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Industrial Revolution

A period of rapid growth in the use of machines in manufacturing and production.

Richard Arkwright

Brought dramatic change to the textile industry. He patented a large spinning machine, called the water frame, that ran on water-power.

Samuel Slater

A skilled British mechanic who knew how to build new textile machines that allowed Great Britain to produce cloth faster and cheaper than other countries could.

Eli Whitney

Wanted to make guns for the U.S. Army. He had new ideas about how this could be done using water-powered machinery. Whitney also came up with the idea of manufacturing using interchangeable parts. Products with interchangeable parts are made from pieces that are exactly the same. The products are thus easier to assemble and broken parts are easier to replace. Built the cotton gin.

The Rhode Island system.

Slater's practice of hiring families and dividing factory work into simple tasks.

Francis Cabot Lowell

A buisnessman from New England who built a water-powered loom.

Lowell system

Hire young unmarried women from local farms instead of entire families.

Sarah G. Bagley

Founded the Lowell Female Labor Reform Association in 1844.

Transportation Revolution

A period of rapid growth in the speed and convenience of travel.

Robert Fulton

Tested a model steamboat design in 1803 in France.


Folton's ship.

Peter Cooper

Built a steam-powered train called the Tom Thumb.

Samuel F.B. Morse

Invented the telegraph.

Morse code

In Morse code, different combinations of dots and dashes are used to stand for letters of the alphabet.

John Deere

Invented the steel plow.

Cyrus McCormick

Developed a new harvesting machine.

Issac Singer

Made improvements to sewing machines.

Jean Etienne Bore

Invented a new system for processing sugar in 1795.

Joesph R. Anderson

A graduate of the military academy at West Point who became the owner of the Tredegar Iron Works in Richmond.

Nat Turner

A slave from Virginia who believed that God has called on him to end slavery.

Nat Turner's Rebellion

Began on an August night in 1831. Turner led a group of slaves that set out to kill slaveholders and their families.

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