Improvements in
farming equipment
made it easier for
smaller numbers of
people to work
greater areas of
land. Charles
suggested the idea
of crop rotation rather than leaving a field fallow,
this had a huge effect on farming because now land
that had before sat idle produced feed for the
Jethro Tull created a method of seeding that was
more efficient than the random scattering of the
past. His seed drill created crops that were planted
in a straight row, which was easier to maintain, and
used less seed to get the same results as the past.
The Enclosure Movement took small parts of land and
combined them into larger tracts of land that were
enclosed. Due to the improvements in the farming
industry this land needed fewer people to work it,
leaving a great deal of the population looking for
Inventor Cyrus McCormick
introduced the horse-drawn
reaper in 1831. The reaper
allowed the average farmer to
harvest his crops five times
faster than before. The reaper
replaced the hand scythe,
which had been the best
harvest tool available for
The Agricultural
revolution had a
great deal to do
with the beginning
of the Industrial
Improvements in
the production of
food increased the
amount and quality of food available. This helped
to increase the longevity of an individuals life span.
With an increasing population the need for
manufactured goods increased, increasing the job
availability to create these goods.
This increase in need led to the introduction of the
Domestic System, this was a way of manufacturing
wool cloth by giving families raw wool and cotton in
their homes and they would spin and weave the raw
materials into thread and then cloth. This was also
called a cottage industry because the production was
done in the families cottage.
In 1769 British inventor
Richard Arkwright patented his
spinning frame, which spun
cotton fiber into thread.
Arkwright established huge
cotton mills that became the
models for the factory system of
the Industrial Revolution.
Early manufacturing
employed waterpowered machinery.
Water turned the
paddles of a wheel,
which in turn moved
grinding stones or
other mechanical
devices. Modern
water wheels, called
water turbines, drive
generators that
produce electricity.
Introduced by Richard Arkwright in 1769, the flyer
spinning frame (also called the throstle or roll-drawing
machine) reflects the move toward automation that
characterized the Industrial Revolution. The machine
is powered by the drive wheel at the bottom, drawing
out the fiber into thread, then twisting it as it is wound
onto the bobbins.
Harnessing the power of steam marked a
significant step in technology. The introduction of
the steam engine led to many new inventions, most
notably in transportation and industry. Steam
engines transfer the energy of heat into mechanical
energy, often by allowing steam to expand in a
cylinder equipped with a movable piston. As the
piston moves up and down (or alternatively, from
side to side), an attached arm converts this motion
into parallel motion that drives a wheel. Models of
the steam engine were designed as early as 1690,
but it was not until 70 years later that James Watt
arrived at the design of the modern steam engine.
Scottish inventor James Watt
(1736-1819) made vast
improvements to the steam
engine, making it practical for
large-scale industrial use. In
1764 Watt was given a
Newcomen steam engine to
repair. While working on the
engine, he realized that it wasted energy. He
eventually introduced a variety of modifications,
including a separate cooling chamber for the steam
that made the engine much more efficient.
These huge advances in machinery created a new
movement called the factory system, this brought the
workers and machines together in one place to
manufacture goods. Everyone worked a set number of
hours and were paid daily or weekly wages.
(This is the Cotton Gin
that was created in 1793
by Eli Whitney. It was
used to separate the
sticky seeds from the
The reason that the majority of the advances were
made in Britain was because they had the necessary
environmental conditions, moist climate made
spinning thread easier, and mineral deposits, coal and
In order to
convert molten
pig iron (crude
iron) into steel
with a Bessemer
furnace, air must
be blown through
it to burn away
impurities. This
engraving of a steel factory illustrates the process
developed by Sir Henry Bessemer in 1855 and used
until the 1950s
The textile industry was one of the first industries to
be mechanized in 18th-century Britain. These women
worked in a textile mill in Lancashire, in northwestern
Many towns throughout Britain became manufacturing
centers during the Industrial Revolution in the 18th
and 19th centuries. Newcastle upon Tyne, in
northeastern England, became important for steel
production and shipbuilding.
Division of labor is a basic tenet of
industrialization. In division of labor, each worker
is assigned to a different task, or step, in the
manufacturing process, and as a result, total
production increases. As this illustration shows,
one person performing all five steps in the
manufacture of a product can make one unit in a
day. Five workers, each specializing in one of the
five steps, can make 10 units in the same amount of
Sir Joseph Paxton, an English landscape gardener and
greenhouse architect, designed the Crystal Palace to
house the Great Exhibition of 1851 in London. The
Crystal Palace, constructed entirely of cast iron and
glass, expanded notions of architectural beauty. As the
largest structure to be built from prefabricated units up
to that time, it also was a landmark of architectural
design, anticipating later industrial construction.
Alexander Hamilton was one of
the boldest American political
thinkers of his time. As the
United States' first secretary of
the treasury, Hamilton was very
influential in setting his country
on the road to industrialization.
As the Industrial Revolution spread to the United
States, plants such as this textile factory appeared.
Soon the production of exports outpaced import of
goods, and by the late 1800s America emerged as the
world's largest industrial power.
In 1837 the first electrical
telegraph instruments were
invented by Samuel Morse in the
United States and by Sir Charles
Wheatstone and Sir William F.
Cooke in Britain. Morse sent the
first public telegraph message in
1844. Pictured here is the
original Morse receiving device.
British engineer Richard
Trevithick pioneered the use
of steam power for
locomotion in the 1790s and
1800s. In 1804 he
constructed the first
practical steam locomotive
operating on a railway and
demonstrated its use for
hauling large loads.
Locomotives from the eastern and western United
States are depicted here meeting in Promontory, Utah,
where crowds gathered to watch the joining of the
Union Pacific and Central Pacific railroads on May 10,
1869. This first transcontinental railroad opened the
West to supplies and resources from the East and
served as the chief means of transportation for settlers
in the West.
In 1903 American industrialist
Henry Ford established the
Ford Motor Company, the
leading manufacturer of
affordable cars in the early
These people work on an
assembly line at Ford
Motor Company. In 1913
American automobile
pioneer Henry Ford
instituted the assembly
line process, in which
each worker performs
only one specialized task,
in order to speed
Andrew Carnegie made
millions of dollars as a
pioneer in the American steel
industry. He became known
for the legacy of donations—
totalling nearly $350
million—that he made to
various charitable causes,
including education, research,
and art institutions.
During the Industrial
thousands of people
immigrated to cities
to find work. Many
had to live in
tenement housing,
such as this building
in New York City.
This photo, taken by American photographer Lewis
Hine, shows an early 20th-century tenement on
Elizabeth Street, in the garment-making district of
New York City. Photos like this one increased public
awareness of housing problems and eventually
resulted in better housing conditions.
During the Industrial
Revolution, children
were employed in
factories and worked
long hours. This
photo by noted
photographer Lewis
Hine shows young boys working at a spinning
machine. Hine's photographs led to the passing of
the first child-labor laws.