New York Times

New York 1854

As you read...

This newspaper article, you will learn about the changes in the North in the early 1800’s. Throughout this journey, you will also learn about Eli Whitney and Samuel Slater and how they helped to change the North.

Samuel Slater

Samuel Slater was a person that helped the textile industry majorly. He was disguised as a farmer that fled from Britain to the United States. When he arrived in the United States, Slater sent a letter to Moses Brown. Moses owned a textile business in New England. Slater send a letter that had been written he could improve the way textiles were manufactured in the United States. Brown had tested Slater's knowledge and Samuel passed. Moses's son-in-law and son, formed a partnership with Slater and they built a mill in Rhode Island. The mill was successful only with Samuel Slater's help.

Eli Whitney

Eli Whitney is an inventor that addressed some of the problems with the water frames. He came up with the idea of interchangeable parts or identical parts. He created this because it would be easier to change the part that is broken instead of throwing it away and creating a new machine. For a broken part, Eli would replace the part with a new part in order for the water machine to work properly again.

The Textile Indusrty

The textile industry was a breakthrough of the Industrial Revolution. Before the Industrial Revolution, the process of making cloth was a very slow procedure. In the late 1760's, a man named Richard Arkwright invented a large spinning machine called a water frame. It is used to produce dozens of cotton all at one time. The work of this led the cotton price to drop and increased the speed of the textile production. The water frame used water as it's source of power, so merchant began to build large textile mills next to rivers and streams. The mills had water frames seen everywhere, so they had to hire people to work in the mills. Water frames needed additional improvements that were made and British was soon known as the world's most productive textile industry.

The Spread Of Mills And Workers Lives

Workers lives changed along with their jobs. Many mill owners could not find workers to work in the factories because other jobs had offerings. Slater's apprentices had frequently left and so did James Horton. Slater eventually had to hire families that moved to Pawtucket to work in the mills. Slater also hired children to work in the mills. On some farms, families need children to work on their farms but when they were working in the mills, there were very few complaints. Many mill owners profited because they paid children low wages. Slater needed to attract workers to his mills, so he build houses for the workers. He also provided a store that had all of their necessities. Slater let the workers pay the bill of the item as they went and that led him to reinvest his money in his business.

The Lowell System And The Rhode Island System

Samuel Slater's strategy was to hire families and dividing factory work into simple tasks. This is known as the Rhode Island System. Many mill workers used Slater's strategy for their work in the mills as well. This strategy led people to think that the opportunity to work in the factory was a welcoming chance to earn some money and learn a new skill. On the other hand, the Lowell System was a whole new strategy. The Lowell System was based on a person named Francis Cabot Lowell. This system relied upon water to power the textile mills. This process intended to hire young, unmarried woman that would be best for the job. This system included a loom that could spin both thread and weave cloth through the same mill. The Lowell System started out as a slow process but then it became faster and more efficient. Visitors of the Lowell found that the factories and boardinghouses were kept neat and clean. Later on, the women who worked in the factories were known as the Lowell girls. This breakthrough led other women from New England to work for the Lowell System.

Help Wanted!

The mills needs men with growing families to help the industry grow. We need helping hands with strong hearts in order to continue this fine life.

Labor Reforms And Trade Unions

Trade Unions were groups that improved pay and working conditions. Most employers did not want to hire union workers. They believed that the higher cost of union employers prevented competition with other manufactures. Some workers refused to work until the workers met their demands so they went on strike. A woman named Sarah G. Bagley performed actions that were involved in Labor Reforming. Bagley limited the hours of work for employees of private businesses. This was a huge impact on other states because they also passed the 10-hour-workday.

How The Transportation Revolution Changes Trade And Daily Life

In the 1800's, a rapid growth in the speed and convenience because of new methods became known as the Transportation Revolution. This was a boom across the country because of the new transportation system. It reduced time and money. Improvements were made by creating steamboats and railroads because of the Americans joining the Hudson and Mississippi rivers. This join made the Atlantic communicate with the Gulf of Mexico. The steamboats and railroads enabled trade and good to send to other countries for trade. Steamboats and railroads was a rapid and efficient way to travel across the United States.


