It’s hard to believe that the conveyor belt has been around for centuries, playing a pivotal role in some of humanity’s most momentous achievements. Here’s a quick overview of the conveyor belt’s history, from its humble beginnings to its current status as a staple of modern industry.

The Earliest Conveyor Belts

The first recorded use of conveyor belts dates back to the 17th century, when Primitive conveyor belts were used in coal mines in England. These rudimentary belts consisted of leather, canvas, or rubber and were used primarily to transport coal up and out of mines. In the late 18th century, more robust and user-friendly versions of these belts began appearing in factories all over Europe. These new conveyor belts were made from metal and ran on steam-powered rails.

The Advent of Assembly Lines

It wasn’t until the 19th century that conveyor belts began to see widespread use outside of Europe. One of the earliest examples of this is when U.S.-based inventor Elijah McCoy patented a type of lubrication device for use on steam engines in 1872. McCoy’s invention led to the development of an oiling system that could be used on all manner of machinery, including early conveyor belts. This breakthrough laid the groundwork for the development of assembly lines, which would come to revolutionize manufacturing over the next century.

The Modern Conveyor Belt

Today’s conveyor belts are far more advanced than their early counterparts, but they still serve the same basic purpose: to move materials from one point to another quickly and efficiently. Conveyor belts are now commonly made from synthetic materials like PVC or polyurethane, which offer greater durability and resistance to wear and tear than natural materials like leather or canvas. Thanks to these advances, conveyor belts are now an integral part of a huge range of industries, from foodservice to automotive manufacturing.

Industries using conveyor belts

Conveyor belts are commonly used in a variety of industries, including manufacturing, food processing, and agricultural. In the manufacturing industry, conveyor belts are often used to move products from one stage of the assembly line to another. In the food processing industry, conveyor belts are often used to move food items from one machine to another, or to move food items from one location to another. In the agricultural industry, conveyor belts are often used to move crops from one location to another.

Where to find conveyor parts ?

Some belt conveyor parts can be found at industrial supply stores. However, if you are looking for a specific type of conveyor belt part, it might be best to search online. There are many websites that sell conveyor belt parts, and you can usually find what you need by searching by the type of part or the brand of conveyor belt.


Conveyor belts may seem like simple machines, but they have played a vital role in human history. From their humble beginnings in 17th-century coal mines to their current status as assembly line staples, conveyor belts have helped us achieve some pretty amazing things—and there’s no doubt that they’ll continue to do so for centuries to come.