jan 1, 1712 - First Practical
By heating up water to a boiling point, the resulting steam can be used to a push a piston back and forth inside a cylinder which can then be connected to a number of mechanisms. This general concept was built upon by various people around the turn of the 18th Century but it was a man by name of Thomas Newcomen who managed to invent the very first commercially successful steam engine in 1712.
From this moment on the steam engine would be improved upon by different inventors over the years and come to be used in many factories as a way of moving machinery. It would be almost a century after Newcomen that the steam engine would be adapted as a way of propelling ships and other forms of transportation, but it's use in factories during the 1700s negated the excessive need for humans, animals, and water to generate power, and it gave rise to a significant increase of inventions throughout Europe.
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History of Human Civilization
This is a rough history of human migration, advancement, and...