sterling in the wholesale financial markets, but not when referring to specific amounts. The abbreviations "ster." and "stg." are sometimes used. The term "British pound" is sometimes incorrectly used in less formal contexts, it is not an official name of the currency; the exchange rate of the pound sterling against the US dollar is referred to as "cable" in the wholesale foreign exchange markets. The origins of this term are attributed to the fact that in the 1800s, the GBP/USD exchange rate was transmitted via transatlantic cable. Forex traders of GBP/USD are sometimes referred to as "cable dealers". GBP/USD is now the only currency pair with its own name in the foreign exchange markets, after IEP/USD, known as "wire" in the forward FX markets, no longer exists after the Irish Pound was replaced by the euro in 1999.
There is apparent convergence of opinion regarding the origin of the term "pound sterling", toward its derivation from the name of a small Norman silver coin, away from its association with Easterlings or other etymologies. Hence, the Oxford English Dictionary state that the "most plausible" etymology is derivation from the Old English steorra for "star" with the added diminutive suffix "-ling", to mean "little star" and to refer to a silver penny of the English Normans; as another established source notes, the compound expression was derived: However, the perceived narrow window of the issuance of this coin, the fact that coin designs changed in the period in question, led Philip Grierson to reject this in favour of a more complex theory. Another argument that the Hanseatic League was the origin for both the origin of its definition and manufacture, in its name is that the German name for the Baltic is "Ost See", or "East Sea", from this the Baltic merchants were called "Osterlings", or "Easterlings".
In 1260, Henry III granted them a charter of protection and land for their Kontor, the Steelyard of London, which by the 1340s was called "Easterlings Hall", or Esterlingeshalle. Because the League's money was not debased like that of England, English traders stipulated to be paid in pounds of the "Easterlings", contracted to "'sterling". For further discussion of the etymology of "sterling", see sterling silver; the currency sign for the pound is £, written with a single cross-bar, though a version with a double cross-bar is sometimes seen. This symbol derives from medieval Latin documents; the ISO 4217 currency code is GBP, formed from "GB", the ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 code for the United Kingdom, the first letter of "pound". It does not stand for "Great Britain Pound" or "Great British Pound"; the abbreviation "UKP" is used but this is non-standard because the ISO 3166 country code for the United Kingdom is GB. The Crown dependencies use their own codes: GGP, JEP and IMP. Stocks are traded in pence, so traders may refer to pence sterling, GBX, when listing stock prices.
A common slang term for the pound sterling or pound is quid, singular and plural, except in the common phrase "quids in!". The term may have come via Italian immigrants from "scudo", the name for a number of coins used in Italy until the 19th century.
Winter of Discontent
The Winter of Discontent was the winter of 1978–79 in the United Kingdom, during which there were widespread strikes by public sector trade unions demanding larger pay rises, following the ongoing pay caps of the Labour Party government led by James Callaghan against Trades Union Congress opposition to control inflation, during the coldest winter for 16 years. The strikes were a result of the Labour government's attempt to control inflation by a forced departure from their social contract with the unions by imposing rules on the public sector that pay rises be kept below 5%, to control inflation in itself and as an example to the private sector. However, some employees' unions conducted their negotiations within mutually agreed limits above this limit with employers. While the strikes were over by February 1979, the government's inability to contain the strikes earlier helped lead to Margaret Thatcher's Conservative victory in the 1979 general election and legislation to restrict unions. Public sector employee strike actions included an unofficial strike by gravediggers working in Liverpool and Tameside, strikes by refuse collectors.
Additionally, NHS ancillary workers formed picket lines to blockade hospital entrances with the result that many hospitals were reduced to taking emergency patients only. The phrase "Winter of Discontent" is from the opening line of William Shakespeare's Richard III: "Now is the winter of our discontent / Made glorious summer by this sun of York", was first applied to the events of the winter by Robin Chater, a writer at Incomes Data Report, it was subsequently used in a speech by James Callaghan and translated to define a crisis by tabloids – including The Sun. The weather turned cold in the early months of 1979 with blizzards and deep snow, the coldest since 1962–63, rendering some jobs impossible, reducing retail spending and worsening the economy. In 1969, Labour politician James Callaghan led a cabinet revolt which led to the abandonment of a proposed reform of trade union law outlined in a Barbara Castle white paper called In Place of Strife. Britain's economy during the 1970s was so weak that Callaghan warned his fellow Cabinet members in 1974 of the possibility of "a breakdown of democracy", telling them that "If I were a young man, I would emigrate."
