Technology is everywhere, and a recent headline at an Internet hu-mor site perfectly captured how difficult it is to resist: Recent targets of suspected sabotage include the London Stock Exchange and a nuclear power plant in Iran. Even off-the-grid extremists find technology irresistible. For the rest of us, our uneasy protests against technology almost inevitably take technological form.
The 20th century Technology from to Recent history is notoriously difficult to write, because of the mass of material and the problem of distinguishing the significant from the insignificant among events that have virtually the power of contemporary experience.
In respect to the recent history of technology, however, one fact stands out clearly: The airplane, the rocket and interplanetary probes, electronics, atomic power, antibiotics, insecticides, and a host of new materials have all been invented and developed to create an unparalleled social situation, full of possibilities and dangers, which would have been virtually unimaginable before the present century.
In venturing to interpret the events of the 20th century, it will be convenient to separate the years before from those that followed.
The years to were dominated by the two World Wars, while those since were preoccupied by the need to avoid another major war. The dividing point is one of outstanding social and technological significance: There were profound political changes in the 20th century related to technological capacity and leadership.
It was a rise based upon tremendous natural resources exploited to secure increased productivity through widespread industrialization, and the success of the United States in achieving this objective was tested and demonstrated in the two World Wars.
Technological leadership passed from Britain and the European nations to the United States in the course of these wars. This is not to say that the springs of innovation went dry in Europe. Many important inventions of the 20th century originated there.
But it was the United States that had the capacity to assimilate innovations and take full advantage from them at times when other countries were deficient in one or other of the vital social resources without which a brilliant invention cannot be converted into a commercial success.
As with Britain in the Industrial Revolutionthe technological vitality of the United States in the 20th century was demonstrated less by any particular innovations than by its ability to adopt new ideas from whatever source they come.
The two World Wars were themselves the most important instruments of technological as well as political change in the 20th century. The rapid evolution of the airplane is a striking illustration of this process, while the appearance of the tank in the first conflict and of the atomic bomb in the second show the same signs of response to an urgent military stimulus.
In other respects the two wars hastened the development of technology by extending the institutional apparatus for the encouragement of innovation by both the state and private industry.
This process went further in some countries than in others, but no major belligerent nation could resist entirely the need to support and coordinate its scientific-technological effort.
While the extent of this transformation must not be overstated, and recent research has tended to stress the continuing need for the independent inventor at least in the stimulation of innovation, there can be little doubt that the change in the scale of technological enterprises had far-reaching consequences.
It was one of the most momentous transformations of the 20th century, for it altered the quality of industrial and social organization.
In the process it assured technology, for the first time in its long history, a position of importance and even honour in social esteem.
Fuel and power There were no fundamental innovations in fuel and power before the breakthrough ofbut there were several significant developments in techniques that had originated in the previous century.
An outstanding development of this type was the internal-combustion enginewhich was continuously improved to meet the needs of road vehicles and airplanes.
The high-compression engine burning heavy-oil fuels, invented by Rudolf Diesel in the s, was developed to serve as a submarine power unit in World War I and was subsequently adapted to heavy road haulage duties and to agricultural tractors.
Moreover, the sort of development that had transformed the reciprocating steam engine into the steam turbine occurred with the internal-combustion engine, the gas turbine replacing the reciprocating engine for specialized purposes such as aero-engines, in which a high power-to-weight ratio is important.
Admittedly, this adaptation had not proceeded very far byalthough the first jet-powered aircraft were in service by the end of the war. But the construction of a satisfactory gas-turbine engine was delayed for a decade by the lack of resources, and particularly by the need to develop new metal alloys that could withstand the high temperatures generated in the engine.20th-century international relations - World War II, – War once again broke out over nationality conflicts in east-central Europe, provoked in part by a German drive for continental hegemony, and it expanded, once again, into a global conflict whose battle zones touched the waters or heartlands of almost every continent.
The total nature of World War . Our Company. See what makes DuPont one of the most successful science and engineering companies in the world.
> Values. Although railroads had been occasionally used during the Crimean War, the Civil War was the first conflict where the locomotive demonstrated its pivotal role in rapidly deploying troops and material.
After the war, the inventions of usable electricity, steel, and petroleum products led to a second industrial revolution from to that featured the growth of railways and steamships, faster and wider means of communication, and inventions that are taken for granted in modern life—the light bulb, telephone, typewriter, sewing machine, and phonograph all came of age during the 19th century.
Disruptive innovation as a theory of change is meant to serve both as a chronicle of the past (this has happened) and as a model for the future (it will keep happening). The Dawn of Innovation: The First American Industrial Revolution [Charles R.
Morris] on rutadeltambor.com *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. In the first few decades of the nineteenth century, America went from being a largely rural economy.