The Industrial Revolution had an enormous impact on the way of life of Americans in the 19th century. It was a period in which factories and large corporation came into existence resulting in a need for a huge workforce to man the factories. This labor force would be recruited from men who worked on farms and were know attracted to working in factories in cities.
This movement was well underway by the Civil War. During the 1840s, the population of the country as a whole increased by 36%. The population of towns and cities of 8,000 or more increased by 90%. With a huge and growing market, the corporation became the central force in America's economic growth.
This section of the website concentrates on the history of factories in the 19th century and early 20th century. An understanding of factories is useful to the Genealogist because often family members moved to different areas of the country in response to jobs and when they left they left no trace in records of where they moved to. Rhis section of our site is for the person interested in the history of factories.
The first factory in the United States was begun in 1790, by Samuel Slater, a cotton spinner's apprentice who left England the year before with the secrets of textile machinery, built a factory from memory to produce spindles of yarn.
The factory had 72 spindles, powered by nine children pushing foot treadles, soon replaced by water power. Three years later, John and Arthur Shofield, who also came from England, built the first factory to manufacture woolens in Massachusetts.
Other factories also developed during this time the Shoe industry being just one example.
The factory types we will feature is a beginning and not to be considered definitive. You the viewer can feel free to add to this section of the website.