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The Industrial Revolution

  • The Bessemer Process

    The Bessemer Process
    Created in the early 1950's, the Bessemer Process was the first way to cheaply manufacture steel in mass quantities. It was created by the British engineer Henry Bessemer, but was patented by William Kelly in the U.S in 1857.
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  • Edwin Drake Strikes Oil

    Edwin Drake Strikes Oil
    Edwin Drake, who was the first American Oil Driller, struck oil in Titusville, Pennsylvania, 70 feet down on August 28th, 1859 after drilling for months.
  • John D. Rockefeller Dominates the Oil Industry

    John D. Rockefeller Dominates the Oil Industry
    In 1863, Rockefeller, a young successfull entrepreneur, founded his first oil refinery, the Standard Oil Company. Less then a decade later, he had basically total control of North America's Refinery's. By the early 1880's he dominated the nation's oil business, and his company had a networth of $55 million dollars, but because of his near monopoly of the oil business, Anti-monopoly acts were put in place to stop such control.
  • Christopher Sholes invents the typewriter

    Christopher Sholes invents the typewriter
    In 1868, Christopher Sholes, a printer by trade, invented the typewriter with the assistance of his two friends, Carlos Glidden, and Samuel Soulé. Also along with his typewriter, Sholes created the QWERTY keyboard alignment which is still popular to this day.
  • The Transcontinental Railroad

    The Transcontinental Railroad
    On May 10th, 1869, the Transcontinental Railroad was completed after two railroad companies, the Union Pacific Railroad from the east, and the Central Pacific Railroad from the west connected. This was revolutionary because it shortened the trip from the east coast to the west coast from months to days. It also gave way to thousands of new towns along the railroads, and tons of new inhabitants moving to the west.
  • The Credit Mobilier Scandal

    The Credit Mobilier Scandal
    In 1872, stockholders in the Union Pacific Railroad formed another company, the Credit Mobilier of America. They then gave the contracts to build the railroads from the government to their new company, which were then sold to congressmen for profit. The congressmen allowed this to happen by approving documents for the railroad construction cost, and ignored the potential profits for builders, knowingly helping themselves illegally, which would later destroy their creditability.
  • Alexander Graham Bell Invents the Telephone

    Alexander Graham Bell Invents the Telephone
    Bell, a Scottish born inventor, invented the first version of what we now call the "telephone" in 1875 at just the age of 28. He would later have it patented on March 7th, 1876, and tested it just 5 days later, talking to his assosciate with the words "Mr. Watson, come here. I want to see you." from one room to another.
  • Munn v. Illinois

    Munn v. Illinois
    In 1876, during the 1870's depression, the illinois legislature enacted a law that established a maximum charge that could be imposed by grain storage facility operators.In 1872, a chicago warehouse firm by the name of Munn and Scott were found guilty of violating the law, and appealed it. The appeal went to the supreme court, and they ruled against the appeal stating that a state has a legitimate police power to regulate private enterprises that could impact public interests.
  • Thomas Edison invents the Light Bulb

    Thomas Edison invents the Light Bulb
    In early January of 1879, Thomas Edison, an American inventor created a working lightbulb after over 3,000 attempts. This particular light bulb lasted only for a few hours, but he would later invent a model which lasted for 1500 hours!
  • The Haymarket Riot

    The Haymarket Riot
    On May 4, 1886, a labor protest rally over the killing of protesters by Chicago police the day before, near Chicago's Haymarket, turned deadly after someone threw an explosive at police, ultimately killing 8 people. Although they had a lack of evidence against them, 8 radical labor activists were convicted for the crimes. This was unfortunately viewed as a major setback for the organized labor movement in North America.
  • The Interstate Commerce Act

    The Interstate Commerce Act
    In 1887, the Interstate Commerce Act was passed by Congress which made the the railroads the first ever industy subject to Federal regulation. This act was mostly passed because of the public complaining that railroad operations should be regulated. Before this act, it was easy for railroads to hold a monopoly in the areas they serviced, which made for no competition to their prices.
  • Sherman Antitrust Act

