Samuel Horrocks patented a fairly successful loom in The demand for cotton presented an opportunity to planters in the Southern United States, who thought upland cotton would be a profitable crop if a better way could be found to remove the seed. Eli Whitney responded to the challenge by inventing the inexpensive cotton gin.
A man using a cotton gin could remove seed from as much upland cotton in one day as would previously, working at the rate of one pound of cotton per day, have taken a woman two months to process. These advances were capitalised on by entrepreneurs , of whom the best known is Richard Arkwright. He is credited with a list of inventions, but these were actually developed by such people as Thomas Highs and John Kay ; Arkwright nurtured the inventors, patented the ideas, financed the initiatives, and protected the machines.
He created the cotton mill which brought the production processes together in a factory, and he developed the use of power — first horse power and then water power —which made cotton manufacture a mechanised industry. Other inventors increased the efficiency of the individual steps of spinning carding, twisting and spinning, and rolling so that the supply of yarn increased greatly. Before long steam power was applied to drive textile machinery.
Manchester acquired the nickname Cottonopolis during the early 19th century owing to its sprawl of textile factories. Although mechanization dramatically decreased the cost of cotton cloth, by the midth century machine-woven cloth still could not equal the quality of hand-woven Indian cloth, in part due to the fineness of thread made possible by the type of cotton used in India, which allowed high thread counts. However, the high productivity of British textile manufacturing allowed coarser grades of British cloth to undersell hand-spun and woven fabric in low-wage India, eventually destroying the industry.
The earliest European attempts at mechanized spinning were with wool; however, wool spinning proved more difficult to mechanize than cotton. Productivity improvement in wool spinning during the Industrial Revolution was significant but was far less than that of cotton. Arguably the first highly mechanised factory was John Lombe 's water-powered silk mill at Derby , operational by Lombe learned silk thread manufacturing by taking a job in Italy and acting as an industrial spy; however, because the Italian silk industry guarded its secrets closely, the state of the industry at that time is unknown.
Although Lombe's factory was technically successful, the supply of raw silk from Italy was cut off to eliminate competition. In order to promote manufacturing the Crown paid for models of Lombe's machinery which were exhibited in the Tower of London. Bar iron was the commodity form of iron used as the raw material for making hardware goods such as nails, wire, hinges, horse shoes, wagon tires, chains, etc. A small amount of bar iron was converted into steel. Cast iron was used for pots, stoves and other items where its brittleness was tolerable.
Most cast iron was refined and converted to bar iron, with substantial losses. Bar iron was also made by the bloomery process, which was the predominant iron smelting process until the late 18th century. In the UK in there were 20, tons of cast iron produced with charcoal and tons with coke. In charcoal iron production was 24, and coke iron was 2, tons.
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In the production of charcoal cast iron was 14, tons while coke iron production was 54, tons. In charcoal cast iron production was 7, tons and coke cast iron was , tons. In the UK imported 31, tons of bar iron and either refined from cast iron or directly produced 18, tons of bar iron using charcoal and tons using coke. In the UK was making , tons of bar iron with coke and 6, tons with charcoal; imports were 38, tons and exports were 24, tons.
In the UK did not import bar iron but exported 31, tons. A major change in the iron industries during the era of the Industrial Revolution was the replacement of wood and other bio-fuels with coal. For a given amount of heat, coal required much less labour to mine than cutting wood and converting it to charcoal,  and coal was much more abundant than wood, supplies of which were becoming scarce before the enormous increase in iron production that took place in the late 18th century.
In the smelting and refining of iron, coal and coke produced inferior iron to that made with charcoal because of the coal's sulfur content. Low sulfur coals were known, but they still contained harmful amounts. Conversion of coal to coke only slightly reduces the sulfur content. Another factor limiting the iron industry before the Industrial Revolution was the scarcity of water power to power blast bellows.
This limitation was overcome by the steam engine. Use of coal in iron smelting started somewhat before the Industrial Revolution, based on innovations by Sir Clement Clerke and others from , using coal reverberatory furnaces known as cupolas. These were operated by the flames playing on the ore and charcoal or coke mixture, reducing the oxide to metal. This has the advantage that impurities such as sulphur ash in the coal do not migrate into the metal. This technology was applied to lead from and to copper from It was also applied to iron foundry work in the s, but in this case the reverberatory furnace was known as an air furnace.
The foundry cupola is a different, and later, innovation.
By Abraham Darby made progress using coke to fuel his blast furnaces at Coalbrookdale. He had the advantage over his rivals in that his pots, cast by his patented process, were thinner and cheaper than theirs. Coke pig iron was hardly used to produce wrought iron until , when Darby's son Abraham Darby II built furnaces at Horsehay and Ketley where low sulfur coal was available and not far from Coalbrookdale.
These new furnaces were equipped with water-powered bellows, the water being pumped by Newcomen steam engines. The Newcomen engines were not attached directly to the blowing cylinders because the engines alone could not produce a steady air blast. Abraham Darby III installed similar steam-pumped, water-powered blowing cylinders at the Dale Company when he took control in The Dale Company used several Newcomen engines to drain its mines and made parts for engines which it sold throughout the country.
Steam engines made the use of higher-pressure and volume blast practical; however, the leather used in bellows was expensive to replace. In , iron master John Wilkinson patented a hydraulic powered blowing engine for blast furnaces. James Watt had great difficulty trying to have a cylinder made for his first steam engine. In John Wilkinson, who built a cast iron blowing cylinder for his iron works, invented a precision boring machine for boring cylinders.
