18 Facts About Industrial Revolution

1. Industrial Revolution began in Great Britain, and many of the technological and architectural innovations were of British origin.

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2. Comparable only to humanity's adoption of agriculture with respect to material advancement, the Industrial Revolution influenced in some way almost every aspect of daily life.

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3. Some economists have said the most important effect of the Industrial Revolution was that the standard of living for the general population in the western world began to increase consistently for the first time in history, although others have said that it did not begin to meaningfully improve until the late 19th and 20th centuries.

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4. Economic historians are in agreement that the onset of the Industrial Revolution is the most important event in the history of humanity since the domestication of animals and plants.

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5. Precise start and end of the Industrial Revolution is still debated among historians, as is the pace of economic and social changes.

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6. Eric Hobsbawm held that the Industrial Revolution began in Britain in the 1780s and was not fully felt until the 1830s or 1840s, while T S Ashton held that it occurred roughly between 1760 and 1830.

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7. Commencement of the Industrial Revolution is closely linked to a small number of innovations, beginning in the second half of the 18th century.

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8. Productivity improvement in wool spinning during the Industrial Revolution was significant, but far less than that of cotton.

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9. Major change in the iron industries during the Industrial Revolution was the replacement of wood and other bio-fuels with coal.

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10. Use of coal in iron smelting started somewhat before the Industrial Revolution, based on innovations by Sir Clement Clerke and others from 1678, using coal reverberatory furnaces known as cupolas.

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11. Effect of machine tools during the Industrial Revolution was not that great because other than firearms, threaded fasteners, and a few other industries there were few mass-produced metal parts.

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12. Majority of textile factory workers during the Industrial Revolution were unmarried women and children, including many orphans.

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13. The Industrial Revolution created a middle class of businessmen, clerks, foremen, and engineers who lived in much better conditions.

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14. In terms of social structure, the Industrial Revolution witnessed the triumph of a middle class of industrialists and businessmen over a landed class of nobility and gentry.

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15. Important American technological contributions during the period of the Industrial Revolution were the cotton gin and the development of a system for making interchangeable parts, the latter aided by the development of the milling machine in the US.

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16. Steel is often cited as the first of several new areas for industrial mass-production, which are said to characterise a "Second Industrial Revolution", beginning around 1850, although a method for mass manufacture of steel was not invented until the 1860s, when Sir Henry Bessemer invented a new furnace which could convert molten pig iron into steel in large quantities.

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17. Causes of the Industrial Revolution were complicated and remain a topic for debate.

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18. One question of active interest to historians is why the Industrial Revolution occurred in Europe and not in other parts of the world in the 18th century, particularly China, India, and the Middle East, or at other times like in Classical Antiquity or the Middle Ages.

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