What's Happening

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; February 3, 1850

This is our very first issue!

Welcome to What Happening! A newspaper made solely for those poor uninformed folks that know nothing about current events! Subscribe now for only $1.00 to get the best of the best news every week! We hope you enjoy our very first issue. We appreciate any suggestions you have for us. Our headquarters are located in Philadelphia Pennsylvania.

Britain's Secrets Unfold

In Great Britain, the textile business has been booming. It is said that they have invented a machine that can produce dozens of cotton threads at one time! This machine, called the water frame, has raised Britain's textile production quite rapidly. Britain though, has failed to communicate to us how to make this miracle machine. We've come to the conclusion that Great Britain does not want their plans to be spread.

Recent discoveries have shown that a man named Samuel Slater dressed as a farmer and fled England. He memorized the machine layouts and spread the word to America. America then copied Britain's plans for the water frame. The United States's textile business has now been improving too. Products prices have been decreasing because of the sudden great amount of textiles being produced.This is wonderful for the people as it allows U.S. citizens to save money and spend it on more important things, for example, food. With new technologies, we can produce products faster than ever before.

Ask me!

This advice column is open to anyone that sends their questions to 2565 Canterbury Lane Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.


I live on a farm, and for many years we have used the horse pulled plow. I’ve heard that there are new advancements in technology that could help me on my farm. Is this true? If these machines are out there, can they be trusted? -Dave, Massachusetts


Yes, it is said that these machines can be trusted. Be careful though, just because people say they can be trusted doesn't mean there won't be a technical malfunction. Besides new farm equipment, for example, the new mechanical reaper, which harvests grain faster than ever before, many other technological advancements have been made. An example is steam power. In short, steam powered machines use heat energy to power them. Another example is the new and improved sewing machine. Updated by Isaac Singer, the new sewing machine has become more compatible with the everyday household.


I’ve seen these things called “telegraphs” starting to appear around town. What are these things and how do they work?-Mary, New York


A telegraph is a system of wires that can transmit signals over great distances. In short, you could send messages to a loved one across the country in just a few minutes. They are appearing around town because these new machines are all the rave. Invented by Samuel Morse, these machines send messages in Morse code. The Morse code is a combination of dots and dashes that represents letters of the alphabet.


My father used to have to wear these dreadful things called “powdered wigs”. But since he has passed on now, I have a pile of these wigs taking up space in my closet! I don’t know what to do with them! Are these powdered wigs still “in”? -Melissa, Pennsylvania


The powdered wig style is starting to fade away. Short, natural hair is the thing now. I agree with you, powdered wigs are awful. This style is becoming “out” because people are starting to realize how these wigs can be bad for your health. You could inhale the chemicals in the powder that gives the wig it’s color. As a result, it could hurt your lungs or deteriorate you over time. Though, I have a suggestion on how you could use those wigs. If you have a dog or cat in your house, a picture of your pet wearing a wig is a great Christmas card. Hopefully, your relatives will get a kick out of that. Otherwise, they are useless and you should dump them.

Eli Whitney: The Technology Man

Eli Whitney, a man of impeccable success in his time, has influenced us today greatly. Before his death on January 8, 1825, aged 59, Eli Whitney helped factories make mass production. His idea of interchangeable parts, parts of machines that are exactly identical, helped make the process much smoother and less tedious. Using Eli's idea, people could fix machines simply by replacing the damaged part. It is clear that without him, the building process would be much more difficult today.
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Transportation is Better Than Ever!

Travel in the United States is much more convenient these days. New methods of travel are making transporting smoother and faster. The invention of the steamboat and steam-powered train have made transporting goods, people, and information all the merrier. This period of rapid transportation growth has been called the "Transportation Revolution".

The steamboat was invented in the late 1700s; though it has not been used widely since in the early 1800s. Steamboats are more popular now and they're the most advanced boat there is. Also, these amazing contraptions can travel upstream without a problem.

The steam powered train makes traveling overland much easier. The new railroads have made a great economic impact, as products become cheaper to send them across the country. Railroads have definitely reduced travel time dramatically.

Help Wanted!

Families Needed!

Five or six families with fair personality may be employed at Cornerstone textile Factory.

Freddy Spagetty

CEO of Cornerstone Textile Factory

January, 27.

Lowell System vs. Rhode Island System

Two different mill owners use two different ways to acquire mill workers. Samuel Slater and Francis Cabot Lowell both face issues in finding the right workers for their mills.

Samuel Slater's strategy, soon to be called the Rhode Island System, hire families in need of work. He divides the factory work all together into simple tasks that an inexperienced person could do. This makes the work for people extremely easy and the whole job itself can be done completely.

Francis Cabot Lowell's way is different. His mills are water powered and he only employs young, unmarried women that live on small farms. The loom that they use can spin and weave cloth into the same mill. The women live in boarding houses which provide them with food and shelter.

Even though both of these systems are extremely organized, mill workers face problems. Their working conditions are harsh and they don't get paid enough. The mill changes workers' lives dramatically because these workers are working day and night. As a result, the mill workers have formed trade unions and organized strikes. These people are asking for labor reforms, an improvement or change in their working life. They do this in the hopes of better payment and working conditions.

Although the mill life is depressing and unsafe, people need the money for their family to survive. If you had to work in a mill, which one would you choose?

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About the Author

Maggie LaRose is probably the best person on the face of the earth. She is also most likely to be the most awesome person you'll ever meet. Her favorite color is blue and she enjoys playing basketball, volleyball, and softball. She is definitely better than you at softball. She also enjoys skiing and writing about how awesome she is. (She writes about other stuff too) Maggie lives in Alaska with her 17 cats and counting. Just kidding, she’s not that lonely. She actually lives in Wisconsin with her 14 year old sister and her parents. Although she wish she could, she’s not old enough to leave the house yet. She dislikes the name Margaret and wishes that people only call her Maggie. She doesn't want any of that "Margaret" business.