The Three Gorges Dam in China; the hydroelectric dam is the world's largest power station by installed capacity.
Sir Richard Arkwright, oil on canvas, by Mather Brown, 1790. New Britain Museum of American Art, Connecticut.
A water piston from the Nongshu by Wang Zhen (fl. 1290–1333)
Susannah Arkwright, Mrs Charles Hurt (1762–1835), and her daughter Mary Anne (painting by Joseph Wright of Derby)
Saint Anthony Falls, United States; hydropower was used here to mill flour.
Arkwright's mill at Cromford
Directly water-powered ore mill, late nineteenth century
Masson Mill on the river Derwent, and Arkwright's house Willersley Castle, completed only after his death.
Benoît Fourneyron, the French engineer who developed the first hydropower turbine
Blue plaque marking the occupancy by Arkwright in Adam Street, London
A shishi-odoshi powered by falling water breaks the quietness of a Japanese garden with the sound of a bamboo rocker arm hitting a rock.
A conventional dammed-hydro facility (hydroelectric dam) is the most common type of hydroelectric power generation.
Chief Joseph Dam near Bridgeport, Washington, is a major run-of-the-river station without a sizeable reservoir.
Micro hydro in Northwest Vietnam
The upper reservoir and dam of the Ffestiniog Pumped Storage Scheme in Wales. The lower power station can generate 360 MW of electricity.

He is credited as the driving force behind the development of the spinning frame, known as the water frame after it was adapted to use water power; and he patented a rotary carding engine to convert raw cotton to 'cotton lap' prior to spinning.

- Richard Arkwright

At the beginning of the Industrial Revolution in Britain, water was the main power source for new inventions such as Richard Arkwright's water frame.

- Hydropower
The Three Gorges Dam in China; the hydroelectric dam is the world's largest power station by installed capacity.

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A Roberts loom in a weaving shed in 1835.

Industrial Revolution

The transition to new manufacturing processes in Great Britain, continental Europe, and the United States, in the period from about 1760 to sometime between 1820 and 1840.

The transition to new manufacturing processes in Great Britain, continental Europe, and the United States, in the period from about 1760 to sometime between 1820 and 1840.

A Roberts loom in a weaving shed in 1835.
Handloom weaving in 1747, from William Hogarth's Industry and Idleness
European colonial empires at the start of the Industrial Revolution, superimposed upon modern political boundaries.
A weaver in Nürnberg, c. 1524
A model of the spinning jenny in a museum in Wuppertal. Invented by James Hargreaves in 1764, the spinning jenny was one of the innovations that started the revolution.
The only surviving example of a spinning mule built by the inventor Samuel Crompton. The mule produced high-quality thread with minimal labour. Bolton Museum, Greater Manchester
The interior of Marshall's Temple Works in Leeds, West Yorkshire
Lombe's Mill site today, rebuilt as Derby Silk Mill
The reverberatory furnace could produce cast iron using mined coal. The burning coal remained separate from the iron and so did not contaminate the iron with impurities like sulfur and silica. This opened the way to increased iron production.
The Iron Bridge, Shropshire, England, the world's first bridge constructed of iron opened in 1781.
Horizontal (lower) and vertical (upper) cross-sections of a single puddling furnace. A. Fireplace grate; B. Firebricks; C. Cross binders; D. Fireplace; E. Work door; F. Hearth; G. Cast iron retaining plates; H. Bridge wall
A Watt steam engine. James Watt transformed the steam engine from a reciprocating motion that was used for pumping to a rotating motion suited to industrial applications. Watt and others significantly improved the efficiency of the steam engine.
Newcomen's steam-powered atmospheric engine was the first practical piston steam engine. Subsequent steam engines were to power the Industrial Revolution.
Maudslay's famous early screw-cutting lathes of circa 1797 and 1800
The Middletown milling machine of c. 1818, associated with Robert Johnson and Simeon North
The Thames Tunnel (opened 1843).
Cement was used in the world's first underwater tunnel.
The Crystal Palace housed the Great Exhibition of 1851
The Bridgewater Canal, famous because of its commercial success, crossing the Manchester Ship Canal, one of the last canals to be built.
Construction of the first macadam road in the United States (1823). In the foreground, workers are breaking stones "so as not to exceed 6 ounces in weight or to pass a two-inch ring".
Painting depicting the opening of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway in 1830, the first inter-city railway in the world and which spawned Railway Mania due to its success.
Wedgwood tea and coffee service
Winchester High Street, 1853. The number of High Streets (the primary street for retail in Britain) in towns and cities rapidly grew in the 18th century.
The Black Country in England, west of Birmingham
Manchester, England ("Cottonopolis"), pictured in 1840, showing the mass of factory chimneys
A young "drawer" pulling a coal tub along a mine gallery. In Britain, laws passed in 1842 and 1844 improved mine working conditions.
Luddites smashing a power loom in 1812
Levels of air pollution rose during the Industrial Revolution, sparking the first modern environmental laws to be passed in the mid-19th century.
Slater's Mill in Pawtucket, Rhode Island.
Sächsische Maschinenfabrik in Chemnitz, Germany, 1868
Sir Henry Bessemer's Bessemer converter, the most important technique for making steel from the 1850s to the 1950s. Located in Sheffield (Steel City)
Regional GDP per capita changed very little for most of human history before the Industrial Revolution.
Interior of the London Coal Exchange, c. 1808.
European 17th-century colonial expansion, international trade, and creation of financial markets produced a new legal and financial environment, one which supported and enabled 18th-century industrial growth.
As the Industrial Revolution developed British manufactured output surged ahead of other economies.
William Bell Scott Iron and Coal, 1855–60
William and Mary Presenting the Cap of Liberty to Europe, 1716, Sir James Thornhill. Enthroned in heaven with the Virtues behind them are the royals William III and Mary II who had taken the throne after the Glorious Revolution and signed the English Bill of Rights of 1689. William tramples on arbitrary power and hands the red cap of liberty to Europe where, unlike Britain, absolute monarchy stayed the normal form of power execution. Below William is the French king Louis XIV.
A Philosopher Lecturing on the Orrery by Joseph Wright of Derby (c. 1766). Informal philosophical societies spread scientific advances
A primitive lifestyle living outside the Industrial Revolution
A dog forced to eat trash due to pollution, the Industrial Revolution has forced animals into harsh environments most are unable to survive in, leading to starvation and eventual extinction

This transition included going from hand production methods to machines, new chemical manufacturing and iron production processes, the increasing use of steam power and water power, the development of machine tools and the rise of the mechanized factory system.

Lewis's invention was later developed and improved by Richard Arkwright in his water frame and Samuel Crompton in his spinning mule.