Women used a hand loom to weave the thread into cloth
Why the Change?
Growth of cities
Traditional manufacturing methods did not produce enough goods to meet everyone’s needs
People began creating ways to become more efficient
First important breakthroughs happened in how cloth items were made.
Richard Arkwright invented a “water frame”—large spinning machine using flowing water as it’s power source
The water frame could produce dozens of threads at the same time
It lowered the cost of cotton cloth
Arkwright’s Water Frame
New Machines and Processes
New machines encouraged the rise of new processes in business and manufacturing
Great Britain (the only “owner” of these new machines) produced cloth faster and cheaper than other countries
To protect British industry, Parliament made it illegal for skilled mechanics or machine plans to leave the country.
Samuel Slater, a skilled British mechanic, memorized the designs of textile mill machines
He disguised himself as a farmer and immigrated to the United States
The Rise of American Industry
He then contacted mill owner Moses Brown and offered to help him improve the way textiles were manufactured in the United States. They formed a partnership and opened their first mill in Pawtucket, Rhode Island.
The mill was a success and the production of cotton thread by American machines had begun!
Samuel Slater owned 13 textile mills by the time he died in 1835
Other Americans began building textile mills. Most were located in New England.
Why do you think most mills were built in New England?
Northeastern merchants had extra money to invest
There are many rivers and streams in the Northeast
Investors in the South concentrated on expanding agriculture because it was seen as an easier way to make money
Samuel Slater’s Spinning Frame
First Textile Mill (Pawtucket, R.I.)
A Manufacturing Breakthrough
Outside of textiles, most manufacturing was still done by hand.
The U.S. government, worrying about possible war, wanted more muskets
At this time, skilled workers made the parts for each weapon by hand.
No two parts were exactly alike
Carefully fitting all the pieces together took much time and skill
American gun makers could not product the muskets quickly enough
What was the name of the man who provided the solution?
Whitney came up with a proposal to the government for mass-producing guns using water-powered machinery
He also came up with the idea of using interchangeable parts
In 1801 Whitney gave a demonstration of interchangeable parts to President John Adams. He had an assortment of parts for 10 guns. He then randomly chose parts and quickly assembled them into muskets. To the audience’s amazement, he repeated the process several times.
Mass Production/Division of Labor
Interchangeable parts became standard in industry
Interchangeable parts sped up mass production, which is the efficient production of large numbers of identical goods
Mass production uses a division of labor in which the work is divided among several people, each doing a specific task (assembly line production)
Machine tools like this one make parts that are identical and therefore interchangeable
Assembly Line/Division of Labor
Slow Start in Manufacturing
Despite the hard work of people such as Samuel Slater and Eli Whitney, manufacturing the United States grew slowly.
Why do you think that was so?
People preferred farming, and we had an abundance of land in the US
As a result, we had few people willing to work in factories. With supply low and demand high, wages were high so the price of finished goods was high
Britain had less land, so they had more industrial workers. They could produce large amounts of goods less expensively than most American businesses could
It was cheaper to import goods than manufacture them here
Any ideas as to what brought about the change?
How might the War of 1812 and incidents leading up to that war have changed things?
Wars between European powers interfered with US trade
American customers could no longer get all the manufactured goods they were used to buying from British and European manufacturers
During the War of 1812, British ships blockaded eastern seaports, preventing foreign ships from delivering goods
Americans began buying needed goods from American manufacturers
As profits for American factories grew, manufacturers began to spend more money expanding their factories
State banks and private investors began to lend money to manufacturers for their businesses
Americans began to realize that the US had been relying too heavily on foreign goods
Without being able to meet our own needs, we might be weak and open to attack
Even our president, Thomas Jefferson, changed his mind and stopped opposing manufacturing
The Industrial Revolution started with the textile industry in England but soon spread to the United States.
As you can imagine, the spread of factories changed the working lives of many Americans.