Science and Urban Life

Science and Urban Life
Kerstin Cecil
Technology and City Life
• By 1890 Chicago and Philidelphia claimed more than one
million people.
• By 1900 New York had a population of 3.5 million people.
• As the population increased the cities had to improve the
amount of space, transportation, and communication.
• The only solution for the small amount of space was to
build upwards.
--Sky scrapers became Americas greatest contribution to
--Skyscrapers solved the problem of how to make the most out
of a limited and expensive space.
In 1980 an architect named Louis Sullivan designed the ten
– story wainwright building in St. Louis
--Daniel Burnham designed the 285 foot tower in 1902 named
the Flatiron Building
--Architects were able to design taller buildings because of two
» invention of elevators
» Development of internal steel skeletons
Electric Transit
• Before the civil war horses had drawn street cars
• During the 1870’s and 1880’s underground
moving cables controlled street car lines
• Electricity changed urban transportation greatly
• Richmond, Virginia(1888) was the first city to
electrify its urban transit
• New rail road lines also fed suburbs, so residents
could now commute downtown to their jobs.
Electric transit cont.
• When congestion on the streets got too bad some
larger cities moved the transportation above street
• These elevated street cars were called “el” trains.
• Other cities like New York moved it under ground
these were called subways.
New technologies transform
• In addition to a railroad network that now
spanned the nation, advances in aviation,
printing, and photography helped speed the
transmission of information.
Appliances and mail delivery
• In the 20th century Orville and Wilbur Wright, two
brothers experimented with engines to keep objects
aloft that were “heavier than air”
• Their first successful flight was on December 17th
1903 at Kitty Hawk covered 120 ft. and lasted 12
• Not much attention was paid to the borthers
• Until the government saw its potential.
• The first transcontinental airmail service was
created in the 1920’s
A revolution in printing
• The literacy rate had risen to nearly 90% by
• There was an increasing interest in books,
magazines , newspapers etc.
• A series of technological advances in
printing aided there efforts.
• William Bullock created the web perfecting
press which printed o both sides of a
continous paper roll.
Printing cont.
• The Linotype Machine created by Ottmar
Mergenthaler also helped speed up the tedious
process of typing.
• Chemical engraving helped to recreate
paintings and photographs cheaply.
• Before the 1880’s photography was a
professional activity.
• George Eastman developed a paper-based film
as an alternative to the heavy glass plates
previously used.
• In 1888 Eastmen invented his Kodak
• It prompted millions of americans to become

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