After Wilkinson bored the first successful cylinder for a Boulton and Watt steam engine in , he was given an exclusive contract for providing cylinders. The solutions to the sulfur problem were the addition of sufficient limestone to the furnace to force sulfur into the slag and the use of low sulfur coal.
Use of lime or limestone required higher furnace temperatures to form a free-flowing slag. The increased furnace temperature made possible by improved blowing also increased the capacity of blast furnaces and allowed for increased furnace height. As cast iron became cheaper and widely available, it began being a structural material for bridges and buildings.
Europe relied on the bloomery for most of its wrought iron until the large scale production of cast iron. Conversion of cast iron was done in a finery forge , as it long had been. An improved refining process known as potting and stamping was developed, but this was superseded by Henry Cort 's puddling process.
Cort developed two significant iron manufacturing processes: Puddling was a means of decarburizing molten pig iron by slow oxidation in a reverberatory furnace by manually stirring it with a long rod. The decarburized iron, having a higher melting point than cast iron, was raked into globs by the puddler. When the glob was large enough, the puddler would remove it. Puddling was backbreaking and extremely hot work. Few puddlers lived to be The puddling process continued to be used until the late 19th century when iron was being displaced by steel.
Because puddling required human skill in sensing the iron globs, it was never successfully mechanised. Rolling was an important part of the puddling process because the grooved rollers expelled most of the molten slag and consolidated the mass of hot wrought iron. Rolling was 15 times faster at this than a trip hammer. A different use of rolling, which was done at lower temperatures than that for expelling slag, was in the production of iron sheets, and later structural shapes such as beams, angles and rails.
The puddling process was improved in by Baldwyn Rogers, who replaced some of the sand lining on the reverberatory furnace bottom with iron oxide. The tap cinder also tied up some phosphorus, but this was not understood at the time. Puddling became widely used after Up to that time British iron manufacturers had used considerable amounts of iron imported from Sweden and Russia to supplement domestic supplies. Because of the increased British production, imports began to decline in and by the s Britain eliminated imports and became a net exporter of bar iron.
Hot blast , patented by James Beaumont Neilson in , was the most important development of the 19th century for saving energy in making pig iron. By using preheated combustion air, the amount of fuel to make a unit of pig iron was reduced at first by between one-third using coke or two-thirds using coal;  however, the efficiency gains continued as the technology improved. Using less coal or coke meant introducing fewer impurities into the pig iron.
This meant that lower quality coal or anthracite could be used in areas where coking coal was unavailable or too expensive;  however, by the end of the 19th century transportation costs fell considerably. Shortly before the Industrial Revolution an improvement was made in the production of steel , which was an expensive commodity and used only where iron would not do, such as for cutting edge tools and for springs. Benjamin Huntsman developed his crucible steel technique in the s. The raw material for this was blister steel, made by the cementation process.
The supply of cheaper iron and steel aided a number of industries, such as those making nails, hinges, wire and other hardware items. The development of machine tools allowed better working of iron, causing it to be increasingly used in the rapidly growing machinery and engine industries. The development of the stationary steam engine was an important element of the Industrial Revolution; however, during the early period of the Industrial Revolution, most industrial power was supplied by water and wind. In Britain by an estimated 10, horsepower was being supplied by steam.
The first commercially successful industrial use of steam power was due to Thomas Savery in He constructed and patented in London a low-lift combined vacuum and pressure water pump, that generated about one horsepower hp and was used in numerous water works and in a few mines hence its "brand name", The Miner's Friend. Savery's pump was economical in small horsepower ranges, but was prone to boiler explosions in larger sizes.
Savery pumps continued to be produced until the late 18th century. The first successful piston steam engine was introduced by Thomas Newcomen before They were also used to power municipal water supply pumps. They were extremely inefficient by modern standards, but when located where coal was cheap at pit heads, opened up a great expansion in coal mining by allowing mines to go deeper. Despite their disadvantages, Newcomen engines were reliable and easy to maintain and continued to be used in the coalfields until the early decades of the 19th century.
By , when Newcomen died, his engines had spread first to Hungary in , Germany, Austria, and Sweden. A total of are known to have been built by when the joint patent expired, of which 14 were abroad. In the s the engineer John Smeaton built some very large examples and introduced a number of improvements. A total of 1, engines had been built by A fundamental change in working principles was brought about by Scotsman James Watt. With financial support from his business partner Englishman Matthew Boulton , he had succeeded by in perfecting his steam engine , which incorporated a series of radical improvements, notably the closing off of the upper part of the cylinder, thereby making the low-pressure steam drive the top of the piston instead of the atmosphere, use of a steam jacket and the celebrated separate steam condenser chamber.
The separate condenser did away with the cooling water that had been injected directly into the cylinder, which cooled the cylinder and wasted steam. Likewise, the steam jacket kept steam from condensing in the cylinder, also improving efficiency. Boulton and Watt opened the Soho Foundry for the manufacture of such engines in By the Watt steam engine had been fully developed into a double-acting rotative type, which meant that it could be used to directly drive the rotary machinery of a factory or mill.
