What was so revolutionary about the industrial revolution?

1 Answer
Dec 22, 2015

It took manufacturing out of the household and into mills.


Prior to the 19th Century almost all clothing and shoes were produced in individual households. The first automated weaving process did not appear until the late 18th century and it was well into the 19th before it was made on a large scale in factories. Prior to that every household had a spinning wheel and a small loom from which they produced every bit of cloth they needed.

Historians mark this transition period as the era when America went from a largely agrarian country to a manufacturing country.

The shoe making process was not made in everyone's house however they were made by individual cobblers in small shops. Shoemaking slowly transitioned to factories during the 19th century.

But behind the explosion in building large mills was the invention of using steam power to run the machinery of factories. Prior to that mills had relied upon water wheels which though effective, were not ideal for large factory operations. Most rivers simply did not run forcefully enough to run a large manufacturing operation.

Improvements in all types of machinery, transportation (particularly the railroads), and communications (telegraph), gave rise to large manufacturing complexes built throughout the 19th century.