The old epoch of industry gave way to the new during the last decades of the nineteenth century primarily as a result of advances in four fields: electricity, steel, coal-petroleum, and the internal combustion engine.  Scientific research along theoretical lines played enough of a role in these areas to demonstrate to the capitalist class, and especially to the giant corporate entities then coming into being as a result of the concentration and centralization of capital, its importance as a means of furthering the accumulation of capital.  This was particularly true in the electrical industries, which were entirely the product of nineteenth-century science, and in the chemistry of the synthetic products of coal and oil (109-110).