The history and future of heavy industry

Strut cushion clamps

We live in a far more complex and intricate world than we give ourselves credit for. Things that seem incredibly simple to us are actually technical and marvelous works of art with thousands of parts that move in simultaneous motion. Everything from air compressor tubes to strut cushion clamps to compressor piping to cell phones to the engines of our cars are pieces of machinery that actually extend far back in time. Put another way, these machines actually have their routes far back in the distant past, in places we don’t essentially give them credit for. We often forget that things we love and take for granted didn’t actually exist before about a hundred years ago and things we really love, like our cell phones and the internet, have been around for less than fifteen years. It’s hardly been a decade for most of the bigger innovations. Most of us adults can accurately remember a time when internet stars and online shopping weren’t a phenomenon at all. But how did we get here? How did we get to a world where you millions of people can follow a blogger and you can buy pretty much anything with the click of a button? Well, the story is actually fairly complicated.

    The very beginnings of industry
    To start at the very beginning, the very very beginning really, we need to go back to the end of the seventeen hundreds. This might seem a little excessive but it really isn’t. In fact, if we were going to be academically thorough, we’d go back even farther though we don’t really have the time for that. The roots of our incredibly complex world extend back to a time when most people subsisted on agriculture and there were no real complex machines to speak of. Let’s paint a picture of that time for a greater sense of accuracy. It is evening in June in a village in England. The people, for the most part, all live in small huts. Most are one story. Some are two, if you have more money. The sound of insects fill the air and the time is relatively unknown. Clocks are an expensive luxury most people don’t have. The air is warm and the insides of the people’s houses are warmer. There are no air compressor tubes inside air conditioning machines keeping them cool. There is only the sound of people talking, the drone of insects and the setting sun. It is no time at all. It is evening. That’s all. And the world is very simple.
    When the world jumped forward
    This is all a very pretty picture but what does it have to do with the rise of general and heavy industry? How did we go from a world like this to a world where most of the jobs are post industrial service jobs? What happened in between? Well, the true and real answer to that lies in the expansion of resources that were being consumed by the new and rising colonial empires in Europe. Rife with moral and social issues as these empires were, historical arguments aside for a moment, these were the forces that started to develop methods to get places faster and move larger amounts of goods. These were the empires that needed air compressor tubes and engines to function. So they began to invent. And it changed the world.
    The rise of our world
    Invention powered the primary functions of this new world. England was the first to perfect the steam engine which powered simple plants that produced more goods. It quickly spread to other countries which adopted similar models in order to increase proficiency and mass production. This increased amount of goods, naturally, led to faster and faster lines of production until the entire English countryside was industrialized. And then the American countryside. And, gradually, the entire world was unevenly industrialized over the following century. We began to live in a factory world, a world focused entirely on production. Those air compressor tubes became the main focus of the entire world and society. Nowadays, this production has subsisted and turned into more of a service social model.

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