Changes in Technology

Changes in Technology

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Changes in Technology



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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Small workshops soon developed into large factories because of Eli Whitney’s inventive skills.
Donald McKay was an exceptional ship designer; he invented the Clipper Ship, which had more sails than the average ship- then, there was the Flying Cloud. The Flying Cloud held a record of going from New York City to San Francisco in less than 90 days; the Panama Canal hadn’t been invented yet. Then, the steam ship was invented and it made England number one. Americans used steam ships often as well but it was still complicated for farmers and merchants to travel west because of the many waterfalls. These difficulties led to the construction of canals. These steam ships were good for transporting items. The things transported with these boats were hemp, palm oil, coffee, spices, and hides. A man named Robert Gray traded Ginseng for Chinaware. The number one trading product was whale oil. Whale oil could light lamps (until the 1860s because in 1859, the U.S. struck oil). Whalers came all the way from New England to the Pacific Ocean, where the whales have their habitat. A whaling journey could take 3-5 years so meanwhile, the wife of the household was left in charge. The Southern Lady was considered to be the ‘gentle one’ because they didn’t do anything- they simply gave orders to their slaves. On the other hand, the New England wives were considered as witches. The whaling journeys could be deadly because they could send the sailors (on the dory) on a ‘New England Sleigh Ride.’ These journeys, however, were quite profitable in a sense that 15 year-old could go on one of these journeys and have enough money left over to retire at that early age. Ambrose was worth more in diamonds than gold; Ambrose made perfume. Whalebones made corsets for the rich women; scrimshaw was also made out of these bones.
Moving west required the usage of covered wagons, the wooden wheels were rimmed in iron to prevent wear, and teams of oxen or mules pulled the heavy wagon to the designated destination. Settlers faced a very difficult journey because the roads weren’t of good quality. Many of these roads were too narrow even to let one wagon get through- so turnpikes, corduroy roads, and a National Road were assembled. Faster, easier transportation was the key of increasing prosperity in the young and bountiful, United States of America.
In conclusion, the United States has faced many changes in the areas of transportation, manufacturing, and agriculture during the first half of the nineteenth century. Developing these advancements in the technology field have helped the United States become the global superpower in today’s present times.
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