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In 1789, 90% of the people in America worked on farms-the rest worked in the cities and its factories. By the time the Civil War took place, most of these people went to the city. In present times, only 5% of the American population work on farms. As you can see, times have changed and lifestyles now differ from the past because of the marvelous Industrial Revolution.
The Industrial Revolution started in Britain during the mid-1700s; there, the British invented and developed technology which transformed the textile business. During the early days, every household owned a spinning wheel. They got the wool, cleaned it, boiled it, and then combed it. The spinning wheel could catch the fibers and lengthen it- giving you yarn. One day, Jenny Hargreaves accidentally knocked over her spinning wheel and the wheel kept spinning. Her husband, James Hargreaves, walked in and came up with a brilliant idea. In 1764, he developed the spinning jenny. The spinning jenny could spin several threads at once (8). In 1774, Richard Arkwright invented a water-powered machine that cold hold 100 spindles of thread. In the 1780s, Edmund Cartwright built a loom powered by water, which could produce 200 times more cloth in one day than was possible before. All of these inventions were classified and were to remain only in England. America was desperate for their own Industrial Revolution so Samuel Slater decided to leave England for the large rewards that the Americans were offering. He memorized the designs of the machines because any sketches aboard the ship would be dangerous. In America, Slater and Moses Brown opened the first American factory. Many copied this model textile business. Francis Cabot Lowell and the Boston Associates built a large textile factory in Massachusetts; however, they mostly hired women and children to do the work because they could pay them less than they would have to pay a man. Today, the United States has become the leader in the industrialized world.
Eli Whitney, an American inventor, came up with the idea of interchangeable parts. In earlier times, gunsmith spent days making things pertaining to a single musket. Whitney thought that by using machinery that made the same part for the same musket, it would be easier on your time and money. Many inventors, after studying Whitney’s plans, designed machines that would produce interchangeable parts for objects such as clocks, locks, and many other goods.
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