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Webisode 4: 1788-1850 Page: 1 | 2

An English Factory
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An English Factory
English factories, like the one shown here, were impressively large. This mill was seven stories high, 158 yards long, and eighteen yards wide, and boasted of 32,500 panes of glass in its 660 windows. By the time of this engraving, in 1835, Lowell, Massachusetts had similar factories in full swing.



Samuel Slater
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Samuel Slater
Here is Samuel Slater in later years, after he became a successful New England mill manager.


Slater's Mill
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Slater's Mill
In 1790 Sam Slater was hired by Moses Brown and William Almy to construct British-style machinery in their Rhode Island cotton mill. The machines he built, pictured here on a page from Slater's memoir, were the most advanced design anywhere in the United States. Indeed, the industrial revolution in America can be said to date from the opening of Slater's Mill.


A Mill in New Jersey
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A Mill in New Jersey
Early mills needed water power to operate, which is why factories were generally built next to swiftly-flowing streams. Here is a planing mill from Camden, New Jersey as it looked in 1840.


A Cotton Plantation
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A Cotton Plantation
Before 1793 cotton was a minor crop in America. It was just too difficult to clean it of its seeds. Here is a cotton plantation in the 1850s, long after Eli Whitney's invention had made cotton king across the South.


Eli Whitney
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Eli Whitney
Eli Whitney was a young graduate from Yale University when he teamed up with Catherine Greene, a South Carolina plantation owner, and invented the cotton gin. In the thirty years after his invention, production of cotton in the South increased by one thousand percent.


A Cotton Gin
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A Cotton Gin
Here in this engraving originally published in Harper's Weekly, slaves operate a cotton gin while their owners inspect the finished product. Women carry batches of raw cotton to be cleaned.


Notice to Travelers
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"Notice to Travelers"
By 1824, the date of this Maryland newspaper notice, a U.S. mail coach (with passenger service) was already traveling the National Road, making regular stops between Baltimore and Wheeling, Virginia (today West Virginia). The trip took three and a quarter days to complete.


A Stage Coach
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A Stage Coach
Here is what a stage coach looked like in the 1820s when the National Road was first being used. In Wheeling, travelers made connection to the Ohio River boats, which took them to the Mississippi and as far south as New Orleans.



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