Machine Age

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Metalworking machinery
A freight locomotive
Bonneville Dam (1933–37)

The Machine Age[1][2][3] is an era that includes the early 20th century, sometimes also including the late 19th century. An approximate dating would be about 1880 to 1945. Considered to be at a peak in the time between the first and second world wars, it forms a late part of the Second Industrial Revolution. The 1940s saw the beginning of the Atomic Age, where modern physics saw new applications such as the atomic bomb,[4] the first computers,[5] and the transistor.[6] The Digital Revolution ended the intellectual model of the machine age founded in the mechanical and heralding a new more complex model of high technology. The digital era has been called the Second Machine Age, with its increased focus on machines that do mental tasks.

Universal chronology[edit]

Atomic AgeCold WarWorld War IINazismNew DealSocial liberalismProgressive EraGilded AgeSecond Industrial Revolution1940sGreat DepressionRoaring Twenties1910s1900s (decade)Gay Nineties1880s


The Yamato and other battleships in World War II were the heaviest artillery-carrying ships ever launched. They proved inferior to aircraft carriers and missile-carrying warships.
Some locomotives built in the mid-20th century were the heaviest ever.

Artifacts of the Machine Age include:

Social influence[edit]

Environmental influence[edit]

  • Exploitation of natural resources with little concern for the ecological consequences; a continuation of 19th century practices but at a larger scale.
  • Release of synthetic dyes, artificial flavorings, and toxic materials into the consumption stream without testing for adverse health effects.
  • Rise of petroleum as a strategic resource

International relations[edit]

  • Conflicts between nations regarding access to energy sources (particularly oil) and material resources (particularly iron and various metals with which it is alloyed) required to ensure national self-sufficiency. Such conflicts were contributory to two devastating world wars.
  • Climax of New Imperialism and beginning of decolonization

Arts and architecture[edit]

Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2 (1912) by Marcel Duchamp displays Cubist and Futurist characteristics

The Machine Age is considered to have influenced:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Mentality and freedom By William Armstrong Fairburn. Page 219.
  2. ^ The Playground, Volume 15 By Playground and Recreation Association of America
  3. ^ Public libraries, Volume 6
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-05-19. Retrieved 2011-06-03.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Industrialization of American Society". (College of Engineering, San José State University). Archived from the original on 2010-09-19. Retrieved 2013-08-14.
  8. ^ "The Plan Comes Together - Encyclopedia of Chicago". Retrieved 2013-08-14.