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The 4 Industrial Revolutions

Throughout history, people have always been dependent on technology. Of course, the technology of each era might not have the same shape and size as today, but for their time it was certainly something for people to look at.

People would always use the technology they had available to help make their lives easier and at the same time try to perfect it and bring it to the next level. This is how the concept of the industrial revolution began. Right now, we are going through the fourth industrial revolution, aka Industry 4.0.

Here is a few information in the three previous industrial revolutions, leading to today!

The first Industrial Revolution 1765

The first industrial revolution followed the proto-industrialization period. It started at the end of the 18th century to the beginning of the 19th. The biggest changes came in the industries in the form of mechanization. Mechanization was the reason why agriculture started to be replaced by the industry as the backbone of the societal economy.

At the time people witnessed massive extraction of coal along with the very important invention of the steam engine that was the reason for the creation of a new type of energy that later on helped speed up the manufacturing of railroads thus accelerating the economy.

The second Industrial Revolution 1870

Following the first Industrial Revolution, almost a century later we see the world go through the second. It started at the end of the 19th century, with massive technological advancements in the field of industries that helped the emergence of a new source of energy. Electricity, gas, and oil.

The result of this revolution was the creation of the internal combustion engine that started to reach its full potential.  Other important points of the second industrial revolution was the development for steel demand, chemical synthesis and methods of communication such as the telegraph and the telephone.

Finally, the inventions of the automobile and the plane at the end of the 20th century are the reason why, to this day, the Second Industrial Revolution is considered the most important one!

The Third Industrial Revolution 1969

Another century passes and we bear witness to the Third Industrial Revolution.  In the second half of the 20th century, we see the emergence of yet another source of untapped, at the time, energy. Nuclear energy!

The third revolution brought forth the rise of electronics, telecommunications and of course computers. Through the new technologies, the third industrial revolution oped the doors to space expeditions, research, and biotechnology.

In the world of the industries, two major inventions, Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) and Robots helped give rise to an era of high-level automation.

Industry 4.0

For many people, Industry 4.0 is the fourth Industrial Revolution, although there is a large portion of people that still disagree. If we were to view Industry 4.0 as a revolution then we would have to admit that it is a revolution happening right now. We are experiencing it everyday and its magnitude is yet unknown.

Industry 4.0 started in the dawn of the third millennium with the one thing that everyone uses every single day. The Internet. We can see the transition from the first industrial revolution that rooted for technological phenomenon all the way to Industry 4.0 that develops virtual reality worlds, allowing us to bend the laws of physics.

The 4 Industrial Revolutions shape the world. Worldwide economies are based on them. There are programmes and projects being implemented all around the world, focusing on helping people take advantage of the marvels of the fourth revolution during their everyday lives.

Projects like the RESTART project, are being funded by the EU aiming at involving the industrial sector in the transformation of VET systems, in order to meet the need of digital skills consistent with the technological developments in industries.


Katerina Pouspourika
SEO Expert / Copywriter