The Industrial Revolution was period in time were the scale of production and manufacturing of goods basically exploded. Production moved out of small shops and into industrial factories. The Industrial Revolution is thought to have two waves to it. The first wave came in the late eighteenth and early ninetieth centuries. This push came from the invention of steam power and the cotton gin. The second wave carried from the end of the first wave to the mid-twentieth century. During the second wave factories were slowly, but surely able to use advances in technology to automate the production process.
The reading worksheets below examine advances in technology that helped this era thrive. We look at the steam engine, factories, and other major inventions that made it all possible. We look at the people involved including labor unions, the role of women in the period, and the conditions in which they worked.