The Boston Sentinel

May 27 1846

Textile Industry

At the beginning of the 1700's, the majority of people in Europe and the United States were farmers. All the females in the family were in charge of making cloth. They would use the spinning wheel to create raw materials, such as wool or cotton, into thread. In towns, people would have there own shop and make their own items by hand.

Industrial Revolution

The very first important breakthrough of the Industrial Revolution took place in how textiles, cloth items were made. Before the Industrial Revolution, Spinning thread took longer than making cloth. In 1769 a machine called the water frame was built by a man named Richard Arkwright. The water frame could produce dozens of cotton threads at the same time. The speed of making cloth increased and the cost of cloth decreased.

The 3 Important Men

New Transportation

In 1800's transformed by a transformation revolution, a period of growth in the speed and convenience of new methods of transportation. This reduced shipping time and costs, these improvements were possible because of the steamboat and steam powered trains. The steamboats weren't in wide use until the 1800's. Robert Fulton tested his first steamboat in France, several years later tested his full sized steamboat named the Clermont in the U.S. Steamboats increased trade and profit because goods could be moved more quickly and more cheaply. More than 500 steamboats were being used in the United states in 1840. Railroads did the same thing as steamboats just on land, they were crated in Great Britain. 1830 Peter Cooper created a small but powerful locomotive named the Tom Thumb. In 1860 about 30,000 miles of railroad every major city, as a result the economy surged forward.

Advances In Technology

In 1832 Samuel F. B. Morse perfected the telegraph, a device where you could send info across far distance. Samuel's partner Alfred Lewis Vail, developed a system known as the Morse Code. This system is a combination of different dots and dashes that represents each letter of the alphabet. Most factories ran on water power, however factory owners began using stream power. The water power factory's had to be close to waterfalls or streams. But steam powered factory's could be built almost anywhere. In 1860 New England alone had as many factories as the whole South did. A blacksmith John Deere in Illinois saw that one of his friends was having difficulty plowing thick soil with iron plows. He thought a steel blade would work better. In 1846 Deere was selling 1,000 plows per year. 1831 Cyrus McCormick created a new harvesting machine, the mechanical reaper. This new invention made it more quickly and efficiently to cut down wheat. The first sewing machine was invented by Elias Howe, a factory apprentice in Lowell Massachusetts. Issac Singer improvements to Elias design. In 1860 Singers company was the largest maker sewing machine.

The Lowell System

Francis Cabot Lowell, a business man from New England, developed a very different approach. His plans changed the northeastern textile industry, he had his own ideas. Francis Lowell named it the Lowell System because it was so successful. The Lowell System was based on water powered textile mills that employed young, unmarried women from near by farms. The system included making cloth and spinning thread at the same time. Lowell gave shelter to the women and hot meals as long as they were working for him and his system. Francis Cabot Lowell got financial support from investors of the Boston Manufacturing Company. Because of the help, Lowell opened his first company in 1814, the company was located in Waltham Massachusetts. Later in 1822, the mill was built larger and contained more workers. The cleanliness and hard working machines kept visitors visiting.