In the early years of America, the country was small. It was nothing more than 13 united states on the East side of a new found world. These states were, for the most part, closely grouped together making it easy to settle and industrialize, especially with the help of the locomotive bringing supplies quickly from city to city. On the other side of these states was unsettled, wild, and dangerous lands. Eventually the United States would officially own this land and would slowly expand to be cultivate it. This rapid expansion in idas, economics, and cultural aspects was not made possible until the railroad connected the East to the West through the steam powered locomotive, which spurred the industrial revolution and changed America forever.
The ideology of using steam as a source of power dates back to the time of the Greeks. It was not until the 17th century that the world adopted it as a reliable and efficient use of power. The steam engine was first invented in a very crude form by Thomas Savery in 1698 (Bellis). His edition was based off of Denis Papin's Digester, or Pressure Cooker, of 1679 . James Watt was then assigned the task of improving upon the Newcomen engine in 1769 that he came up with the modern engine that changed the American culture (Thomasnet). With the completion of the railroads the steam engine dominated in the United States. Materials could not be so quickly transported to their destination, let alone in such a quantity. Because of the innovative thinking and contributions of these inventors, engineers today are able to look back and use the same techniques to make improvements on older models to help produce what is currently considered a more efficient and labor free model.
As said in Kendra Bolon's article "The Steam Engine", "nothing in society today can be examined without finding a trace of the steam engine's importance". Analyzed in greater detail, this is true: the steam engine was the main method of transportation for both people and goods.