Industrial History

Waterpower Mills, Factories, Machines and Floods at Harpers Ferry, WV 1762-1991

Waterpower Mills, Factories, Machines and Floods at Harpers Ferry, WV 1762-1991

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Read about Hall’s Rifle Works, the U.S. Armory and the mills on Virginius Island. Learn about the machines and equipment in these factories and meet the men and entrepreneurs who ran them. Find out more about the devastation of flooding and unpredictable streamflow that plagued local industry. Many historic photographs and detailed line drawings of machines compliment the text. Paperback, 192 pages.
Dawn of Innovation The First American Industrial Revolution

Dawn of Innovation The First American Industrial Revolution

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In the thirty years after the Civil War, the United States blew by Great Britain to become the greatest economic power in world history. That is a well-known period in history, when titans like Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller, and J.P. Morgan walked the earth.

But as Charles R. Morris shows us, the platform for that spectacular growth spurt was built in the first half of the century. By the 1820s, America was already the world's most productive manufacturer, and the most intensely commercialized society in history. The War of 1812 jumpstarted the great New England cotton mills, the iron centers in Connecticut and Pennsylvania, and the forges around the Great Lakes. In the decade after the War, the Midwest was opened by entrepreneurs. In this beautifully illustrated book, Morris paints a vivid panorama of a new nation buzzing with the work of creation. He also points out the parallels and differences in the nineteenth century American/British standoff and that between China and America today.

Harpers Ferry Armory and the New Technology The Challenge of Change

Harpers Ferry Armory and the New Technology The Challenge of Change

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Focusing on the day-to-day operations of the U.S. armory at Harpers Ferry, Virginia, from 1798 to 1861, this book shows what the "new technology" of mechanized production meant in terms of organization, management, and worker morale. A local study of much more than local significance, it highlights the major problems of technical innovation and social adaptation in antebellum America.

Merritt Roe Smith describes how positions of authority at the armory were tied to a larger network of political and economic influence in the community; how these relationships, in turn, affected managerial behavior; and how local social conditions reinforced the reactions of decision makers. He also demonstrates how craft traditions and variant attitudes toward work vis-à-vis New England created an atmosphere in which the machine was held suspect and inventive activity was hampered.

Of central importance is the author's analysis of the drastic differences between Harpers Ferry and its counterpart, the national armory at Springfield, Massachusetts, which played a pivotal role in the emergence of the new technology. The flow of technical information between the two armories, he shows, moved in one direction only― north to south. "In the end," Smith concludes, "the stamina of local culture is paramount in explaining why the Harpers Ferry armory never really flourished as a center of technological innovation."

Pointing up the complexities of industrial change, this account of the Harpers Ferry experience challenges the commonly held view that Americans have always been eagerly receptive to new technological advances.

Industrial Revolution All About America

Industrial Revolution All About America

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All About America: The Industrial Revolution by Hilarie N. Staton

Be part of history in action! Travel back in time to the most exciting and inspiring periods in American history. Action-packed and historically accurate, All About America covers the most important periods in the history of a burgeoning nation, from Colonists and Independence to The Civil War, and from Cowboys and the Wild West to the early inhabitants, the Native Americans. With detailed reconstructions and original artwork from each period, find yourself immersed in the incredible action, as you confront the redcoats, catch gold fever, journey West, and ride the trails, your trusty lasso at your side.

Military Ballooning during the Early Civil War

Military Ballooning during the Early Civil War

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Over half a century after its initial publication, F. Stansbury Haydon's well-researched book remains the definitive work on the creation of the United States Balloon Corps during the Civil War. Haydon explores his topic down to the last detail, from the amount of fabric used to manufacture every balloon that saw federal service, to the formula for varnish used to seal the envelopes. He explains the technical operation of mobile gas generators that T. S. C. Lowe designed to inflate balloons in the field and provides the precise cost of each rubber hose used in their construction.

Military Ballooning during the Early Civil War raises large and important questions about technological change within a military bureaucracy. The book begins with an introduction to the history of military ballooning since the wars of the French Revolution, with special attention to discussions of military aeronautics in the United States since the time of the Seminole Wars. Haydon also demonstrates the complicated maneuvering among American balloonists who sought to aid the army before the Battle of Bull Run and shows how the attitudes of various officers toward the balloons changed during the ensuing months of 1861-62.

First published in 1941 as Aeronautics in the Union and Confederate Armies, this volume received compliments in the London Times Literary Supplement for its exploration of "the attitude of soldiers toward innovations." A reviewer in the Military Engineer praised the book both for its extensive scholarship and "as a lesson to all military men of the difficulties and misunderstandings which arise whenever a new means of conducting war is introduced into army circles." This edition includes a new foreword by Tom D. Crouch, senior curator of the Aeronautics Division at the National Air and Space Museum.

Networked Machinists High-Technology Industries in Antebellum America

Networked Machinists High-Technology Industries in Antebellum America

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A century and a half before the modern information technology revolution, machinists in the eastern United States created the nation's first high technology industries. In iron foundries and steam-engine works, locomotive works, machine and tool shops, textile-machinery firms, and firearms manufacturers, these resourceful workers pioneered the practice of dispersing technological expertise through communities of practice.

In the first book to study this phenomenon since the 1916 classic, English and American Tool Builders, David R. Meyer examines the development of skilled-labor exchange systems, showing how individual metalworking sectors grew and moved outward. He argues that the networked behavior of machinists within and across industries helps explain the rapid transformation of metalworking industries during the antebellum period, building a foundation for the sophisticated, mass production/consumer industries that figured so prominently in the later U.S. economy.

Hopewell Furnace DVD

Hopewell Furnace DVD

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