The second Industrial Revolution

During the Gilded Age, America developed its massive production, scientific management, and managerial skills.

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Key Takeaways

Key PointsThe incredible economic and industrial development of America after the polite War became known together the “Second industrial Revolution.”Large companies or trusts regulated the production of raw products such together coal, iron, and oil.The Bessemer procedure for manufacturing steel led to America’s first billion-dollar corporation, United says Steel.Improvements in workflow, such as mass production and scientific management, added greatly to financial growth.Key TermsSecond industrial Revolution: The second Industrial Revolution, additionally known as the “Technological Revolution,” was a phase of the larger Industrial revolution corresponding to the latter fifty percent of the nineteenth century until human being War I. The is taken into consideration to have started with Bessemer stole in the 1860s and also culminated in massive production and the manufacturing line.Bessemer process: The first inexpensive industrial procedure for the mass production of stole from molten pig iron.

The 2nd Industrial Revolution, also known together the “Technological Revolution,” was a phase of quick industrialization in the final third of the nineteenth century and the start of the twenty century. The an initial Industrial Revolution, which finished in the early-mid 1800s, was punctuated by a slowdown in macroinventions prior to the second Industrial revolution in 1870. Though a variety of its characteristic occasions can it is in traced to earlier innovations in manufacturing, such as the development of the Bessemer procedure in 1856, the second Industrial transformation is typically dated in between 1870 and also 1914 up to the start of human being War I.

Advancements in manufacturing and also production technology enabled the widespread adoption of preexisting technical systems such as telegraph and also railroad networks, gas and water supply, and sewage systems, i m sorry had previously been focused to a couple of select cities. The enormous expansion the rail and telegraph lines ~ 1870 allowed unprecedented motion of people and ideas, i m sorry culminated in a new wave the globalization. In the same period, new systems to be introduced, most substantially electrical power and also telephones.

Growth and adjust in Industry

A synergy between iron and steel, and also railroads and also coal arisen at the start of the second Industrial Revolution. Railroads enabled cheap transportation of materials and also products, which consequently led come cheap rails come build much more roads. Railroads additionally benefited indigenous cheap coal for their vapor locomotives. This synergy brought about the laying of 75,000 miles of track in the United claims in the 1880s, the biggest amount anywhere in world history.

By 1900, the procedure of financial concentration had expanded into many branches of industry—a few large corporations, some organized as “trusts” (e.g., traditional Oil), conquered in steel, oil, sugar, meatpacking, and also the production of agriculture machinery. Other major components that this facilities were the brand-new methods for production steel, particularly the Bessemer process. The an initial billion-dollar corporation to be United claims Steel, formed by financier J. P. Morgan in 1901, who purchased and consolidated stole firms developed by Andrew Carnegie and others.


Diagram the the Bessemer converter: air blown through holes in the converter bottom creates a violent reaction in the molten pig iron that oxidizes the overabundance carbon, converting the pig iron to pure steel or steel, depending on the residual carbon.

Increased mechanization that industry and improvements to worker effectiveness increased the efficiency of factories while undercutting the require for experienced labor. Mechanical technologies such together batch and continuous processing began to end up being much much more prominent in factories. This mechanization made some factories an assemblage the unskilled labor performing straightforward and repetitive jobs under the direction of experienced foremen and also engineers. In some cases, the advance of together mechanization substituted because that low-skilled employees altogether. Both the number of unskilled and skilled employees increased, as their wage prices grew. Design colleges were developed to feed the enormous demand for expertise. Together with rapid growth of tiny business, a brand-new middle course was easily growing, especially in north cities.

The duration from 1870 to 1890 witnessed the best increase in financial growth in such a short period as ever in vault history. Living criter improved significantly as the price of products fell significantly due to the increases in productivity. This resulted in unemployment and great upheavals in commerce and industry, with plenty of laborers being displaced through machines and many factories, ships, and other forms of solved capital becoming obsolete in a really short time span. Crop failures no much longer resulted in famine in locations connected to huge markets through transport infrastructure. Through 1870, the work-related done by heavy steam engines exceeded that done by animal and also human power. Horses and also mules remained important in farming until the breakthrough of the internal combustion tractor near the end of the second Industrial Revolution. Improvements in steam efficiency, such together triple-expansion steam engines, allowed ships to bring much an ext freight 보다 coal, resulting in greatly increased quantities of worldwide trade.

