Samuel Slater

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Slaters Mill today

Samuel Slater (1768-1835) was the first man to construct a successful water-powered textile mill in America. He is called by some as the "Father of American Industry" and also as the "Founder of the American Industrial Revolution."[1]. Samuel was born on 1768 in Derbyshire, England. As a youth, he was chosen to be an apprentice in textile management by a friend of the Slater family. He stayed as an apprentice for seven years learning the ropes of the textile business. As he neared the end of his apprenticeship, he realized that it would be more advantageous for him to emigrate to America where there were fewer if any people with knowledge on how to run a textile mill unlike England where the industry was becoming overcrowded. Because England had laws restricting specialized workers such as Samuel from leaving England and sharing their knowledge with other nations, Samuel was force to covertly leave England dressed as an agricultural laborer. He arrived in New York in November of 1789. Not long after arriving in America he headed to Pawtucket, Rhode Island to work with a Quaker merchant Moses Brown who had just started up a textile mill. After working though a number of difficulty's with machinery Samuel built America's first water-powered cotton spinning mill in Pawtucket, Rhode Island which is now known as Slaters Mill[2].

In order to house the workers for his mill Samuel built in 1803 a small village called Slatersville. Built around the mill, the village included a store for provisions and and housing for the family's of workers. Samuel Slater died in 1835.

References

  1. http://www.slatermill.org/html/history.html
  2. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/theymadeamerica/whomade/slater_hi.html
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