Progress in Industry

  • 1851 = Great Exhibition in London's Hyde Park
  • Show-cased the variety, inventiveness and skill of Britain's manufacturing industries
  • Exhibits from competitor countries were included to underline British committment to free trade
  • Also to emphasise by comparison the excellence and superiority of British made goods 
  • However, reflected anxiety about Britain's position, free trade and peace
  • Spin off = rapid increase in export orders and a growth in overseas markets
  • 1/3 of all British goods were exported to the British Empire
  • Coal was exported around Europe
  • Many goods went to America because their own industries were not developed
  • Producers and manufacturers were working flat out to meet increasing orders
  • Britain = the workshop of the world
  • Imported raw materials, manufactured the goods and exported the product around the world
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Progress in Industry

Iron and Steel Production: (thousand tonnes)

  • 1860-4 = 1500
  • 1870-4 = 3000

Coal Production: (million tonnes)

  • 1860-4 = 7
  • 1870-4 = 12

Cotton Textiles: (million yards)

  • 1860-9 = 2000
  • 1870-4 = 3500

Woollen Goods (thousand yards)

  • 1860-9 = 236,000
  • 1870-9 = 311,000
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Progress in Industry

  • Several reasons for such marked industrial progress
  • Britain had been the first industrial nation
  • 1865 = Far outstripped other countries in establishing markets at home and abroad 
  • Greatest Colonial Power
  • Britain controlled vital sea routes to and from its colonies and other markets
  • Britain had a plentiful supply of natural resources such as coal and iron ore
  • Technology to exploit 
  • 1865 = Foraging ahead in design, engineering, processes and production
  • Against the background of laissez-faire
  • Britain's popularity = 30 million in 1865
  • Provided a large workforce for an expanding home market
  • Mobility of the workforce and carriage of goods was made possible by extensive railway networks across Britain, which linked every major town and sea port
  • Move towards free trade had also encouraged overseas trading and stimulated British industry
  • Profits from increasing sales and exports were ploughed back into existing businesses
  • Large amounts of capital were avaliable for reinvestment as a result of developments in banking facilities, and assured London's position as a world monetary centre
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Progress in Industry

  • Key industries = coal and iron
  • Textiles had also spearheaded the industrial revolution 
  • Still remained a staple and Britain continued to be a major exporter of cloth
  • Almost all manufactured goods relied on coal and iron 
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Coal Mining

  • Growth was immense
  • 1865 output = 98 million tonnes
  • 1875 output = 130 million tonnes
  • Drop in the price of coal and an increase in demand helped to stimulate increased production
  • Industry demanded an increasing percentage of the coal produced
  • The manufacture of iron depended on coke 
  • Iron was need in much greater quality
  • 1870 = Iron industry was buying 1/3 of coal producted in Britain
  • Coal was needed to power steam engines and so develop the railways
  • 1860 = steam power was generally used in most major industries
  • Development of iron-hulled steamships demanded coal to fire the engines and iron for construction 
  • As other countries developed, they imported coal from Britain
  • Increasing demand had implications for the orgnisation and running of coal mines
  • All coal mines were privately owned
  • Landowners were fortunate enough to have coal seams running under their property made vast fortunes
  • Made largely from the manual labours of the coal hewers
  • Massive quantities of coal were still dug out by hand
  • Absence of mechanical progress at the coal face could be blamed on the continuing of private ownership of the coal mines
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Coal Mining

  • One serious attempt to develop a coal-cutting machine in the 1860s which failed
  • Population growth meant a ready supply of labour 
  • Hewers were among the best paid in workers' industry
  • Successful technical developments
  • Introduction of the wire rope and steam-driven winding gear at the top of the coal shaft eplaced the hemp rope and the system of horse gin 
  • Dealt more efficiently with the 600-800 tonne daily haul of coal from some pits
  • Steam locomotives and iron rails facilitated the transport of coal from the put head to a wider distribution network and into towns, iron works, factories and sea ports 
  • Railways became a vital link between the mine owner and his customers
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Iron and Steel

