EUROPEAN THEME ROUTES ILLUSTRATE THE CONNECTIONS
Such as "The treasures of the Earth": what, where, when and how were they extracted from the ground? Or "Textile manufacturing": what were the milestones along the way from fibre to factory? Or "Transport and Communication": retracing the tracks of the industrial revolution.
Each site of ERIH's object database is assigned to one or more Theme Routes. 13 Theme Routes (with 36 sub-categories) focus on specific questions relating to European industrial history and reveal - offen in connection with the biographies - potential links between radically different industrial monuments all over Europe. The result is a "circuit diagram" showing the connections between the main themes of European industrial heritage.
Appication of Power
From the Middle Ages until the late 19th century water and wind supplied the driving power for a huge variety of engines. Windmills dominated the flat lands.
Housing and Architecture
The continuous improvement in the processing of iron and concrete during the Industrial Revolution opened up new and previously undreamt-of potentials for architects and engineers.
Industry and War
The origins of gun powder can be traced to China. There the oldest recipe for mixing charcoal, salpeter and sulphur dates from the year 1044. In the Far East though ...
Iron and Steel
Two steps are needed to make iron and steel – the key materials of the industrial era - from iron ore. First, the ore has to be smelted in the blast furnace.
It was only around the end of the 19th century, with the second wave of industrialisation, that exposed mining tips and soot-ridden workshops, endless terraces of housing ...
Coal from European and American collieries was the universal fuel during the Industrial Revolution. Nonetheless technical inventions in mining played a relatively insignificant role.
It all began in China. Comparatively early, the Chinese empire started to build up a large bureaucracy. This was probably why in the 2nd century BC the process of papermaking ...
Production & Manufacturing
Domestic handmade textile production was typical for the pre-industrial age. The father sat at the loom and the women of the family were responsible for spinning the yarn.
For thousands of years salt has been a very important material: it was not just used for seasoning, but was needed much more as a preservative. Before ice boxes, fridges and ...
Service and Leisure Industry
The Industrial Revolution resulted in more and more smokestacks shooting out of the ground and a huge increase in factories, coal mines and steelworks; villages merged ...
The thousands of rattling bobbins on the spinning frames in cotton factories have become a byword for industrialisation. British cotton mills were indeed the forerunners.
Transport & Communication
During the early years of the Industrial Revolution there was a radical change in transportation. The arrival of pounding steamships and steam locomotives ...