Industrial Revolution Inventions

I. Textiles – Cotton spinning using Richard Arkwright's water frame, James Hargreaves's Spinning Jenny, and Samuel Crompton's Spinning Mule (a combination of the Spinning Jenny and the Water Frame). This was patented in 1769 and so came out of patent in 1783. The end of the patent was rapidly followed by the erection of many cotton mills. Similar technology was subsequently applied to spinning worsted yarn for various textiles and flax for linen. The cotton revolution began in Derby, which has been known since this period as the "Powerhouse of the North".

  II. Steam power – The improved steam engine invented by James Watt and patented in 1775 was initially mainly used to power pumps for pumping water out of mines, but from the 1780s was applied to power other types of machines. This enabled rapid development of efficient semi-automated factories on a previously unimaginable scale in places where waterpower was not available. For the first time in history people did not have to rely on human or animal muscle, wind or water for power. The steam engine was used to pump water from coal mines; to lift trucks of coal to the surface; to blow air into the furnaces for the making of iron; to grind clay for pottery; and to power new factories of all kinds. For over a hundred years the steam engine was the king of the industries.

  III. Iron making – In the Iron industry, coke was finally applied to all stages of iron smelting, replacing charcoal. This had been achieved much earlier for lead and copper as well as for producing pig iron in a blast furnace, but the second stage in the production of bar iron depended on the use of potting and stamping (for which a patent expired in 1786) or puddling (patented by Henry Cort in 1783 and 1784).

  IV. Chemicals- The large scale production of chemicals was an important development during the Industrial Revolution. The first of these was the production of sulphuric acid by the lead chamber process invented by the...