File:The Upper Furnace Pool - - 571108.jpg
The Upper Furnace Pool of the Coalbrookdale foundries. It provided water to power the bellows for the blast furnaces, and the turning and grinding machines. The railway viaduct was built in 1862-64, and still carries trains taking coal to the Ironbridge power station.
File:Zeche Mittelfeld Ilmenau.jpg
New factories, built during industrialization. This is a drawing made around 1860.
File:Maddison GDP per capita 1500-1950.svg
The effect of Industrialisation shown by rising income levels since 1500. The graph shows the gross domestic product (at purchasing power parity) per head between 1500 and 1950 in 1990 International dollars for selected nations.[1]

Industrialization (or Industrialisation) is a process that happens in countries when they start to use machines to do work that was once done by people. Industrialization changes the things people do. Industrialization caused towns to grow larger. Many people left farming to take higher paid jobs in factories in towns.

Industrialization is part of a process where people adopt easier and cheaper ways to make things. Using better technology, it becomes possible to produce more goods in a shorter amount of time. More things can be produced by fewer people.

After industrialization people also do more specialized jobs. For example before industrialization, a cobbler made the whole shoe. He worked on one pair of shoes, finished that, and then did the next pair of shoes. With industrialization, there are many people involved in making shoes. An individual shoemaker has a smaller task, however. There is one person that cuts the sole of the shoe. Another person stitches it on. In short there is division of labour. The machines to make the shoes cost a lot of money so the factory will be owned by a rich person who can afford the machines.

Industrialization started in England with the industrial revolution in the 18th century. It spread first to parts of Europe, and to North America. In the 20th century industrialization spread to most other countries.


  1. Depicting data excerpted from Maddison, Angus 2007. Contours of the world economy, 1–2030 AD: essays in macro-economic history. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-922721-1, p382, Table A.7.