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The Second Industrial Revolution

Street lights in Prague ©  Shirley Burchill

By the middle of the 19th century, the Industrial Revolution had produced great changes in Britain and in Europe. The major driving force of the period was steam power. Steam technology was highly developed and, with the help of the newly-invented precision lathe, larger, more efficient engines were produced. These engines used much less coal to fuel them.

Whilst coal was still the most widely used fuel, other forms of energy were being investigated and developed. Gas, electricity and, eventually, oil were soon to compete with coal. The discovery of these new fuels gave rise to new industries which, for the first time, were based on science rather than on engineering.

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