Industrialization Began Quickly

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Starting around 1760 America changed dramatically with the start of the industrial revolution; the country went from largely agricultural, relying on animal and human power to an urban industrial society with the invention of machinery. This was a major turning point in history, affecting nearly every aspect of society and daily life.

Industrialization began quickly in Britain with mechanized spinning in the 1780s, during the 1800s steam power and iron production grew rapidly, eventually moving to the United States in the early 19th century with mechanized textile production. Fossil fuels like coal, oil, and natural gas were utilized replacing the human and animal power previously used. In the early 18th century people began using coal for heating and cooking, during the process of mining the coal their mines would fill with water so, in 1776, James Watt designed a coal-burning steam engine to pump water out of coal mines when using horses hauling buckets took too long. As others began to improve on his design and put it to other uses, steam-powered machinery was becoming more popular leading to factories and rapid urban growth with many moving to these new cities to become employed. Before the factory system, products were made one at a time, by hand, by skilled workers in their home or a small workshops.

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People lived off the land as either landowner and self-employed farmers or laborers moving from job to job. They made their own clothing from yarn they spun and cloth they wove, families would also weave textiles to sell at markets, people and small towns were mainly self-sufficient through the cottage industry. As industrialization progressed and machinery became larger, factories formed around them and business owners hired unskilled workers to run them in the centralized workplace.

The spinning Jenny was another groundbreaking invention patented in 1764 by James Hargreaves that allowed workers to spin many spools of wool at once. Workers could spin up to 120 spools at a time increasing the productivity of mills and furthering the industrialization of the textile industry. In 1789 Edmund Cartwright patented his second power loom which served as a model for inventors to improve upon. Cartwright also patented a wool-combing machine and a rope making machine in 1789 and 1792. Most, if not all, inventions during this time period mainly benefitted the business owner.

In 1733 John Kay patented the flying shuttle. Prior to this, a weaver was needed on each side of a broad-cloth loom, the flying shuttle required fewer workers. Where multiple people in the past wouldve been used to make one piece of fabric, a machine operated by one worker could make much more.

Instead of farm families cleaning the wool and spinning it into yarn, a carding machine would comb it and Samuel Cromptons water-powered spinning machine would spin the thread;

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