New York News

August 10th, 1852

The Industrial Revolution Begins!

With the growth of cities and populations in Great Britain and the United States, manufacturing hasn’t been able to keep up with demands. As a result of that, the Industrial Revolution has begun as a period of rapid growth in manufacturing and production. One of the most important things we’ve seen so far is in the textile industry. Textiles are now made using a large spinning machine called a water frame which can produce many cotton threads at a time. Samuel Slater, who was a British mechanic now living in America, has become one of the most successful textile mill owners in the area. He brought many ideas and designs about textile mill machines and has been able to greatly improve the way textiles are produced. Although people like Samuel Slater have a great impact on the Industrial Revolution at this time, manufacturing is still growing slowly. People continue to choose farming over working in factories and we will see if this pattern continues.


Profile of the Week

This weeks profile is Eli Whitney. He is an inventor who is trying to address the need for better technology and production starting with guns used by our American army. Whitney has offered the useful idea of interchangeable parts which are parts of a machine that are identical. His new idea makes it easier for workers to assemble and replace broken parts. Whitney even promised President John Adams that he could make 10,000 muskets in 2 years by demonstrating the assembly of a musket to the president and his secretary of war. All in all, this inventor hopes that his machines that produce matching parts will speed up mass production and benefit the manufacturing industry as a whole.

Mills Change Workers Lives

As textile mills begin to spread across the United States, workers’ jobs and their lives are changing rapidly. Most Americans have been used to working the land and farming to earn a living. Many members that work the family farm don’t earn their own paycheck, and they work many long hours and days until the work is done. Now that mills and factories are hiring, people are taking a chance at a different life. Some are leaving the farm to live with other workers, learn something new, and most of all earn a paycheck of their own. Especially for the young women in farm families, it is a chance for them to gain some independence and make their own money too. Craftspeople have also found that their special skills aren’t needed to work certain jobs in the mills. They think that the work is too simple for them. As time goes on, we will see how people deal with these changes.


Lowell System vs. Rhode Island System

We are in the midst of a revolution, factories are popping up everywhere and a debate has arose. The Lowell System vs. The Rhode Island System has been a very controversial topic in the United States. Samuel Slater’s strategy of hiring families and dividing work into simple tasks is known as the Rhode Island System. In contrast, Francis Cabot Lowell, created the Lowell System. The Lowell System was based on water powered textile mills that employed young, unmarried woman from local farms. The system included a loom that could both spin thread and weave cloth in the same mill. Both systems are great but I favor the Lowell System. I think that providing the young woman with a stable job, a home, and food is an admirable thing to do. It lets them work and make money so that when they leave they have something to rely on. Although the Rhode Island System is great, they are somewhat promoting child labor and they bring families in and make it hard for them to leave which I think is bad. Thus, I favor the Lowell System.

Breaking News!

New trade unions are forming in the factories. The workers want to better their pay and working conditions. Although they may think that they are standing up to the companies, most companies aren’t hiring union members, so in the end who’s loss is it? Many workers are also going on strike. Most of the strikes aren’t successful, the courts and police usually support the companies rather than the workers. In addition, labor reform efforts have arose. Sarah G. Bagley created the Lowell Female Labor Reform Association in 1844 to influence the investigation of working conditions and to obtain a 10 hour work day limit. Sarah was successful and now is the Vice President of the New England Working Men’s Association!


Help Wanted

Do you want to be part of the Transportation Revolution? The new invention of steam powered boats are here and we are looking for hardworking, adventurous people to become captains and deckhands. You can travel by water and be a part of the growth of trade and shipping throughout the United States. If you would prefer traveling by land, then a job at the railroad is for you! More than 30,000 miles of track connect major cities in the eastern United States. Because of this, communities are linked and people can get places faster. These locomotives haul more freight than ever thought possible. Workers are needed to run trains and lay tracks. Hours may be long and hard but pay is good. Don’t miss this opportunity to be a part of the future of transportation!


Since You Asked...

Dear Beth,

I know sewing machines have been all the rage and have changed people’s lives by cutting down the time it takes to produce cloth items, but I have had a big inconvenience with mine. The thread is not moving through the machine properly and I’m not sure how to fix it. It is slowing down my clothes making process for my family. If there’s any way you can help me please respond timely.

Sincerely, Mary


Dear Mary,

I have experienced the same thing. I agree that it changed my life too, and I understand it is very frustrating, but there is an easy fix. You can bring it into one of the many Singer shops and ask them to take a look. I found the workers very helpful. If that is an inconvenience, try taking a look at the bobbin case or the thread take-up lever. From the way you described the problem, it should be either one. My best advice is to take a look at those parts and if you can’t figure out the problem then, if I were you I’d take your machine in because it could be a manufacturer error. I hope that was helpful.

Yours, Beth


Farm Equipment for Sale!

John Deere is selling gently used farm equipment. Visit them in upper New York to see the equipment. Selling prices are starting from $200-$300. The equipment includes mechanical reapers and steel plows. The steel plows were newly made by the blacksmith, John Deere, who developed the technology in 1837 and can cut through thick soil easier than the old iron plows. The mechanical reapers, made by Cyrus McCormick who invented them in 1831, include spare parts and a demonstration by Cyrus himself. Harvesting wheat will be quicker and more efficient than ever. The steel plow and mechanical reaper have revolutionized farming and will revolutionize your farming process too! The equipment is near brand new, so come and get it before it’s gone!


New Technological Advances

As technological advances are revolutionizing the U.S., the demand for more is uprising. The telegraph has been one of the more popular advances. In 1832 Samuel F.B. Morse perfected the telegraph, a device that sends information over great distances. It uses Morse Code, different combinations of dots and dashes that represent each letter of the alphabet, which Morse’s partner Alfred Lewis developed. At first, most of us doubted the system, but now that it has been proven to work more and more people are using them. Steam Power is another advance that brought many good changes to the manufacturing industry. Water-powered factories cause owners to build near waterfalls and streams. With new steam power technology, owners can build factories anywhere, making them easier to access for workers which lowered the pay wages. This is causing rural and foreign people to flock to the cities with steam power, which creates more jobs and factories. These major advancements have revolutionized the industries and more are yet to come.