Until about the most common pattern of steam engine was the beam engine , built as an integral part of a stone or brick engine-house, but soon various patterns of self-contained rotative engines readily removable, but not on wheels were developed, such as the table engine. Around the start of the 19th century, at which time the Boulton and Watt patent expired, the Cornish engineer Richard Trevithick and the American Oliver Evans began to construct higher-pressure non-condensing steam engines, exhausting against the atmosphere.
High pressure yielded an engine and boiler compact enough to be used on mobile road and rail locomotives and steam boats. The development of machine tools , such as the engine lathe , planing , milling and shaping machines powered by these engines, enabled all the metal parts of the engines to be easily and accurately cut and in turn made it possible to build larger and more powerful engines. Small industrial power requirements continued to be provided by animal and human muscle until widespread electrification in the early 20th century. These included crank -powered, treadle -powered and horse-powered workshop and light industrial machinery.
Pre-industrial machinery was built by various craftsmen — millwrights built water and windmills, carpenters made wooden framing, and smiths and turners made metal parts. Wooden components had the disadvantage of changing dimensions with temperature and humidity, and the various joints tended to rack work loose over time. As the Industrial Revolution progressed, machines with metal parts and frames became more common. Other important uses of metal parts were in firearms and threaded fasteners, such as machine screws, bolts and nuts.
There was also the need for precision in making parts. Precision would allow better working machinery, interchangeability of parts and standardization of threaded fasteners. The demand for metal parts led to the development of several machine tools. They have their origins in the tools developed in the 18th century by makers of clocks and watches and scientific instrument makers to enable them to batch-produce small mechanisms. Before the advent of machine tools, metal was worked manually using the basic hand tools of hammers, files, scrapers, saws and chisels.
Consequently, the use of metal machine parts was kept to a minimum. Hand methods of production were very laborious and costly and precision was difficult to achieve. The first large precision machine tool was the cylinder boring machine invented by John Wilkinson in It used for boring the large-diameter cylinders on early steam engines. Wilkinson's boring machine differed from earlier cantilevered machines used for boring cannon in that the cutting tool was mounted on a beam that ran through the cylinder being bored and was supported outside on both ends.
The planing machine , the milling machine and the shaping machine were developed in the early decades of the 19th century. Although the milling machine was invented at this time, it was not developed as a serious workshop tool until somewhat later in the 19th century. Henry Maudslay , who trained a school of machine tool makers early in the 19th century, was a mechanic with superior ability who had been employed at the Royal Arsenal , Woolwich. In Jan Verbruggen had installed a horizontal boring machine in Woolwich which was the first industrial size Lathe in the UK.
Maudslay was hired away by Joseph Bramah for the production of high-security metal locks that required precision craftsmanship. Bramah patented a lathe that had similarities to the slide rest lathe. Maudslay perfected the slide rest lathe, which could cut machine screws of different thread pitches by using changeable gears between the spindle and the lead screw. Before its invention screws could not be cut to any precision using various earlier lathe designs, some of which copied from a template.
Although it was not entirely Maudslay's idea, he was the first person to build a functional lathe using a combination of known innovations of the lead screw, slide rest and change gears. Maudslay left Bramah's employment and set up his own shop. He was engaged to build the machinery for making ships' pulley blocks for the Royal Navy in the Portsmouth Block Mills.
These machines were all-metal and were the first machines for mass production and making components with a degree of interchangeability. The lessons Maudslay learned about the need for stability and precision he adapted to the development of machine tools, and in his workshops he trained a generation of men to build on his work, such as Richard Roberts , Joseph Clement and Joseph Whitworth.
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James Fox of Derby had a healthy export trade in machine tools for the first third of the century, as did Matthew Murray of Leeds. Roberts was a maker of high-quality machine tools and a pioneer of the use of jigs and gauges for precision workshop measurement. The impact of machine tools during the Industrial Revolution was not that great because other than firearms, threaded fasteners and a few other industries there were few mass-produced metal parts.
The techniques to make mass-produced metal parts made with sufficient precision to be interchangeable is largely attributed to a program of the U. Department of War which perfected interchangeable parts for firearms in the early 19th century. In the half century following the invention of the fundamental machine tools the machine industry became the largest industrial sector of the U. The large-scale production of chemicals was an important development during the Industrial Revolution. The first of these was the production of sulphuric acid by the lead chamber process invented by the Englishman John Roebuck James Watt 's first partner in He was able to greatly increase the scale of the manufacture by replacing the relatively expensive glass vessels formerly used with larger, less expensive chambers made of riveted sheets of lead.
The production of an alkali on a large scale became an important goal as well, and Nicolas Leblanc succeeded in in introducing a method for the production of sodium carbonate. The Leblanc process was a reaction of sulphuric acid with sodium chloride to give sodium sulphate and hydrochloric acid. The sodium sulphate was heated with limestone calcium carbonate and coal to give a mixture of sodium carbonate and calcium sulphide. Adding water separated the soluble sodium carbonate from the calcium sulphide. The process produced a large amount of pollution the hydrochloric acid was initially vented to the air, and calcium sulphide was a useless waste product.
Nonetheless, this synthetic soda ash proved economical compared to that from burning specific plants barilla or from kelp , which were the previously dominant sources of soda ash,  and also to potash potassium carbonate produced from hardwood ashes. These two chemicals were very important because they enabled the introduction of a host of other inventions, replacing many small-scale operations with more cost-effective and controllable processes. Sodium carbonate had many uses in the glass, textile, soap, and paper industries.
