industrial revolution, n.
The changes in the methods of production as well as the resulting changes in economic and social organization accompanying the replacement of hand labor by power-driven machinery. It started in England in about 1760, and spread to other countries with very varying time lags. The introduction of powered machinery such as the steam engine and power loom led to the concentration of large areas of manufacturing in large companies, and made some goods more plentiful and cheaper by mechanical production and economies of scale. [PJC]