270 BT to 30 AT: The Industrial Age

Industrial Age
Image from Steve Bowers

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Orion's Arm Tranquility Calendar Conversion Tool

On Old Earth, the period from 270 BT (1700 c.e.) to 30 AT (2000 c.e.), preceded by the Agricultural Age, and followed by the Information Age. It was dominated by macrotech mass production, the massive acceleration of science and technology, tremendous social change, and the development of consumerism. This period's surge in population density and social complexity was made possible by an extraordinary energy subsidy from extensive burning of the planet's accumulated reserves of biomass and fossil fuels. The latter part of the Industrial Age is sometimes called the Atomic Age.

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The Agricultural Age

1700-1800 - industrial factory system developed

~1730 - Classical tradition in European music (to ~1820)

1775 - first economical steam engine able to provide rotary power

1776 - The Wealth of Nations is published; first use of the phrase "the invisible hand"

1782 - construction of hot air balloon

1795 - metric system adopted in France

1796 - inoculation against smallpox reinvented

1798 — gas lighting first used

1800 — first electrochemical battery for power storage, first muskets with interchangeable parts

1801 — first practical submarine, first device programmable by punch-cards

1807 — first commercially successful steamboat

~1815 - Romantic tradition in European music (to ~ 1910)

1825 - first passenger carrying railway

1831 - experimental demonstration of electromagnetism

1837 — first exhibition of electric telegraph, first fully programmable computer designed (but not built)

1843 - first image transmission over wire (a fax machine, not widely adopted at the time)

1846 — ether used as anaesthetic

1848 — Communist Manifesto issued

1859 — publication of the Origin of Species (Charles Darwin.

1862 — construction of the first automatic gun

1864 — invention of pasteurization

1865 — first successful Atlantic telegraph cable completed, first laws of what will be called genetics

1876 — invention of the telephone

1877 — invention of the phonograph

1885 — first chain-driven bicycles

1885/6 - first internal combustion engine and automobile

1887 — first incandescent electrical lights in production

1894 — invention of the cinematograph

1895 — invention of radio telegraph

1903 - first manned powered heavier than air flight

1905 — Special Theory of Relativity formulated, the term "genetics" is coined

1908 — first mass-produced automobiles

1915 — General Theory of Relativity postulated

~1910 - "Modernist"/Experimental period in European/Western music (to end of Information Age)

1928 — discovery of first antibacterial ('antibiotic')compound

1939 — first helicopter constructed

1942 - Fermi produces first artificial atomic chain reaction

1943 - first electronic programmable computer (Turing et al.)

1945 - first use of atomic weapons

1947 - first practical transistor

1953 - structure of DNA deduced

1957 - first artificial satellite of the Earth is launched (using chemical rocket)

1961 - first human to orbit the Earth

1965 - basics of DNA coding deciphered

1966 — first unmanned moon landings

1966 - the term "sophont" is coined (Poul Anderson)

1969 - first humans to land on the Earth's moon (Start of Tranquility Calendar)

1971 - first microprocessor

1976 - the word "meme" is invented (Richard Dawkins)

1976 - Reputed birth of the original individual (name not recorded) who later became the model for the so-called '.....' spores.

1981 - the term 'toposophy' is coined (Stanislaw Lem)

1984 - first successful 'test tube baby'

1991 - advent of the World Wide Web

1995 - primitive gengineering, cloning of mammalian adults

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030-130 AT: The Information Age

  • Aurobindo, Sri  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    A 1st century BT Old Earth activist, philosopher, yogi, and teacher.
  • Carl Sagan  - Text by Mark Ryherd
    Old Earth late Industrial Age scientist
  • Chandrasekhar, Subrahmanyan - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Old Earth Indian-American astrophysicist, 59 BT - 26 AT (1910 -1995 c.e.), who studied stellar physics, evolution, and black holes. He realized that the fate of dying stars depended upon their mass, and above a certain point (1.4 times Sol mass, known as the "Chandrasekhar limit"), a star will undergo extreme collapse and not simply becomes a white dwarf. There are a number of asteroids, habitats, ships, one black hole, and several black hole observatories named in his honor.
  • Communism  - Text by Steve Bowers
    Sociopolitical system based on centralized command economy and equality of citizens.
  • Einstein, Albert - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Old Earth late Industrial Age German/American physicist, 90-14 BT (1879-1955 c.e.) and popular su genome template. Formulated the Theories of Special and General Relativity. Einstein won the Nobel Prize in 48 BT (1921 c.e.) for explaining the photoelectric effect.
  • English - Text by Stephen Inniss
    An Old Earth language, named for the offshore island of Europe where it originated, that became widespread during the late Agricultural Age, achieved worldwide distribution in the Industrial Age, and grew in usage through the Information Age. Ancestor of various forms of Anglish, and the Anglic language group, as well as to hybrid languages like Chinglish and Anrabic. Like many ancient languages it experiences occasional revivals by retro-abo or neo-whorfian groups.
  • Fossil Fuel - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Naturally-occurring, energy-rich carbon-based substance, such as shale, petroleum, coal, or natural gas, in a Gaian Type world's crust that was formed from ancient organic material. During the Industrial, Atomic, and early Information ages on Old Earth fossil fuels were burned in a criminally negligent manner, resulting in drastic climate change and ecological crisis that was only repaired during the late Interplanetary Age.
  • Gagarin, Yuri  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Lived 35 BT to 1 BT (1934-1968 c.e./AD). Soviet cosmonaut and the first man to orbit the Earth. He piloted the Vostok 1 mission which launched April 12, 1961 and orbited the Earth. The flight lasted 108 minutes. Gagarin died years later in a plane crash.
  • Industrial Revolution - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    On Old Earth, the period in history in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries marked by accelerating developments in dumbtech industrialization and technology that enabled the mass production of goods and materials.
  • Industrialization - Text by Stephen Inniss, after the original by M. Alan Kazlev
    The development of a manufacturing sector in a region's socioeconomy. The actual effects of industrialization vary dramatically according to the level and the type of the technologies employed and according to the local culture's prior experience with managing those technologies.
  • Linne, Carl - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Swedish Old Earth Industrial Age botanist who formulated the binomial system of nomenclature as a means of classifying living organisms, a system that is still used across large portions of the Terragen Sphere.
  • Republic of Pakistan  - Text by Kirran Lochhead Strang
    Old Earth polity of the Industrial-Golden Ages, originally a colony of Great Britain, but after independence gradually becoming a major power in its own right.
  • Teilhard, Saint - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Late Industrial / early Atomic age religious philosopher, palaeontogist, and eschatologist; propounder of an early form of Omegism.
  • Tipler, Frank - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Information Age Christian Transhumanist; founder of Omega Point Theory.
  • Turing, Alan  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Late Industrial/early Atomic Age British mathematician and computer theorist, 57 to 15 BT(1912 - 1954 c.e.); one of the fathers of artificial intelligence and computing.
  • United Nations (Earth)  - Text by MacGregor
    A large and important intergovernmental organization on Old Earth, composed of nearly all sovereign nation-states then existing, at one point reaching over 200 members.
  • West, The  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    A dominant and ubiquitous aspect of Old Earth Terragen culture, especially in the Industrial and Information ages, named for its origins in Western Eurasia.
Related Topics
Development Notes
Text by Stephen Inniss, M. Alan Kazlev, Steve Bowers

Initially published on 10 November 2001.

Additional Information