Timeline of the Industrial Revolution

Africa Data School
4 min readDec 13, 2020

Every new technology ushers a new era. When you combine several technologies together we get more than an era we have a Revolution.

Hello everyone. Today we take a look at the Industrial Revolution Timeline. Starting from the First revolution to the current times as we experience the Fourth industrial revolution.


The industrial revolution is the transition to new manufacturing processes. It involves a change in an economy marked by the general introduction of power-driven machinery or by an important change in the prevailing types and methods of use of such machines.

The major drive of a revolution is emerging technology. Emerging technology; technology whose development, practical applications, or both are still largely unrealized. Technology is the practical application of knowledge.

First Industrial Revolution.

The first industrial revolution began in the 18th century and proceeded to the 19 century. It was a period of transition from using hand production methods to the new machinery, Iron production processes, and Chemical manufacturing.

The Revolution began in Britain that later spread throughout Europe and America. Improved living standards, cultural and economic changes that led to a rise in the rate of population growth characterized the 1st revolution.

Innovations of the First Industrial revolution.

The Steam engine
Hydraulic Loom
Steam locomotive
Hargreaves Machine

The Second Industrial Revolution

The Second Industrial Revolution is known as the Technological era. It applies science in manufacturing and mass production. The second Revolution is the improved first industrial Revolution. This Revolution was caused by people trying to find a better way to increase goods and food production.

The 2ND Revolution was an era of change that had major impacts on the society that are felt in the 21st century. According to The Second Industrial Revolution, 1870–1914 by Ryan Engelman

“This was a period of extremes. It was an era of great wealth and widespread poverty, great expansion and deep depression, new opportunities, and greater standardization. A period where Economic insecurity became a basic way of life as the depressions of the 1870s and 1890s put millions out of work or reduced pay.”

Inventions of the Technological Revolution.

  • Transportation revolution development of the Automobile, Rail
  • Communication
  • Electricity
  • Military Revolution
  • Steel power

Third Industrial Revolution

Welcome to the digital age 1965 — current. It is the transition from Mechanical analog electronic technology to digital technology. The Third Industrial Revolution was the Digital Revolution which led to the digitization of the manufacturing industries.

We see the emergence of electronics, telecommunications, and computers. With the Third Revolution, the age of information is ushered in. This opened up new doors leading to the exploration of new environments, research, and Biotechnology.

Inventions of the Digital Revolution

  • The internet
  • Computer
  • programmable logic circuits

Fourth Industrial Revolution

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is a new era that focuses on automation, interconnectivity, Machine learning, Artificial intelligence, and data. The 4IR is an age that describes the combination of the physical, digital, and biological worlds.

The 4IR aims at increased productivity, With technologies like AI, and automation we can make smart decisions by not only following our guts but also combining it with the available data. With the Fourth Industrial Revolution, comes great opportunities and serious risks. New technologies are able to process information faster this, in turn, drives economic growth, improved health systems, individual empowerment, and entrepreneurship.

Inventions in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

  • Artificial intelligence
  • Machine Learning
  • Quantum Computing
  • 3D Printing
  • Automation
  • The internet of Things and the Cloud


“When the industrial revolution happened there was the Luddistic movement, and there was a fear that machinery would replace all the labor. Whenever we had a technological revolution we had this fear. So if you look backward, these fears were not justified, and I think they were driven by our very human inability to visualize what new jobs will be created by this new technology.”

-Branko Milanovic

Every new technology ushers a new era. When you combine several technologies together we get more than an era we have a Revolution. From the First Industrial Revolution to the Fourth we have experienced a change that has improved our lives and at the same time endangered our lives. One thing, we should not allow fear to define us but we should use it to improve us to make a better environment.

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Africa Data School

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