Early uses for sulphuric acid included pickling removing rust iron and steel, and for bleaching cloth. The development of bleaching powder calcium hypochlorite by Scottish chemist Charles Tennant in about , based on the discoveries of French chemist Claude Louis Berthollet , revolutionised the bleaching processes in the textile industry by dramatically reducing the time required from months to days for the traditional process then in use, which required repeated exposure to the sun in bleach fields after soaking the textiles with alkali or sour milk.
Tennant's factory at St Rollox, North Glasgow , became the largest chemical plant in the world. After the focus on chemical innovation was in dyestuffs , and Germany took world leadership, building a strong chemical industry. British scientists by contrast, lacked research universities and did not train advanced students; instead, the practice was to hire German-trained chemists.
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In Joseph Aspdin , a British bricklayer turned builder, patented a chemical process for making portland cement which was an important advance in the building trades. Portland cement was used by the famous English engineer Marc Isambard Brunel several years later when constructing the Thames Tunnel.
Another major industry of the later Industrial Revolution was gas lighting. The process consisted of the large-scale gasification of coal in furnaces, the purification of the gas removal of sulphur, ammonia, and heavy hydrocarbons , and its storage and distribution. The first gas lighting utilities were established in London between and They soon became one of the major consumers of coal in the UK.
Gas lighting affected social and industrial organisation because it allowed factories and stores to remain open longer than with tallow candles or oil. Its introduction allowed nightlife to flourish in cities and towns as interiors and streets could be lighted on a larger scale than before. A new method of producing glass, known as the cylinder process , was developed in Europe during the early 19th century. In this process was used by the Chance Brothers to create sheet glass. They became the leading producers of window and plate glass. This advancement allowed for larger panes of glass to be created without interruption, thus freeing up the space planning in interiors as well as the fenestration of buildings.
The Crystal Palace is the supreme example of the use of sheet glass in a new and innovative structure. The paper machine is known as a Fourdrinier after the financiers, brothers Sealy and Henry Fourdrinier , who were stationers in London. Although greatly improved and with many variations, the Fourdriner machine is the predominant means of paper production today. The method of continuous production demonstrated by the paper machine influenced the development of continuous rolling of iron and later steel and other continuous production processes.
The British Agricultural Revolution is considered one of the causes of the Industrial Revolution because improved agricultural productivity freed up workers to work in other sectors of the economy. Industrial technologies that affected farming included the seed drill , the Dutch plough , which contained iron parts, and the threshing machine. Jethro Tull invented an improved seed drill in It was a mechanical seeder which distributed seeds evenly across a plot of land and planted them at the correct depth. This was important because the yield of seeds harvested to seeds planted at that time was around four or five.
Tull's seed drill was very expensive and not very reliable and therefore did not have much of an impact. Good quality seed drills were not produced until the mid 18th century. Joseph Foljambe's Rotherham plough of was the first commercially successful iron plough. Machine tools and metalworking techniques developed during the Industrial Revolution eventually resulted in precision manufacturing techniques in the late 19th century for mass-producing agricultural equipment, such as reapers, binders and combine harvesters.
Coal mining in Britain, particularly in South Wales , started early. Before the steam engine, pits were often shallow bell pits following a seam of coal along the surface, which were abandoned as the coal was extracted. In other cases, if the geology was favourable, the coal was mined by means of an adit or drift mine driven into the side of a hill. Shaft mining was done in some areas, but the limiting factor was the problem of removing water. It could be done by hauling buckets of water up the shaft or to a sough a tunnel driven into a hill to drain a mine.
In either case, the water had to be discharged into a stream or ditch at a level where it could flow away by gravity. The introduction of the steam pump by Thomas Savery in and the Newcomen steam engine in greatly facilitated the removal of water and enabled shafts to be made deeper, enabling more coal to be extracted. These were developments that had begun before the Industrial Revolution, but the adoption of John Smeaton 's improvements to the Newcomen engine followed by James Watt's more efficient steam engines from the s reduced the fuel costs of engines, making mines more profitable.
The Cornish engine , developed in the s, was much more efficient than the Watt steam engine. Coal mining was very dangerous owing to the presence of firedamp in many coal seams. Some degree of safety was provided by the safety lamp which was invented in by Sir Humphry Davy and independently by George Stephenson. However, the lamps proved a false dawn because they became unsafe very quickly and provided a weak light.
Firedamp explosions continued, often setting off coal dust explosions , so casualties grew during the entire 19th century. Conditions of work were very poor, with a high casualty rate from rock falls. At the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, inland transport was by navigable rivers and roads, with coastal vessels employed to move heavy goods by sea. Wagonways were used for conveying coal to rivers for further shipment, but canals had not yet been widely constructed.
Animals supplied all of the motive power on land, with sails providing the motive power on the sea. The first horse railways were introduced toward the end of the 18th century, with steam locomotives being introduced in the early decades of the 19th century. The Industrial Revolution improved Britain's transport infrastructure with a turnpike road network, a canal and waterway network, and a railway network. Raw materials and finished products could be moved more quickly and cheaply than before.
Improved transportation also allowed new ideas to spread quickly. Before and during the Industrial Revolution navigation on several British rivers was improved by removing obstructions, straightening curves, widening and deepening and building navigation locks. Britain had over miles of navigable rivers and streams by Canals and waterways allowed bulk materials to be economically transported long distances inland.
