It’s 50 years first since the first moon landing … and the History Extra website and BBC History Magazine have been reflecting on “12 alternative giant leaps for mankind” ….

The impressive dozen includes the development of the steam engine in the 18th century – from the early Newcomen engines to the revamp by James Watt and the locos developed by George Stephenson.

Author Rob Attar says: “What the steam engine enabled people to do was transform themselves beyond the existing constraints of energy use, meaning that human society could develop in all sorts of ways.”

Read the article on the History Extra website.