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Industrial Revolution


History >> Industrial Revolution

1712 - The first practical steam engine is invented by Thomas Newcomen. Steam would become an important source of power for the Industrial Revolution.

1760 - The First Industrial Revolution begins around 1760 in the textile industry in Great Britain. Over the next decade, manufacturing will move from hand production in the home to machine production in factories.

1764 - James Hargreaves invents the spinning jenny allowing a worker to produce multiple spools of thread at the same time.

1781 - James Watt patents an improved steam engine making it useful as a power source in factories and other applications such as steam boats and trains.

1779 - The spinning mule is invented by Samuel Crompton.

1793 - The Industrial Revolution spreads to the United States when Samuel Slater opens the first textile mill in Rhode Island.

1793 - Eli Whitney invents the cotton gin greatly increasing the productivity of processing cotton.

1807 - Robert Fulton starts the first successful steamboat operation with his boat the Clermont.

1811- The Luddites attack factories in Great Britain smashing machines in a protest against industry.

1824 - Trade unions are legalized in Great Britain.

1825 - The Erie Canal is completed opening a water route from the Great Lakes to New York City and the Atlantic Ocean.

1831 - The mechanical reaper is invented by Cyrus McCormick.

1837 - A blacksmith named John Deere invents the steel plow.

1844 - The telegraph is invented by Samuel Morse. This changes the way people can communicate from long distances.

1844 - Charles Goodyear receives a patent for vulcanized rubber.

1846 - The sewing machine is invented by Elias Howe.

1853 - Elisha Otis invents a safety break for elevators making them practical and safe for the first time. This allows for tall buildings and skyscrapers to be built.

1856 - The Bessemer Process for making steel is invented by Henry Bessemer. This allowed for the mass production of inexpensive steel.

1869 - The Transcontinental Railroad is completed.

1870 - Around this time the Second Industrial Revolution begins. This phase of the Industrial Revolution is characterized by rapid expansion of new technologies such as the telephone, railroads, and electrical power.

1876 - Alexander Graham Bell invents the telephone.

1877 - The Great Railroad Strike occurs when railroad companies reduce wages. Violence erupts and federal troops are brought in to restore the peace.

1879 - Thomas Edison invents the first practical incandescent light bulb. It will allow factories to remain open after dark.

1886 - The American Federation of Labor is formed.

1891 - The first modern electrical power station is completed to provide power to central London.

1903 - The Wright Brothers make the first successful airplane flight in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.

1908 - Henry Ford begins production on the Model T Ford. He uses the assembly line to build the first affordable automobile.

1914 - Historians often place the end of the Second Industrial Revolution with the start of World War I in 1914.

Activities More on the Industrial Revolution:

How it Began in the United States

Alexander Graham Bell
Andrew Carnegie
Thomas Edison
Henry Ford
Robert Fulton
John D. Rockefeller
Eli Whitney
Inventions and Technology
Steam Engine
Factory System
Erie Canal

Labor Unions
Working Conditions
Child Labor
Breaker Boys, Matchgirls, and Newsies
Women During the Industrial Revolution

Works Cited

History >> Industrial Revolution

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