Made In America

1880 - 1920

Edison & The Lightbulb

Thomas Edison invented the light bulb in 1879 even though some historians claim that there had been at least over 20 other inventors trying to create the first electric lights. I am proud to say that I am american because Edison too was American and not only tried but succeeded. The light bulb was and still is something important. Back then in the late 1800's when workers would come home from a long day at work they had to trust that their lamp wouldn't go out on them but with the light bulb car makers included head lights which made it possible to work late but make sure you would have something to light your way home. Now with all the lights everywhere it would be crazy to imagine the world without them!

To the right shows the patent for Edison's first light bulb.

Alexander Graham Bell & The Telephone

Alexander Graham Bell was a Scottish born scientist but is considered one of the great american inventors. The first telephone was invented in 1876 and the first call was made by Bell himself to his assistant Thomas Watson. What he told him was "Mr.Watson, come here, I want to see you". The telephone is something America should be proud of because without telephones we would have to send things by letter and then research on computers whenever they would be invented or wherever they would be located.

On the left is an image of Bell making his first call.

Railroads of America

The railroads in America were very important to the american citizens because they let them transport goods from point A to point B and travel more sufficiently. Not only were the railroads vital and expanding but they were also becoming more popular within the community. Americans should be proud because they helped many people but also ashamed because of the labor they used and the advantage they took of the immigrants who helped build the railroads.

Below is a map of where the railroads were located in the late 1800's.

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Ellis Island

Ellis island is an island which was basically the gateway to America for incoming immigrants. Ellis island was the busiest immigration inspection island and a pain to all the immigrants who waited in line for hours to go to a brief interview to see if they were able to travel and enter the states or to be sent back home. Going through Ellis Island immigrants would be asked for basic information like their name, age, nationality, religion, then they would be asked how much money they have in their possession, their reason for coming to the states, if someone is waiting for them and if yes then who, if they have a job waiting for them or if they made an agreement or promise to work for someone, and then they would finally go through a heath exam/inspection to determine their mental and physical health.

Below is a video of Ellis Island.

Deconstructing History - Ellis Island

Assimilation & Americanization

Assimilation is when one nation or groups language and/or culture becomes more like another nationality or group of peoples language and/or culture. This is when Americanization became a term because during the Americanization movement, mainly in the 1910's, the "native-born" Americans didn't want the new immigrants culture and language to overpower the average American lifestyle and culture so they decided to "Americanize" them. This time is also when the saying of America becoming a melting pot because all of the diverse nationalities and cultures melted into America and became American culture.

Below is a cartoon showing how people of all ethnicity go in the "American-maker" and come out as Americans.

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Chinese Exclusion Act

The Chinese Exclusion Act was passed in 1882 and was meant to ban the entry of all Chinese except students, teachers, merchants, tourists, and governments officials. In 1892 they extended the law for 10 more years, then in 1902 was made permanently illegal. Later in 1943 it was repealed. The reason for the act in the first place was due to the West Coast population concerned about maintaining their wages and "racial purity" when there were many Chinese immigrants coming to the states tried to get jobs and start their own lives. I'm not sure which side i am on this one because in that time excluding Chinese made the poor economy fuller and then on the other side it was a bad idea because they literally made it illegal for Chinese people to come to America.

On the right is a propaganda poster explaining how we didn't need any more Chinese in America.


Skyscrapers must have been one of the greatest things to happen in America because instead of building outward and using up more land they decided to build up. Not only was building up space efficient but it was also cost efficient. Skyscrapers were "proud and soaring things" that appeared graceful.

To the right is the home insurance building designed by William Lebaron Jenney which is the fist skyscraper built in the U.S., opened in 1885 and closed in 1931, located in Chicago, Illinois.

Coney Island

Coney Islands main attraction was their parks Steeplechase Park, Luna Park, and Dreamland. Steeplechase park opened in 1897 and closed down in 1964 where as Luna Park opened in 1903 but unfortunately closed in 1944. Dreamland on the other hand opened in 1904 and only lasted until 1911. The things you could do at Cony Island included rides, games, and tons of more interactive activities that the crowds always loved,

Below shows a bathing beauty contest located at Coney Island in 1910.