  • The demand for high-quality iron increased as the industry expanded
  • Technological developments in the iron industry 
  • Responsible for the improved quality of iron and the continuing increase of iron output 
  • Engineering projects around the world were dependent on the continuous production of high-quality iron from Britain
  • Iron ore production jumped from 10 million tonnes in 1865 to over 65 million tonnes by 1875
  • Use of steel in manufacturing developed during this period
  • Steel is tougher and more versatile than iron
  • 1860s = new processes enabled steel to be produced quickly and cheaply in large quantities
  • Most important of these were:
      • Henry Bessemer's Converter - produced semi-steel that halved the cost of steel production
      • William Siemens' Open Hearth Process - allowed the cheap production of mild steel in bulk
  • Result = by 1870, many rail companies had replaced iron track with steel 
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  • Developments in transport were linked to the expansion of coal and iron industries
  • Most dramatic and far-reaching = growth of railways
  • Britain's well developed railway industry played a vital role in economic expansion
  • 1860 onwards = development in the railway industry was more to do with expansion of an already established network across England, Wales and south Scotland
  • Laying rail track across the Scottish Highlands presented a challenge because of the difficult terrain and the sparse population
  • Costly exercise but essential - linked remote areas of Scotland to the rest of Britain
  • Most linked seaside resorts to larger towns or setting up suburban railways
  • New industry of tourism
  • Expansion creatd any jobs, beyond temporary work such as laying a track
  • Railway companies required permanent staff to run offices, to drive and maintain trains and to provide a service to their passengers
  • 1870 = Railway employment was the 6th largest in the country
  • Railway companies became concerned with producing better, faster and more reliable engines 
  • Led to the development of precision engineering
  • Companies were set up to produce more modern rolling stock and locomotives
  • Led to the development of prosperous railway towns such as Derby 
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  • 1865 = 11,000 miles of railway track in Britain 
  • Carried over 200 million passengers and 112 million tonnes of freight
  • Ticket sales = £15 million and £18m in freight charges
  • 1875 = 14,000 miles of railways track
  • Carried over 500 million passengers and 200 million tonnes of freight
  • Ticket sales = £24m and £32m in freight charges 
  • First London underground line = the Metropolitan 
  • Opened in 1863
  • Before the electrification of railway lines
  • Smoke made for a rather unpleasant ride
  • Carried 10 million passengers in its opening year
  • The Bessemer Steel Rails gave further boost to the railway industry
  • Cut production costs, increased profits and produced more capital for further investment
  • Profits were invested in railway building overseas
  • No other eficient method of carrying large quantities of heavy bulky goods or people
  • Virtual monopoly until the coming of the car 
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  • British shipping dominated the world
  • Sailing ships still made up the majority of the marine but were expensive to build and run
  • Most important stimulus for increasing shipbuilding was the growth in world trade
  • Coincided with the huge increase in the production of cheap iron and later steel
  • Made it possible for Britain to forge ahead in the development of steamships and monopolise the shipping routes
  • The Suez Canal opened in 1869 
  • Cut the journey time from West to India, China and Australia
  • Canal was too narrow to pass along in a large sailing ship and this gave a further boost to the British steamship
  • 1866 = the Atlantic cable was laid across the ocean between America and Britain
  • Information could be relayed almost instantaneously using a semaphore system 
  • Telegraph services opened up and became part of the Post Office in 1868
  • First step in the gigantic communications industry
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The Cotton Industry

  • Provided an impetus for the industrial revolution before 1800
  • Remained a major industry after 1865
  • Rate of progress was slower
  • Share of Britain's export market began to fall in the 1860s
  • Exports of other commodities rose
  • British manufactured cotton cloth still accounted for two-thirds of cotton sold in world markets until just after 1900 
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