The Expansion of American Industry 1850 - 1900 - wswildcats

The Opening of the Brooklyn Bridge on May 24, 1883
displayed American ingenuity, ambition, and industrial
might to the world
Section 1: A Technological Revolution
Pages 456-465
Main Ideas (make sure you know these!)
• After the Civil War (1861-1865) the U.S. developed into
one of the world’s industrial powers
• Entrepreneurs funded inventors & scientists
leading to an explosion of new products &
improvements to many existing ones
• This 2nd Industrial Revolution continued to impact
& change people’s daily lives at work and home
• The social problems that accompanied early
industrialization & urbanization still existed
Investing in Technology
• Business leaders in Europe & America began
to invest in new inventions, as well as fund
scientific research to find the next big thing
– How much innovation was going on??
• From 1790-1860 there were 36,000 patents issued
• From 1860-1890 there were more than 500,000
• This investment led to a dramatic rise in
America’s industrial productivity
– The amount of goods and services created in a
country in a given period of time
Growth of the Oil Industry I
• Old Methods of
Obtaining Oil:
– Melting whale fat
– Digging a huge pit and hoping
it seeped through to the
– Time consuming & expensive
• Edwin Drake’s new idea:
– Drake Oil Well Museum,
Titusville, Pennsylvania
Growth of the Oil Industry II
• Drake first struck oil by drilling in 1859
• Drilling for oil became a major industry
• Crude oil was refined to produce kerosene for
heating fuel & lighting fuel
– A byproduct of this process is ethanol (gasoline),
which was thrown away at first but became a separate
industry in the early 1900’s with the invention of the
• Oil refineries became a huge part of the industry
Thomas Edison – direct current
George Westinghouse –
alternating current
Thomas Alva Edison
• Famous lab located in Menlo Park, NJ
• 1880 – invented the light bulb!
• 1882 – opened 1st central power station that
lit dozens of buildings in NYC
• By 1890 power stations were nationwide
– Supplying electric power to new products like:
• lamps
• Fans
• Other new inventions (that means new industries!)
George Westinghouse
• Used a transformer to boost power levels as
the electricity left the station so it could be
sent long distances
• A second transformer at the receiving station
reduced the power level so it could be used
• Made home use of electricity for the masses
Direct vs. Alternating Current
• Direct
– Edison
– Expensive
– Could only travel 1-2 miles
• Alternating
– Westinghouse
– Cheaper to generate than direct current
– Could travel very long distances
Impact of Electricity
Improved the productivity of business
Created new jobs
Made refrigeration possible
While most urban Americans benefited from
electricity, many rural Americans went
without the benefits of electricity until well
into the 1900’s
The 1st Communication Revolution
• 1st message sent by
telegraph in 1844
– “What hath God
wrought?” (bonus ?!!)
• Technology perfected
by Samuel Morse, who
developed a system of
dots and dashes to
represent letters of the
The Telephone (what would you do without your phone??)
• Invented by Alexander
Graham Bell, 1876
• 1885: American Telephone
& Telegraph Co. established
to build long distance phone
• By 1900 there were 1
million phones in use in the
United States
A National Market is Created
• Transcontinental Railroad: trans = across;
continental = continent (North America, in this case)
• New rails were to be laid between the existing
track in the East and West Coast
• Federal Gov’t gave huge loans & grants to two
private companies to strengthen the nation’s
– Union Pacific: build from Omaha, Nebraska to the West
– Central Pacific:from Sacramento, California to the East
Transcontinental Railroad
• Most workers were
– Union Pacific: Irish & Euros
– Central Pacific: Chinese
• Fiercely proud of the
work they did
– Moved to America for
economic opportunity
– Happy to have a job
– Proud to contribute to the
growth & strength of their
new country
Railroad Improvements
Steel rails replace iron rails
Track gauges became standardized
Signals became standardized
Westinghouse – developed an improved air
braking system
• Train-specific telegraph patented for
communication between trains (early CB radio)
How did the Railroads aid industry?
Faster & more practical way to transport goods
Lower production costs
Creation of a national market
A model for other big business
Stimulates the growth of other industries
• Hmmm….this seems important, and there are 5 bullet points… I wonder if
this will be an extended response question??
A New Age of Building
• Bessemer Process: a
cheaper, easier way to
remove the impurities
from steel during the
steel making process
• Advantages of Steel vs.
Could build taller, stronger,
more architecturally
innovative buildings
The Steel Industry
• The geography of Pennsylvania soon made it the
steel capital of the world
• Pittsburgh sits at the junction of three rivers, thus
a crucial spot for shipping steel… hence the
• The Bessemer Process made the mass production
of steel possible
– Production of any good in a great amount
– By the early 1900’s the US accounted for more than
80% of the world’s steel production