The second Industrial change continued into the twentieth century with at an early stage factory electrification and the production line, and ended at the begin of the human being War I.

The Transcontinental Railroads

Completed in 1869, the Transcontinental Railroad served as a an important link because that trade, commerce, and also travel in between the East and West that the joined States.

Key Takeaways

Key PointsRailroads changed stagecoach lines and also wagon trains, and provided safer, faster, and cheaper transportation for goods and passengers.Many that the employees on the rail were army veterans and also Irish and Chinese immigrants.Known together the “Pacific Railroad” when it opened, the railroad offered as a crucial link because that trade, commerce, and also travel and also opened up large regions of the north American heartland because that settlement.The sale of soil grants and also the transport provided for timber and crops resulted in the rapid settling that the “Great American Desert.”Key TermsFirst Transcontinental Railroad: A term for a contiguous rail line created in the unified States between 1863 and also 1869 west the the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers to attach the Pacific coast at san Francisco Bay with the existing east U.S. Rail network in ~ Council Bluffs, Iowa.Great American Desert: A term offered in the nineteenth century to explain the western component of the great Plains east of the Rocky hills in phibìc America to about the 100th meridian. The area is now usually described as the “High Plains,” and the original term is currently sometimes supplied to describe the arid region of the Southwest, which includes parts of northern Mexico and also the four deserts of phibìc America.Stagecoach: A form of extended wagon because that passengers and goods, strongly sprung and also drawn by four horses, generally four-in-hand. Extensively used prior to the advent of railway transport, the made continual trips in between stages or stations, i beg your pardon were places of rest noted for wagon travelers.

The very first Transcontinental Railroad was built between 1863 and also 1869 to join the eastern and also western halves that the united States. Started right prior to the American civil War, its building and construction was thought about to be among the greatest American technological feats of the nineteenth century. Known as the “Pacific Railroad” as soon as it opened, it offered as a an essential link for trade, commerce, and also travel and also opened up huge regions that the north American heartland for settlement. Shipping and also commerce could thrive away from navigable because that the an initial time due to the fact that the start of the nation. Lot of this heat is still provided by the California Zephyr, back some parts were rerouted or abandoned.

The building and construction of the railroad resulted in the finish of many of the far slower and an ext hazardous stagecoach lines and also wagon trains. The railroad additionally led come a great decrease of web traffic on the Oregon and also California Trail, which had actually helped populate lot of the West. The Transcontinental Railroad noted much faster, safer, and cheaper transportation for people and goods throughout the western two-thirds of the continent. It take it one mainly to travel from Omaha to mountain Francisco via emigrant sleeping automobile at a fare of around $65 for an adult. The sale of land grants and the transport provided for timber and also crops resulted in the rapid settling the the “Great American Desert.”


Many army veterans and also Irish emigrants were the key workers top top the Union Pacific, while most of the engineers were ex-army males who had actually learned their trade maintaining the trains running throughout the American civil War. The main Pacific Railroad, facing a job shortage in the more sparsely worked out West, relied top top Chinese laborers who did prodigious work building the heat over and also through the Sierra Nevada mountains and also then across Nevada to north Utah. The Chinese were typically referred to at the time as “Celestials” and also China as the “Celestial Kingdom.” Labor-saving gadgets in those job consisted mostly of wheelbarrows, horse- or mule-pulled carts, and a few railroad-pulled gondolas. The construction work associated an tremendous amount of hand-operated labor. Initially, main Pacific had a tough time hiring and keeping unskilled workers on its line, as numerous would leave for the prospect of much more lucrative gold or silver mining options elsewhere. Many of these Chinese workers were stood for by a Chinese “boss” that acted together a translator, built up salaries for his crew, applied discipline, and also relayed orders indigenous an American basic supervisor. Most Chinese workers spoke just rudimentary or no English, and the supervisors commonly only learned rudimentary Chinese. Most of the guys received between $1 and also $3 every day, the very same as unskilled white workers; but the employees imported straight from China sometimes received less.