This was because a horse could pull a barge with a load dozens of times larger than the load that could be drawn in a cart. Building of canals dates to ancient times. In the UK, canals began to be built in the late 18th century to link the major manufacturing centres across the country. Known for its huge commercial success, the Bridgewater Canal in North West England , which opened in and was mostly funded by The 3rd Duke of Bridgewater. By the s a national network was in existence.
Canal construction served as a model for the organisation and methods later used to construct the railways. They were eventually largely superseded as profitable commercial enterprises by the spread of the railways from the s on. The last major canal to be built in the United Kingdom was the Manchester Ship Canal , which upon opening in was the largest ship canal in the world,  and opened Manchester as a port. However it never achieved the commercial success its sponsors had hoped for and signalled canals as a dying mode of transport in an age dominated by railways, which were quicker and often cheaper.
Britain's canal network, together with its surviving mill buildings, is one of the most enduring features of the early Industrial Revolution to be seen in Britain. France was known for having an excellent system of roads at the time of the Industrial Revolution; however, most of the roads on the European Continent and in the U. Much of the original British road system was poorly maintained by thousands of local parishes, but from the s and occasionally earlier turnpike trusts were set up to charge tolls and maintain some roads.
Increasing numbers of main roads were turnpiked from the s to the extent that almost every main road in England and Wales was the responsibility of a turnpike trust. Heavy goods transport on these roads was by means of slow, broad wheeled, carts hauled by teams of horses. Lighter goods were conveyed by smaller carts or by teams of pack horse. Stagecoaches carried the rich, and the less wealthy could pay to ride on carriers carts. Reducing friction was one of the major reasons for the success of railroads compared to wagons.
This was demonstrated on an iron plate covered wooden tramway in at Croydon, England. A party of gentlemen were invited to witness the experiment, that the superiority of the new road might be established by ocular demonstration. Twelve wagons were loaded with stones, till each wagon weighed three tons, and the wagons were fastened together.
A horse was then attached, which drew the wagons with ease, six miles in two hours, having stopped four times, in order to show he had the power of starting, as well as drawing his great load. Railways were made practical by the widespread introduction of inexpensive puddled iron after , the rolling mill for making rails, and the development of the high-pressure steam engine also around Wagonways for moving coal in the mining areas had started in the 17th century and were often associated with canal or river systems for the further movement of coal.
These were all horse drawn or relied on gravity, with a stationary steam engine to haul the wagons back to the top of the incline. The first applications of the steam locomotive were on wagon or plate ways as they were then often called from the cast-iron plates used.
Horse-drawn public railways did not begin until the early years of the 19th century when improvements to pig and wrought iron production were lowering costs. Steam locomotives began being built after the introduction of high-pressure steam engines after the expiration of the Boulton and Watt patent in High-pressure engines exhausted used steam to the atmosphere, doing away with the condenser and cooling water.
They were also much lighter weight and smaller in size for a given horsepower than the stationary condensing engines. A few of these early locomotives were used in mines. Steam-hauled public railways began with the Stockton and Darlington Railway in The rapid introduction of railways followed the Rainhill Trials , which demonstrated Robert Stephenson 's successful locomotive design and the development of Hot blast , which dramatically reduced the fuel consumption of making iron and increased the capacity the blast furnace.
On 15 September , the Liverpool and Manchester Railway was opened, the first inter-city railway in the world and was attended by Prime Minister, the Duke of Wellington. The opening was marred by problems, due to the primitive nature of the technology being employed, however problems were gradually ironed out and the railway became highly successful, transporting passengers and freight. The success of the inter-city railway, particularly in the transport of freight and commodities, led to Railway Mania. Construction of major railways connecting the larger cities and towns began in the s but only gained momentum at the very end of the first Industrial Revolution.
After many of the workers had completed the railways, they did not return to their rural lifestyles but instead remained in the cities, providing additional workers for the factories. Other developments included more efficient water wheels , based on experiments conducted by the British engineer John Smeaton  the beginnings of a machine industry   and the rediscovery of concrete based on hydraulic lime mortar by John Smeaton , which had been lost for years.
Prior to the Industrial Revolution, most of the workforce was employed in agriculture, either as self-employed farmers as landowners or tenants, or as landless agricultural labourers. It was common for families in various parts of the world to spin yarn, weave cloth and make their own clothing. Households also spun and wove for market production. At the beginning of the Industrial Revolution India, China and regions of Iraq and elsewhere in Asia and the Middle East produced most of the world's cotton cloth while Europeans produced wool and linen goods.
In Britain by the 16th century the putting-out system , by which farmers and townspeople produced goods for market in their homes, often described as cottage industry , was being practiced. Typical putting out system goods included spinning and weaving. Merchant capitalist typically provided the raw materials, paid workers by the piece , and were responsible for the sale of the goods. Embezzlement of supplies by workers and poor quality were common problems.
The logistical effort in procuring and distributing raw materials and picking up finished goods were also limitations of the putting out system. Some early spinning and weaving machinery, such as a 40 spindle jenny for about six pounds in , was affordable for cottagers. The majority of textile factory workers during the Industrial Revolution were unmarried women and children, including many orphans. They typically worked for 12 to 14 hours per day with only Sundays off.
