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1768, Derbyshire, England
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1835, Webster, MA

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Slater split factory work into such basic steps that kids aged 4 to ten could do the -- and did. When such boy labor is anathema today, American kids were traditionally placed to work about the farm as soon as they might walk and Slater"s family system proved popular.

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

American factory System

This industrial spy came to be the dad of the American factory system.

English factory WorkerSamuel Slater has actually been referred to as the "father of the American manufacturing facility system." He to be born in Derbyshire, England top top June 9, 1768. The child of a yeoman farmer, Slater went to occupational at very early age together an apprentice because that the owner of a cotton mill. At some point rising to the place of superintendent, he became intimately acquainted with the mill equipments designed by Richard Arkwright, a genius who other advancements included utilizing water power to journey his machines and dividing labor among groups of workers.

Sneaky DepartureIn 1789, Slater emigrated come the joined States. He dreamy of do a fortune by help to construct a textile industry. That did for this reason covertly: British legislation forbade textile employees to share technical information or to leave the country. Slater collection foot in new York in late 1789, having memorized the details of Britain"s put in order machines.

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

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America"s commercial RevolutionSlater employed families, including children, to live and also work in ~ the mill site. He conveniently attracted workers. In 1803, Slater and his brother constructed a mill village they dubbed Slatersville, additionally in Rhode Island. It included a large, modern mill, tenement houses for the workers, and also a agency store -- a small pocket that industry, a ready-made rural village. Slater"s manufacturing facility system became known together the Rhode Island System. The was shortly imitated -- and improved upon by innovators like Francis Cabot Lowell -- throughout brand-new England. Slater passed away in 1835.