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The Industrial Revolution is the term used for the period between 18th and 19th centuries when predominantly rural and agricultural areas in Europe and America became urban and industrialized. The rapid changes were brought about by the development of machines and the discovery of other sources of power which resulted to the construction of factories and mass production. The period also marked development when it came to transportation, communication and commerce. The Industrial Revolution is divided into two parts/phases: the First Industrial Revolution [about 1760 – between 1820 and 1840] and the Second Industrial Revolution [1870-1914].
Read the fact file below for my information on the Industrial revolution, key information and historic milestones or download the comprehensive worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
- The Industrial Revolution occurred in the last part of the 18th century. It began in Great Britain.
- This revolution was an economic one, and it changed the way the world produced goods.
- The population went from being agricultural to industrial. This meant people moved off of the farms and out of the country. There were huge numbers of people that moved into cities. Many people were forced to move to the cities to look for work. They ended up living in cities that could not support them.
- During this time, there were also many new advancements in technology. The assembly line was one of the biggest inventions. Henry Ford is credited with this invention.
- Some of the biggest advancements were in steam power. New fuels such as coal and petroleum, were used in these new steam engines. This revolutionized many industries including textiles and manufacturing.
- Another invention was called the telegraph. This made communicating across the ocean easier and much faster. Messages could be sent and received in minutes and delivered the same day. Writing a letter and sending it overseas could take weeks.
- The Industrial Revolution was not a good revolution for the earth. Industry was releasing huge amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and waste into the waterways and soil. Pollution by nuclear waste, pesticides and other chemicals are also the result of the Industrial Revolution.
- Many natural resources were being used up at an alarming rate.
- Advances in farming resulted in an increased supply of food and raw materials. The changes in industry and new technology resulted in increased production of thousands of goods. Companies were more efficient and earned bigger profits.
- The year 1760, is generally accepted as the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. In reality, the revolution began more than two centuries before this date. The late 18th century and the early l9th century brought out the ideas and discoveries of those who had lived a long time before like Galileo, Bacon, Descartes and others.
- The term Industrial Revolution was popularized by English historian Arnold Toynbee though he wasn’t the first one to use it [French writers were the first ones to use the term]. He used it to describe the economic development Britain underwent between 1760 and 1840.
- Britain is considered the birthplace of Industrial Revolution. As a matter of fact, industrialization was highly limited to Britain in 1760 until 1830. Aware of the head start, the British monopolized industrialization and outlawed the exportation of machines, skilled workers and manufacturing systems.
- But British monopoly did not last as some Britons saw great industrial opportunities abroad and sought to fulfill them. The most notable was when Englishmen William and John Cockerill developed machine shops in Liege, Belgium in 1807 marking the start of the Industrial Revolution in the country. The move made Belgium the first country in Continental Europe to be economically transformed.
- The First Industrial Revolution is also known as the Classical Industrial Revolution while the Second Industrial Revolution’s other term is Technological Revolution.
- The two Industrial Revolutions overlap each other.
- The Second Industrial Revolution saw rapid development not just in Britain but in Germany, France, the Low Countries, Italy, the United States and even Japan.
- The First Industrial Revolution marked the use and mass production of iron and steel which made these two materials essential in the making of tools and machines, appliances, ships and even infrastructures. The Second Industrial Revolution, on the other hand, marked the discovery of other under-utilised materials like the making of synthetic products such as plastic for production.
- While the term luddite this modern times has come to mean as someone opposed to new technologies, the Luddites during the Industrial Revolution were a band of textile workers who staged rebellions in the form of smashing machines as they feared machinery would replace men’s role in the industry thereby rendering the time they spent learning their craft without value. The Luddite Movement culminated in a series of region-wide rebellion with mill owners shooting protesters to quell them. Eventually, military force brutally suppressed the rebellion.
Industrial Revolution: Important Events and Inventions
1712 – Thomas Newcomen invented the steam engine known as the Newcomen Engine. The machine was only used to pump water out of mines and wasn’t very useful yet. But the use of steam to power machines became a vital turn-point in the Industrial Revolution.
1719 – John Lombe started his own silk factory, the first silk throwing mill in England and the first factory ever built.
1733 – John Kay invented and patented the Flying Shuttle, a simple weaving machine which allowed one weaver to weave wider fabrics cutting labor force by half.
1764 – James Hargreaves invented the Spinning Jenny [Jenny being a variant of the word Engine], a machine which made cloth-making faster and easier as one worker could spin eight spindles altogether.
1767 – Richard Arkwright invented and patented the water-powered spinning frame known as the Water Frame which made cotton thread creation easier. The machine was first used in 1768 and manufactured yarns that were sturdier and harder than what the spinning jenny produced. Arkwright’s invention played an important role in the development of the factory system.
1769 – James Watt improved the Newcomen Engine and built a more efficient steam engine, considered one of the most vital inventions of the Industrial Revolution.
1775-1779 – Between these years, Samuel Crompton invented the spinning mule, a machine that combined the spinning and weaving processes. It was so named as the mule is the crossbred offspring of a female horse and a male donkey much like the machine which combined the works of the spinning jenny and the water frame. Later on, in 1825, the self-acting or automatic mule was patented by Richard Roberts.
1776 – Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations [whole title read as “An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations”] was published. Smith’s work is considered fundamental in Classic Economics.
1783 – Henry Cort patented the puddling process used for refining iron ore. It was also around this time that the ironmaster started to refine pig iron to wrought/bar iron using his own-devised production systems.
