Until the industrial era began, the major source of energy had been with muscles of humans and animals they tended. In 1750, people turned to water power and then steam boilers to operate mills and factories filled with larger and larger machines. Change was so rapid it sparked the birth of sociology itself. Industrialization drew people away from home to factories situated near energy sources (such as coal fields) that power large machinery. Workers lost close working relationships, strong family ties, and many traditional values, beliefs, and customs that guide agrargarain life. Industrial technology changes the family, reducing its traditional importance as the center of social life. The greatest effect has been to raise living standards, which have increased in the US. People have more comfortable lives. Industrial societies provide extended schooling and greater political rights.