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The Industrial Revolution started in the United Kingdom in the 18th Century and spread to Western Europe, the United States and beyond. It is the most important event in the history of humanity since the domestication of animals, plants and fire. It was a time of transition from manual production methods to new manufacturing processes, new chemical manufacturing and iron production processes, the improved efficiency of water power, the increasing use of steam power and the development of machine tools. It affected almost every aspect of daily life and had a profound influence on social and working conditions including a massive movement of manpower from the country to towns and cities. These changes were not matched until the arrival of computer and network technology starting in the late 20th Century which is still proceeding today.
The legacy of the Industrial Revolution remains with us today not only in the impact that it had on our society as a whole but also in the aretfacts and sites which are still to be found. The interest in Industrial Heritage has been growing since it became apparent that industrialisation in the developed world was declining and that many of the sites and artefacts which were key historical markers might be lost. It soon became clear that these items should be identified, at least recorded and at best preserved for future generations to learn of their importance. It also became clear that encouraging the public to visit these sites might generate economic benefits in areas where industry had all but disappeared. There are now many organisations involved in this process of recording, preserving, restoring, operating and developing the study of these sites and artefacts and a great deal of information about their activities can now be found and sites may be visited (see Links).
This website is primarily intended to be an index to Our Industrial Past, its sites and events. There are other websites which allow you to search for items specific to them but this website is intended to be global and all inclusive
But the key to the success of this site is that it is not just Our Industrial Past but, critically, it is Your Industrial Past.
You will find a few sites and events listed here but we know that there are thousands more to be found so, like Wikipedia, we rely on information being added by you: built from your knowledge of Industrial Heritage sites in your area geographically or your area of research and competence.
For now you can: view sites and events as lists, filtered and ordered according to certain criteria, and you can submit new sites and events. Each entry is intended to show the location, a few words of description and links to where further information can be found.
And this is the important part, you can submit new sites and events: Each entry is intended to show the location, a few words of description and links to where further information can be found. So if you're responsible for, or know of, a site that's missing, and surely you do, let us know.
If you are running any event related to Industrial Heritage: Conference, Meeting, School or Workshop this is a great place to advertise it to a tightly focussed audience.
This website is free to use, no registration is required.
All submissions are reviewed before release to the public.
For the descriptions we suggest you use a language most likely to be understood by the largest number of people.
Also we expect you will have some comments about improving the site. For example it has already been suggested that we may include:
Special note of Endangered sites, Volunteer run sites, Access information
A filtered, sorted list of organisations interested in Industrial Heritage
A “News” feature
If you have any suggestions about how the site might be enhanced then we would like to hear them, please email email@example.com
This site is sponsored by Heritage of Industry Ltd - Creating Journeys into the Industrial Past http://www.heritageofindustry.co.uk
And endorsed by The Association for Industrial Archaeology - Promoting the study, preservation and presentation of Britain's industrial heritage http://industrial-archaeology.org