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A Very Brief History of the Industrial Revolution
The Industrial Revolution refers to the period in the mid 1700's in which significant advancements were made in the application of our technological knowledge and discoveries. It signaled a transition from an economy based on manual labor in agriculture to an economy dominated by industry and machine manufacturing. The first industrial revolution had a profound impact on modern society. Although there is some debate surrounding the origins of the movement, most agree that it began in Britain with the invention of the steam engine.
The steam engine was powered by the burning of coal, which boiled water, and created pressurized steam. This pressurized steam was used to power industrial machinery, primarily used in the manufacture of textiles. The second industrial revolution merged with the first industrial revolution sometime around 1850, when the benefits of the first phase became fully realized. The second industrial revolution was a direct product of the wealth and technological advancements created by the first phase.
This particular era of the industrial revolution is characterized by the development of steam powered railways and ships. In the early 1900's, the internal combustion engine began to be used en masse. Although the notion of a combustion engine had been imagined for some time, it was not fully realized until 1860 when Jean Joseph Etienne Lenoir produced his famous gas-fired internal combustion engine. This engine type is still by far the most popular type used in the world today.
The automotive industry played a major role in the creation of wealth and the refinement of certain technologies. The assembly line production model was first employed during this period. While more and more people left the farm for the factory, their opportunities for upward social mobility increased. People had more work and more money, and this led to an overall increase in the general wealth of the populace. Naturally, the automotive became a symbol of one's wealth and social standing. These technological advances precipitated some enormous changes in society.
The ideas developed and realized in Western Europe and America, spread throughout the world bringing immense social change. The industrial revolution played a central role in the establishment of modern city centers. This was due mainly to the influx of agricultural workers into the areas in which the factories were being built. The industrial revolution also had a profound impact on the legal system of many nations, as legislation to establish the rights of workers was introduced. Modern life would be very different today were it not for the industrial revolution.
About the Author: Jim Staller is interested in the history of industrial manufacturing, with a keen focus on workplace safety. When he is not researching the latest health and safety information, he writes for industrial101.com – an excellent online resource for information about Safety Supplies, Industrial Electronics, Equipment and more.