Building the Railroad

The monitor laying was split up right into various parts. In advancement of the track layers, surveyors consulting through engineers determined where the track would go. Employees then built and prepared the roadbed; dug or blasted through hills; fill in washes; constructed trestles, bridges, or culverts throughout streams or valleys; make tunnels if needed; and laid the ties. The actual track-laying gang would certainly then place rails top top the formerly laid ties positioned ~ above the roadbed, journey the spikes, and also bolt the fishplate bars to each rail. In ~ the very same time, an additional gang would distribute telegraph poles and wire along the grade, if the cooks prepared dinner and also the clerks busied themselves v accounts and records, using the telegraph line to relay request for an ext materials and supplies or to interact with supervisors. Generally the workers lived in camps developed near their occupational site.

Tunnels to be blasted through hard rock by drilling holes in the rock challenge by hand and also filling them with black powder. Sometimes cracks were found which can be filled with powder and also blasted open. The loosened rock would be collected and hauled out of the tunnel for usage in a fill area or as roadbed, or rather dumped over the side together waste. A foot or so development on a tunnel confront was a usual day’s work. Some tunnels took nearly a year come finish; the Summit Tunnel, the longest, took practically two years. In the last days of functioning in the Sierras, the recently invented nitroglycerin explosive was introduced and used ~ above the last tunnels consisting of Summit Tunnel.

Finishing the very first Transcontinental Railroad: workers celebrating the completion of the an initial Transcontinental railroad on may 10, 1869.

Key Takeaways

Key PointsMany that the brand-new workers to be unskilled laborers that performed simple, recurring tasks.New solution of administration with clean chains the command and complex bureaucratic systems began with rail companies and spread throughout American businesses.Many brand-new blue-collar jobs appeared in manufacturing, as well as white-collar work for managers.By the start of the 1900s, the united States had actually the greatest per capita income and industrial production in the world, through per capita incomes twin those that Germany and also France, and also 50 percent greater than those of Britain.Key Termsmechanization: The usage of machinery to replace human or pet labor, particularly in farming and Administration; the procedure or exercise of to run an organization.efficiency: The degree to which time is well offered for the plan task.

Frederick Winslow Taylor: Frederick Winslow Taylor, a mechanical engineer through training, is often credited with inventing clinical management and improving commercial efficiency.

The Gilded period was marked by increased mechanization in manufacturing. Businesses tried to find cheaper and more efficient methods to produce products. Corporate officials used assorted techniques, such as timing their workers v stopwatches and using stop-motion photography, to study the production process and boost efficiency. Frederick Winslow Taylor observed the the usage of much more advanced machinery might improve effectiveness in steel production by requiring employees to make fewer activities in less time. His redesign increased the speed of factory machines and also the efficiency of factories while undercutting the need for skilled labor. Factories became an assemblage the unskilled job performing straightforward and repetitive tasks under the direction of experienced foremen and engineers. An equipment shops, made up of highly experienced workers and also engineers, grew rapidly. The number of unskilled and also skilled workers increased as their wage prices grew. Engineering colleges were created to feed the enormous demand for expertise.

Railroad Companies and Management

Railroads provided rise to the breakthrough of contemporary management techniques, such as the use of clean chains of command, statistics reporting, and complex bureaucratic systems. Railroad companies systematized the functions of middle managers and set up explicit career tracks. They hired young males at age 18–21 and advocated them internally till a male reached the standing of locomotive engineer, conductor, or terminal agent at period 40 or so. Career monitor were readily available to experienced blue-collar workers and white-collar managers, starting in railroads and expanding right into finance, manufacturing, and trade. In addition to rapid expansion of small business, a new middle class was swiftly growing, particularly in northern cities. Substantial national networks because that transportation and also communication to be created. The corporation came to be the dominant form of organization organization, and a managerial transformation transformed company operations. By the start of the 1900s, the united States had actually the greatest per capita income and industrial production in the world, v per capita incomes double those the Germany and also France, and also 50 percent higher than those that Britain.

