Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; February 3, 1850
This is our very first issue!
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.
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
Transportation is Better Than Ever!
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.
Five or six families with fair personality may be employed at Cornerstone textile Factory.
CEO of Cornerstone Textile Factory
Lowell System vs. Rhode Island System
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?