Background information: The Industrial Revolution triggered an enormous leap in industrial production. Coal and steam replaced wind and water as new sources of energy and power to drive laborsaving machines. In turn, these machines required new ways of organizing human labor as factories replaced workshops and home workrooms. During the Industrial Revolution, Europe shifted from an economy based on agriculture and handicrafts to an economy based on manufacturing by machines and factories.
The flying shuttle was one of the key developments in the industrialization of weaving during the early Industrial Revolution. It allowed a single weaver to weave much wider fabrics, and it could be mechanized, allowing for automatic machine looms. The flying shuttle was patented by John Kay (1704–1779) in 1733.
The spinning jenny is a multi-spindle spinning frame used during the industrial revolution . It was invented in 1764 by James Hargreaves in England. The device reduced the amount of work needed to produce yarn, with a worker able to work eight or more spools at once. This grew to 120 as technology advanced. The yarn produced by the Jenny was not very strong until Richard Arkwright invented the water-powered 'Water Frame', which produced yarn harder and stronger than that of the initial Spinning Jenny. It ushered in the factory system.
A power loom is a mechanised loom powered by a line shaft. The first power loom was designed in 1784 by Edmund Cartwright and first built in 1785. It was refined over the next 47 years until a design by Kenworthy and Bullough made the operation completely automatic. By 1850 there were 260,000 in operation in England. The huge components of the loom are the warp beam, heddles, harnesses, shuttle, reed and takeup roll. In the loom, yarn processing includes shedding, picking, battening and taking-up operations.
A Scottish engineer, James Watt (1736–1819),
built an engine powered by steam that could pump water from mines three times as quickly as previous engines, thereby allowing for more coal to be extracted from the mines.
In 1782, Watt developed a rotary engine that could turn a shaft and thus drive machinery.
Steam power could now be applied to spinning and weaving cotton, and before long, cotton mills using steam engines were multiplying across Britain. Fired by coal, these steam
engines could be located anywhere.
Richard Trevithick pioneered the first steam powered locomotive on an industrial rail line in southern Wales. It pulled 10 tons of ore
and seventy people at 5 miles per hour. Better locomotives soon followed. Engines built by
George Stephenson and his son proved superior, and it was Stephenson's Rocket that was
used on the first public railway line, which opened in 1830, stretching 32 miles from Liverpool to Manchester.
The working conditions were terrible during the Industrial Revolution. As factories were being built, businesses were in need of workers. With a long line of people willing to work, employers could set wages as low as they wanted because people were willing to do work as long as they got paid.
The light-bulb, developed independently by the American Thomas Edison and the Briton Joseph Swan, permitted homes and cities to be
illuminated by electric lights.
By the late 1880's electric generator and motor technology had advanced to the point where its use as a power source for streetcars became possible. In 1888 Richmond, Virginia became the first city to successfully electrify a streetcar line. The City of Brooklyn followed shortly thereafter, electrifying the Coney Island Avenue line in 1890. Subsequently, the remaining horsecar and cable car lines were replaced by this innovative, highly efficient energy source. The last cable car line in New York City ended its run in 1905; the last horsecar line ran up until 1917.
Alexander Graham Bell (1847-1922), the Scottish-born American scientist best known as the inventor of the telephone, worked at a school for the deaf while attempting to invent a machine that would transmit sound by electricity. Bell was granted the first official patent for his telephone in March 1876, though he would later face years of legal challenges to his claim that he was its sole inventor, resulting in one of history’s longest patent battles. Bell continued his scientific work for the rest of his life, and used his success and wealth to establish various research centers nationwde.
The Wright brothers, Orville and Wilbur, were two American brothers, inventors, and aviation pioneers who are generally credited with inventing, building, and flying the world's first successful airplane. They made the first controlled, sustained flight of a powered, heavier-than-air aircraft on December 17, 1903, four miles south of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. In 1904–05 the brothers developed their flying machine into the first practical fixed-wing aircraft. Although not the first to build and fly experimental aircraft, the Wright brothers were the first to invent aircraft controls that made fixed-wing powered flight possible.
Although the blueprint for the modern automobile was perfected in Germany and France in the late 1800s, Americans dominated the industry in the first half of the twentieth century. Henry Ford innovated mass-production techniques that became standard, with Ford, General Motors and Chrysler emerging as the “Big Three” auto companies by the 1920s. Manufacturers funneled their resources to the military during World War II, and afterward automobile production in Europe and Japan soared to meet demand. Once vital to the expansion of American urban centers, the industry had become a shared global enterprise with the rise of Japan as the leading automaker by 1980.