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Life Changes During the Industrial Revolution

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Life Changes During the Industrial Revolution

In Britain about two hundred years ago, great changes took place in making goods and transport, which has moulded the way our world works today. These changes made big differences to many people’s lives and work methods; and put together these are called the Industrial Revolution. They started in Britain and spead to Europe and on to the United States. A lot of the Industrial Revolution’s changes helped the lives of people as transport was more secure and faster, but also mass production was brought in.

Before the Industrial Revolution people made goods on a small-scale from their own homes, or in workshops beside their house, The whole family would be involed in producing and selling the product (This can be called by the ‘Domestic System’). It was safe to work at home as they only used hand tools and simple machinery, these worked by hand or foot. In some situations a few bigger machines were used and water wheels were used as a power source. The Domestic System moved aside for more complex machines and new methods were invented in the eighteenth century which were powered by steam and gathered together in factories to produce more goods. It meant that people would work regular hours and not when they wanted too.

Before the invention of steam engines, wind mills and water wheels were used for powering big machinary. The first steam engine in the early seventeen hundreds was mainly used in the mines for pumping out water. James Watt in 1782 developed a new steam engine that was able to power factory machines. By that time factories had built up, particually in the cotton industry, which took over from wool. In 1733 John Kay, a workman from Bury (Landcashire), invented his “flying” shuttle, which made the making of cloth (weaving) much faster. To keep the weavers busy, more spub thead (yarn) was needed, But James Hargreaves with his ‘spinning jenny’, Samuel Crompton with his ‘mule’ and Sir Richard Arkwright, who was more of an organiser than a inventer, made it possible to increase the yarn supply. Further improvements came later to weaving. Edmund Cartwright invented the powered loom in 1785, but it was not efficient until thirty years later. They were used in the cotton industry and also in the older woollen industry as well.

More machines were built and some were not in factories, since farmers were also using machinary for faster and more efficient methods of growing crops.
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