In the late 18th century, the industrial revolution began.
Over the next century new technologies swept the globe fueled by steam and steel, changing the way we did things forever. The great railways snaked across the land for the ﬁrst time, bringing people into the cities in numbers beyond anything seen before. Landscapes were changed forever, once rolling hills and ﬁelds being buried under the forests of dark factory chimneys that powered the new world.
Britain was at the forefront of this revolution, thanks to the great industrial cities like our own dear Bristol. Already a major port and centre of shipbuilding, the new technology allowed for a ﬂoating harbour to be constructed paving the way for some of the world’s ﬁrst large steamships to be built. As the cities fortunes grew, so too did it’s industries. Glass, paper, chemicals, all thrived in support of the port and the western terminus of Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s Great Western Railway linked the city up to the rest of the country, allowing for quicker and easier passage of goods and people.
The foundations laid in the industrial revolution shaped Bristol long after its end. In the early 20th century, the city became a center of the aircraft building industry. Even now Bristol is an important ﬁnancial and technological hub, none of which would have been possible without those ﬁrst few steps undertaken over two centuries ago.