In the early 1700's, a new way of transportation developed. Robert Fulton tested the first full-sized commercial steamboat was called the Clermont. The Clermont was tested to go against the current of the Hudson river. The steamboat was a very successful invention. It flowed up the river without any trouble. After the success, a business was demanded for the ferry of the steamboat. Steamboats were a huge impact on life. It was a boat that did not rely on wind power. It increased trade and profits because of it rate of movement. In 1850, steamboats became a huge deal. More than 500 steamboats were made. By the 1850's, steamboats started to carry people and good across the Atlantic Ocean.


Steamboats were made for water but on the other hand, full-powered trains were made for land. In 1830, a man named Peter Cooper built a small but powerful train called the Tom Thumb. Cooper raced the train against a horse. The train was first going at a slow rate. Then, the train started to pick up speed. The train had passed the horse and the passengers cheered. Suddenly, Tom Thumb had broke down and the horse had won the close race. Despite the lost of Tom Thumb, railroads soon became a huge hit. Since railroads became a huge hit, more than 2,800 miles of railroads were made. As more railroads were built, mechanics and engineers overcame many tough challenges. Most British railroads ran in a straight line throughout flat grounds but American railroads ran up and down and swerved through mountains. These locomotives were made with the least expensive minerals. By the 1860's more than 30,000, miles of railroad linked to every city in the eastern United States.

The Telegraph

The telegraph was a device that could send information through wires across great distance. The telegraph sent pulses, or surges, of electrical current through a wire. The telegraph made clicking sounds. A short click was called a dot and a long click was called a dash. this system was known as Morse code. Many years past before Morse could connect the telegraph with two different locations. Despite the achievement, may people doubted the telegraph. They though that no machine invented could send information through wires in a lifetime. The people also thought that he was making educated guesses instead of reading the telegraph pulses from miles away. Like the American railroads, the telegraph became a huge hit in 1850. Telegraph wires were hung across the country.

Steam Power

When the Industrial Revolution started, factories relied on water power to run the mills. Over time, factories started to use steam power instead of water power to run the mills. This breakthrough led a major change to the nation. Water powered factories needed to be built near water but then came steam powered factories that could be built almost anywhere. Building the factories anywhere allowed companies to build their factories near their workers home for easier access. Also being closer to cities reduced the shipping cost for trade. Steam power was an essential tool that allowed factories to be anywhere in the city for low wages and less shipping cost.

Farm Equipment

A blacksmith naked John Deere saw that his friends In Illinois had trouble plowing through the soil with iron plows. Deere thought that a steel blade would work better than the iron plow so he tried it out. The outcome of the idea was a success. By 1846, Deere had sold 1,000 plows a year. In 1831, a man named Cyrus McCormick developed a new way to harvest crops. The mechanical reaper cut down wheat efficiently and quickly. McCormick used new methods to improve sales. Cyrus's company advertised, demonstrated, and provided a repair and spare parts department. The combination of Deere's and McCormick's led farmers to produce large crop fields. By the 1860's, U.S. farmers were producing more than 170 million bushels of wheat and more than 800 million of bushels per year.

Inventions In The Home

The sewing machine was first invented by Elias Howe. Howe's sewing machine was later improved by Isaac Singer. Singer allowed customers to buy his machines on credit and provide service. By 1860, Singer's company was the world's largest maker of sewing machines. Another invention were iceboxes cooled by large blocks of ice cubes. Iron cookstoves began to replace cooking fires and stone hearths. Companies began to mass produce and this allowed items such as clocked to be priced lower. Additional items created were matches, and the safety pin. These inventions kept people at home busy, more active, and helped the environment at home more fun.

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