The Industrial Revolution did not arrive overnight but slowly spread all over the continent.
Production was limited by reliance on the spinning wheel and the hand loom; increases in output required more hand workers at each stage.
the Severn River, a vital transport link to major cities; and the ingenuity of men such as Abraham Darby.
But the water was so polluted that it wasn’t fit to drink, life expectancy was low, and many of the children never made it out of infancy. Darby himself died at 39.
, from the railway lines that criss-crossed the country to the metal skeletons of a thousand cotton mills and eventually, the iron ships that carried Britain's manufactured goods around the globe.
The first working steam engines pumped pit water from the mines of Cornwall in 1776.
The process is almost entirely coordinated and controlled by computer, with a small staff of managers, inspectors, and technicians to ensure quality and efficiency.
The Industrial Revolution Why in England and western Europe and not somewhere else in the world? By: Donald Johnson Edited from a slideshow by JmClark
The Industrial Revolution Today, most historians agree that the Industrial Revolution was a turning point in the history of the world. It changed the Western world from a rural and agrarian society to an urban and industrial society.
Advent of change Starting around 1750 Great Britain was to set the pace in Europe for the next century or so, thanks to its lucrative agrarian industry, wealthy landowners and an astonishing number of creative inventors.
Cottage Industry Before the Industrial Revolution, textiles were produced under the putting-out system , in which merchant clothiers had their work done in the homes of artisans or farming families.
Cotton was spun and woven into cloth by hand in England until textile machinery, developed in the late 1700s, revolutionized its manufacture.
Spinning Jenny First on the scene were spinning machines. These were followed by mechanical looms and before long textile factories were shooting up all over the place.
Water power The first textile mills, needing waterpower to drive their machinery, were built on fast-moving streams in rural England.
An English Mill Town Period art showing the transformation of the countryside during the Industrial Revolution in Great Britain
Cotton mill A cotton mill, c. 1850 . By the mid-19th century, cotton manufacture was an entirely factory-based operation, notably in the Lancashire towns of Manchester and Oldham as shown in this photograph at right.
Child Labor When the industrial evolution first came to Britain and the U.S., there was a high demand for labor. Families quickly migrated from the rural farm areas to the newly industrialized cities to find work.
Work conditions Once they got there, things did not look as bright as they did. To survive in even the lowest level of poverty, families had to have every able member of the family go to work. This led to the high rise in child labor in factories. Children were not treated well, overworked, and underpaid for a long time before anyone tried to change things for them.
Labor The way people worked changed, as did they way they lived - not always for the better.
Industrial Revolution Britain changed more during this era than at any other time. People moved from the countryside to the new towns and cities.
Superpower Britain became the world's biggest superpower with the huge increase in industrial production, and imperial expansion.
Ironbridge Gorge The world’s first castiron bridge, spanning the Severn at Coalbrookdale, was built in 1779 using iron from furnaces owned by Darby. Considered the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution, it had all the necessary ingredients for industrialization: coal, clay, ironstone, and limestone exposed at the surface.
Soana layout A map from 1761 illustrates in very fine detail, a group of buildings settled on the right bank of the Soana torrent. By the mid-1700s, the blood-red skies above the gorge meant power and success to the pioneering industrialists.