Industrial Revolution - Steam Engines
Another one of the great inventions that came about during the Industrial Revolution was the steam engine. The first commercial steam engine appeared in 1698. Then in 1712 Thomas Newcomen improved it. Although it was an improvement, it had many faults; including wasted heat and fuel. James Watt attempted to improve Newcomen's steam engine in the 1760's, and in 1785 he had done so, by using heat more efficiently with less fuel. Both coal and iron were crucial during the Industrial Revolution. Coal was used to power the steam engines and to make iron. Iron was used to improve machines and tools, and to also build bridges and ships. At the time, most manufacturers used charcoal to smelt iron. Abraham Darby developed "coke" to do this instead, which was said to be not as strong as the charcoal that they had been using. Around 1750, Darby's son developed a process that made coke iron easier, and by 1760 it had become the more popular choice. This industry also improved when grooves were added to the rolling cylinders, which allowed the iron to be shaped differently (not just the current design of thin sheets). In 1783, Henry Cort patented the "puddling furnace," which was a high-quality iron.