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During this period three industries in particular stood in urgent need of mechanical progress:


Metallurgy and


But they also, together with all other industries except those catering for a purely local market, suffered from a creeping paralysis as transport got worse and worse; and before passing on to the spectacular changes in technique which made up the Industrial Revolution we must see how this paralysis was conquered.

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The Industrial Position

There was as yet, in the mid-eighteenth century, practically nothing in the way of striking concrete achievements. Farming practice had changed very considerably since the early days of the old open-field system, and further changes were still in full swing. Industry was still carried on mostly in small workshops, often in the home of the worker; though already even the home worker was more and more a wage earner to whom work was handed out by an employer who owned both material and appliances.

Weaving and spinning were still the flourishing home-industries which they had been in the days when... see: The Industrial Position

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