Scotland's Economic State

Essay by ladderman301University, Bachelor's April 2004

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When the words "Scotland", industry" and "international" sentence, one would automatically assume that whiskey, wool goods and the tourism revenue derived from the Loch Ness Monster would be the first things mentioned. That used to be the case. Starting in the late 18th century, Scottish inventions paved the road for the everyday gadgets we take for granted today. Some of the most notable inventions to come out of Scotland were the telephone, kaleidoscope, and one of the first measurements of electricity, the watt. Recently, the Scots have pushed forward into many divisions of the electronics field, including business and banking technologies. The rich history of Scottish invention has paved the way for the country to gain ground in international industry and trade.

One of the first major advances came from James Watt, refiner of the Newcomen steam engine. While serving time as the instrument maker at the University of Glasgow, the school pegged him to refine the school's Newcomen steam engine and found many faults in the original design.

Through modifications of the cold-water infusion method and other smaller imperfections, he increased the engine's efficiency by 75%, which also reduced the cost of the unit. The first commercial use of the newer engine was in the iron-working industry and later the smaller "cotage" industries, such as cotton spinning, to become large factory industries. And of course, there is the energy measurement unit called a "watt", a unit of energy equal to one joule per second (a joule being about the amount of energy it takes a person to lift a golf ball one meter, or the power dissipated by a current of 1 ampere flowing across a resistance of 1) (Tartans, Watt bio).

At the age of ten, Sir David Brewster first dabbled in optics when he built his first...