Less than two centuries ago, the world was a very different looking place. Towns, if they were connected at all, were connected by waterways or dirt roads carved out through the use of buggies. The big cities of the world were still large, but you would not see a large number of new real estate, being too far from the city and moving from home to home was about as easy as moving cross country is today.
The face of the Earth has changed entirely. Highways criss-cross the countries of the world, connecting every city, town, and village. These highways are the most obvious sign of the phenomenon that kicked off in the latter half of the 19th century, the industrial age.
Not only did the industrial age change the way the world looked, it also changed the ability of humans to produce, to build, and to travel. The industrial age has also been called the age of machines, because it was during this era that mankind made the transfer from work aids powered by humans or animals to work aids powered by man made sources.
This transfer of work meant that people could work and build more efficiently, and on a larger scale than ever before. Today, we live in the age of super machines; gigantic behemoths ply the waters, dig the earth, and produce our food. In some cases, these machines even have the ability to drive themselves, having been partnered up with that other great age, the Age of Computers. If you want to see how much industry has quickened our lives, just look at how fast a row of houses for sale go up.
Of course, the development of industry, and particularly the explosive growth of the use of machines and other power sources over the last seven decades, had led to a lot of controversy in many different fields. For the most part, the mechanics we use to drive industry have adapted to these controversies and the result has been more efficient means of production from many different angles.