As much as I love a good flower or postcard, there is a special place in my heart for coal-fired steam engines, robber barons, and the birth of the modern economy. Artifacts, people, processes, inventions, and effects! Give us factual (or at least primarily factual) nodes about the industrial revolution, either in Europe, the US, or Canada (thanks Lord Brawl). Steam power, energy exploitation, assembly lines, the transition from event-based to process-based labor, the rich and varied crop of new human ailments spawned by unchecked pollution and unsafe working conditions - whatever you can research enough to explain. It doesn't have to be anything I've suggested here, your interests and inspiration are the limit. And if you don't know anything about the period, what better time to learn than now? Do a bit of quick reading on the era, and follow the rabbit hole down until you hit something that perks your ears up. Judges will pick three winners:
  • Best References - Congrats to StuartO))) for Birth of The Machine Tool - You really dug for those hard facts and reputable info, and weren't afraid to point us towards it.
  • Best Investigation - Congrats to gnarl for Houses of Parliament - You've done the most to illuminate the weird little nooks and crannies of something a bit off the beaten path.
  • Best In Show - Congrats to StuartO))) for Birth of The Machine Tool - The overall best writeup in the quest, your style, organization, sources, and presentation of the topic combined to win top prize.
Prizes include at least one C! for each winner (judges may award more at their own discretion) and GP for any runners-up. Submissions will be accepted STARTING July 1, and ALL submissions are due by July 31! Just shoot me a /msg when you post a submission, and I will list it below. There is no need to specify which prize you'd like to be considered for - all entries are considered for all prizes, except those written by judges! We wouldn't want to have a scandal on our hands.


Suggested Topics:

You are not limited to what you see below, these are just some suggestions to get the juices flowing. If you want to call dibs on a suggestion below, shoot me a /msg and I'll mark it "reserved" until you post, at which point it will be removed. If you have a suggestion for the list, shoot me a /msg and I'll add it!


  • In the iron industry, coke was finally applied to all stages of iron smelting, replacing charcoal.
  • This had been achieved much earlier for lead and copper as well as for producing pig iron in a blast furnace, but the second stage in the production of bar iron depended on the use of potting and stamping (for which a patent expired in 1786)
  • or puddling (patented by Henry Cort in 1783 and 1784).
  • Benjamin Hunstman's crucible steel process enabled wider use of steels in tool and die manufacture and consumer goods.
  • James Watt and his steam engine design.
  • The Watt engine, and Richard Trevithick's high pressure steam engine took automation to where it was convenient in relation to raw materials, as factories were no longer stuck using water power.
  • The steam engine, particularly the Newcomen engine, allowed the transition from dangerous, short-lived, and inefficient bell pits into ever deeper shaft mines.
Other Topics

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