It was common for women take factory jobs seasonally during slack periods of farm work. Lack of adequate transportation, long hours and poor pay made it difficult to recruit and maintain workers. British Agricultural Revolution , Threshing machine. The change in the social relationship of the factory worker compared to farmers and cottagers was viewed unfavourably by Karl Marx , however, he recognized the increase in productivity made possible by technology.
Some economists, such as Robert E. Nothing remotely like this economic behaviour is mentioned by the classical economists, even as a theoretical possibility. Real wages were not keeping up with the price of food. During the Industrial Revolution, the life expectancy of children increased dramatically. The percentage of the children born in London who died before the age of five decreased from The effects on living conditions the industrial revolution have been very controversial, and were hotly debated by economic and social historians from the s to the s. Hopkins later set the academic consensus that the bulk of the population, that was at the bottom of the social ladder, suffered severe reductions in their living standards.
Chronic hunger and malnutrition were the norm for the majority of the population of the world including Britain and France, until the late 19th century. Until about , in large part due to malnutrition, life expectancy in France was about 35 years and about 40 years in Britain. The United States population of the time was adequately fed, much taller on average and had life expectancy of 45—50 years although U. Food consumption per capita also declined during an episode known as the Antebellum Puzzle.
Food supply in Great Britain was adversely affected by the Corn Laws The Corn Laws, which imposed tariffs on imported grain, were enacted to keep prices high in order to benefit domestic producers. The initial technologies of the Industrial Revolution, such as mechanized textiles, iron and coal, did little, if anything, to lower food prices.
The very rapid growth in population in the 19th century in the cities included the new industrial and manufacturing cities, as well as service centers such as Edinburgh and London. Kemp says this was usually of advantage to tenants. Clean water, sanitation, and public health facilities were inadequate; the death rate was high, especially infant mortality, and tuberculosis among young adults. Cholera from polluted water and typhoid were endemic. Unlike rural areas, there were no famines such as devastated Ireland in the s. By far the most famous publication was by one of the founders of the Socialist movement, The Condition of the Working Class in England in Friedrich Engels described backstreet sections of Manchester and other mill towns, where people lived in crude shanties and shacks, some not completely enclosed, some with dirt floors.
These shanty towns had narrow walkways between irregularly shaped lots and dwellings. There were no sanitary facilities. Population density was extremely high. The Industrial Revolution also created a middle class of businessmen, clerks, foremen and engineers who lived in much better conditions. Conditions improved over the course of the 19th century due to new public health acts regulating things such as sewage, hygiene and home construction. In the introduction of his edition, Engels notes that most of the conditions he wrote about in had been greatly improved. For example, the Public Health Act led to the more sanitary byelaw terraced house.
In The Condition of the Working Class in England in Friedrich Engels described how untreated sewage created awful odors and turned the rivers green in industrial cities.
In John Snow traced a cholera outbreak in Soho to fecal contamination of a public water well by a home cesspit. Snow's findings that cholera could be spread by contaminated water took some years to be accepted, but his work led to fundamental changes in the design of public water and waste systems. Pre-industrial water supply relied on gravity systems and pumping of water was done by water wheels. Pipes were typically made of wood.
Steam powered pumps and iron pipes allowed the widespread piping of water to horse watering troughs and households. The invention of the paper machine and the application of steam power to the industrial processes of printing supported a massive expansion of newspaper and popular book publishing, which contributed to rising literacy and demands for mass political participation. Consumers benefited from falling prices for clothing and household articles such as cast iron cooking utensils, and in the following decades, stoves for cooking and space heating.
Coffee, tea, sugar, tobacco and chocolate became affordable to many in Europe. Watches and household clocks became popular consumer items. Meeting the demands of the consumer revolution and growth in wealth of the middle classes in Britain, potter and entrepreneur Josiah Wedgwood , founder of Wedgwood fine china and porcelain, created goods such as tableware , which was starting to become a common feature on dining tables.
The Industrial Revolution was the first period in history during which there was a simultaneous increase in both population and per capita income. According to Robert Hughes in The Fatal Shore , the population of England and Wales, which had remained steady at six million from to , rose dramatically after The population of England had more than doubled from 8. The growth of modern industry since the late 18th century led to massive urbanisation and the rise of new great cities, first in Europe and then in other regions, as new opportunities brought huge numbers of migrants from rural communities into urban areas.
Women's historians have debated the effect of the Industrial Revolution and capitalism generally on the status of women. Clark argues that in 16th-century England, women were engaged in many aspects of industry and agriculture. The home was a central unit of production and women played a vital role in running farms, and in some trades and landed estates. Their useful economic roles gave them a sort of equality with their husbands. However, Clark argues, as capitalism expanded in the 17th century, there was more and more division of labour with the husband taking paid labour jobs outside the home, and the wife reduced to unpaid household work.
Middle- and upper-class women were confined to an idle domestic existence, supervising servants; lower-class women were forced to take poorly paid jobs. Capitalism, therefore, had a negative effect on powerful women. In a more positive interpretation, Ivy Pinchbeck argues that capitalism created the conditions for women's emancipation. In the pre-industrial era, production was mostly for home use and women produce much of the needs of the households. The second stage was the "family wage economy" of early industrialisation; the entire family depended on the collective wages of its members, including husband, wife and older children.
