Early European industries were typically small in relative scale and rudimentary in operations, as a result, small-scale production was the standard of most industries. The industrial revolution in Europe spread over the continent very gradually. Extremely high growth in the population was a major catalyst – in turn, this produced a massive number of workers. At the same time, new technologically efficient methods of production became necessary to produce larger quantities of goods. Technologies such as the cotton gin, coal and steam production were major components of the flourishing of industry, influencing transportation, not only manufacturing. While the industrial revolution brought much good to European industries, it also caused a lot of new problems the people were not prepared for.
Transportation transformed throughout the Industrial Revolution. Before people were typically walking long distances, travelling by horse and buggy, or for weeks or months by boat; new ways of travel were created. Initially, materials and goods were distributed by means of simple wagons pulled by horses, and by primitive boats via canals and rivers. More efficient methods of transportation: cars, trains, steam boats, increasingly became important for obvious reasons. By the mid-19th century, steamboats were carrying products and people all of the way across the Atlantic-ocean. As steam-powered ships were coming to the forefront, the steam trains were also coming into use. This changed the time frames that individuals and goods were able to be delivered to their destinations, and various parts of the world.
The Industrial Revolution brought about a variety of cultural and societal changes. Prior to the revolution, many people lived and worked on farms in the country-side. Once the revolution began, people gradually migrated to the cities to work in the new factories for new job opportunities. This turned out to be a very significant shift in the way of life for the average 18th century European citizen. The major European cities grew rapidly and became grossly polluted, insanely overcrowded, and generally very unsanitary. Working conditions were incredibly bad too. Children and women were working jobs that they had no business engaging in, due to how unsafe they were at that time. In many cities, the poorer workers lived in unsafe buildings and there was trash and sewage accumulating in the streets. There was more crime and shorter life expectancies as a result of all these changes.