"In the never-ending search for energy sources, the invention of the steam engine changed the face of the earth (Siegel, Preface)." During the British Industrial Revolution, the steam engine was the primary source of power for transportation and production. This technological breakthrough opened a whole new world to everyone living in Europe during the revolution. Maximized production, efficiency, and reliability were what the steam engine brought to European society. People no longer had to use live animals as a source of power. The steam engine revolutionized the world, although Europeans reaped the greatest benefits. Society looked at work, travel, and the transportation of goods in a completely different light. The invention and integration of the steam engine revolutionized European society with its ability to do jobs quicker, cheaper, and more dependable.
The steam engine found its first mentionable use in 1776. The steam engine was first used by Cornish miners to remove water from their mineshafts. Since flooding was a major problem for the Cornish miners, the steam engine was of great importance to them (Dickinson 117). The mine owners, "worried that the mines would have to be shut down unless water could be pumped out of the shafts." "The engine successfully raised water from the bottom of deep mines (Siegel 17)." This helped the economy by restoring work in the mines. This also provided for a much more efficient way to mine, increasing speed and production.
During the revolutionary times in Britain, the textile industry proved to be a key component in their economy. In this industry, the domestic system presented many problems for merchants. Regulating standards and maintaining schedules were problems for these textile merchants. Textile workers often sold yarn and cloth for their own personal profit. As the demand for cloth increased, the availability of workers stayed the same.