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SOCIAL AND INDUSTRIAL HISTORY
Whether we wish to accept it or not, war, and even the threat of war, brings about huge technological advancements.
These advancements affect our social and domestic lives, our workplaces and the products we produce.
The industrial landscape changes all around us, yet we frequently either do not see it or do not know the significance of buildings and their surroundings. We now take for granted the products which are produced in some of these factories, yet many have been created from the needs of war. That is not to say, however, that such products would not have been invented had there been no wars, but the speed of technological change and the social benefits that follow cannot be underestimated.
The First World War saw such changes as the introduction of paper money, widescale use of the motor car, massive development in aircraft, advances in medicine and a better understanding of conditions brought about by trauma.
The Second World War brought about the development of radar, the invention of the computer, invention of the jet engine with its subsequent and universal change in how we travel, further surgical advances, for example, in the treatment of burns and plastic surgery.
Those advancements that I have quoted are but a few of the positive outcomes from both world wars and it is easy for them to be overshadowed in the context of war. There inevitably follows the impact these products and services have on our social and domestic lives and our attitudes towards each other.
Social and industrial history is irrevocably intertwined with Military History: one cannot be fairly considered or understood without the acknowledgement of the other.
K J Wright 5 April 2017