Steam and Speed: industry, Transport and Communication
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The scale of Britain's industrial expansion during the nineteenth century was enormous and unprecedented. Fuelled by a rapid increase in international trade and a growing middle-class demand for consumer goods, Britain led the world in the development of rail networks and steamships. Its imports and exports increased concomitantly, supported by the class system and a renewed puritan work ethic. This seminar gives a strong and helpful account of the components of this expansion. Here one learns how steam continued to dominate electricity as a power source for trains in the twentieth century, while the bulk of urban transport still relied on horsepower. In the area of public transport generally, Britain led the world, creating the first underground electric railway, which opened between London's Paddington and Farringdon on 10 January 1863.
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