And don't forget the water wheel - probably the first use of power for industrial processes. Pretty limited, and the need for more power was probably the main driver for the industiral revolution, But they were used, apparently from the Greeks onwards, for power for mines, mills and other things.
I guess you may not want to include them on the basis that they pre-dated the industrial revolution, but I'd be inclined to put them in as the start of the whole timeline?
I saw a program on TV the other night about a guy who bought an old mill building and used the water race to power a generator which powered his house and then fed some back into the grid. So water power is not dead yet!
You're right David. That is an important addition. A few days ago, my machinst son (also a David) was working on an NC when some sort of bar came loose and hit him in the head knocking him out cold and causing a concussion. He's better (except tingling in fingers) but was one lucky guy - it came close to taking out his eye--the one htat's a deep purple and black now.
You mention CAD/CAM but CNC (Computer Numerical Control) Lathes / Machining I think deserve a specific mention (well Robot arms got one?). They enabled mass production of tight tolerance machined components. I think 1960s - there were earlier machines that used paper tape etc, but 60's / 70s would be when they came to be mainstream?
As a mechanical engineer, I can't help but vote for the internal combustion engine. its longevity and the fact that is has not yet been replaced in the automobile underscores its importance in the history of engineering.
The Other Tesla David Blaza5 comments I find myself going to Kickstarter and Indiegogo on a regular basis these days because they have become real innovation marketplaces. As far as I'm concerned, this is where a lot of cool ...