The inventions of the Telephone and Electricity

The telephone and also electric lightbulb are possibly the 2 most influential nineteenth-century inventions.

Learning Objectives

Examine the introduction of such late nineteenth-century developments as electricity, the telephone, and also the lightbulb

Key Takeaways

Key PointsAlexander Graham Bell designed the an initial workable telephone, basing his innovation on a collection of ahead primitive examples.Thomas Edison, commonly credited through inventing the lightbulb, actually experimented with previous inventors’ principles to develop the very first commercially effective lightbulb through perfecting the filament material.Edison started the effective Menlo Park study lab to produce innovation.Edison and Nikola Tesla both promoted different equipment of power delivery; eventually, Tesla’s alternating current (AC) device proved more practical.Key Termsalternating current: one electric existing in i beg your pardon the direction of circulation of the electrons reverses periodically having an median of zero, with optimistic and an unfavorable values; specifically such a current created by a rotating generator or alternator.Nikola Tesla: (July 10, 1856–January 7, 1943) A Serbian-American inventor, physicist, mechanically engineer, electrical engineer, and futurist who was crucial contributor to the use of commercial electricity, and is ideal known because that his contributions to the modern-day alternating current (AC) electrical supply current: one electric existing in i m sorry the electrons flow in one direction, yet may vary with time.

The Telephone

Alexander Graham Bell is typically credited together the inventor that the first practical telephone. He was the first to acquire a patent, in 1876, because that an, “apparatus for transmitting vocal or other sounds telegraphically,” after experimenting with countless primitive sound transmitters and receivers.

Patent drawing for Alexander Graham Bell’s telephone, in march 7, 1876: Bell’s telephone to be the first apparatus come transmit human being speech via machine. His work-related culminated in one of the most profitable and challenged of every nineteenth-century patents.

Bell’s telephone transmitter (microphone) had a twin electromagnet, in prior of which a membrane, extended on a ring, lugged an oblong piece of soft iron cemented to its middle. A funnel-shaped mouthpiece command the voice sound upon the membrane, and also as it vibrated, the soft iron “armature” induced equivalent currents in the coils of the electromagnet. ~ traversing the wire, these currents passed v the receiver, which contained an electromagnet in a tubular metal can that had actually one end partially close up door by a thin circular key of soft iron. Once the undulatory current passed through the coil of this electromagnet, the disc vibrated, thereby creating sound waves in the air.

The first long-distance telephone speak to was made on respectable 10, 1876, by Bell indigenous the family homestead in Brantford, Ontario, to his assistant located in Paris, Ontario, part 10 mile away. In June 1876, Bell showed a telephone prototype in ~ the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia.

The phone call was crucial to modernization and also labor. The aided in the development of suburbs and also the separation that homes and businesses, but likewise became the reason for the separation in between women occupying the private sphere and also men in the public sphere. This would proceed to isolate women and the home.

Women were regarded as the most constant users of the telephone. Together a means of liberation, it permitted women to work in the telecommunications sector as receptionists and also operators. The autonomy was commemorated as females were able come develop new relationships and also nurture preexisting persons in their private lives. Social relationships are crucial to the accessibility and intake of call networks.

The Lightbulb

Thomas Edison’s significant innovation to be the an initial industrial research study lab, i m sorry was constructed in Menlo Park, new Jersey, and was the an initial institution collection up for the specific purpose of producing continuous technological innovation. Many of the inventions created there were legally attributed come Edison, though plenty of employees lugged out research study and development under his direction.

