Copyright © 2007 Dorling Kindersley
Industry is a general term meaning the businesses and organizations that provide the goods and services we need. There are primary industries, such as agriculture and mining, manufacturing industries, and service industries, such as tourism and banking.
Primary industries supply us with food and with the RAW MATERIAL we need to clothe and house ourselves, and to make all the other things we use. For example, agricultural and fishing industries produce food. Forestry supplies wood for making paper and construction. Oil drilling and mining extract fuels to supply energy and materials.
Industries develop wherever their supplies are found. Steelmaking and shipbuilding, for example, need raw materials. Steel plants are often built near coal mines, which supply the fuel they need to produce the steel. Some other industries need lots of workers, so they are often located where labor costs are low.
A cottage industry is run by an individual or a family, often from their home. Before the Industrial Revolution, most industries were cottage industries. Family names such as Weaver and Potter identified the family trade. Today, there are new kinds of cottage industry in which home-based workers use computers and the Internet to supply their customers.
Raw materials are the natural sources of fuel and manufacturing materials used by industry. For example, oil supplies energy and also chemicals for making plastics. Metal ores give us metals such as iron. Clay makes pottery, and sand makes glass.
Many raw materials have to be processed using force, heat, or chemical reactions. Iron ore rock is crushed, then heated with coke (a form of carbon) in a blast furnace. Chemical reactions with the coke and air reduce the ore to liquid iron, which flows from the bottom of the furnace and hardens as it cools.