History of London

Date: Nov 22, 2018

A Trip on the Metropolitan Line in 1865

The Metropolitan Line in London was the first metropolitan line in the world. It was opened in 1863 and became one of the numerous marquee places of London. All Londoners wanted to try the new kind of transport. It was considered the most significant achievement of the railway industry of that time. For this reason, it attracted a lot of people from the very beginning. Going to the Metropolitan in 1865, one could notice a lot of destructed buildings because the building of the underground railway forced to demolish some structures. All stations of London Metropolitan were crowded by people and box offices were surrounded by long queues. The metro stations were tube-shaped tunnels with high ceilings. It was not dark inside as the stations were lightened with huge spherical lamp hanging from the ceiling.

The first trains in the Metropolitan Line had a steam engine, and it caused one of the main problems in the new underground railroad. There was no appropriate ventilation, and the large amount of smoke emissions, produced by locomotives, made the metro uncomfortable for passenger. Moreover, almost all men smoked pipes that only complicated the situation. Although it was hard to breathe in the London Metropolitan, it became the most favorite type of transport. Every day thousands of Londoners and guests of the city used it to commute to the center. Instead of being stuck in traffic jams, people preferred to go by the underground railway. At the same time, it was not the most comfortable transport as the carriages were stiff and wooden; moreover there were no windows. Thus, going by metro in 1863 the passengers did not see anything except of the interior of a carriage, which was rather poor. For this reason, it was hard to call it a good journey for a tourist.

The Metropolitan Line is the oldest line of the London subway. People usually went Farringdon to London Paddington station. The Farrington station was situated in the East of London where the working class lived. The building of the station was a bright example of London architecture of the nineteenth century. For many Londoners it was the most comfortable way to reach the Paddington railway station. The passengers only had to listen to the monotonous rumble of wheels, look at their fellow travelers in a carriage for two and a half hours, and in such a way they reached the destination station.

The passengers were mostly workers and clerks from East London who went to work in the City of London and did not want to be late. However, the first passengers were also rich people who just wanted to try to travel by the London Metropolitan. Additionally, the carriages were not as crowded as nowadays, and all passengers were sitting. It was considered a prestigious mode of transport until it became a real public transport. Nevertheless, in 1865, very few middle-class people could afford to go by the London Underground. The Paddington station was a large railroad junction in London that allowed people to travel to the most cities in the West Britain. When the passengers got out of the train, they also had to go upstairs as the elevators have not been invented yet. However, it was not a long way because the Metropolitan Line was not lying deep under the ground. The Paddington station was quite different from the Farringdon because it was not only a subway station, but also a large railroad station. There were also a lot of personnel and many box offices.

Taking in account all the inconveniences of a trip by early metropolitan in London, such as smoke produced by locomotives or the lack of widows in carriages, the metro might be considered to be a very uncomfortable transport. However, there were no alternatives to the subway in London of nineteenth century. First of all, it was one of the greatest inventions of that time, and all people wanted to be part of the technological breakthrough. Secondly, it was the fastest mode of transport in London and it allowed people to commute to the job in time. All in all, the London Underground acquired the greatest role in life of Londoners and the Metropolitan Line became the historical monument of that age.

Development of Manufacturing in London between 1500 and 1900

By the sixteenth century London became the trade center of Europe, although the city industry mostly consisted of small manufactories, such as textile factories. England stopped to produce wool and started to produce cloth, but the production was mainly corporate. The seventeenth century became the beginning of the pre-industrial revolution period, but England was still mainly an agricultural country. The rapid development of trading made several artisans richer that allowed them to broaden out the production. There were many significant inventions in the seventeenth century such as mechanical drives for a sump pump and bellows of a melting furnace. Additionally, the mass adoption of coal fuel occurred in this period. London artisans who made enough money on trading became large manufacturers and began the transfer from manual production to mechanical production. They actively adopted new technologies of production and inventions.

However, the technological progress in London in the seventeenth century was also tightly related to the agricultural revolution in Great Britain. Eventually, London became occupied by new manufactories such as printing, glass, silk and weapon enterprises. Another important change in this period was the distribution of labor. For instance, there were no more artisans in London who bought the wool and produced the cloth. In the seventeenth century the process of turning the raw material into the final product involved a lot of people and even manufactories. Often the final product was produced in London, while the initial processing was made outside the capital. As the result, the amounts of production increased as well as the export of goods produced in London. The Great Fire in 1666, instead of damaging the economy of London, appeared to be beneficial for the manufacturers.

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Finally, the eighteenth century was marked by the boom of the technological progress and London became the heart of the industrial revolution. The weaving shuttle, steam engine, a lathe, milling and many other significant inventions became the symbols of industrial revolution, which marked a total transfer from manual labor to industrial production. It was the period of final establishment of London as the industrial center. The introduction of steam power was a crucial point of the industrial revolution for the manufacturers. New technologies allowed manufacturers to dismiss a lot of workers. The London manufactories required much fewer workers than earlier. Additionally, they required only skilled workers who would be able to operate new tools. Obviously, people who lost a job were angry, and some of them even broke machines, which had taken away their jobs. At the same time, British manufacturers followed the mercantilist approach trading their production only inside the British Empire. London, as the largest port in Great Britain, was the main junction of all trade operations. It strengthened the position of London manufactories and increased their influence.

The nineteenth century became the most prosperous period for London manufacturers as a lot of industrial enterprises were built in the city in this time. The introduction of railway allowed them to transport large amounts of raw materials needed for production. London and Great Britain as a whole were in the beneficial situation as the main fuel of industrial revolution was coal. If earlier London was considered to be one of the most polluted cities in Europe, now it was an undoubtful leader. Additionally, the labor conditions in London manufactories were awful for adults as well as for children. The textile workers suffered from inhumane work conditions most of all and violation of their rights that was also supported by government. Another significant change happened in the late 1890s when the first diesel engine was invented.

The Manufacturing in London

The manufacturing in London developed rapidly from the sixteenth century. A lot of significant inventions were made that improved the quality and the amount of goods produced by manufactories. At first, the steam power and then the electricity and finally the diesel engine transformed the manual labor into machine production. The industrial revolution shaped not only the production at manufactories in London but also the lifestyle and culture of the world.

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