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The Industrial Revolution was a big change and develope in technological and cultural conditions. It began in the late 18th century in Britain and spread throughout the world. The economy based on manual labour was replaced by one dominated industry.
The revolution began with the mechanisation of the textile industries, the development of iron-making techniques and the trade on new roads and railways. With the introduction of steam power and powered machinery the production capacity increased dramatically. The development of machine tools enabled to make better and more machines.
These effects spread throughout Western Europe and North America during the 19th century, eventually affecing most of the world. It was an enermous change on society too, because machines made production better in agriculture, the number of starvelings decrased.
The First Industrial Revolution merged into the Second Industrial Revolution around 1850, when appeared the steam powered ships, railways and later in the 19th century internal combusion engines and electrical power generation.
The invention of the steam engine was the most important innovation of the Industrial Revolution. James Watt developed the idea of using steam to power machines. This idea caused rapid development in the efficient of the factories.
Earlier in the 18th century the textile industry powered by water power but the new steam engines drived out the old solutions.
Not only the new tools made better the production but a new work style too. One man do one task on a product and when he finished the next worker do the next step.
Knowledge of new solutions
A common method was for someone to make a study tour, gathering information where he could. Industrialists and technicians made records about their method. There were publications describing technology. Encyclopedias, such as Harris's Lexicon technicum (1704) and Dr. Abraham Ree's Cyclopaedia (1802-1819) contain much of value.
Reform of the coal mining
Coal mining in Britan (particularly in South Wales) was an important part of the English economy. The new steam engines helped the developing of the coal mining too. The biggest problem was to remove water from the pits. The steam engines enabled colliers to make deeper pits. The new solutions made the mines more profitable.
Before the Industrial Revolution Britan imported iron from Sweden and Russian. During the revolution new technologies were invented in iron making and the imports decreased. Britan became an exporter of bar iron and as well as manufactured wrought iron consumer goods. Since iron was becoming cheaper and plentiful, it also became a major structural material. A new and innovative bridge called The Iron Bridge was built in 1778 by Abraham Darby III. The cheap iron enabled workers to build new boilers, steam engines and railways.
New chemical agents
The large scale production of chemicals was an important development during the Industrial Revolution. The production of sulfuric acid was invented by Englishman John Roebuck (James Watt's first partner) in 1746. With this technology he was able to replace the relatively expensive glass vessels formerly used with larger, less expensive chambers. Instead of a few pounds at a time, he was able to make a hundred pounds (45 kg) or so at a time in each of the chambers.
The development of steam engine was an early but important element of the Industrial Revolution. However the steam engine was not eable to drive out rapidly the wind and water power as well as horse and man-power for driving small machines.
The idea of using steam to power machines invented by James Watt before the Industrial Revolution. During the revolution lots of inventors continued developing Watt's idea.
The industrial use of steam power started with Thomas Savery in 1689. He constructed in London the first engine which he called the "Miner's Friend". It used steam at 8 to 10 atmospheres, it generated about one horsepower. This machine was enable to pump water and it was used as a low-lift water pump in a few mines and numerous water works. It was not a success because it could not pump from deep and was prone to boiler explosions.
The first successful machine was the atmospheric engine, invented by Thomas Newcome in 1712. The engine was working on the surface and a pump was at the bottom of the mine connected with a rod. It was a large machine, produced about 5 horsepowers but needed lots of money, using lots of fuel. It was inefficient, but helped miners to go deeper. By 1729, when Newcome died, his engines had spread to France, Germany, Austria, Hungary and Sweden. 1454 engines had been built by 1800. Its working was unchanged compared to James Watt's steam engine. This machine generated between 5 to 10 horsepowers.
The mechanizing of textil manufactures
The development of the textil manufacture was one of the most important part of the Industrial Revolution. In the early descades of the 19th century the manufactured cotton goods became the dominant British export. Lewis Paul and John Wyatt of Birmingham patented the Roller Spinning machine and the flyer-and-bobbin system for drawing wool to a more even thickness. They opened a mill in Birmingham which used their new rolling machine powered by a donkey. Lewis Paul also invented the hand driven carding machine.
First horse power, then water power and finally steam power was used in the cotton mills. The cotton manufactures step-by-step became mechanized industires.
New machine tools
The development of machine tools powered by these machines enabled to cut easily and accurately metals and it made possible to build larger and more powerful engines. They allowed better working of iron and steel and further boosted the industrial growth of Britain. Before the appearance of thes new tools, metal was worked manually which was costly and needed very hard work. The Industrial Revolution could not have developed without machine tools, for they enabled manufacturing machines to be made.
Another side of the development
The production increased dramatically and workers worried about their job. Becaues of it they were afraid of new machines and sometimes they attacked innovators and destroyed their inventions. For example, a group of English workers known as Luddites formed to protest against industrialisation and sometimes sabotaged factories.
In conclusion the Industrial Revolution made better and more comfortable the world. Since that period the humanity can better exploit the sources of the Earth. The Industrial Revolution had lots of advantage but we should not forget that for example the air pollution increased dramatically since the begin of this period. We can exploit the sources of the Earth but we must save it too.