Industrial Revolution

Phillip Hatcher
Social Studies
February 13, 2015
Industrial Revolution
The American Industrial Revolution was a very important time for the United States. It was a
time when the industrial businesses and factories began. Starting with brilliant inventions, some
which were stolen, and others that were born and accepted in America. The Industrial Revolution
occurred in 1820-1870.
The Cotton Gin was a very important invention to the Industrial Revolution in the United
States. The Cotton Gin quickly and easily separates the cotton fibers from the seeds. This
tremendously increased productivity in cotton. The Gin also affected American history by
increasing the demand of slaves after a steady decline. This increased tension over time between
the northern states and the southern states over time. The Cotton Gin was invented by Eli
Whitney in the year of 1793 and was patented in 1794. The Cotton Gin was a combination of a
wire screen and wire hooks. It even had a brush to prevent jams from occurring.
The Flying Shuttle make it possible for a single weaver to weave much larger and wider
fabrics. The Shuttle also was to automatically make looms. This invention was created in 1733.
The Flying Shuttle was invented by John Kay. The Flying Shuttle to increased production of
fabrics in the United States. The increase in production, caused by the Flying Shuttle, exceeded
the capacity of the spinning industry of the day. That propelled the development of spinning
machines, starting with the Spinning Jenny.
The Production of the Power Loom elevated the production of cloth throughout the United
States. This was a steam powered mechanically operated version of the regular loom. Its sole
purpose was to combine threads to make cloth. The Power Loom was invented in 1813 by a
group of Boston Merchants. This group was led by a man named Francis Cabot Lowell. The
Power Loom had a major affect on plenty of industrial cities where they were in used. Those
cities grew in size and population. This invention also made it possible for finer threads and
better clothes. Making more jobs for those in the cities.
The Spinning Mule was made in 1779 by Samuel Crompton. The Spinning Mule combined the
moving carriage of the Spinning Jenny along with the rollers of the Water Frame. This invention
gave the spinner great control over the weaving process. This made it possible to form different
types of yarn. Making different types of clothes available. At this time families made their own
clothes but, with this it made ready to wear clothes possible. The Spinning Mule spun textile
fibers into yarn by an alternating process. This process was taking the roving a pulling it through
and twisting it. Then it is wrap around a spindle.
Working Conditions:
The working conditions were rather harsh for the employees during the Industrial Revolution.
Unlike now, there were no safety laws and there were no regulations for child employment. Nor,
were there any regulations for safety equipment to ensure safety for the employees. There were
very dangerous things in the factories of the Industrial Revolution. Such as the moving
machinery, which could seriously maim or injure those who were to close or got pulled in,
inadequate fire escapes, which were locked until work was over. Dirty air from the lack of
windows, Especially in the cotton factories. Cotton fibers would be released in the air and if
inhaled could damage the lungs.
The normal working day for the factory workers was long and rigorous. Those factory
workers woke up very early every morning in an overpopulated area. The apartments for those
workers were very crowded. It was a single room apartment that was sweltering hot in the
summer and had bitterly cold winters. It was often that multiple family lived in each room.
Because of this disease spread easily. The average worker worked from between 13-15 hours six
days a week for very little pay. Sometimes the workers even worked seven days a week. Along,
with long hour came little pay for the hard work. Grown men made Between 10-15 shillings a
week but, for women and children it was much worse. Women made a weekly of 5 shillings and
children made a shilling or less each week.
Lowell Mill Girls:
The Lowell Mill Girls were a very important part throughout the history of the Industrial
Revolution. The Mill Girls were female workers who came to work for the textile corporations in
Lowell, Massachusetts in the Industrial Revolution. Thus creating the name, Lowell Mill Girls.
The life of The Mill Girls was very difficult. It was difficult in the factory and in the living
quarters. The Lowell corporation combine a large scale from in an attempt to improve the
outlook of the corporations female workers. Those women were normally hired to a year
contract and the less experienced were paired with someone who was experienced. The
conditions of the Lowell factory are severe by American standards nowadays. The women
worked from 5:00 am until seven o'clock pm. For a week each women worked for an average of
73 hours a week. Every room of the factory had about 80 women working the machines. In those
rooms it also had 2 male managers. The noise that the machines made was very loud and
released thread particles Into the air. Since, the the windows were closed to keep the conditions
of those threads.
The owners of the factories built hundreds of border houses for those women to live year
around. There was a curfew for 10:00 pm for those women. No men were allowed in those
boarding houses. 25 women were housed in each boarding house. Up to six lived in each room of
the boarding house. Trips away from the boarding houses or factories were rare for The Lowell
Mill Girls. Those women ate, slept, and lived together. Those women eventually started a strike
against the Lowell Corporations. But, very few supported it and not enough of the workers
partook in it so the strike eventually ended.
Child Labor:
Children worked a lot in the Industrial Revolution. Those children worked for very little pay
and there were no regulations on how much. Children as young as the age of six worked in that
time. Sometimes children worked up to 19 hours a day with only a total of an hour worth of
breaks. The jobs those children did were outside jobs, factory work, and coal mines and
residential. Some of those jobs were very dangerous for those children. The outdoor jobs
included street sweepers. Street sweepers would sweep the road of mud and whatever else was
there. Including horse manure and trash. In the factories there was a match dipper job. The match
dipper would take matches and sip them into phosphorus. Phosphorous can be deadly if inhaled.
This chemical also cause teeth to rot of those children. Children also found work in the coal
mines. Children had jobs as coal bearers. After years of being in those minds children often
developed lung problems or even lung cancer.
Children made much less than adults did in that time. Children made 10% or less than adults
including women and children. Adult men made 15 shillings a week. Women made 10 shillings a
week and children made 1 or less each week. The first child labor laws came about in the early
1900's. The very first child labor law was established in New England in 1916 . Then the entire
state of Massachusetts made a child labor law saying that children under the age of 15 unable to
Horror Stories:
There were plenty of accidents that occurred in those factories. Unguarded machinery was a
major problem for children employees. One hospital reported that every year it treated nearly a
thousand people for wounds and mutilations caused by machines in factories. For example, the
story of Mary Richards. This story is truly terrifying. She was a young girl who had worked at an
factory. Below her was a horizontal shaft. Her dressed was caught by the shaft and she was
sucked in. She was torn in pieces and parts of what was her body were all over the floor. The
only the thing left was screams of horror from the witnesses. Witnessed said all that was heard
was the crackling of her bones will she was being crushed. Those are moment when a great time
throughout history was scarring and horrible.
Work Cited: