Northern industry

By Sergio

Summary of the 19th century

* 1801 – Richard Trevithick ran a full-sized steam 'road locomotive' on the road in Camborne, England

* 1803 – Richard Trevithick built his 10-seater London Steam Carriage

* 1803 – William Symington's Charlotte Dundas, generally considered to be the world's first practical steamboat, makes her first voyage.

* 1804 – Richard Trevithick built a prototype steam-powered railway locomotive and it ran on the Pen-y-Darren Line near Merthyr Tydfil Wales

* 1804 – Oliver Evans (claimed to have) demonstrated a steam-powered amphibious vehicle.

* 1807 – Robert Fulton's North River Steamboat, the world's first commercially successful steamboat, makes her maiden voyage.

* 1807 – Nicéphore Niépce installed his Pyréolophore internal combustion engine in a boat and powered up the river Saonein France.

* 1807 – Isaac de Rivas made a hydrogen gas powered internal combustion engine and mounted it on a vehicle.

* 1812 - First commercially successful self-propelled engine on Land was Mathew Murray's Salamanca on Middleton-Leeds Railway using toothed wheels and rail

* 1812 - Timothy Hackworth's "Puffing Billy" ran on smooth Cast Iron Rails at Wylam Colliery near Newcastle

* 1814 – George Stephenson built the first practical steam-powered railway locomotive "Blutcher" at Killingworth Colliery.

* 1816 – The most likely originator of the bicycle is the German, Baron Karl von Drais, who rode his 1816 machine while collecting taxes from his tenants.

* 1819 – SS Savannah, the first vessel to cross the Atlantic Ocean partly under steam power, arrives at Liverpool, Englandfrom Savannah, Georgia.

* 1822 - Stevenson built a locomotive and designed the railway for Hetton Colliery which is first railway not to use any horse-traction but it did have several rope hauled sections.

* 1822 - First Meeting of Liverpool Manchester Railway Company Permanent Committee.

* 1825 Stevenson's Locomotion runs on Stockton Darlington railway which opens as first Public railway and uses horses and self-propelled steam engines and stationary engines with ropes along a single track. No stations and no timetables as anyone could hire the track to use their own vehicle on it.

* 1825 - Sir Goldsworthy Gurney invented a series of steam-powered passenger carriages and by 1829 completed the 120-mile journey from London to Bath, Somerset and back.

* 1826 - Bill passed for Liverpool Manchester railway at second attempt and George Stevenson commences work on 35 mile twin track line permitting simultaneous travel in both directions between the 2 towns. Means of traction not specified to reduce opposition.

* 1828 - Stevenson's "Lancashire Witch" runs on Bolton Leigh line - a public goods line to connect Leeds Liverpool canal and Manchester Bury and Bolton canal. Railway has rope hauled and self-propelled steam engines and single track.

* 1829 - Rainhill Trials to find best self-propelled engine for Liverpool Manchester line are won by Robert Stevenson's Rocket proving there is no need for horse traction or static engines on the main line.

* Rocket becomes basic formula for all future steam engines with boiler tubes, blast pipe, and the use of coal rather than coke.

* 1830 - Liverpool Manchester Railway opens. First public transport system without animal traction, first public line with no rope hauled sections for main journey, first twin track, first railway between 2 large towns, first timetabled trains, first railway stations, first train faster than a mail coach, first tunnels under streets, first proper modern railway which formed the template for all subsequent railways.

* 1838 – Isambard Kingdom Brunel's SS Great Western, the first purpose-built transatlantic steamship, inaugurates the first regular transatlantic steamship service.

* 1852 – Elisha Otis invents the safety elevator.

* 1853 – Sir George Cayley built and demonstrated the first heavier-than-air aircraft (a glider)

* 1862 – Étienne Lenoir made a gasoline engine automobile

* 1863 - London's Metropolitan Railway opened to the public as the world's first underground railway

* 1867 - first modern motorcycle was invented

* 1868 – George Westinghouse invented the compressed-air brake for railway trains.

* 1868 – Louis-Guillaume Perreaux's steam velocipede, a steam engine attached to a Michaux velocipede.

* 1880 – Werner von Siemens builds first electric elevator.

* 1883 - Karl Benz invents the first car powered by an internal combustion engine, he called it the Benz Patent Motorwagen.

* 1894 – Hildebrand & Wolfmüller became the first motorcycle available to the public for purchase.

* 1896 – Jesse W. Reno builds first escalator at Coney Island, and then reinstalls it on the Manhattan side of the Brooklyn Bridge.

* 1897 – Charles Parsons' Turbinia, the first vessel to be powered by a steam turbine, makes her debut.

* 1897 – The most likely first electric bicycle was built in 1897 by Hosea W. Libbey.

