Learning with Litecraft : A brief look at the Industrial Revolution

The Industrial Revolution marked the starting point in a new way of manufacturing. Established from around 1760 and progressing sometime between 1820 and 1840, it included the development of new machinery, chemical and iron processes and the use of water and steam power. It was a transitional time in history, not just for Great Britain but for the rest of the world. The development of steam and water power around the 18th and 19th century made way for machine tools and iron production and our usage of wood and other bio-fuels changed to coal. This major change contributed to better manufacturing, transport, mining and technology, it started in Great Britain and quickly spread throughout Europe,North America and then the rest of the world.

 This new development greatly decreased the use of animal based work and manual labour to allow for more machine-based manufacturing, the textiles industry was one of the first to benefit with iron making techniques. The practise of trade was also increased with the expansion of canals, better roads and railways. The production process in terms of capacity increased greatly especially in the textile industry with the use of coal fuel (steam power) and the introduction of water powered mills. In the 19th Century, other industries started to benefit in the enhancement of machine tools and production machinery, which in turn resulted in the effects spreading to Western Europe and North America. Litecraft’s home city of Manchester played a great part in the industrial revolution particularly it’s involvement with the textile industry, the number of cotton mills in Manchester reached 108 in 1853 and became known as Cottonopolis, the international centre of the cotton industry.

The second part of the industrial revolution began around 1850 and chartered the rise in industrial mass-production, particularly the production of steel which was introduced around 1860. A large quantity of steel was able to be made with a new furnace that was invented by Sir Henry Bessemer, using wrought iron metal melted down to produce steel. The second industrial revolution progressed into chemical and electrical industries and then finally the automotive industries by the US and Germany.

These days we are seeing more and more of the industrial machinery look and feel within our homes particularly in converted mills and basement type housing, a trend for steel furniture and industrial style pendants has become very popular. We’ll be looking at the Industrial Interior trend in the coming weeks. What do you think of the Industrial look?