Source: Rioux, J-P (1989) La revolution industrielle 1780-1880, Paris: Editions du Seuil.
Steam power represents the first large-scale attempt to mechanize work as the steam engine provided adaptability; it could be used as a pump, an engine (locomotives), or a mechanical power source. It thus represents a first-hand indicator of a transition towards an industrial society where work is increasingly mechanized. Mechanization initially began in Great Britain, but the technology quickly diffused to neighboring countries. By the late 19th century, several European countries had established a solid industrial base, particularly Germany.