The third or modern stage is the "family consumer economy," in which the family is the site of consumption, and women are employed in large numbers in retail and clerical jobs to support rising standards of consumption. Ideas of thrift and hard work characterized middle-class families as the Industrial Revolution swept Europe. These values were displayed in Samuel Smiles' book Self-Help , in which he states that the misery of the poorer classes was "voluntary and self-imposed - the results of idleness, thriftlessness, intemperance, and misconduct.
In terms of social structure, the Industrial Revolution witnessed the triumph of a middle class of industrialists and businessmen over a landed class of nobility and gentry. Ordinary working people found increased opportunities for employment in the new mills and factories, but these were often under strict working conditions with long hours of labour dominated by a pace set by machines.
Pre-industrial society was very static and often cruel — child labour , dirty living conditions, and long working hours were just as prevalent before the Industrial Revolution. Industrialisation led to the creation of the factory. The factory system contributed to the growth of urban areas, as large numbers of workers migrated into the cities in search of work in the factories.
Nowhere was this better illustrated than the mills and associated industries of Manchester, nicknamed " Cottonopolis ", and the world's first industrial city. In addition, between and , 20 percent of Europe's population left home, pushed by poverty, a rapidly growing population, and the displacement of peasant farming and artisan manufacturing.
They were pulled abroad by the enormous demand for labor overseas, the ready availability of land, and cheap transportation.
Industrial Revolution - Wikipedia
Still, many did not find a satisfactory life in their new homes, leading 7 million of them to return to Europe. For much of the 19th century, production was done in small mills, which were typically water-powered and built to serve local needs. Later, each factory would have its own steam engine and a chimney to give an efficient draft through its boiler. In other industries, the transition to factory production was not so divisive. Some industrialists themselves tried to improve factory and living conditions for their workers. One of the earliest such reformers was Robert Owen , known for his pioneering efforts in improving conditions for workers at the New Lanark mills , and often regarded as one of the key thinkers of the early socialist movement.
By an integrated brass mill was working at Warmley near Bristol. Raw material went in at one end, was smelted into brass and was turned into pans, pins, wire, and other goods. Housing was provided for workers on site. Josiah Wedgwood and Matthew Boulton whose Soho Manufactory was completed in were other prominent early industrialists, who employed the factory system.
The Industrial Revolution led to a population increase but the chances of surviving childhood did not improve throughout the Industrial Revolution, although infant mortality rates were reduced markedly. Employers could pay a child less than an adult even though their productivity was comparable; there was no need for strength to operate an industrial machine, and since the industrial system was completely new, there were no experienced adult labourers.
This made child labour the labour of choice for manufacturing in the early phases of the Industrial Revolution between the 18th and 19th centuries. In England and Scotland in , two-thirds of the workers in water-powered cotton mills were described as children. Child labour existed before the Industrial Revolution but with the increase in population and education it became more visible. Some lost hands or limbs, others were crushed under the machines, and some were decapitated.
Reports were written detailing some of the abuses, particularly in the coal mines  and textile factories,  and these helped to popularise the children's plight. The public outcry, especially among the upper and middle classes, helped stir change in the young workers' welfare. Politicians and the government tried to limit child labour by law but factory owners resisted; some felt that they were aiding the poor by giving their children money to buy food to avoid starvation , and others simply welcomed the cheap labour.
In and , the first general laws against child labour, the Factory Acts , were passed in Britain: Children younger than nine were not allowed to work, children were not permitted to work at night, and the work day of youth under the age of 18 was limited to twelve hours. Factory inspectors supervised the execution of the law, however, their scarcity made enforcement difficult. Although laws such as these decreased the number of child labourers, child labour remained significantly present in Europe and the United States until the 20th century. The Industrial Revolution concentrated labour into mills, factories and mines, thus facilitating the organisation of combinations or trade unions to help advance the interests of working people.
The power of a union could demand better terms by withdrawing all labour and causing a consequent cessation of production. Employers had to decide between giving in to the union demands at a cost to themselves or suffering the cost of the lost production. Skilled workers were hard to replace, and these were the first groups to successfully advance their conditions through this kind of bargaining. The main method the unions used to effect change was strike action. Many strikes were painful events for both sides, the unions and the management. In Britain, the Combination Act forbade workers to form any kind of trade union until its repeal in Even after this, unions were still severely restricted.
One British newspaper in described unions as "the most dangerous institutions that were ever permitted to take root, under shelter of law, in any country In , the Reform Act extended the vote in Britain but did not grant universal suffrage. That year six men from Tolpuddle in Dorset founded the Friendly Society of Agricultural Labourers to protest against the gradual lowering of wages in the s. They refused to work for less than ten shillings a week, although by this time wages had been reduced to seven shillings a week and were due to be further reduced to six.
In James Frampton, a local landowner, wrote to the Prime Minister, Lord Melbourne , to complain about the union, invoking an obscure law from prohibiting people from swearing oaths to each other, which the members of the Friendly Society had done. They became known as the Tolpuddle Martyrs. In the s and s, the Chartist movement was the first large-scale organised working class political movement which campaigned for political equality and social justice. Its Charter of reforms received over three million signatures but was rejected by Parliament without consideration.
Working people also formed friendly societies and co-operative societies as mutual support groups against times of economic hardship. Enlightened industrialists, such as Robert Owen also supported these organisations to improve the conditions of the working class. Unions slowly overcame the legal restrictions on the right to strike.