1785 – Edmund Cartwright’s invention, the power loom [a weaving machine], replaced the flying shuttle.
1794 – Eli Whitney patented the cotton gin, a machine that made the separation of cotton seeds from the fiber easier allowing America’s southern states to make more money from their cotton crops.
1801 – December 24 of this year, Richard Trevithick introduced his Puffing Devil to the world, so-named because it puffed steam in the air]. The Puffer was the first steam-powered passenger vehicle ever made cementing Trevithick’s importance in the Industrial Revolution. Unfortunately, the Puffer was destroyed a few days later when it overheated and combusted.
1804 – Trevithick built the first steam locomotive to run along a track. Eventually, the inventor died penniless as his inventions didn’t last after a few measly trips but his legacy in the Industrial Revolution did live on.
1807 – Robert Fulton commercially developed the first passenger steamboat which went into business in that year. In 1800, Napoleon Bonaparte commissioned him to design history’s first practical submarine, the Nautilus.
1811- 1813 – The beginning and end of the Luddite Rebellion.
1816 – George Stephenson patented a steam engine locomotive that ran on rails. While he wasn’t the first one to do so, the improvements he made on steam-powered locomotives and the railways they ran on were greatly significant that he was named the “Father of Railways”. He went on to build the first-ever public inter-city railway line in the world which was the Liverpool and Manchester Railway. It opened in 1830.
1845 – German philosopher Friedrich Engels published his book The Condition of the Working-Class in England which tackled the negative effects of industrialization.
1846 – On September 10 of this year, Elias Howe was awarded the first US patent for a sewing machine using the lockstitch design. He wasn’t the first to invent the sewing machine but he developed it and his developments made him a sewing machine pioneer.
1847 – Samuel Morse received the patent for the telegraph which allowed messages to be sent via wires. When 1860 rolled in, telegraph wires went as far as the United States’ East Coast. He also was the co-developer of the Morse Code.
1851 – Elisha Graves Otis, with his sons, designed and developed a safety break for elevators. He wasn’t the inventor of the elevator but he made riding it safer. He exhibited the safety break in the 1854 New York World’s Fair. it subsequently gained traction and this time that he made a company out of it, the Otis Elevator Company.
1855 – January of this year, Henry Bessemer created a process which turned iron into steel. This process was later on called the Bessemer Method in his honor.
1856 – Isaac Singer made his own improvements on existing sewing machine designs of his time and obtained great success from it. However, his design was greatly contested by Elias Howe who held the patent for the lockstitch. Eventually, Singer and the other sewing machine inventors agreed to pool their patents [they were the first ones to do so] and convince Howe to cooperate. He did so on terms that he be given royalty for every sewing machine sold.
1866 – Alfred Nobel invented the dynamite which was safer to use in blasting holes compared to just using black powder.
1870 – Chemist Louis Pasteur developed vaccines to weaken the effects of diseases like anthrax. This was in connection to his belief that illnesses were mainly caused by germs. His pioneering works helped developed the medical world. He was also the first one to encourage and practice sanitation and sterilization before doing surgical procedures.
1876 – Alexander Graham Bell secured the patent for the telephone, a breakthrough in communication.
1880 – Thomas Edison was granted the patent on the carbon filament electric lamp, the first commercially practical incandescent light. Edison is also credited for inventing the phonograph.
1883 – May of this year, what was then the world’s longest suspension bridge, the Brooklyn Bridge, opened for public use.
1888 – Nikola tesla got the credit for developing the induction electric motor, a significant contribution to the modern electric supply system.
1902 – German inventor Rudolf Diesel invented the Diesel engine which was named in his honor though it went through many hands for its development.
1908 – Car maker Henry Ford manufactured the Model T, a car that was cheaper than the others as it was made on an assembly line. The Model T made cars more available to common people.
Industrial Revolution Worksheets
This bundle contains 17 ready-to-use industrial revolution worksheets that are perfect for students to learn about how the revolution was an economic one, and how it changed the way the world produced goods.
Students will also learn about facts surrounding the industrial revolution, factory growth and the conditions endured by workers within the revolution. Throughout the extensive worksheet pack there are multiple activities and quizzes for students to practice their knowledge which can be used within the classroom or homeschooling environment.
Industrial Revolution worksheets:
Name the Invention
Students are challenged to name the specific industrial revolution invention based upon the picture provided.
Reflection writing on the overpopulation of cities throughout the industrial revolution. Emotive task.
Students are introduced to the Morse code and have to decode the telegraph message.
Students are challenged to write about the importance of child workers laws which are in place today and why it is important.
Fill in the boxes to show off your steam-powered knowledge
Industrial Revolution Maze
Filler activity where students have to navigate a boat through a maze.
Make your Own Invention
Draw and describe your own invention. Fun task which explores critical thinking.
Industrial Revolution Quiz
Challenging quiz based upon the initial study material.
Industrial Revolution Acrostic
Each letter should spell out a word. Can the students complete all the letters?
Grandfathers of the Industrial Revolution
Reflective piece on the grandfathers of the industrial revolution.
After completing these worksheets students will be able to:
- Have a clear understanding of the Industrial revolution and how it’s impacted society today.
- Define and identify inventions which are important to how we live today.
- Answer a series of challenging questions to hone their knowledge.
- Have a grasp of key inventors at the time of the revolution.
- Understand how the Revolution changed the way industry worked.
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Link will appear as Industrial Revolution Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, June 5, 2017
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.