In 1736, James Watt, the inventor of the steam engine, was born.
The discovery that steam could be harnessed and made to work is not credited to James Watt. In fact, the ancient Greeks had crude steam engines. James Watt, however, is credited with inventing the first practical engine.
Read more about James Watt at http://inventors.about.com/od/wstartinventors/a/JamesWatt.htm
In 1813, Henry Bessemer, whose invention revolutionized the steel industry, was born.
His invention of the Bessemer converter was a major advancement for steel making. Prior to his work, steel was scarce since it was made through a costly, difficult process.
Read more about Henry Bessemer at http://www.invent.org/hall_of_fame/183.html