The industrial revolution transformed the artisanal production carried out in workshops by masters and their apprentices. Mechanized production competed directly with artisans’ products. Production accelerated under the impact of the technological innovations of the nineteenth century, of which the most significant was the taming of steam.
Factories, with their new machines, produced goods on a large scale, at low cost, and with a profit for owners. With the parallel development of communication and transportation networks, it became easier to obtain raw materials, send them quickly to production centres and deliver products to formerly inaccessible areas.
More and more people came to the cities to earn money in the new industries. Both routine and specialized tasks were involved.