The Labour governments of Harold Wilson and Callaghan continued a fight begun in 1972 against inflation upon election in February 1974. Inflation had peaked at 26.9% in the 12 months to August 1975, but while demonstrating to markets fiscal responsibility they wished to avoid large increases in unemployment. As part of the campaign to bring down inflation, the government had agreed a "social contract" with the Trades Union Congress which allowed for a voluntary incomes policy in which the pay rises for workers were held down to limits set by the government. Previous governments had brought in incomes policies backed by Acts of Parliament, but the social contract agreed that this would not happen. Phase I of the pay policy was announced on 11 July 1975 with a white paper entitled The Attack on Inflation; this proposed a limit on wage rises of £6 per week for all earning below £8,500 annually. The TUC General Council had accepted these proposals by 19 votes to 13. On 5 May 1976 the TUC accepted a new policy for 1976 increases, beginning 1 August, of between £2.50 and £4 per week with further years outlined.
At the Annual Congress on 8 September 1976 the TUC rejected a motion which called for a return to free collective bargaining once Phase I expired on 1 August 1977. This new policy was Phase II of the incomes policy. On 15 July 1977, the Chancellor of the Exchequer Denis Healey announced Phase III of the incomes policy in which there was to be a phased return to free collective bargaining, without "a free-for-all". After prolonged negotiations, the TUC agreed to continue with the modest increases recommended for 1977–78 under Phase II limits and not to try to reopen pay agreements made under the previous policy, while the Government agreed not to intervene in pay negotiations; the Conservative Party criticised the power of the unions and lack of any stronger policy to cover the period from the summer of 1978. The inflation rate continued to fall through 1977 and by 1978 the annual rate fell below 10%. Having prepared for the imminent end of the incomes policy, global inflation supervened and was coming towards record levels during the 1978–82 period on 21 July 1978 Denis Healey introduced a new White Paper which set a guideline for pay rises of 5% in the year from 1 August.
The TUC voted overwhelmingly on 26 July to reject the limit and insist on a return to free collective bargaining as they were promised. Unexpectedly, on 7 September, Prime Minister James Callaghan announced that he would not be calling a general election that autumn but seeking to go through the winter with continued pay restraint so that the economy would be in a better state in preparation for a spring election; the pay limit was termed "Phase IV" but most referred to it as "the 5% limit". Although the government did not make the 5% limit a legal requirement, it decided to impose penalties on private and public government contractors who broke the limit. Although not an official guideline, the pay rise set by Ford of Britain was accepted throughout private industry as a benchmark for negotiations. Ford had enjoyed a good year, could afford to offer a large pay rise to its workers; the company was, however a major government contractor. Ford's management therefore made a pay offer within the 5% guidelines.
In response, 15,000 Ford workers from the Transport and General Workers Union, began an unofficial strik
Kent is a county in South East England and one of the home counties. It borders Surrey to the west and East Sussex to the south-west; the county shares borders with Essex along the estuary of the River Thames, with the French department of Pas-de-Calais through the Channel Tunnel. The county town is Maidstone. Canterbury Cathedral in Kent has been the seat of the Archbishop of Canterbury, leader of the Church of England, since the Reformation. Prior to that it was built by Catholics, dating back to the conversion of England to Catholicism by Saint Augustine that began in the 6th century. Before the English Reformation the cathedral was part of a Benedictine monastic community known as Christ Church, Canterbury, as well as being the seat of the Catholic Archbishop of Canterbury; the last Catholic Archbishop of Canterbury was Reginald Pole. Rochester Cathedral is in Kent, in Medway, it is the second-oldest cathedral in England, with Canterbury Cathedral being the oldest. Between London and the Strait of Dover, which separates it from mainland Europe, Kent has seen both diplomacy and conflict, ranging from the Leeds Castle peace talks of 1978 and 2004 to the Battle of Britain in World War II.
