What the Industrial Revolution Did for Us

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What the Industrial Revolution Did for Us
WhatTheIndustrialRevolutionDidForUs.jpg
Genre Documentary
Directed by
Presented by Dan Cruickshank
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 1
No. of episodes 6
Production
Producer(s)
Running time 23 minutes
Distributor BBC
Release
Original network BBC Two
Original release 7 October (2003-10-07) – 11 November 2003 (2003-11-11)
Chronology
Preceded by What the Stuarts Did for Us
Followed by What the Ancients Did for Us
Related shows Seven Wonders Of The Industrial World

What the Industrial Revolution Did for Us is a BBC documentary series produced in conjunction with the Open University that examines the impact of the Industrial Revolution on modern society. It was originally broadcast on BBC Two from 7 October to 11 November 2003.

Reception[edit]

Ratings[edit]

  • Episode one this episode produced the lowest ratings of the series.(2003-10-07): 2.6 million viewers.[1]
  • Episode four (2003-10-28): 2.4 million viewers.[2]

Episodes[edit]

Episode one: Material World[edit]

By the early 18th century the British had become, well, very materialistic, they craved exotic goods, sugar, porcelain, fine cotton, but it was tea that particularly took their fancy. Mid-18th century people of taste liked nothing more than to sip this Oriental import sweetened with Caribbean sugar, they drank from the finest Chinese porcelain and dressed in Indian cottons including calicos and chintzes, this was the good life and everyone wanted a taste. How this dream became a reality is one of the most fascinating adventures in British history.

— Dan Cruickshank

Cruickshank travels around Britain to introduce the idea and inventions of the Industrial Revolution that created the modern material world.

Episode two: Working Wonders[edit]

In the middle of the 18th century Britons made there living by one means above all, farming, as they always had done. However Britain was about to undergo the most profound social change in its history, a change that would affect and define us all. In the space of just 60 years Britain would experience a revolution, a revolution which would take the worker out of the country and into the city, out of rural economy and into urban factories. This is the story of the machines and people that for better or worse created our modern world of work.

— Dan Cruickshank

Cruickshank travels around Britain to introduce the idea and inventions of the Industrial Revolution that created the features of modern working life.

Episode three: On the Move[edit]

By the middle of the 18th century the only way to get around Britain was pulled by a horse, but it wasn’t as much fun as it might look. If it had been then passengers might not have been referred to as the martyrs of the highway. There were potholes big enough to drown in, highwaymen were a constant threat and the carriages themselves were heavy and lumbering boneshakers that made passengers sick as they juddered along the road.

— Dan Cruickshank

Cruickshank travels around Britain to introduce the idea and inventions of the Industrial Revolution that created the features of modern transportation.

Episode four: Modern Medicine[edit]

In the mid-18th century Britons had one overriding personal concern, their health, with good reason, average life expectancy was 36 years. People generally treated themselves based on little more than superstition, magic and hearsay. There were trained doctors but without an accurate way to diagnose or cure illness your chances were limited.

— Dan Cruickshank

Cruickshank travels around Britain to introduce the idea and inventions of the Industrial Revolution that created the features of modern medicine.

Episode five: War Machine[edit]

Until the Industrial Revolution battles were normally won on lost according to the training and discipline of the soldiers. After nearly 10 years of fighting the French and the British were pretty evenly matched and deadlocked. If Britain was to win it needed new tactics and new technology, it was time for a change.

— Dan Cruickshank

Cruickshank travels around Britain to introduce the idea and inventions of the Industrial Revolution that created the features of modern warfare.

Episode six: City Living[edit]

During the Industrial Revolution Britain’s economy had begun to boom, to keep it booming the City of London needed a whole new set of financial machinery. The Bank of England was already in place, the Stock Exchange got going in 1773, and in 1771 Lloyds underwriters established their own premises just down the road. So the city as we know had started to emerge, and these new commercial mechanisms needed a new type of worker to operate them, these workers became the backbone of the emerging middle-class.

— Dan Cruickshank

Cruickshank travels around Britain to introduce the idea and inventions of the Industrial Revolution that created the features of modern city life.

  • Standardised house construction with integrated services were created by architects of the Westend housing boom like Thomas Cubitt.
  • High-pressure water from cast-iron pipes specified in the 1817 Metropolitan Paving Act led to the modern bathroom.
  • Consumer choice emerged through the flat fascias and plate glass windows of the arcades and parades of modern shop fronts.
  • Marketing emerged from the catalogues, hoardings and door-to-door salesmen of Josiah Wedgwood and Thomas Bentley.
  • The steam press of Friedrich Koenig and Andreas Friedrich Bauer allowed The Times to dramatically increase circulation.
  • Interior design emerged from the new brightly coloured dyes such as the chrome yellow of Louis Vauquelin.

Companion book[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Deans, Jason (8 October 2003). "Wife Swap seduces 5m viewers". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 July 2008. 
  2. ^ Cozens, Claire (29 October 2003). "8m crash TV awards bash". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 July 2008.