This is a weird one, but I write this as I was watching ‘Great Railway Journeys’ and see a images of ‘Iron Bridge’ and as I’m bored I thought why don’t I share my boredom with you lovely people.
Earlier I bought you my top five bridges, well today it’s the turn of historical figures who played a key role in the industrial revolution of England. Many of you may now know that I like my history especially the medieval period. But I also love the agriculture, industrial revolution and transport. So with that love still deep in my heart I now bring you my heroes. As before with the bridges I will be including more than five and they won’t be in any order, apart from the fella who is number one.
So who is first on the list…. Well without this guy the whole factory process might not of happened, as just after half past five John Kay came up with a shuttle that could fly. That’s right 1733 saw
Kay’s Flying Shuttle that speeded up the process of weaving dramatically. John Kay may have come up with a quick way to now weave, but the weavers needed the cotton, and it wasn’t till 1764 that James Hargreaves invented the Spinning Jenny, or should that be his daughter as the clumsily bitch had knocked their spinning wheel over which gave James the idea.
However James didn’t think it was important to copyright the machine until the 1770’s so lost a lot of money has people nicked his idea. Samuel Crompton used the Spinning Jenny as his inspiration for the
Spinning Mule in 1779. All of these men from Kay who made the old fashion loom twice as productive to Crompton who’s machines were responsible for hundreds of child deaths in the cotton and wool mills owned by Arkwright and Gregg make it into the number five slot.
But while the women were handing over the needle and thread to the men and moving into the factories, and mill owners were popping up left right and centre over the country none of it would be possible without transport. So thank god that James Brindley was born and he met up with the 3rd Duke of Bridgewater who asked James to build him a canal so he could transport all his coal that he was digging up. James was of course only to happy to assist as he knew it would annoy Thomas Telford
and John Mcadam who had spent several years trying to improve the road network in Britain. I also have a love for Telford as he also built several good canals but also built some very nice bridges, but none as nice as the Bridgewater Canal.
Now all this transport was getting out of hand, and the factory owners and coal-pit managers needed a quicker way to transport their goods. It was very luckily for them that James Watt came along with his steam engine, but at first it was not used to get you to London in under two hours, its first duty was to pump water out of mines. What the miners use to do before James came along I’m not really sure, maybe they used Thomas Newcomen Steam engine instead.
This is the one little thing that annoys me about history, and I am glad I had a proper tweed and leather patches history teacher. A lot of people often think James Watt invented the Steam engine, where he only improved on the original concept by adding a separate condenser.
While all of this was going on a very clever man in Cornwall hit upon the idea of mounting this steam contraption onto wheels which would run on a track, and once again thank you to Mr Clark for teaching me that Richard Trevithick should be credited as the father of the Railways, but he isn’t. Instead it goes to George Stephenson whose first locomotive was not the best, but manged to win the Rain-hill Trails (by running over and killing an M.P) and therefore he won the contract to build the locomotives for the Manchester to Liverpool Line. That Steam engine was of course the Rocket, but it was the Planet that ran on the Line. This was not the first time he had built engines. Stephenson was responsible for the first Railway line from Stockton to Darlington used to transport coal.
However the number one person who is at the top of my list did it all. He standardised time across Britain, with his railway. He built Canals, boats, and bridges and the longest train tunnel at the time. Even now there is only one day of the year, where the sun shines through Box tunnel It is of course Isambard Kingdom Brunel. That is the person who is at number one, not the day of the year where the sun shines through the tunnel.
I will one day speak about all these people’s work in more detail, but in case you can’t wait I have linked their names to their Wiki pages, but I should imagine that most of you should know everything about them already. The only person who didn’t make it on the list and that is only because I could not find a link from his invention to the Factories is Jethro Tull and I don’t mean the band or the Cornish comedian. I’m talking about Jethro Tull as in the one who made the seed drill that allowed the sowing of seeds in nice little straight lines to happen.
I hope you have enjoyed another look into my geeky nature. I also hope you enjoy reading up on some of these important historical people I will wait for the comments to come flooding in.