England relied on the county's ports to provide warships through much of its history. France can be seen in fine weather from Folkestone and the White Cliffs of Dover. Hills in the form of the North Downs and the Greensand Ridge span the length of the county and in the series of valleys in between and to the south are most of the county's 26 castles; because of its relative abundance of fruit-growing and hop gardens, Kent is known as "The Garden of England". Kent's economy is diversified. In northwest Kent industries include extraction of aggregate building materials and scientific research. Coal mining has played its part in Kent's industrial heritage. Large parts of Kent are within the London commuter belt and its strong transport connections to the capital and the nearby continent makes Kent a high-income county. Twenty-eight per cent of the county forms part of two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty: the North Downs and The High Weald; the name Kent is believed to be of British Celtic origin and was known in Old English as Cent, Cent lond, Centrice.
In Latin sources Kent is mentioned as Canticum. The meaning is explained by some researchers as "coastal district," or "corner-land, land on the edge". If so, the name could be etymologically related to the placename Cantabria a Celtiberian-speaking coastal region in pre-Roman Iberia, today a province of Spain; the area has been occupied since the Palaeolithic era, as attested by finds from the quarries at Swanscombe. The Medway megaliths were built during the Neolithic era. There is a rich sequence of Bronze Age, Iron Age, Roman era occupation, as indicated by finds and features such as the Ringlemere gold cup and the Roman villas of the Darent valley; the modern name of Kent is derived from the Brythonic word kantos meaning "rim" or "border", or from a homonymous word kanto "horn, hook". This describes the eastern part of the current county area as coastal district. Julius Caesar had described the area as um, or home of the Cantiaci in 51 BC; the extreme west of the modern county was by the time of Roman Britain occupied by Iron Age tribes, known as the Regnenses.
Caesar wrote that the people of Kent are'by far the most civilised inhabitants of Britain'. East Kent became a kingdom of the Jutes during the 5th century and was known as Cantia from about 730 and recorded as Cent in 835; the early medieval inhabitants of the county were known as the Kent people. These people regarded the city of Canterbury as their capital. In 597, Pope Gregory I appointed the religious missionary as the first Archbishop of Canterbury. In the previous year, Augustine converted the pagan King Æthelberht of Kent to Christianity; the Diocese of Canterbury became England's first Episcopal See with first cathedral and has since remained England's centre of Christianity. The second designated English cathedral was in Kent at Rochester Cathedral. In the 11th century, the people of Kent adopted the motto Invicta, meaning "undefeated" or "unconquered"; this naming followed the invasion of Britain by William of Normandy. The Kent people's continued resistance against the Normans led to Kent's designation as a semi-autonomous county palatine in 1067.
Under the nominal rule of William's half-brother Odo of Bayeux, the county was granted similar powers to those granted in the areas bordering Wales and Scotland. Kent was traditionally partitioned into East and West Kent, into lathes and hundreds; the traditional border of East and West Kent was the Medway. Men and women from east of the Medway are Men of Kent, those from the west are Kentishmen or Kentish Maids. During the medieval and early modern period, Kent played a major role in several of England's most notable rebellions, including the Peasants' Revolt of 1381, led by Wat Tyler,Jack Cade's Kent rebellion of 1450, Wyatt's Rebellion of 1554 against Queen Mary I; the Royal Navy first used the River Medway in 1547. By the reign of Elizabeth I a small dockyard had been established at Chatham. By 1618, storehouses, a ropewalk, a drydock, houses for officials had
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
The Department for Business and Industrial Strategy is a department of the government of the United Kingdom, created by Theresa May on 14 July 2016 following her appointment as Prime Minister, through a merger between the Department for Business and Skills and Department of Energy and Climate Change. BEIS brought together responsibility for business, industrial strategy, science and innovation with energy and climate change policy, merging the functions of the former BIS and DECC; the Ministers in the Department for Business and Industrial Strategy are as follows: In October 2016, Archie Norman was appointed as Lead Non Executive Board Member for the Department for Business and Industrial Strategy. The department is responsible for government policy in the following areas: Some policies apply to England alone due to devolution, while others are not devolved and therefore apply to other nations of the United Kingdom; some economic policies are devolved but many aspects of several important policy areas are reserved to Westminster.
