The Industrial Revolution began in Great Britain around the mid-1700s.
Before then, families produced what they needed for themselves in their homes. About the mid-1700s, businessmen began giving raw supplies, such as newly picked cotton, to families, who then turned them into saleable goods, 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. To remedy this, inventors started coming up with ways to increase production. In time, this required taking production out of the home and into the factory. Starting around 1760, the trickle of inventions became a flood. Here are key events from the century that industrialized the Western world.