This is the Science Museumís mill engine. It is seen here at Harle Syke Mill, Lancashire, in 1971. At Harle Syke Mill, the engine drove 1700 power looms.
Image: Science Museum/SSPL

The factory system

The steam engine was the heart of the factory - without power, work stopped.

The steam engine's power was conveyed to the production machines by a complex system of rotating shafts, pulleys and belts. This 'lineshafting' connected the entire factory together. In a similar way, each factory was only one part of a system that extended round the world.

Which other countries were connected together by the factory system?