Relating to "line-shaft", an innovation of the Industrial Revolution in the nineteenth
century, where "belt" power was needed to drive all of a
factory's power machine tools, a rotating "shaft", solid or hollow, to
which is attached pulleys, transmitted power or motion by rotation.
These operation were known then as being "shaft-driven". Between the
half century span, 1880 to 1930, the production and distribution of
mechanical power shifted rapidly from water and steam systems
-- with shafts and belt drive systems -- to electric motors driving
individual machines. According to Warren D. Devine, an economic
historian, "The use of electricity reduced the energy required to drive
machinery," but, significantly, this shift from shaft to individual
induction motors powering individual power tools "enabled industry to
obtain greater output per unit of capital and labor input." Among other
things, Devine continues, the "reduced energy needs and increased
productivity in manufacturing influenced the relationship between
energy consumption and gross national product in the first three
decades of the twentieth century."
Source: Warren D. Devine, "From Shafts to Wires: Historical Perspective on
Electrification," Journal of
Economic History, Vol. 43, No. 2 June 1983, pages 347-372. also study on electrification by David Paul.