Industry in the 1800's

Improvements in Transportation

In 1800's, the United States' transportation system changed due to the new methods they approached. The change made traveling easier and faster. Also, this decreased the shipping times and charges causing the businesses across the Eastern United States to boost. Steamboats and Railroad system were the major transportations that were used for traveling and trading. More than 500 steamboats were being used in the United States by 1840. By 1850, steamboats were also used to carry materials and people across the Atlantic. If the steamboats helped the water travel, the train also supported the overland travel. About 30,000 miles of railway connected almost every major city in the Eastern United States by 1860. Therefore, the travel developments caused the economy to expand and big cities began to grow in the 1800's.

Developments in Manufacturing and Industry

America's Industry in the North was born during the first half of the 1800's. This generation brought in factories with machines and arranged duties, assembling products that were to ship and sell somewhere else. Determining how textiles were made was the first meaningful discovery. Before 1800, making clothes took a long time and people, but improvements happened when the merchants began to create huge textile mills or factories near streams and rivers, and this changed the way the nation worked. One of the thrilling change was when factories gave young women opportunities, and this was the only way they had to earn their own wage and self-reliance. In Lowell, Massachusetts, one of the biggest textile mills was constructed together with a new system of labor. The Lowell system hired young, unmarried women from town farms, and also built boarding houses for the women. The women residents were provided a room and meals together with their jobs. They have soon became known as the Lowell girls.

Working Conditions in the Factories

The groups of young girls were retreated from New England and Canada. Men were hired to pick the young women up and deliver them to the factories. The women had different ages, some were not even ten years old. The majority of the ages were sixteen to twenty-five. They worked 14 hours a day, five o'clock in the morning until seven in the evening, with an hour break for each breakfast and dinner. The workers were paid 2 dollars a week. Even the youngest children had to work for nearly 14 hours a day, and it was the greatest hardship they ever faced.