Here is Crew 17’s contribution to the beautiful work displayed at Thorne North and South train stations:
The Industrial Revolution
The Industrial Revolution kick started in the late 1700s in Great Britain. Big cities such as: Liverpool, Leeds, London and Manchester converted to power houses and other rural societies made big changes by moving to the cities.
The Industrial Revolution was a time when the manufacturing of goods transformed from small shops and homes to large factories. It was a change to people’s lives; machinery was used instead of making goods by hand.
What was it like living during the Industrial Revolution?
Life was unsanitary and challenging once the Industrial Revolution was underway. People lived very differently to how most people live now. Terrible living conditions reigned throughout the period as people inhabited polluted, overcrowded cities. Terraced houses were cheap to build and had no running water. However, up to 12 people lived in one house sharing a water pump and lavatory with the street; over one hundred people would share these facilities. It was reported that some families living in the cellar had to sleep above sewage that was over a metre deep because it had leaked in from the street.
James Watt was born in Greenock (Scotland) on the 18th January 1736 and was home schooled by his mother. In 1755 – when Watt was 19 – he went to London to become a scientific instrument manufacturer and returned to Glasgow in 1756. By 1764, he was given an unreliable, expensive model steam engine to repair; instead he thought of ways to improve it. Along with Matthew Boulton, he perfected the engine by making it less prone to breaking down and cheaper to run. There were high demands in many industries for his work. Watt modelled the Industrial Revolution and left his legacy behind – he died in 1819.
The Bourgeoisie were rich and powerful men of the industrial era who had a lot of money due to trade. Originally from France, they took advantage of the industrial period and fled to England to make more money; they were the first men to build and invest in the factories, they also invested in new technology.
During working hours, workers painstakingly powered machinery in a dangerous setting. Unsurprisingly, there were few laws to protect workers from the terrible, risky conditions that the machines created. Black smoke would leak out of the chimneys, this meant that buildings were often polluted. Injuries, which were common, used to be ignored and workers were often fired until the Factory Act was introduced in 1833.
Children as young as five would be expected to work in factories for up to 18 hours per day, working day and night meant they had no schooling. After the government introduced the Factory Act, children only worked up to nine hours a day and also received two hours of schooling each day. New laws prevented children under the age of nine from working in factories and all children were forbidden to work at night.
How did life change?
Before the Industrial Revolution, life had changed very little since the middle ages. Largely, rural societies, which were ruled by nobility, began to industrialise due to the steam engine. This introduced a new lifestyle for millions, altering the face of the landscape with mint-condition machinery and factories. Furthermore, new means of travel were premiered around this era; including: railways, roads and canals.