Henry Ford was by far one of the most imperative inventors of the Industrial Revolution. His primary invention, the automobile, changed life as we know it. It enabled people to go wherever they wanted whenever they wanted.
The Industrial Revolution — The term Industrial Revolution, like similar historical concepts, is more convenient than precise. It is convenient because history requires division into periods for purposes of understanding and instruction and because there were sufficient innovations at the turn of the 18th and 19th centuries to justify the choice of this as one of the periods.
The term is imprecise, however, because the Industrial Revolution has no clearly defined beginning or end. The term Industrial Revolution must thus be employed with some care. It is used below to describe an extraordinary quickening in the rate of growth and change and, more particularly, to describe the first years of this period of time, as it will be convenient to pursue the developments of the 20th century separately.
The Industrial Revolution, in this sense, has been a worldwide phenomenon, at least in so far as it has occurred in all those parts of the world, of which there are very few exceptions, where the influence of Western civilization has been felt.
Beyond any doubt it occurred first in Britain, and its effects spread only gradually to continental Europe and North America. Equally clearly, the Industrial Revolution that eventually transformed these parts of the Western world surpassed in magnitude the achievements of Britain, and the process was carried further to change radically the socioeconomic life of Asia, Africa, Latin Americaand Australasia.
The reasons for this succession of events are complex, but they were implicit in the earlier account of the buildup toward rapid industrialization. Partly through good fortune and partly through conscious effort, Britain by the early 18th century came to possess the combination of social needs and social resources that provided the necessary preconditions of commercially successful innovation and a social system capable of sustaining and institutionalizing the processes of rapid technological change once they had started.
This section will therefore be concerned, in the first place, with events in Britain, although in discussing later phases of the period it will be necessary to trace the way in which British technical achievements were diffused and superseded in other parts of the Western world.
Power technology An outstanding feature of the Industrial Revolution has been the advance in power technology. At the beginning of this period, the major sources of power available to industry and any other potential consumer were animate energy and the power of wind and water, the only exception of any significance being the atmospheric steam engines that had been installed for pumping purposes, mainly in coal mines.
It is to be emphasized that this use of steam power was exceptional and remained so for most industrial purposes until well into the 19th century.
Steam did not simply replace other sources of power: The same sort of scientific inquiry that led to the development of the steam engine was also applied to the traditional sources of inanimate energy, with the result that both waterwheels and windmills were improved in design and efficiency.
Numerous engineers contributed to the refinement of waterwheel constructionand by the middle of the 19th century new designs made possible increases in the speed of revolution of the waterwheel and thus prepared the way for the emergence of the water turbine, which is still an extremely efficient device for converting energy.
Windmills Meanwhile, British windmill construction was improved considerably by the refinements of sails and by the self-correcting device of the fantail, which kept the sails pointed into the wind.
Spring sails replaced the traditional canvas rig of the windmill with the equivalent of a modern venetian blind, the shutters of which could be opened or closed, to let the wind pass through or to provide a surface upon which its pressure could be exerted.
In mills equipped with these sails, the shutters were controlled on all the sails simultaneously by a lever inside the mill connected by rod linkages through the windshaft with the bar operating the movement of the shutters on each sweep.
The control could be made more fully automatic by hanging weights on the lever in the mill to determine the maximum wind pressure beyond which the shutters would open and spill the wind. Conversely, counterweights could be attached to keep the shutters in the open position.
With these and other modifications, British windmills adapted to the increasing demands on power technology. But the use of wind power declined sharply in the 19th century with the spread of steam and the increasing scale of power utilization. Windmills that had satisfactorily provided power for small-scale industrial processes were unable to compete with the production of large-scale steam-powered mills.
Steam engines Although the qualification regarding older sources of power is important, steam became the characteristic and ubiquitous power source of the British Industrial Revolution.
Little development took place in the Newcomen atmospheric engine until James Watt patented a separate condenser inbut from that point onward the steam engine underwent almost continuous improvements for more than a century.
By keeping the cylinder permanently hot and the condenser permanently cold, a great economy on energy used could be effected. This brilliantly simple idea could not be immediately incorporated in a full-scale engine because the engineering of such machines had hitherto been crude and defective.
The backing of a Birmingham industrialist, Matthew Boultonwith his resources of capital and technical competence, was needed to convert the idea into a commercial success. During the quarter of a century in which Boulton and Watt exercised their virtual monopoly over the manufacture of improved steam engines, they introduced many important refinements.
Basically they converted the engine from a single-acting i. The rotary action engine was quickly adopted by British textile manufacturer Sir Richard Arkwright for use in a cotton mill, and although the ill-fated Albion Mill, at the southern end of Blackfriars Bridge in London, was burned down inwhen it had been in use for only five years and was still incomplete, it demonstrated the feasibility of applying steam power to large-scale grain milling.
Many other industries followed in exploring the possibilities of steam power, and it soon became widely used.The Industrial Revolution is a complex set of economic, technological, and social changes that occurred over a substantial period of time.
Teachers should consider the documents in . The inventions and innovations of the Industrial Revolution transformed the U.S. and Great Britain in the 18th and 19th centuries. Tremendous gains in science and technology helped Britain become the world's dominant economic and political power, while in the U.S.
it fueled a young nation's westward. The Industrial Revolution, which took place from the 18th to 19th centuries, was a period during which predominantly agrarian, rural societies in Europe and America became industrial and urban.
The Industrial Revolution also saw a decrease in the rampancy of labor shortages which characterized the U.S. economy in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. This was because there was a "transportation revolution" that happened in the same period.
The Industrial Revolution in the U.S. may never have occurred without the contributions of a relatively small group of energetic men who devoted their intelligence, daring, energy, and administrative abilities to the purpose of making money by creating huge industrial empires.
Samuel Slater (June 9, – April 21, ) was an early English-American industrialist known as the "Father of the American Industrial Revolution" (a phrase coined by Andrew Jackson) and the "Father of the American Factory System".