The Industrial Revolution -- an innovative period between the mid-18th and 19th centuries -- thrust people from a predominantly agricultural existence into a more urban lifestyle.
Although we label this era a "revolution," its title is somewhat misleading. The movement that first took root in Great Britain wasn't a sudden burst of advancement, but rather a buildup of breakthroughs that relied on or fed off one another.
Just as the dot-coms were integral to the 1990s, inventions were what made this epoch unique. Without all those soaring, ingenious minds, many of the basic goods and services we use today wouldn't exist. Whether adventurous souls dared to tinker with existing inventions or to dream of something brand-new, one thing's for sure -- the revolution changed the lives of many people (yours included).