News Up North

This article is a tribute to manafacturing in the past years

January 8th, 1850

Daily People Chat

Trending Technology

These are a few inventions that help us today.

Three Cheers for the Telegraph!

Our communication methods weren't the strongest, until the 30s. In 1832, Samuel F. B. created the telegraph. It's a device that can send information over wires across great distances. In 1844, a telegraph wired news of the presidential candidate's nomination to politicians in Washington. Telegraphs were soon sending and receiving information for businesses, the government, newspapers, and private citizens.

The Power of Steam

Would you rather build your factory by a river or closer to the city were most of the people live? Steam power was invented because it allowed business owners to build factories almost anywhere. Before the steam power, water-powered factories had to be built near streams or waterfalls. Factories that could be built closer to cities and transportation, provides easier working access, allowing businesses to lower wages. Being closer to cities reduces shipping costs. If it weren't for steam power, the north could've gone on a budget.

Real Steel

Plowing was a problem in the 30s, until a man named John Deere came up with a plan to solve the problem. In 1837, blacksmith John Deere saw that his friends in Illinois had trouble with plowing the thick soil with iron plows. He designed a steel blade that he thought might work better. His idea was a success and since four years ago, 1,000 plows are sold each year.

A Better Home

Sewing, along with other entertainments is something you can do just to relax. The sewing machine was invented by Elias Howe, a factory apprentice in Lowell, Massachusetts. Later on, Issac Singer made improvements to Howe's design. One day, Singer's sewing machine company will be one of the greatest ever.

Another invention to improve homes is the icebox. Iceboxes store fresh food safely for a longer time period. This invention will be very successful for many years to come.

Big Opinions

The Transportation Revolution

Would you rather walk from Pennsylvania to Vermont or take a take a steamboat from Pennsylvania to Vermont? The U.S. is going through a rapid growth in the speed and convenience of travel because of transportation. The revolution has created a boom across the country, mostly by reducing shipping time and costs. As one foreign observer declared in 1835, "The Americans have joined the Hudson to the Mississippi and made the Atlantic Ocean communicate with the Gulf of Mexico." Steamboats and steam-powered trains enable goods, people, and information to travel rapidly and efficiently across the U.S.

Steamboat Speech

A local citizen of Vermont gives a speech about why steamboats are important.


I think steamboats are a great transportation method. Steamboats are good for river travel. Rafts cannot travel upriver, but steamboats breeze right by. Second of all, steamboats increase trade and profit because goods can be shipped quickly and cheaper. Another good thing about them is that they don't rely on wind power. It would be very difficult to operate these smart inventions if they were.

-Kaylee Wojcik of Vermont

Railroads Letter

A citizen of Wisconsin writes a letter about what they think of railroads.


Dear Mr. President,


The increase of railroads is growing. I love this transportation method because it's faster and I can travel down to Illinois in less than a week now. My horses had begun to get tired and couldn't handle the long distant traveling. It was very stressful using the horses as a transportation method because they could only run two miles per hour. Though sometimes it is dangerous when the railroad cars slip off the tracks, I believe it's worth the risk if I want to get to places fast.

-Andrew Norris of Virginia

The Working Life

Changing a Worker's Life

Having only one task can grow tiresome and most people will soon get bored of the jobs they have. When the mill work started, mill owners in the United States couldn't find enough people to work at their mills because other jobs were available to them. Apprentices were given simple tasks like feeding cotton into the machines or cleaning all the equipment. Workers grew tired and started leaving the mills.

Later on, Samuel Slater started to hire entire families who were moving to Pawtucket. Both parents and children were put to work. Children who aren't in school are given tasks simple enough for them to complete. Owners of mills profit by paying children low wages; adults get paid as much in a day, than what their children make in a week. Housing was built to attract families to the mills. Mills in Pawtucket will continue to be successful.

Lowell or Rhode Island?

The Lowell System

-Water powered textile mills.

-Employ only young, unmarried women from local farms.

-Looms can spin thread and weave cloth in the same mill.

-Women live in boarding houses

-Women are paid between 2 dollars and 4 dollars a week. Room and board are $1.25.


Rhode Island System

-Hire people mostly in families.

-Factory work is divided into simple tasks.

-Recruit people from poor communities.

-Will employ machine part makers and dam builders

-Towns provide tailors and dressmakers, butchers, and other workshops.

Working Smart

As workers realized they had to be smart with their money, they started looking for changes. Smart workers formed trade unions that tried to improve pay and working conditions. Most employers won't hire union workers because they believe higher cost of union employees prevent competition with other manufacturers.

An important person or the union movement is Sarah G. Bagley, who founded the Lowell Female Labor Reform Association. The association's goals were to influence an investigation of working conditions and obtain a 10-hour workday. In1840 President Van Buren granted a 10 hour workday for federal employees. Private business employees were working 12 to 14 hours a day, six days a week. The New England Working Men's Association elected Sarah as vice president because most people supported her campaign. In the end, the unions achieved some victories and some states passed the 10-hour workday laws.