The industrial revolution was a time of great change for Britain during the 18th and 19th centuries. It pulled production out of the inefficient processes when products were mostly made within people’s homes, and into a modern age. The revolution paved the way for the efficiency and volume of the production lines we have today. In this blog, we shall look at how the industrial revolution became possible through great feats of engineering.
The textiles industry was one of the most changed during the revolution. This was only made possible through the advancement of a number of technologies and innovations. One of these inventions was created in 1764 by James Hargreaves, and was known as a ‘Spinning Jenny’. This simple machine allowed the operator to spin 8 threads at once by turning one wheel, greatly improving efficiency.
Another great invention of the time was the mechanical loom. In 1784, Edmund Cartwright designed and, in the following year, built the first power loom. It reduced the need for skilled workers, improving efficiency, but also causing a great deal of unemployment and hardship. However, in the long term, it reduced the cost of cloth, creating a huge demand which led to an increase in employment.
The Steam Engine
Before this advancement, factories would use water to power machinery, which worked perfectly fine, but meant that factories had to be close to a body of water. Although the history of the steam engine spans back to the first century AD, it was not until the 17th century that the power was really harnessed. The credit of inventing the steam engine is usually given to Thomas Savery in 1698, but there were many improvements to his early machine that allowed the engine to be used to advance the industrial revolution. During the late 18th century, two engineers, Matthew Boulton and James Watt, paired up to create a machine that would be able to power the industrial revolution. Their engine was a vast improvement on its predecessors, and was adopted by factories and mills across the country.
Airedale Springs and the Industrial Revolution
Here at Airedale Springs, we have close ties with this period of change. Our premises from 1988-2012 – Ebor Mills Haworth – were built in several stages between 1830 and 1899. The smaller building in the front was the original Mill, powered by a 58ft diameter water wheel and the larger building behind was powered by steam beam engine.
Here at Airedale Springs, we’re experts in spring design, and are proud suppliers to a vast range of industries. If you would like more information about any of our products or services, don’t hesitate to contact us today by calling 01535 643456