A Technological Revolution

A Technological
Daily life 1865
Indoor electricity did not exist
 Activities depended on the rise and set of
the sun
 No refrigeration- ice was a high cost
 Long distance communication was slow
– 10 days for mail to reach Midwest from east
– 3 weeks from coast to coast
– Months to get mail from Europe
Investing in technology
Patents- license that gave inventor exclusive
rights to product
– 1790-1860- 36,000 patents
– 1860-1890- 500,000 patents
– Typewriter, telephone, and phonograph
Business leaders began to invest in inventions
Create new industries and expand old ones
1900 American standard of living was one of the
– Result of industrial productivity- amount of goods and
services created in a certain period of time
1858 Pennsylvania Rock Oil Company sent Edwin
L Drake to drill for oil
– Previously by melting fat from a whale or digging
large pits
 Expensive and time consuming
1859 Drake struck oil and became a major
– Made kerosene out of oil
– Gasoline (byproduct) was seen as a waste and
thrown away
Thomas Edison
Left his job in 1876 to become an inventor
– said he could produce a minor invention every 10
days and a big invention every 6 months
created the light bulb in 1880
 needed to have a generator to use electricity
– 1882 created a power plant in NYC that lit dozens of
– By 1890 power plants spread across the nation
Lewis Latimer-patented an improved
method for the filament of a light bulb
– Wrote a book about electric lighting
George Westinghouse- used alternating
current instead of direct current
– Could travel longer distance
– Transformer to boost electricity
 Easier for home use of electricity
General Electric and Westinghouse Electric were
– Electricity helped improve productivity of many
 Ex. Clothing- use of electric sewing machine
– Created jobs
Use of home appliances grew in cities- but not
all people could afford to buy appliances
 Rural areas took longer
Samuel F.B. Morse created the Morse code
 Companies joined together to make the
Western Union Telegraph Company
– 1870- 100,000 miles of wire and 9 million
telegraph messages
– 1900- 900,000 miles of wire and 63 million
telegraph messages
Alexander Graham Bell created the
telephone that used long distance
telephone lines
– Started with only connecting to two places
– Created switchboards that would connect an
entire city
 1878- 21 customers
 1900-1.5 million customers
NO standard for train tracks
Often only went from one city to the next and mostly in
eastern part of the nation
Transcontinental Railroad- railroad that went from east
coast to west coast
– 1862- east coast to Mississippi River and from Omaha to
– Us government had to fund the rest of the track because private
companies did not want to
 Government believed that it would strengthen the economy
– Hired Central Pacific Railroad- laid track east from Sacramento
– Union Pacific Railroad worked west from Omaha
 After 7 years they met in what is now Utah
1870- railroads could transport goods and passengers
– Noisy, dirty, and uncomfortable
New technologies
Steel rails replaced iron
Track gauges and signals were standard
Improved safety-Westinghouse improved breaks
Telegraph system so trains would not collide
Towns were built around railroads
Time zones set up due to confusion of passengers
Shipping costs decreased
– 1865- $3.45 to go from Chicago to New York
– 1895-$0.68
Railroad Revolutionized businesses
Faster and more practical way of transporting
Lower costs of production
– Trains were the cheapest way to transport goods to
goods were set at a lower price
Creation of national markets
– People could now sell products around the nation
– Resources needed to produce goods could be
obtained from anywhere in the country
Model for big business
– Professional manager and specialized
department came from railroad industry
Stimulation for other industries
– Bessemer Process- cheaper and easier way to
remove impurities from iron
– Made mass production possible
Brooklyn Bridge
Many people who worked in Manhattan lived in
– The only way to get to Manhattan was to ferry across
the East River
 Became hard in the winter
John A Roebling designed the suspension bridge
to cross the river
– Died shortly after the start so his son took over the
Started in 1869 and finished in 1883
 Became a symbol of American Success