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The Industrial Revolution


Industrial Revolution: The Iron Works at Coalbrookdale at night (1801)  by Philip de Loutherbourg

In our modern world, we make daily use of the products of an industrialised era. These products include a wide variety of goods manufactured for our consumption. It has not always been like this. There was a time when almost all products were hand-made and the factory system did not exist. The transition from a world of artisan manufacture to a factory system, and all its attendant benefits with which we are familiar, is known as the Industrial Revolution. It began in Britain in the early years of the 18th century.

In a little over a century, Britain went from a largely rural, agrarian population to a country of industrialized towns, factories, mines and workshops. Britain was, in fact, already beginning to develop a manufacturing industry during the early years of the early 18th century, but it was from the 1730's that its growth accelerated.

As well as a revolution in industry, this period saw many changes and improvements in agricultural practice. So much so, that it can be said that there was a parallel Agricultural Revolution.

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© Shirley Burchill, Nigel Hughes, Peter Price and Keith Woodall 2012

Footnote : As far as the Open Door team can ascertain the images shown on this page are in the Public Domain.