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Timeline of the Industrial Revolution for Students

By Robin L.

This Industrial Revolution timeline will give students an overview of some of the most important inventions of the period. These inventions forever changed the way people lived, worked, and relaxed.

The Industrial Revolution varies from country to country because it is essentially the time when an economy shifted from being agriculturally based to being based on large scale manufacturing. The British Industrial Revolution began towards the end of the 18th century. The early part of the 19th century saw the Industrial Revolution arrive in the United States, France, Belgium, and Germany with other countries advancing throughout the 20th century. This Industrial Revolution timeline will highlight some of the major events and people of the various Industrial Revolutions.


1712 – The first commercially successful steam engine is invented by Thomas Newcomen.

1752 – The lightning rod is invented by Benjamin Franklin.

1764 – The spinning Jenny is invented by James Hargreaves.

1770 – The automobile is invented by Nicolas Joseph Cugnot.

1776 – The submarine is invented by David Bushnell.

1784 – The threshing machine is invented by Andrew Meikle.

1785 – The power loom is invented by Edmund Cartwright.

1786 - The steamboat is invented by John Fitch.

1791 – The gas turbine is invented by John Barber.

1793 – The cotton gin is invented by Eli Whitney.

1796 – The smallpox vaccination is invented by Edward Jenner.

1798 – Interchangeable parts are invented for guns by Eli Whitney.

1799 – The fourdrinier machine, which manufactured rolls of paper, was invented by Louis Robert.

1800 – The electric battery was created by Count Alessandro Volta.

1804 – The solid fuel rocket is invented by William Congreve.

1810 – Preserving food by using sterilization and removal of air is invented by Francois Appert.

1814 – The locomotive is invented by George Stephenson.

1821 – The electric motor is invented by Michael Faraday.

1823 – The electromagnet is invented by William Sturgeon.

1830 – The sewing machine is invented by Barthelemy Thimonnier.

1831 – The reaper is invented by Cyrus Hall McCormick.

1835 – The revolver is invented by Samuel Colt.

1837 – The telegraph is invented by Samuel Morse and Charles Wheatstone.

1840 – The bicycle is invented by Kirkpatrick MacMillan.

1849 – The water turbine is invented by James Francis.

1851 – The breech loading rifle is invented by Edward Maynard.

1861 – The electric furnace is invented by Wilhelm Siemens.

1861 – The machine gun is invented by Richard Jordan Gatling.

1868 – The typewriter is invented by Christopher Sholes and Carlos Glidden.

1876 – The telephone is invented by Alexander Graham Bell.

1877 – The phonograph is invented by Thomas Edison.

1879 – The incandescent light bulb is invented by Thomas Edison.

1884 – The multi-wheel steam turbine is invented by Sir Charles Algernon Parsons.

1893 – The diesel engine is invented by Rudolf Diesel.

1893 – The gasoline automobile is invented by Charles and Frank Duryea.

1903 - The airplane is invented by Wilbur and Orville Wright.

1908 – The assembly line is famously implemented by Henry Ford.