Reflections and Questions:
Technological Revolutions

Technological Revolutions:
  1. invention of agriculture about 7000 BCE
  2. the development of cities about 3000 BCE
  3. the medieval technological revolution approx. 800-1300 AD
  4. the age of exploration and the scientific revolution approx. 1400-1700
  5. the British Industrial Revolution approx. 1750-1830 and the American Industrial Revolution approx. 1790-1850
  6. Mass production approx. 1840-1920 (this is a second step in industrialization)
  7. The computer 1946-

Looking in more detail at the United States:

Changes in the first half of the 19th century  (the American Industrial Revolution)

Changes in the late 19th century (some start as early as 1850, but mostly after the civil war): Changes in the early 20th century:

detail from Diego Rivera mural, Detroit Institute of Art, PEM photo

Issues to think about:

Is technological change happening faster now than in the past (before 1980)?

Cowan ch. 9: American ideas about technology
  A physician is taking the pulse of a woman sitting in a chair


We think about technology in different ways:

These give us different questions to ask about a new technology and how it comes into use.  The more questions we can ask, the better choices we can make about what technological future we want.

some artists of the mid-20th century tried to romaticize and poeticize the man-made world.
how do our romantic and other ideas about technology affect what technologies we like and what we don't like?

 Diego Rivera at work on the Central Panel, North Wall, Detroit Institute of Arts
click here to see one of the finished Detroit murals

this page written and copyright  Pamela E. Mack
 History 122
last updated 10/19/2005