* 1899 - Ferdinand von Zeppelin builds the first successful airship

Factories and The Industry

The late 19th-century United States is probably best known for the vast expansion of its industrial plant and output. At the heart of these huge increases was the mass production of goods by machines. This process was first introduced and perfected by British textile manufacturers.In the century since such mechanization had begun, machines had replaced highly skilled craftspeople in one industry after another. By the 1870s, machines were knitting stockings and stitching shirts and dresses, cutting and stitching leather for shoes, and producing nails by the millions. By reducing labor costs, such machines not only reduced manufacturing costs but lowered prices manufacturers charged consumers. In short, machine production created a growing abundance of products at cheaper prices.

Mechanization also had less desirable effects. For one, machines changed the way people worked. Skilled craftspeople of earlier days had the satisfaction of seeing a product through from beginning to end. When they saw a knife, or barrel, or shirt or dress, they had a sense of accomplishment. Machines, on the other hand, tended to subdivide production down into many small repetitive tasks with workers often doing only a single task. The pace of work usually became faster and faster; work was often performed in factories built to house the machines. Finally, factory managers began to enforce an industrial discipline, forcing workers to work set--often very long--hours.

One result of mechanization and factory production was the growing attractiveness of labor organization. To be sure, craft guilds had been around a long time. Now, however, there were increasing reasons for workers to join labor unions. Such labor unions were not notably successful in organizing large numbers of workers in the late 19th century. Still, unions were able to organize a variety of strikes and other work stoppages that served to publicize their grievances about working conditions and wages. Even so, labor unions did not gain even close to equal footing with businesses and industries until the economic chaos of the 1930s.

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Labor conditions

During the late nineteenth century the U.S. economy underwent a spectacular increase in industrial growth. Abundant resources, an expanding labor force, government policy, and skilled entrepreneurs facilitated this shift to the large-scale production of manufactured goods. For many U.S. citizens industrialization resulted in an unprecedented prosperity but others did not benefit as greatly from the process. The expansion of manufacturing created a need for large numbers of factory workers. Although the average standard of living for workers increased steadily during the last decades of the nineteenth century, many workers struggled to make ends meet. At the turn of the century it took an annual income of at least $600 to live comfortably but the average worker made between $400 and $500 per year.

Factory workers had to face long hours, poor working conditions, and job instability. During economic recessions many workers lost their jobs or faced sharp pay cuts. New employees found the discipline and regulation of factory work to be very different from other types of work. Work was often monotonous because workers performed one task over and over. It was also strictly regulated. Working hours were long averaging at least ten hours a day and six days a week for most workers, even longer for others. For men and women from agricultural backgrounds these new conditions proved challenging because farm work tended to be more flexible and offered a variety of work tasks. Factory work was also different for skilled artisans, who had once hand-crafted goods on their own schedule.

Factory conditions were also poor and, in some cases, deplorable. Lack of effective government regulation led to unsafe and unhealthy work sites. In the late nineteenth century more industrial accidents occurred in the United Statesthan in any other industrial country. Rarely did an employer offer payment if a worker was hurt or killed on the job. As industries consolidated at the turn of the century factories grew larger and more dangerous. By 1900 industrial accidents killed thirty-five thousand workers each year and maimed five hundred thousand others, and the numbers continued to rise. The general public became concerned with industrial accidents only when scores of workers were killed in a single widely reported incident, such as the many coal-mine explosions or the tragic Triangle Shirtwaist Company fire in 1911. In one year alone 195 workers in steel and iron mills were killed in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

In order to save money many employers hired women and children to work in factories because these workers would work for lower wages than men. Some women were paid as little as six dollars per week, a sum much lower than a male would have received. Most female workers performed unskilled or semi-skilled machine work but some worked in industries that demanded heavy labor. Some women, for instance, worked on railroads, while others were employed as machinists.

Children also worked long hours for low wages. The number of children employed in factories rose steadily over the last three decades of the nineteenth century. By 1900 roughly 1.7 million children under the age of 16 worked in factories; less than half that many children had been employed 30 years before. Under pressure from the public many state legislatures passed child labor laws, which limited the hours children could work to ten hours per day, but employers often disregarded such laws. In southern cotton mills children who operated looms throughout the night had cold water thrown in their faces to keep them awake. Long working hours for children also meant that accidents were more likely to occur; like adult workers, many children were injured or killed on the job.

Worker responses to poor factory conditions and low wages were varied. Some employees intentionally decreased their production rate or broke their machines, while others quit their jobs and sought work in other factories. Other workers resorted to a more organized means of protest by joining labor unions although most industrial workers were not union members. Most workers, having few alternatives, simply endured the hardship of factory work.

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