Hydraulic Power and the industrial Revolution

Hydraulic power is something that is used today for all kinds of things, such as this hydraulic power unit www.hydraproducts.co.uk/Hydraulic-Power-Units/Standard-Power-Units However, this is not a modern invention, and was one of the key parts of the Industrial Revolution.

Before the Industrial Revolution swept through Britain changing the way that everyone lived, Britain was mainly agricultural, and most people tended to live rurally, working on the land. The vast majority of work done was done either by animals or by humans. However, as the Industrial Revolution forged on, things quickly started to change…

Image Credit

One of the main things that we probably associate with the water and steam power of this era, was the invention of the steam locomotive. This of course made travel much quicker all over the UK, and these better transport links opened up parts of the country, meaning that goods could be taken all over the UK relatively quickly.

The travel and transport of products is only a part of it, however. Richard Arkwright created the water frame, which was used in many factories where products were made, and these water wheels could be used in all sorts of places, from agriculture and food production to clothing and textiles. Although this sort of invention had been used for thousands of years, the way that it was put to use in factories to increase production was what helped to power the Industrial Revolution.

Steam power was another form of hydraulic power that was not limited to powering transport. It was also used in factories, like waterpower to run many different types of machine and also meant that the factories didn’t have to be near a river, unlike those that used a water wheel. Steam power could be used anywhere, and it took off as Britain started to demand products produced on a larger scale than ever before.

Image Credit

The Industrial Revolution was a time of great innovation and invention, and there are many things at this time that contributed to the way that life changed, both socially and economically in Britain at this time. Hydraulic power is certainly one of the driving forces behind the Industrial Revolution however and has continued to be an important feature in many modern machines to this day.