Early Industrial Revolution Notes

Early Industrial Revolution Notes
1. The Industrial Revolution started in Great Britain, and spread to America.
2. Products made at home by hand were replaced by products made by machines in factories
3. Improvements in technology transform the American Economy.
 Steel - Bessemer Process - Henry Bessemer figured out a way to mix cold air to
remove the impurities in iron ore. His Bessemer converter was able to
produce steel that was lighter, stronger, and more flexible then iron.
 Light Weight Steel Plow - John Deere developed a lightweight steel plow.
Horses replaced slow moving oxen, and field could be plowed faster. The
steel plow worked well on the prairies of the Great Plains. Farmers were
able to produce more food with fewer helpers.
 Mechanical Reaper - Cyrus McCormick developed a horse drawn
machine, the Mechanical Reaper that mowed wheat. The machine could do
the work of five people.
 Cotton Gin - Eli Whitney developed a machine that could
separate cottonseeds from cotton fiber. The cotton gin
increased the amount of cotton a farm could produce
making cotton very profitable. As a result, the production
of cotton became the main cash crop of the South or Cotton
Kingdom. Because growing cotton wore the soil out the
Cotton Kingdom expanded westward.
 Spinning Wheel – one thread at a time
 Spinning Jenny – 10 threads at a time
 Water Frame – 100’s of threads at a time
Richard Arkwright developed a machine, Water Frame, which could
 spin 100 threads at a time. It needed a tremendous amount of power so it
had to be located near a stream or river (water power)
 Spinning Mills - Francis Lowell – Helped developed the first factory in
Massachusetts. He combined the spinning and weaving of cotton under one roof
or mill.
 Human Power – A person pumped a pedal or turned a crank to power machines
 Water Power – Water wheels were used to power machines
 Steam Power - External Combustion engines were use to power machines
 Electric Power / Power Plants – Electric was made miles away at a power plant
and transferred over miles of wire to power machines.
 Factory System
o Large buildings housed these machines
o Hundreds of employees worked under on roof
 Interchangeable Parts - Eli Whitney developed the idea of using uniform
interchangeable parts to build rifles. Instead of building one rifle at a time he
manufactured large numbers of identical parts by machine. The standard or
interchangeable parts would later be put together. Large numbers of rifles could
be produced, plus defective parts could be replaced without having to build a new
 Specialization of Laborer – Each worker does a small part of the total job
 Unskilled Labor
 Mass Production – Factories were able to produce thousands of identical items
very cheaply.
 Roads – Gravel Roads replaced dangerous muddy roads. Hard surfaced roads
allowed water to drain away and made overland transportation faster as well as
more dependable
 Canals - Waterways dug through land to allow ships to travel between rivers and
 Railroad - George Stepheson developed the first successful steam locomotive in
1814. The Railroads replace the canals and roads as the main means of
 Steamboats - Robert Fulton created the first commercially successful Steam
Boat. In 1807 he sailed up the Hudson River from New York City to Albany.
Boats could now move up stream faster
 Telegraph – Samuel Morse- Morse Code - Samuel F.B. Morse developed an
electrical machine that could send messages over wires using a tapping code. The
telegraph provided a rapid means of communication through out the country.
 Telephone – Alexander Graham Bell – The telephone allowed people to have a
conversation instantly over great distances.
 Proprietor – a single owner
 Partnership – several owners (2+)
 Corporation – hundreds or thousands of people own shares in a company. A
board of directors that is elected by the stockholders choose a C.E.O. to run the
o Stocks – are shares of ownership in a company. They can be bought and
sold on the stock market.
Sole Proprietorship
2. The effects of new technologies on the American Family
 Products that were formerly made at home were now purchased at stores
o Soap
o Butter
o Milk
 Families start to get smaller
 Not as many workers are needed on the farms
 The infant mortality rate is lowered by improvements in medicine.
3. Urbanization: The Growth of Cities
 Rural to Urban Migration
 Workers who replaced by machines on the farms moved to the cities were
factories need workers.
 Tenement Housing and Ghettos
4. Laissez Faire Economics – No Government Regulation
 Many economists believed that the government should not interfere in the free
market place (economy). They believed that the market would monitor itself with
out government regulation.