London Times

The Industrial Revolution by Susanna Goergen

What Was the Industrial Revolution?

The Industrial Revolution was the transition to new manufacturing processes. Manufacturing went from being done by hand to performed by machines. New ways were found for iron production processes, chemical manufacturing, and new ways to utilize water power. It started in Great Britain but within a few decades spread through Europe and the United States from 1760 to about the 1830s. Examples of the industries that were affected during the Industrial Revolution include the cotton industry, textiles, steel, and railroads. The cotton industry was changed when the cotton gin was invented. The cotton gin helped speed up the process of separating cotton fibers from its seed. This in turn helped speed up the production of textiles. More clothes were able to be made which lowered the price of clothes. Since people started to buy their clothes instead of making them women were able to get jobs in the textile industry. It was one of the first jobs that women were encouraged to perform. The industry boomed and the demand for workers increased so factories started to employ children. Children had smaller hands which made it easier to operate the equipment. Interchangeable parts also became available for machines. This invention made it easier to fix machines when one part breaks instead of getting an all new machine. During the Industrial Revolution a new way to mass produce steel was created. Before then, steel was expensive and was only used where iron would not suffice. When steel was able to be mass produced the price of steel went down which made it more accessible. The railroad industry also improved. The steam engine was an efficient way to harness the power of steam and use it to power a train which allowed increased movement of goods. There were many benefits of the Industrial Revolution such as the increase in jobs which helped people earn money for their families. There was also a growth in specialized jobs. The new equipment that was being created required special training so the workers could know how to use it. There was economic growth which benefited countries during the Industrial Revolution. There were also some negative results of the Industrial Revolution. The machines that were used burned fuel which caused pollution. The working conditions in the factories also caused illnesses and the machines posed a risk for injuries. Workers were constantly getting hurt and even died because of the machinery. The Industrial Revolution was a great time for factories and the economy but also had some deadly consequences.

Inventors of the Industrial Revolution

There were many important people during the Industrial Revolution. People who invented some of the most paramount inventions that changed the lives of people even today. During the Industrial Revolution Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin. The cotton gin was a machine that separated cotton fibers from the seed. It was a job that was previously done by slaves and took a long time to complete. It was invented in 1793 and patented in 1794. James Watt was a mechanical engineer from the Industrial Revolution. He made improvements to the Newcomen steam engine. The Newcomen steam engine was the first practical machine that could harness the power of steam to power a machine. Henry Bessemer was also an engineer. He is most well know for the Bessemer process. The Bessemer process was the first cheap way to mass produce steel. Edward Jenner was a physician and scientist in England. He produced the first vaccine – one that combated smallpox. He noticed that the milkmaids who caught cowpox did not catch smallpox. Cowpox is much milder form of smallpox so he administered the cowpox vaccine to people and they caught a mild form of that disease, but then never caught smallpox. For that he is often called the father of immunology. People have said that his work has saved more lives than any other. Louis Pasteur was a French chemist and microbiologist. He also developed vaccines. He invented the first vaccine for rabies and anthrax. He also reduced the mortality rate for puerperal fever, a bacterial infection contracted by women during childbirth or miscarriage. He also invented the process of pasteurization. Pasteurization is a technique that treats milk and wine to stop bacterial contamination. The Industrial Revolution was a time during which some of the most innovative and modern technologies were invented and many are still used today.

How the Inventions Changed People's Lives

The inventions of the Industrial Revolution changed the way people lived. Vaccines made diseases less deadly and easier to combat. They allowed hospitals to treat people with more efficiency. The invention of the cotton gin made clothes more accessible. Mothers did not need to hand sew their family's clothes. People were able to have more clothes. The factories that made the clothes often hired women and children. This was one of the first jobs that women could have. Children who were employed were recurrently being injured. They would get their fingers hurt trying to use or fix the equipment. The factories also produced pollution. The increase in the demand for specialized jobs gave more people the opportunity to work. This changed people's lives because some people did not work. The industries that were set up used coal for fuel. The coal would give off smog when burned too much. The increase of the production of steel allowed for more machines to be built which makes more jobs available. The factories urbanized cities. Instead of farmland cities became the center of production. People moved to cities which caused shortages of water because of the increase in population. There was also a development of a class system. The business owners and entrepreneurs gained a lot of wealth due to industrialization. They owned factories and small businesses and by underpaying employees they gained a lot of profit and together they became the upper class. Most of the workers belonged to the middle class. The people who were not rich but were not poor either. Most of the population belonged to the middle class. The rest were the lower class. They were much poorer than the rest. Some probably did not have a job. The Industrial Revolution had a huge impact on the way people lived.

How Society was Changed by Each Invention

Each product that was invented during the Industrial Revolution impacted society. The cotton gin impacted society because it made separating cotton much quicker. In the US the job was done by slaves. After the invention of the cotton gin slaves did not have to spend hours separating the cotton fibers from the seed. Whitney's model was capable of separating 50 pounds of cotton a day. Another invention was the vaccine. The vaccine was a revolutionary invention that saved thousands of lives. The first vaccine was invented by Edward Jenner and it was for smallpox. Smallpox is a deadly disease that until the vaccine spread and killed thousands. Jenner observed maids who had caught cowpox. He noticed that the people who had cowpox never got smallpox. He then found a way to extract the cowpox virus and administered it to patients. They too did not get smallpox. Once he was certain it worked he gave the vaccine to others. With the vaccine he saved thousands of lives and was said to have saved more lives than any other man. The Newcomen steam engine was perfected by James Watt. The steam engine wasted a lot of energy cooling and reheating the cylinder. Watt came up with an idea to stop the waste of energy. He separated the condenser which made the engine run more efficiently and radically improved power. Later he adapted his design to produce rotary motion which greatly broadened its use beyond pumping water. Steel was very expensive before the industrial revolution. Henry Bessemer was able to invent a process that made steel more accessible and cheaper. It was called the Bessemer process. It was the first inexpensive way to mass produce steel. Before steel was only used when iron could not be. Cast iron was used but it caused too many accident because of the iron breaking. It helped society because it made steel more available to use in structures. Louis Pasteur also invented vaccines. He created vaccines for rabies and anthrax. They also saved lives because there was finally a treatment for rabies and anthrax. He is also well know for creating the process that we still use called pasteurization. It stops bacterial contamination in milk and wine. The products that were invented during the Industrial Revolution changed the world.