    Sherman Antitrust Act
    In 1890, the Sherman Antitrust Act was passed, and was the first measure passed by the U.S congress to stop trusts, and was also the first measure to prohibit monopolies. Before this act was put in place, business' in particular industries such as the oil industry could have a monopoly on certain products, meaning they owned 100% of the market for that product, allowing them to set their prices as high as they wanted, as their was no competition.
  • The Homestead Strike

    The Homestead Strike
    In 1892, after Andrew Carnegie stepped up steel production rates in an attempt to break the Union, the workers refused to accept the new production rates. On July 2nd, all workers were discharged by Henry Frick, and locked out. Although the union represted only 1/5 of the workers, the rest voted to join the union as well, after a violent riot with the police, the strikers were overtooken by strikebreakers.The strike ended on November 20th,1892, and Carnegie's reputation was ruined.
  • The Pullman Strike

    The Pullman Strike
    The Pullman Strike occured after George Pullman, who was the president of The Pullman Palace Car Company, treated his workers extremely unfairly. All his workers had to pay rent & live in his city. After a 25% percent drop in pay because of the depression, and no decrease in rent cost, the workers went on strike, and did not end until federal troops forced them back. The Pullman Strike was important because it was the first time a federal injunction had ever been used to break up a strike.
  • J.P Morgan forms the United States Steel Corporation

    J.P Morgan forms the United States Steel Corporation
    In 1901, Financier John Pierpoint Morgan, or "J.P", formed the United States Steel Corporation. U.S Steel Corporation would quickly become the world's largest steel manufacturer as it was a crucial material in the expension and growth of the nation.
  • Mother Jones Helps Child Workers

    Mother Jones Helps Child Workers
    In 1903, after 100,000 workers, 16,000 of them children, left their jobs as they wanted their workweek cut from 60 to 55 hours a week, Mary "Mother" Jones led 100 child workers from the textile mills in Philadelphia to New York City to bring attention to the matter, and led them all the way to President Roosevelt's Long Island home. This without a doubt helped the child worker's cause, and was one of many great deeds done by Mother Jones.
  • The Wright Brothers Take Flight

    The Wright Brothers Take Flight
    On December 17th, 1903, the Wright Brothers, after years of calculating, studying, and testing gliders, finally had the first successfull, piloted, powered flight in their 700 lbs glider known as "The Flyer" for a total of 12 seconds. The Wright Brother's success in aerodynamics gave way to the technology we have today, and helped shape the world as we know it.
  • Locher v. NY Decision

    Locher v. NY Decision
    In 1897, the state of new york created the Bakeshop Act, which limited the amount of hours a baker could work to 60 hours a week. This was violated by Joseph Lochner, who allowed a worker to work more than 60 hours a week, and was fined 50$ for his crime, and if he didn't pay he would be put in jail until it was. Lochner appealed his conviction to the supreme court, and in 1905, the Supreme court declared the Bakeshop Act unconstitutional, and for Lochner's conviction to be reversed.
  • Henry Ford Creates an Affordable Automobile

    Henry Ford Creates an Affordable Automobile
    In the early 20th century, automobiles were extremely complex and dangerous machines, but Henry Ford set out to create more simple and reliable automobile that everyone could afford. In 1908, the Ford Model T debuted in the markets for a price of $825.00, which was dramatically lower than other automobiles, allowing Ford to reach its goal of allowing everyone to be able to afford an automobile. Ford helped us mold our society to what it is today.
  • Eugene Debs Runs for an Indiana Congressional Seat

    Eugene Debs Runs for an Indiana Congressional Seat
    In 1916, Eugene Debs, who ran for president 4 times prior, decided to run for an Indiana Congressional Seat. He campaigned on a pacifist platform of American neutrality in the First World War, and was elected. However, in 1918 he was arrested for violating the Espionage Act for supposively giving an "Anti-War Speach", however he only mentioned the war once in the speech. He was given a 10 year prison sentence, but was released on Christmas day, 1921.