Reserved and excepted matters are outlined below. Scotland Reserved matters: The Economy Directorate of the Scottish Government handles devolved economic policy. Northern Ireland Reserved matters: Business regulation and support Climate change policy Company law Competition Consumer protection Corporate governance Import and export control Employment relations Energy Export licensing Insolvency Intellectual property Nuclear energy Outer space Postal services Product standards and liability Research councils Science and research Telecommunications Time Trade associations Units of measurementExcepted matter: Outer space Nuclear powerThe department's main counterpart is: Department for the Economy
Second Industrial Revolution
The Second Industrial Revolution known as the Technological Revolution, was a phase of rapid industrialization between late 19th century and early 20th century. The First Industrial Revolution, which ended in the middle of 19th century, was punctuated by a slowdown in important inventions before the Second Industrial Revolution in 1870. Though a number of its characteristic events can be traced to earlier innovations in manufacturing, such as the establishment of a machine tool industry, the development of methods for manufacturing interchangeable parts and the invention of the Bessemer Process to produce steel, the Second Industrial Revolution is dated between 1870 and 1914. Advancements in manufacturing and production technology enabled the widespread adoption of technological systems such as telegraph and railroad networks and water supply, sewage systems, which had earlier been concentrated to a few select cities; the enormous expansion of rail and telegraph lines after 1870 allowed unprecedented movement of people and ideas, which culminated in a new wave of globalization.
In the same time period, new technological systems were introduced, most electrical power and telephones. The Second Industrial Revolution continued into the 20th century with early factory electrification and the production line, ended at the beginning of World War I; the Second Industrial Revolution was a period of rapid industrial development in Britain and the United States, but in France, the Low Countries and Japan. It followed on from the First Industrial Revolution that began in Britain in the late 18th century that spread throughout Western Europe and North America, it was characterized by the build out of railroads, large-scale iron and steel production, widespread use of machinery in manufacturing increased use of steam power, widespread use of the telegraph, use of petroleum and the beginning of electrification. It was the period during which modern organizational methods for operating large scale businesses over vast areas came into use; the concept was introduced by Patrick Geddes, Cities in Evolution, was being used by economists such as Erick Zimmerman, but David Landes' use of the term in a 1966 essay and in The Unbound Prometheus standardized scholarly definitions of the term, most intensely promoted by Alfred Chandler.
However, some continue to express reservations about its use. Landes stresses the importance of new technologies the internal combustion engine and petroleum, new materials and substances, including alloys and chemicals and communication technologies. Vaclav Smil called the period 1867–1914 "The Age of Synergy" during which most of the great innovations were developed since the inventions and innovations were engineering and science-based. A synergy between iron and steel and coal developed at the beginning of the Second Industrial Revolution. Railroads allowed cheap transportation of materials and products, which in turn led to cheap rails to build more roads. Railroads benefited from cheap coal for their steam locomotives; this synergy led to the laying of 75,000 miles of track in the U. S. in the 1880s, the largest amount anywhere in world history. The hot blast technique, in which the hot flue gas from a blast furnace is used to preheat combustion air blown into a blast furnace, was invented and patented by James Beaumont Neilson in 1828 at Wilsontown Ironworks in Scotland.
Hot blast was the single most important advance in fuel efficiency of the blast furnace as it reduced the fuel consumption for making pig iron, was one of the most important technologies developed during the Industrial Revolution. Falling costs for producing wrought iron coincided with the emergence of the railway in the 1830s; the early technique of hot blast used iron for the regenerative heating medium. Iron caused problems with contraction, which stressed the iron and caused failure. Edward Alfred Cowper developed the Cowper stove in 1857; this stove used firebrick as a storage medium, cracking problem. The Cowper stove was capable of producing high heat, which resulted in high throughput of blast furnaces; the Cowper stove is still used in today's blast furnaces. With the reduced cost of producing pig iron with coke using hot blast, demand grew and so did the size of blast furnaces; the Bessemer process, invented by Sir Henry Bessemer, allowed the mass-production of steel, increasing the scale and speed of production of this vital material, decreasing the labor requirements.
The key principle was the removal of excess carbon and other impurities from pig iron by oxidation with air blown through the molten iron. The oxidation raises the temperature of the iron mass and keeps it molten; the "acid" Bessemer process had a serious limitation in that it required scarce hematite ore, low in phosphorus. Sidney Gilchrist Thomas developed a more sophisticated process to eliminate the phosphorus from iron. Collaborating with his cousin, Percy Gilchrist a chemist at the Blaenavon Ironworks, Wales, he patented his process in 1878, his process was valuable on the continent of Europe, where the proportion of phosphoric iron was much greater than in England, both in Belgium and in Germany the name of the inventor became more known than in his own country. In America, although non-phosphoric iron predominated, an immense interest was taken in the invention; the next great advance in steel making was the Siemens-Martin proc