This timeline is not restricted to the events of the British Industrial Revolution (c. 1750-c. 1850) but includes the extended timeframe of Industria (1550-1950).
1694 – First Central Bank established in England
1712 – Thomas Newcomen invented the first productive steam engine.
1719 – John Lombe starts his silk factory
1733 – James Kay invented the Flying Shuttle, a simple weaving machine.
c.1750-1850 – The Industrial Revolution in Britain
1764 – James Hargreaves invented the Spinning Jenny, which allowed one worker to spin eight spindles
1769 – Richard Arkwright invented the water frame, which hooked up spinning machines to a water wheel.
1769 – James Watt patented his revision of the steam engine, featuring a separate condenser.
1770’s – cotton, iron, steam power
1774 – Samuel Crompton invented the spinning mule which combined spinning and weaving into one machine.
1776 – Adam Smith published The Wealth of Nations.
1779 – First steam powered mills. Samuel Crompton invents the mule combining the spinning jenny and water frame
1781 – Watt adapts his steam engine from a reciprocal to a rotary motion.
1785 – Edmund Cartwright invented the power loom, which, after 1800 was powered by new steam engines. Replaced the flying shuttle.
1785 – Henry Cort invented highly successful iron refining techniques.
1790 – Carkwright changes his huge factories over from water power to steam engines
1794 – Eli Whitney patents the cotton gin a machine that separates cotton seeds from cotton fibre.
1799 – Combination Acts make it illegal in England for workers to unionize in order to bargain for higher pay or better working conditions.
1801 – Richard Trevithick reveals the steam locomotive
1800 – 10 million tons of coal mined in Great Britain.
1801 – Richard Trevithick drives the Cornish “puffer” steam powered locomotive down the street of Camborne, England.
1811 – Luddite Rebellion begins.
1812 – Parliament passes law making it illegal by penalty of death to destroy industrial machines.
1813 – 14 Luddites hanged in Manchester after a rushed one-day trial.
1816 – George Stephenson patented a steam engine locomotive that ran on rails.
1817 – Bicycle.
1820’s – railroads, gaslight
1821 – Michael Faraday develops the fundamental basis for the electric motor
1825 – Stephenson commissioned to construct a 30-mile railway from Liverpool to Manchester.
1825 – Typewriter.
1827 – Photography.
1829 – Stephenson’s Rocket wins the speed contest on the new Liverpool to Manchester railroad. 51 miles of railroad track in Great Britain and the entire world.
1832 – Sadler Committee investigates child labor in factories and issues report to Parliament.
1833 – The first Factory Act provides first small regulation of child labor in textile factories.
1834 – Poor Law created “poorhouses” for the destitute.
1835 – 106,000 power looms operating in Great Britain.
1836 – Morse code.
1834 – Charles Babbage develops the forerunner of the computer
1837-1844 – Samuel Morse invents the telegraph
1842 – Opium War; Treaty of Nanjing opens China to trade with western nations, and establishment of treaty ports including Shanghai
1844 – Friedrich Engels publishes his observations of the negative effects of industrialization in The Condition of the Working-Class in England.
1844 – Samuel Morse invents the telegraph. By 1860 telegraph wires in America pass from east coast to the Mississippi River.
1846 – Elias Howe invents the sewing machinemaking factories possible
1848 – British government sets up the General Board of Health to investigate sanitary conditions, setting up local boards to ensure safe water in cities.
1848 – Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels published The Communist Manifesto.
1849 – 10,000 people die in three months in London from Cholera epidemic.
1849 – 6,031 miles of railroad track in Great Britain.
1850-1864 – The Taiping Rebellion
1843 – The first large, iron, steamship
1846 – Elias Howe invents the sewing machine
1855 – Henry Bessemer invents a method for processing steel out of iron
1853 Lifts/Elevators were already invented by 1853, Elisha Otis invents a safety break.
1855 – Henry Bessemer invents a process for making steel out of iron.
1866 – Alfred Nobel creates dynamite.
1866 – Alfred Nobel invents dynamite
1870’s-90’s – steel, petroleum, internal combustion engine, electricity, telephones, automobiles
1870 – Louis Pasteur develops vaccines for diseases.
1876 – Alexander Graham Bell patents the telephone.
1875 – Public Health Act gives government responsibility to ensure public health for housing and sewage.
1876 – Alexander Graham Bell was the first to get a patent for telephone.
1877 – Phonograph.
1879 – Thomas Edison uses a light bulb to light a lamp.
1880 – Education Act made school compulsory for children up to age 10.
1883 – Brooklyn Bridge is completed: longest suspension bridge in the world.
1890 – 90% of all ships in the world are built in Great Britain.
1890 – 35,00 miles of railroad track in Great Britain
1900 – Boxer Rebellion
1901 – This Factory Act raised the minimum work age to 12 years old.
1903 Orville and Wilbur Wright invent the first plane not powered by wind. October 1908
1905 – 236 million tons of coal mined in Great Britain.
1908 – Henry Ford creates Model T made on an assembly line.
1911 – Nationalist revolution in China; collapse of Qing dynasty
1917 – Bolshevik revolution in Russia
1918 – Education Act made school compulsory for children up to age 14.
1921 – Inaugural national congress of the Chinese Communist Party held in Shanghai
1930’s-1950’s – industrial chemistry, electronics, radio, television, aircraft, computers1937 – Outbreak of war between China and Japan
1939-1945 – Second World War
1944 – English government mandates and funds compulsory education for all over 18
1949 – Communist Party under Mao Tse-Tung takes power in China