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Product Design by Paul Rodgers, Alex Milton

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The Industrial Revolution: 1750s to 1850s

The Industrial Revolution heralded mass production. This industrialization was characterized by factory owners commissioning specialists to supply drawings and instructions that could be interpreted and manufactured by semiskilled or unskilled factory workers, producing goods in large numbers far more economically than the previous craft methods. As the production process became increasingly complex, and the business of making became ever more divorced from the role of determining a product’s form, a profession known as “product designer” emerged whose primary role was to give form to these mass-produced items.

The mid-eighteenth century saw a number of significant industrial developments. For instance, ...

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