In , a general strike involving cotton workers and colliers was organised through the Chartist movement which stopped production across Great Britain. Eventually, effective political organisation for working people was achieved through the trades unions who, after the extensions of the franchise in and , began to support socialist political parties that later merged to become the British Labour Party. The rapid industrialisation of the English economy cost many craft workers their jobs. The movement started first with lace and hosiery workers near Nottingham and spread to other areas of the textile industry owing to early industrialisation.
Many weavers also found themselves suddenly unemployed since they could no longer compete with machines which only required relatively limited and unskilled labour to produce more cloth than a single weaver. Many such unemployed workers, weavers, and others, turned their animosity towards the machines that had taken their jobs and began destroying factories and machinery.
These attackers became known as Luddites, supposedly followers of Ned Ludd , a folklore figure. The first attacks of the Luddite movement began in The Luddites rapidly gained popularity, and the British government took drastic measures, using the militia or army to protect industry.
Those rioters who were caught were tried and hanged, or transported for life. Unrest continued in other sectors as they industrialised, such as with agricultural labourers in the s when large parts of southern Britain were affected by the Captain Swing disturbances. Threshing machines were a particular target, and hayrick burning was a popular activity.
However, the riots led to the first formation of trade unions , and further pressure for reform. The traditional centers of hand textile production such as India, parts of the Middle East and later China could not withstand the competition from machine-made textiles, which over a period of decades destroyed the hand made textile industries and left millions of people without work, many of whom starved.
The Industrial Revolution also generated an enormous and unprecedented economic division in the world, as measured by the share of manufacturing output. Cheap cotton textiles increased the demand for raw cotton; previously, it had primarily been consumed in subtropical regions where it was grown, with little raw cotton available for export. Consequently, prices of raw cotton rose. Some cotton had been grown in the West Indies, particularly in Hispaniola , but Haitian cotton production was halted by the Haitian Revolution in The invention of the cotton gin in allowed Georgia green seeded cotton to be profitable, leading to the widespread growth of cotton plantations in the United States and Brazil.
In world cotton production was estimated to be ,, pounds with U. In the U. The Americas, particularly the U. America's cotton plantations were highly efficient and profitable, and able to keep up with demand. Civil war created a "cotton famine" that lead to increased production in other areas of the world, including new colonies in Africa. The origins of the environmental movement lay in the response to increasing levels of smoke pollution in the atmosphere during the Industrial Revolution.
The emergence of great factories and the concomitant immense growth in coal consumption gave rise to an unprecedented level of air pollution in industrial centers; after the large volume of industrial chemical discharges added to the growing load of untreated human waste. An Alkali inspector and four sub-inspectors were appointed to curb this pollution. The responsibilities of the inspectorate were gradually expanded, culminating in the Alkali Order which placed all major heavy industries that emitted smoke , grit, dust and fumes under supervision. The manufactured gas industry began in British cities in — The technique used produced highly toxic effluent that was dumped into sewers and rivers.
The gas companies were repeatedly sued in nuisance lawsuits. They usually lost and modified the worst practices.
The City of London repeatedly indicted gas companies in the s for polluting the Thames and poisoning its fish. Finally, Parliament wrote company charters to regulate toxicity. In industrial cities local experts and reformers, especially after , took the lead in identifying environmental degradation and pollution, and initiating grass-roots movements to demand and achieve reforms.
It was founded by artist Sir William Blake Richmond , frustrated with the pall cast by coal smoke. Although there were earlier pieces of legislation, the Public Health Act required all furnaces and fireplaces to consume their own smoke. It also provided for sanctions against factories that emitted large amounts of black smoke. The provisions of this law were extended in with the Smoke Abatement Act to include other emissions, such as soot, ash, and gritty particles and to empower local authorities to impose their own regulations.
In many industries, this involved the application of technology developed in Britain in new places. Often the technology was purchased from Britain or British engineers and entrepreneurs moved abroad in search of new opportunities. By , part of the Ruhr Valley in Westphalia was called 'Miniature England' because of its similarities to the industrial areas of England. The German, Russian and Belgian governments all provided state funding to the new industries.
In some cases such as iron , the different availability of resources locally meant that only some aspects of the British technology were adopted. Belgium was the second country, after Britain, in which the Industrial Revolution took place and the first in continental Europe: Wallonia French speaking southern Belgium was the first region to follow the British model successfully. The leader was a transplanted Englishman John Cockerill. His factories at Seraing integrated all stages of production, from engineering to the supply of raw materials, as early as Wallonia exemplified the radical evolution of industrial expansion.
Thanks to coal the French word "houille" was coined in Wallonia ,  the region geared up to become the 2nd industrial power in the world after Britain. Wallonia was also the birthplace of a strong Socialist party and strong trade-unions in a particular sociological landscape. At the left, the Sillon industriel , which runs from Mons in the west, to Verviers in the east except part of North Flanders, in another period of the industrial revolution, after Even if Belgium is the second industrial country after Britain, the effect of the industrial revolution there was very different.
The industrial revolution changed a mainly rural society into an urban one, but with a strong contrast between northern and southern Belgium. During the Middle Ages and the Early Modern Period, Flanders was characterised by the presence of large urban centres [ By comparison, this proportion reached only 17 per cent in Wallonia, barely 10 per cent in most West European countries, 16 per cent in France and 25 per cent in Britain. Nineteenth century industrialisation did not affect the traditional urban infrastructure, except in Ghent [ Wealth Routledge Revivals - download pdf or read online.
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