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1768, Derbyshire, England
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1835, Webster, MA

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Slater split factory work right into such basic steps that children aged 4 to ten might do it -- and also did. If such boy labor is anathema today, American youngsters were traditionally put to work roughly the farm as shortly as they might walk and also Slater"s family members system verified popular.

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Photos: (left) American Textile background Museum; (right) Slater Mill

American factory System

This commercial spy ended up being the dad of the American factory system.

English factory WorkerSamuel Slater has actually been dubbed the "father that the American manufacturing facility system." He to be born in Derbyshire, England on June 9, 1768. The child of a yeoman farmer, Slater go to work-related at an early age as an apprentice because that the owner the a noodle mill. Eventually rising to the position of superintendent, he ended up being intimately familiar with the mill devices designed by Richard Arkwright, a genius who other breakthroughs included utilizing water power to journey his machines and also dividing labor amongst groups the workers.

Sneaky DepartureIn 1789, Slater emigrated to the unified States. He dreamy of making a happiness by helping to build a textile industry. He did so covertly: British legislation forbade textile workers to share technical information or to leave the country. Slater collection foot in brand-new York in late 1789, having memorized the details the Britain"s put in order machines.

Rhode Island MillWith the support of a Quaker merchant, Moses Brown, Slater constructed America"s first water-powered noodle spinning mill in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. By the finish of 1790, it to be up and also running, v workers go a treadmill to generate power. Through 1791, a waterwheel drive the machinery the carded and also spun cotton right into thread.

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America"s industrial RevolutionSlater work families, including children, come live and work in ~ the mill site. He conveniently attracted workers. In 1803, Slater and also his brother developed a mill town they referred to as Slatersville, also in Rhode Island. It included a large, modern mill, tenement residences for that workers, and a agency store -- a tiny pocket that industry, a ready-made countryside village. Slater"s factory system came to be known as the Rhode Island System. It was quickly imitated -- and also improved top top by innovators choose Francis Cabot Lowell -- throughout new England. Slater died in 1835.