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US History Lesson Plans Include
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Content Reading Guide:
Increasing Technology at the Turn of the 20th Century
In the late 1800s and early 1900s, the world saw a massive increase in technology. In 1876, Thomas Edison invented the light bulb. This completely changed the world and allowed businesses and factories to operate at night. Edison, George Westinghouse, and others also pioneered the initial efforts of using electricity to power cities. This greatly increased industry.
Henry Bessemer was able to inject air into molten iron to create steel in the mid 1800s. This technique, called the Bessemer Process, was used by Andrew Carnegie and others to mass produce steel. Steel was then used to build massive skyscrapers in places like New York City and Chicago. Also, steel was used to create thousands of miles of train tracks in the USA.
By 1837, Samuel Morse had patented the telegraph and created Morse Code. This system could send beeping sounds over long distances to be decoded. This technology made it possible for instant communication to take place over great distances and even impacted the strategy of Lincoln in the Civil War. By 1876, Alexander Graham Bell improved communication technologies by inventing the telephone. Now, people could talk over massive distances instantly.
Orville and Wilbur Wright made and sold bicycles in Ohio in the early 1900s. They also flew the first biplane in 1903 in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. This was the beginning of aviation and radically changed the world. Travel, mail service, and even the way wars were fought were forever impacted by the invention of the airplane.
When World War I began, Britain, France, and other nations began to develop what would become the tank. This machine provided armored transportation for soldiers and greatly increased the mobility of troops. So many people contributed to the creation of the tank that one single inventor does not exist. The first British tank to engage in battle did so in September of 1916 at the Battle of the Somme.