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Dick Smith

The Development of Technology.

Development of technology over the years has taken place at an uneven pace. When science was not very developed technological development progressed at a slow pace. As scientific knowledge increased, the rate of technological development also increased. Let us see how technological developed from 600 BC to the present.


Technology -600 BC and AD 1800

During Ad 1500-1800 technology developed at a faster pace than before. One of the prime reasons for the slow development of technology before this period was the hit or miss of to the fabrication of tools. Instead of knowing the scientific principles required, people built things by trial and error. Quite often, the scientific principles became clear to them after they tried to explain why an invention worked. The importance of systematic study of science was stressed by eminent scientists like Alhazen (11th century), Roger Bacon (13th century), Francis Bacon, Copernicus and Galileo (16th and 17th centuries). They stressed on scientific observations from which scientific laws could be deduced. They also insisted on the verification of scientific theories. When such scientific methods became established, it was easier to develop tools systematically rather than by empirical approach.

Technology -AD 1800- 1900

During the 19th century, science progressed rapidly. Consequently, technology also progressed rapidly. The major technological developments during this period. The interrelationship between science and technology became firmly established in the 19th century. New technologies emerged which incorporated a number of scientific principles. Examples of this are Davy’s safety lamp and electric generator.

When a number of scientific principles became known, several of these principles were applied to manufacture a sophisticated machine. For example, an electric generator involves the principles of electricity, mechanical engineering, heat conduction, etc.

During this period better engines and machines were developed. Alternate sources of energy were found. This led to large scale industrialization across Europe and America. Now it was possible to produce goods on a mass scale. Take the example of cloth produced on a hand operated loom. It takes a long time to weave a few meters of cloth. However, a power-operated loom can produce cloth at a higher speed and requires fewer workers. Thus, with machines it is possible to produce goods on a mass scale and the goods, thus, produced are cheaper and consistent in quality.

These factors coupled with the availability of alternate energy sources brought about a revolution in manufacturing, and the period from about 1770-1870 is known as the Period of Industrial revolution. During the industrial Revolution rapid progress was made in the field of transportation. The technology of steam-engine was used in making railway engines and steam-powered ships. These developments helped in rapid transportation of goods and people. Later, petrol engines were developed which eventually led to the development of cars and airplanes.

Technology 2000 and beyond.

One can only sit in amazement at the technological development of today; the age of the computer has placed the world in our hands. Embrace technology and improve your quality of life.