Major Technological Innovations of the Industrial Revolution

Power GenerationTextilesMetallurgyTransportation
Thermal energy used for mechanical energyMechanization of spinning and weavingMass production of steel (shipbuilding, rails, construction and agricultural machines)Modern transport and telecommunication systems
First water  pump (1712) in mines.
Watt (1769); significant improvements.
Steam locomotive (1824).
Electric generator (1831).
Steam turbine (1884).
“Flying shuttle” (1733) doubled weaving productivity.
“Spinning jenny” (1765).
“Water frame” (1768); hydraulic power.
“Spinning Mule” (1779); steam power.
Sewing machine (1846).
Coke instead of coal for iron production (1709).
Bessemer process (1855).
Railroads (1825).
Telegraph (1834).
Steamship (1838).
Telephone (1876).

The industrial revolution involved the diffusion of several technological innovations in four main sectors:

  • Power generation. Enabled to perform larger quantities of work through the usage of thermal energy.
  • Textiles. Development of the first mass-market for consumer goods.
  • Metallurgy. Low-cost metals used to manufacture equipment and infrastructure.
  • Transportation. Mass conveyances and telecommunication systems.