Industrial Revolution

The Industrial Revolution – Textiles Led the Way

England –1700s ­ automation

Water power turned to steam power – Newcomen and, finally

in 1776, James Watt built the first successful engine

1764 ­ Spinning Jenny ­ Hargreaves automated yarn spinning

1785 – Weaving ­ Cartwright mechanized the loom

1771 – first factory under one roof – Arkwright


Meanwhile, in Alamance, NC, the regulators were fighting Governor Tryon’s troops. No factories.


1775 – 1783 American Revolution

Founding Fathers – leave manufacturing in England!

Alexander Hamilton – wanted to build a “manufactory” or mill village in Paterson, NJ

Meanwhile in England – protection! Keep inventions for England

Keep the old colonies poor.



Samuel Slater – visited England, worked, memorized

1792 – 1st yarn spinning – Pawtucket, RI

1814 – 1st factory – Waltham, MA James Cabot Lowell

Later an entire textile town, Lowell, MA was named for him.


Eli Whitney Gin, Clemson University


In the South

1793 – Eli Whitney – Georgia ­ Cotton Gin

Hogden Holmes – improved the design with a saw tooth gin

Easily copied, therefore few royalties were ever paid.


William Gregg’s Factory, Graniteville, SC


1812 William Gregg –first South Carolina attempt was a failure

1845 success at Graniteville, SC