The Industrial Revolution began in Great Britain around the mid-1700s.
Before then, families made what they needed at home. About the mid-1700s, businessmen began giving raw supplies, such as newly picked cotton, to families. With the whole family helping, they would then turn the supplies into things other people needed, like yarn. This “domestic system,” as it was called, needed the entire family to pitch in. Even so, goods were produced slowly and quality was uneven. So inventors started coming up with ways to speed up production. Soon, this meant taking production out of homes and into factories. Starting around 1760, the trickle of inventions became a flood. Here are key events from the century that industrialized the Western world.