Benchmark 10J
Historical Perspectives: Harnessing Power
Grades 6-8, page 259

The invention of the steam engine was at the center of the Industrial Revolution. It converted the chemical energy stored in wood and coal, which were plentiful, into mechanical work. The steam engine was invented to solve the urgent problem of pumping water out of coal mines. As improved by James Watt, it was soon used to move coal, drive manufacturing machinery, and power locomotives, ships, and even the first automobiles.

See Content Standard G History and Nature of Science (grades 9-12): Historical Perspectives