New York Times
New York 1854
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.