Yeah, I know, but actually seeing it is different. I've seen pictures of 19th century assembly equipment powered by overhead pulleys which were in turn powered by a waterfalls turning a paddlewheel.TommyGunn,
by 1880, Studebaker was building wagons on an assembly line. Springfield Arsenal was assembling weapons on a line too by the 1850s. - it's nearly hard to believe what they could do with steam power & w/o "modern conviences" in the 19th century.
I used to work in a place making wood stoves. My first duty station was running a press brake with a rough, chain smoking lady who had apparently just gotten out of prison for shooting her husband. After a couple of shifts with her I finally got up the nerve to ask her how she lost the ring and little fingers on her left hand. She indicated a punch press on the other side of the shop:American auto assembly lines in the 1930s were as modern as the world had to offer. That's one reason why we could make so much war materiel so quickly.
What gave me the willies were; no safety glasses, no hearing protection, and no safety barriers on the machines. One wrong step, and you're incorporated in the next model down the line.