Compared to the not too distant past, people living in industrialized countries are enjoying levels of material wealth unimaginable by their forefathers. Throughout most of history, the average person owned very few possessions apart from those essentials needed for survival. Nowadays, many people have no idea how many shoes, clothes and other possessions they own.
People have modern technology and manufacturing techniques to thank for this. Ideas, such as interchangeable parts, which seem to be common sense to people now, took most of human history to develop and transformed the world when they did.
The following offers an overview of some of these changes in a history of manufacturing. See the history that has led to a lifestyle so rich in manufactured things.