Technology change and its effects.
The period 1870-1940 saw a growth in the industrial sector, better coordination and sound management also developed side by side; this also saw the growth in industrial engineering which was a booster to economic activities. Different elements of the production process were integrated together and also changing of management practices led to job evaluation. To solve power problems, the electric dynamo was invented, under this system; power could be distributed over distances of two miles, and later high voltages were introduced to cover longer distances which dispersed the population that was mostly concentrated in towns initially. Distribution stations were later established; this led to manufacturing thriving hence the development of the textile industry. With the development of textile industry, there appeared to be a need in marketing, more creative design, sales and communication, a fact that further led to the need for telephones as a replacement to face to face communication. All these factors put together led to improvement in technology hence the production industry also thrived.
This period also saw development in agriculture, this as majorly due to the invention of farm equipment which led to increased production. These equipments include: the plow for planting, the reaper for harvesting and of course coupled with animal power. Later in the years, such equipments were replaced by even more complicated ones: the steam tractor for plowing, the combine harvester and the steam engine for power. Steam engines proved to be clumsy, expensive and heavy; this led to them being displaced by gasoline power, over the years, there were notable inventions in agricultural equipments that led to increase in agricultural production (Lamoreaaux, N.R& Raff, D.M.G, 78-127).
Inventions and innovations between 1940 to the present date has seen dramatic technological advancements, this in turn has led to industrial revolution in many parts of the world. The development of the automobile industry was accelerated by the invention of the internal combustion engine that used fuel to move wheels back and forth. The electric cars were developed but they were expensive and could only travel for short distances due to their dependence on batteries that were not reliable. There was however several inventions done in the later years including that of automobile engines, car ownerships also increased and alongside cars, bicycles also were invented. These inventions led to general motors industries sprouting and transportation became easy: there was also increment in employment opportunities. Steam railways were later constructed and passenger trains started entering in the cities, street lighting was invented and the population in the cities became denser.
The first successful electric railway was built for Berlin exhibition; several others were constructed in America and Europe which led to motor vehicle and electric railway companies, people could no longer walk to work. Due to high technology, development of science and research was wanting, this was viewed to be useful in assessing the technological processes, laboratory tests were carried out to assess the characteristics of new buildings and dams being constructed. More electrical technology was used during this period in production, in households, in farm implements, in irrigation and generally, electricity replaced manual labour. This promised better and convenient living standards.
The most influential technological advancements seem to be those between 1940 to date; the consequences also live with us up to date. Man easily conformed to the changes in science and technology and as a result changed his lifestyle drastically, increased acquisition of electric appliances created a crisis in the distribution of the products in the market in that demand was higher than supply. Technology led to the acquisition of deadly weapons for protection against eventualities like terrorism, in the process, governments could no longer adequately protect their citizens against attacks hence exposing them to disastrous impacts of technological changes. Changes in technology also led to creation of social classes: those mostly in villages still were underprivileged and adversely affected by technology than those in the urban areas, there was definitely bound to be a difference in living standards.
Electricity was very influential and drastically brought an impact on agriculture and production, mechanization of farming saved labour and led to faster processes. Steam engines-as forms of energy- were bulky, expensive and produced bad smells, electricity therefore was more manageable. Electricity improved transportation, through the introduction of electric trains, movement became easier and cheaper. In the same breath, electricity played a role in industrial revolution.
Technological advancements have great impacts on our lives today; these impacts are either positive or negative. Industrial revolution and improvement in agriculture led to employment opportunities, however, high technology industries employ those professionally qualified, and this means that the few qualified have high returns while the majority remains in low paying jobs. This broadens the gap between the rich and the poor. Electronic machines and robots robe people of jobs that they had previously thereby employees are declared redundant. On a positive note however, production has become less expensive due to reduced labour requirement. On a different note, information technology has led to easier communication hence saving time on business bureaucratic processes and governance (Hillstrom, L.C 66,166-177).
Today technology has led to cultural change, which is from a primitive way of life to a more civilized one. Again, economical development of an economy is a result of these changes, there is exportation of goods and sale of services hence economic growth. Automation results in faster processes today and communication across nations today has made the world just a global village.
Hillstrom, L.C. The industrial revolution in America ABC-CLIO, 66,166-177. 2007.
Lamoreaaux, N.R, Raff, D.M.G. Coordination and information: historical perspectives on the organization of enterprise. University of Chicago Press, 124-127.1995.