In the first novel, the technology level of Meridian was around medieval-level. At the top of the second novel, which I'm working on now, there's mention that people are rushing out to buy oil lamps for their homes, and there's rumors that the other countries have projectile weapons that are more devistating than using a bow and arrow (namely, guns, but I'm thinking muskets. Nothing terribly advanced.) What other "technological advances" might the people of Meridian see that would work side-by-side with these? I've been wracking my brain this morning and have come up short. I really don't want to go over a technological level of 1850 or so, so no electricity, telephone, photography, etc.
One idea I did come up with was a steam ship, but I'm not sure what technology one needs to attain beforehand in order to invent or maintain something like that. There's only a span of two years between the end of the war and the current time, so there's not a lot of time for research and invention, especially at this technology level.
Any of your thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Anything goes here: clothing, food, medicine, weapons, gadgets, etc. etc. Thanks in advance!