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The Expansion of American Industry: The Technological Revolution The years following the Civil War saw a dramatic increase in the number of inventions submitted to the Patent and Trademark Office. A patent is a license to make, sell or use an invention. Number of inventions patented.
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The Technological Revolution
The years following the Civil War saw a dramatic increase in the number of inventions submitted to the Patent and Trademark Office. A patent is a license to make, sell or use an invention.
Number of inventions patented.
Thomas Edison’s favorite invention the phonograph.
“I was never so taken aback in my life– I was always afraid of things that worked for the first time,” Edison said of the phonograph.
The Fabulous Phonograph:From Tin Foil to High Fidelity.
Roland Gelatt, 1955
Advertisement for the Edison New Stand Phonograph, in Harper’s, Sept. 1898. Accessed 7-17-01
Iron invented in 1882
The vacuum cleaner was invented in 1869.
Images found in http://inventorsmuseum.com
Prior to the Civil War, much of the nation’s transportation was provided by steam ships or by short line connected railroad tracks. This changes with the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad in1869 at Promontory Point in Utah. The Transcontinental Railroad connected coast to coast.
Click on image to learn more about railroads from the Library of Congress. 7-17-01
Image from the Inventors Museum at http://www.inventorsmuseum.com/telegraph.htm. Accessed 7-17-01
Image from alpcom.it/hamradio
Samuel Morse is most known for perfecting
and patenting the telegraphy. Morse sent his
first message using his version of the telegraph in 1844.
Morse Code was a system of long and short electrical
impulses which represented every letter in the alphabet.
This jump started what many now refer to as the
Model of Bell’s Telephone, Reproduction # LC-D420-2586 DLC, Detroit Publishing Company, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress. Accessed 7-17-01.
In 1876, Alexander Graham Bell patented his “talking telegraph”. His work originally started during work to help improve the lives of the hearing impaired.
Alexander Graham Bell’s design sketch of the telephone, ca. 1876, Reproduction # LC-MSS-51268-6 Alexander Graham Bell Family Papers, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress. 7-17-01
Most people agree that the knowledge that electric power was a very beneficial energy source was the most significant in the development of industry in the United States. The work of the “Wizard of Menlo Park”, Thomas Edison, was critical in making electricity available throughout the U.S.. His development of the light bulb using a bamboo filament instead of platinum lit the world. He later developed a plan for the first central power station.
A model of Thomas Edison’s light bulb can now be found at the Smithsonian Institute.S.I. Image #13,369B. Accessed 7-17-01
Prior to 1856, railroad tracks, machinery and building frames were made out of iron. This changed when in 1856, Henry Bessemer received a patented for the Bessemer Process. This process made possible to make steel from iron by adding carbons and filtering out impurities. Steel was preferred over iron because it was flexible, lighter and stronger. The Bessemer Process made the mass production of steel possible and a new age of building began.
The Bessemer Process made mass production of goods possible further making industrialization a reality.
Bessemer Steelworks, Pittsburg Division
Photograph taken by William Henry Jackson in 1892. Image from the Library of Congress, American Memory Collection.
Reproduction # LC-D43-T01-1734 DLC
The Brooklyn Bridge completed in 1883 is the most noted symbol of industrialization and the new age of building. Designed by John A. Roebling, the bridge would allow for an easier connected between the cities of Manhattan and Brooklyn which are separated by the East River. No longer would the people of either city have to board ferries in the fierce winter to get back and forth to work. Nighttime travel between the 2 cities was also made possible by the massive string of electric light bulbs which lit up the bridge and the surrounding area.
The Brooklyn Bridge and South Street Seaport in 1900. (Photo by Library of Congress, Prints and Photos Division, Detroit Publishing Company Collection, LC-D4-90107) 7-23-01