The Factory Age

By Mackenzie

In 1790, the Industrial Revolution first began. The Industrial Revolution took place in Britain and within a few decades, it spread all throughout Western Europe and the United States. The Industrial Revolution included switching from hands on work to machines, new chemical manufacturing, iron production processes, and also included improved efficiency in water power, the increased use in steam power and bio fuels to coal.

There was a development in some technology in the 18th century:

·   Textiles: The technological development was that the cotton spinners were mechanized and powered by steam or water. It upped the production from a worker by the factor of 40. There was a huge gain of productivity in the making of spinning and weaving wool and linen, but they weren’t as liked as cotton.

·   Steam Power: The steam engine increased so that they used one fifth or one tenth as much fuel. Stationary Steam engines made a rotary motion, causing them to be more suitable for industrial uses. The engine had a high power to weight ratio, making it to be good for transportation

Although Britain was a politically stable country, the demands for work from the ex-cottage workers lead to surplus of factory workers. This allowed factory workers to overpopulate their factories, which caused poor working conditions for their employees. They didn’t get paid very much and working conditions weren’t always safe. During the Industrial Revolution, factories weren’t obligated to provide safety equipment for their workers, so they were always in constant danger of becoming seriously injured.

Children’s part in the Industrial Revolution

Child Labor was, in my opinion, a large portion in the I.R. Children worked a maximum of 12 hours per day. Children who were under 9 were banned form working Textiles. 10/13 yr. olds were limited to 48 hours a week. Children who lived on farms would work with the farm animals or crops. Children who lived at home would work as apprentices, chimney sweeps, domestic servants, or assistants to a wealthy family. Around the age 12, girls would leave home to become domestic servants.

Women’s part in the Industrial Revolution

Women of working class were expected to go and find work, often in mills or mines. Though, some women were fortunate would some time become maid for wealthier families, thus making their working conditions better than most. Women also faced a burden from societies for the demand of children. The I.R. caused a spike in the birth rate; it was not uncommon for families to have more than 10 children in their families. Women would have to work right up to and straight after their due dates because there was such a strain for money, leaving their older relatives to take care of their new born children.

Inventors in the Industrial Revolution:

Richard Arkwright

Sir Richard Arkwright (1732-1792) was the inventor of a machine that would pave the way for the Industrial Revolution. He created the spinning frame (for spinning thread or yarn from fibers such as wool or cotton), that lead to the transition to water power (water power is power taken from the energy of falling/running water). Which lead to the water frame (Water powered spinning frame) being invented.

James Hargreaves

James Hargreaves (1720-1778) was a weaver, carpenter and an inventor. Mr. Hargreaves was one of the three inventors known for mechanising spinning. He invented the Spinning Jenny (The spinning jenny is a multi-spindle spinning frame.)

Samuel Crompton
Samuel Crompton (1753-1827) was known for building off of the work of Hargreaves and Arkwright’s to make an invention called the Spinning Mule (a machine which spun yarn suitable for use in the manufacture of muslin.)

Thomas Newcomen

Thomas Newcomen (1664-1729) was the inventor of the first practical steam engine for pumping water, called the Newcomen steam engine.

James Watt

James Watt (1736-1819) was an inventor and an engineer. He made improvements to the Newcomen steam engine and they were fundamental changes brought by the Industrial Revolution.

The Factory Age

By Logan

The industrial revolution started in Britain. The need to make things larger then what can fit in a cottage started the factory industry. The factories become popular because you could sell items for profit at a lower price. With the invention of steam engines, the machines could be placed anywhere; they were also more powerful.

The textile industry played an important role in the industrial revolution. Thanks to the boom in the textile industry from the factors, it showed success in the industrial revolution and the new era. Some people did not like this change because people who still spinned by hand were being replaced. Thus some inventions were wrecked before they made it to the factories. Even with this, the industrial revolution continued.

Who had a lot of money, who is wealthy, who has power: the industryal revolution changed a lot of things. There was a huge gap betwen the working class and the factory owners. Even with both parents in a famaly working outrageous hours (sometimes 10 hours a day) yet a family could barely make ends meet. So the only option was to make their childs work as soon as they could. More to the point, the working conditions were terrible, to the point where it was normal to lose fingers.

Under normal circumstances, it was almost impossible to start a company. There were many fees, such as the cost of the machines, building the factory, getting land and worst of all, competition. Thanks to banks though, it became possible to start a company. With the industrial revolution came a lot of banks. I would say that the industial revolution was the start of a new era.

Works Cited

Cranny, Michael William. “P143-150.” Crossroads: A Meeting of Nations. Scarborough, Ont.: Prentice Hall Ginn Canada, 1998. 143-50. Print.

“Factory System.” International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences. Ed. William A. Darity, Jr. 2nd ed. Vol. 3. Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA, 2008. 78-79. World History in Context. Web. 26 Nov. 2014.

Smith, Nigel. The Industrial Revolution. Austin: Raintree Steck-Vaughn, 2003. Print.


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