Bathing Beauty Contest At Coney Island Circa 1910

Square Deal

A "square deal" now is a fair bargain or a fair treatment and we have President Theodore Roosevelt to thank for that term because him promising to not favor any group of Americans but to be fair to all is why his platform became known as the Square Deal. To Roosevelt his Square Deal were the various progressive reforms sponsored by he Roosevelt administration. Roosevelt was known as the "trust-buster" because he was the first president to successfully invoke the Sherman Antitrust Act against monopolies and continued to keep businesses under control through out his presidency. Things like the Pure Food & Drug Act, Meat Inspection Act, and National Parks came to be thanks to Roosevelt.
The Square Deal


Tenements or tenement houses were run down and crowded apartments. These apartments were usually unsanitary and had one bathroom per floor with stuffy breathing air. The families that lived here were mainly new immigrant or poor families and had at least 6 or 7 people living in them Thanks to the Tenement House Act of 1901 they made it a law to ban the building of any dark rly ventilated apartment which made the new apartment much more cleaner and easy to breathe in.

On the right is picture that shows how close together the tenements were that you could fit two large bed sheets across a clothing line from one building to the other and nothing else.


The NAACP is the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People which was founded in 1909 and by the year 914 there re already over 6,000 members. The NAACP did a lot for colored people and fought for more than just equality of African Americans but also faced civil rights issues an overcame them no matter how hard it was. hey were one of the first major organizations to deal with racism and take it to court like they did in Brown V. Board of Education to get rid of segregation in public schools. This should be something America is really proud of because in that time, and even now, there was a lot of racism but to have a group of people to fight for equality of races is a big deal.

Below are the images of the founders of the NAACP which included Ida B. Wells, W. E. B, Du Bois, Archibald Grimke, Oswald Garrison Villard, Lillian Wald, Mary White Ovington, William English Walling, & Henry Moskowitz.

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Pure food & drug act

The Pure Food & Drug Act was passed in 1906 and is something America should be proud of because it made sure all foods, medicines, and liquor were safe enough to be sold, bought, and distributed. Thank god! We should appreciate Upton Sinclair's work for this, and president Roosevelt for endorsing the act, because of his book The Jungle for exposing the meat packing industry's low sanitation levels. In his book there was a part where he explained how there were rats and rat feces on the meat themselves and how the company sending out the meat wiped it off or left it there and still sent the meat out to sell to markets.


Imperialism is when one nation or territory gains more economic or cultural power of another nations power usually through diplomacy or military force. One example of this is of course Roosevelt's Big Stick Policy which was one of the big parts to his international relations policy. With the big stick policy Roosevelt was able to go through things peacefully but was willing to use force if necessary because the other nations already new about the military power.

On the left is a political Cartoon of Roosevelt's Big Stick Policy.

pearl harbor

Pearl Harbor was acquired in 1887 and was considered one of the best ports. Before 1887 Pearl Harbor was jus one a lagoon harbor on the island of Oahu until U.S. military and economic leaders convinced Hawaii to build their naval base there. The harbor was used as a refueling station for American ships and then sadly it was bombed December 7th in the year of 1941.

To the right it shows the lagoon harbor when is was still in the process of becoming Pearl Harbor.

new manifest destiny

The New Manifest Destiny occurred in 1890 all the way through 1913 where as the"old" manifest destiny occurred between 1840's an 1850's. the image on the left portrays of what the "old" manifest destiny was about because at the time it was used by people who believed they were destined by God himself to go an expand across the North America to the Pacific Ocean. The old manifest destiny was more focused on obtaining more land and territory for housing and faring where as the "new" manifest destiny was more focused on expanding out of North American and finding raw material like natural resources and new markets.

On the left is John Gast's "America Progress".

selective service act

The Selective Service Act, also known as the Selective Draft Act, was enacted on May 18th in the year of 1917. This act made it required by all men by the age of 21 through 30 to register for the military service. This act also made being drafted into the arm possible. Even though drafting wasn't really used before it started 1940 until 1973, no matter what state our country was in, during peace and conflict.

On the right is a propaganda poster, which might be the most famous one of them all, of Uncle Sam trying to get the young men to a recruiting center because he wants them for our army.

yellow journalism

Yellow Journalism is journalism that was mainly based upon trying to get attention from readers by having stores in the paper that are full of exaggeration. The example on the left is of the paper The New York Times wit the story about the Lusitania sinking on the front page. On the paper it says how it was sunk by a submarine with "probably 1,260" people dead and how the ship was torpedoed twice off the Irish coast when in reality they didn't even obtain that information and the paper was solely based upon what they had heard instead of facts.

league of nations

The League of Nations is an organization that was made after World War I because of The Treaty of Versailles. This league was mainly focused on the cooperation of health, labor problems, refugee affairs, and the like. The United States never joined the League of Nations because at the time it was considered the isolationism ere and a group of senators feared that the league might have gotten involved in any potential war at the time and the U.S. didn't want or need that.

On the right is a political cartoon of what the League of Nations were doing to America.