chapter  7
16 Pages

The Industrial Revolution

The Industrial Revolution that happened from 1750 onwards, brought chaos. This revolution is a global business, but it relies on entrepreneurship rather than patronage; the aristocracy are hardly involved. Those who became wealthy as mill owners were likely to have invested piecemeal in relatively accessible technology; they might have previously run pubs. The steam engine did not require the services of rocket scientists, and as the population grew there was a larger pot of freely available labour with particular and easily taught skills. The technological development of the cotton mill happens quickly; a couple of generations see the shift from spinning wheel to 'Spinning Jenny' to 'Mule' and the arrival of the distinctive industrial architecture to accommodate the throng of workers, 80 per cent women and children, who toil as 'hands'. The distinguished German architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel was sufficiently intrigued by this new world to come to take a look in 1825.