Technological And Industrial Innovations Developed In Great Britain
Arguably the technological and industrial innovations developed during the industrial revolution were essential for the full development of that process.
Agricultural changes were the key to the onset of the Industrial Revolution. Ironically it was the technological innovations and improved techniques within the British agricultural sector which would finance the industrial innovations developed in Great Britain from the late eighteenth century onwards.
The textile mills of Lancashire and Yorkshire were only powered by watermills it would have been very difficult to increase the productivity rates to meet the full potential promised by the new spinning wheels and mechanical cloth looms.
The Textile Industry And Industrial Innovation
The textiles industry, or to be more precise for the mill and factory owners the industrial revolution was generally assumed to be a beneficial process. The invention of industrial looms and spinning machines combined with steam-powered engines made cotton mills and textile factories far more productive than had previously been the case.
Cottonmills and textile factories needed a greater number of workers, loom operators, and machine operators to keep the machinery operating around the clock. In the early decades of the industrial revolution cotton mill and textile factory owners tended to prefer child labour to work on their machines. When child labour was outlawed in Great Britain the owners and employers preferred to employ women as they were more agile for handling small machinery parts, and because they could offer them lower wages than men would had been paid
James Watt, Steam Engines, And Railways
James Watts invention of the steam engine in the 1760s transformed the productivity levels of the Lancashire and Yorkshire textile mills. Steam engines indeed transformed the productivity rates of any factories or mills that they were used inside.
Steam engines for transportation purposes was a vital innovation of the industrial revolution. In Great Britain the building of the canal network had already speeded up links between London and industrial centres such as Birmingham, Leeds, Manchester, and Newcastle. The development of steam powered railway engines from the 1830s improved the communication and the links between all parts of Great Britain.
Railways by the end of the nineteenth century the majority of Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, as well as South America were covered by railway networks. Railways not only improved communications, they also boosted global production levels of coal, steel, and pig iron.Steam ships were developed to replace traditional sailing ships was another important part of the industrial revolution. The introduction of steam powered ships was particularly important to the British and the French given the sizes of their vast global empires. Steam powered ships literally made the world a smaller place. With steam ships it took days to travel across the Atlantic or Pacific oceans instead of a matter of weeks.