Ingenious Inventions from the Second American Industrial Revolution (1870-1914)

Technology is not things; it is knowledge – knowledge that is stored in hundreds of millions of books, in hundreds of billions of human heads, and, to an important extent, in the artifacts themselves. Technology is knowledge of how to do things, how to accomplish human goals.”

 Simon, H. A.; 1973. Technology and Environment. Management Science


A respectful knowledge of the past not only helps us avoid mistakes, but can also serve as a source of inspiration to realize our own goals. I enjoy contemplating the beautiful cleverness of the inventions from this era, how they provided solutions to the problems faced, and how they changed everyday life.  But I also have a desire to gain an understanding of the people involved.  I suspect there are many very interesting stories to be found.

This page presents things from visits to sites (both real and webby virtual) and collections of amazing old technology, and when it’s possible and interesting, provides a little information about the people - the inventors and the promoters - involved in doing the things.  This page also represents a respect for technology, knowledge and especially, artifacts.

I find the separation of human history from technological history impossible - to do so is to tell an incomplete story about our past.

And, this project gives me an excuse for going to very cool places and spending lots of web-search discovery time.  Enjoy!

  1. In 1904 this big diesel engine provided electrified civilization for a remote desert mining town.

Two-Wheelers - their impact on today’s things.
  1. A look at the 1890s bicycle craze, and the story of the Fowler Cycle Co.

What were they thinking? - questionable creations that must have made sense then?

Milling technology (link -- opens a new page)

Milling Around the Ozarks

(Springfield-Greene County Library)

  “The many water mills which operated in the Ozarks from early settlement until about the 1930's were a perfect example of the link between power, utility, fellowship, and beauty.”

Go here if you haven’t - go back if you have ! SUPPORT !