Anton Hornauer

The industrial revolution events that transformed Britain between 1750 and 1830, from a largely rural population making a living almost entirely from agriculture to a society centered on the city increasingly engaged in the manufacture of the factory. Like thousands of women across rural Britain saw their spinning wheels become redundant and their jobs disappear in the factories moved to the cities. The Industrial Revolution spread throughout Britain. Making use of steam engines, this led to a massive increase in the number of factories, especially textile factories. As the number of factories increased people living in the countryside starts to move to the city to find a better paying job. The salary of a field worker was very low and there were fewer jobs due to the invention and use of new machines like threshers. Also thousands of new workers were needed to work with machines in factories and foundries, besides the owners of the factories use to workers to build their own home. At the beginning of the 19th century about 1/5 of the population of Britain lived there, but in 1851 half the population had taken up residence in London, which like most cities was not prepared for this big incriase of people. The worker's houses were usually near to the factories so that people could walk to work. They were built really quickly and cheaply. The houses were cheap, most had between 2-4 rooms.

The problem of the factories was that the chimneys, bridges and factory smoke blocked most of the light in the cities. A layer of dirty smoke often covered the streets like a blanket. This came from factories that use steam to operate their machines. The vapor was made by the combustion of coal to heat the water. Burning coal produces a lot of dirty smoke, black.


child labour


Child Labour

Many factory workers were children. They worked long hours and were often treated badly by the supervisors or overseers. Sometimes the children started work as young as four or five years old. A young child could not earn much, but even a few pence would be enough to buy food. Children often worked long and extra hours in factories and had to carry out some hard job. In match factories children were employed to dip matches into a chemical called phosphorous. This phosphorous could cause their teeth to rot and some died from the effect of breathing it into their lungs.

Coal Mines

The coal mines were dangerous places where roofs sometimes caved in, explosions happened and workers got all sorts of injuries. There were very few safety rules. Cutting and moving coal which machines do nowadays was done by men, women and children.

Coal mines


The younger children often worked as "trappers" who worked trap doors. They sat in a hole hollowed out for them and held a string which was fastened to the door. When they heard the coal wagons coming they had to open the door by pulling a string. This job was one of the easiest down the mine but it was very lonely and the place where they sat was usually damp and draughty. Older children might be employed as "coal bearers" carrying loads of coal on their backs in big baskets.


What The Victorians Did For Us - Making It Big

What The Victorians Did For Us - Making It Big


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Martin Elorriaga A.Edit

The industrial revolution was an important fact in the Victorian Times because was the beginning of the use of technology. The new technologies were in the textile industria, the iron making and the more important that is the steam power. These new technologies change the way of thinking of the people of Victorian Times and are the basis of our advanced technology. So the indusrtial revolution is a very important fact in the world history and a very interesting topic to investigate, I search information in internet and I found a very good source that show the main importants things of the Industrial Revolution and explain what happend with the world when the new technologies start beginto born.

The Industrial Revolution

During the 1800s the Industrial Revolution spread throughout Britain.

Britain changes from a rural society to an urban one

In 1837, Britain was still a rural nation with 80% of the population living in the countryside. Most people were farmers or spun wool and cotton to weave into cloth. Soon new machines were invented that could do these jobs in a fraction of the time. This left many people out of work, so they flocked to the towns in search of jobs in new industries. By the middle of the nineteenth century over 50% of the population lived in towns and cities.

The Age of Steam

The Industrial Revolution rapidly gained pace during Victoria's reign because of the power of steam. Victorian engineers developed bigger, faster and more powerful machines that could run whole factories. Th

is led to a massive increase in the number of factories (particularly in textile factories or mills).

By 1870, over 100,000 steam engines were at work throughout Britain.

The industry depended on steam and steam depended on coal. The number of coalfields doubled between 1851 and 1881.

The Age of Steel

1856 - Henry Bessemer invented a method for converting iron into steel quickly. Ships, bridges and building could now be bigger.

Britain becomes wealthy but ...

Despite the growing wealth due to trade and commerce, many of the working people, who actually produced the wealth, lived, worked and died in very poor conditions.


Most cities and towns were not prepared for the great increase of people looking for accommodation to live near their work place.

There was a shortage of houses, so many people had to share a room in other peoples houses. Rooms were rented to whole families o

r perhaps several families. Often ten or twelve people shared one room. If there was no rooms to rent, people stayed in lodging houses.

Many factory owners built houses for their workers near their factories. The houses were built close together really quickly and cheaply.

These houses often had two rooms downstairs and two rooms upstairs. They were not really big enough for the large families people tended to have during the Victorian time.

The houses also did not have running water and toilets. Up to 100 houses had to share an outdoor pump to get their water and share an outside toilet. To make things worse, the water from the pump was often polluted.

Pollution and ill health

The household rubbish was thrown out into the narrow streets and the air was filled with black smoke from the factories chimneys.

Dirty streets and cramped living was a perfect breeding ground for diseases. More than 31,000 people died during an outbreak of cholera in 1832 and lots more were killed by typhus, smallpox and dysentery.

Public Health Act of 1875 banned open sewers, thanks to Joseph Bazalgette’s sewage system. Houses were made further apart, rubbish collection was introduced and public health inspectors had to be provi

ded by the local council. They basically had to go round whatever town or city they were employed in and check that sanitation and health of the people was alright.

In 1853, the tax on soap was taken off, meaning poor people could buy it and become more hygienic by washing with it.

Working conditions

Many factory owners put profit above the health and safety of their workers. Children and young women were employed in terrible conditions in textile mills and mines. Furnaces were operated without proper safety checks. Workers in factories and mills were deafened by steam hammers and machinery. hours were long and there were no holidays.

How did factory conditions change in the 1840's

1833 Factory Act,

  • Children banned from working in textile factories under the age of nine.
  • 9 - 13 year olds limited to 9 hours a day and 48 hours a week.
  • 13 - 18 year olds limited to 12 hours a day and 69 hours a week.
  • All children under eleven to have two hours education a day.
  • Government Factory Inspectors appointed to enforce the law.

1842 Mines and Collieries Act

  • All women and children under 10 were banned from working underground.
  • No one under 15 years was to work winding gear in mines.

1844 Factory Act:

  • Minimum age for working in factories reduced to 8 years old.
  • 8 to 13 years old to work a maximum of six and a half hours on weekdays and only six hours on Saturday
  • 13 to 18 year olds to work a maximum of 12 hour
    Turning Points in History - Industrial Revolution

    Turning Points in History - Industrial Revolution

    Industrial Revolution explained in this video

    s a day and the same applied to women.
  • Safety guards had to be fitted to all machines.
  • Three hours education a day for children.

1847 Fielder's Factory Act:

  • 10 hour day introduced for under 18's and for women.

1864 Factory Act, this extended the regulations to factories other than textiles and coalmines.

1867 Factory Act, the legislation was extended to all workshops with more than 50 workers.



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