Edison go not develop the very first electric lightbulb, however rather the an initial commercially practical incandescent light. Plenty of earlier inventors had previously devised incandescence lamps, including Henry Woodward and also Mathew Evans. Others such together Humphry Davy, James archer Lindsay, Moses G. Farmer, william E. Sawyer, Joseph Swan, and also Heinrich Göbel had emerged early and commercially impractical incandescent electric lamps. These at an early stage bulbs had an extremely short life, were expensive to produce, or drew a high electric current, do them challenging to produce on a huge commercial scale.

By 1879, Edison had created a brand-new concept: a high resistance desk lamp in a really high vacuum, which would certainly burn for numerous hours. While previously inventors had produced electric lighting in activities conditions, dating ago to a show of a glowing wire by Alessandro Volta in 1800, Edison concentrated on advertising application. He to be able to sell the ide to homes and businesses by mass-producing relatively long-lasting lightbulbs and also creating a complete system because that the generation and also distribution that electricity.

Electric bright in factories substantially improved working conditions, eliminating the heat and also pollution brought about by gas lighting, and also reducing the fire danger to the extent that the price of electricity for lighting frequently was balance out by the palliation in fire insurance premiums. Electrical light was much brighter 보다 that that oil or gas lamps, and there to be no soot. Although early electricity was very expensive compared to today, the was much cheaper and more convenient than oil or gas lighting.


In 1831 and also 1832, Michael Faraday discovered the operation principle the electromagnetic generators. The principle, later referred to as “Faraday’s Law,” is that an electromotive pressure is generated in an electrical conductor the is based on a varying magnetic flux, together for example, in a wire relocating through a magnetic field.

The renovations in electrical-generation an innovation increased the efficiency and reliability considerably in the nineteenth century. The very first magnetos just converted a few percent the mechanical power to electricity. By the finish of the nineteenth century, the highest possible efficiencies were much more than 90 percent.

In the beforehand days the commercial electric power, infection of electrical power in ~ the same voltage as provided by lighting and also mechanical loads restricted the distance between generating plant and also consumers. In 1882, generation was v direct current (DC), which could not easily be enhanced in voltage for long-distance transmission. Different classes of lots (for example, lighting, solved motors, and traction/railway systems) required different voltages, and also so used various generators and also circuits.

Due to this expertise of lines and because infection was inefficient because that low-voltage high-current circuits, generators necessary to be near their loads. That seemed, at the time, that the market would develop into what is now known as a “distributed generation system,” with large numbers of little generators situated near your loads.

The transmission of electric power with alternating current (AC) became possible in 1881 ~ Lucien Gaulard and also John Dixon Gibbs built what they called the “secondary generator,” an early transformer noted with 1:1 turn ratio and also open magnetic circuit.

The “War of Currents”

Edison’s true success, choose that of his friend Henry Ford, was in his ability to maximize profits by creating mass-production systems and also obtaining intellectual-property rights. George Westinghouse ended up being an adversary of Edison once he promoted the direct present (DC) for electrical power circulation instead of the more easily sent alternate current (AC) system created by Nikola Tesla and advocated by Westinghouse. Unlike DC, AC could be stepped increase to really high voltages through transformers, sent out over thinner and also cheaper wires, and stepped down again in ~ the destination for distribution to users.

The difficulty with DC to be that strength plants can only supply DC electricity economically to client within about one and a fifty percent miles (about 2.4 km) from the generating station, so the it just was suitable for central business districts. Once George Westinghouse suggested using high-voltage AC instead, together it could lug electricity hundreds of miles with just marginal loss of power, Edison waged a “War of Currents” to prevent the fostering of the AC system.

The war against AC involved Edison in the advance and promo of the electrical chair (using AC) as an attempt to portray AC together having higher lethal potential than DC. Edison continued to carry out a quick but intense project to half the usage of AC or to limit the allowable voltage for safety and security purposes. As component of this campaign, Edison’s employees publicly electrocuted pets to show the threats of AC. On among the more notable occasions, Edison’s workers electrocuted Topsy the elephant at Luna Park, near Coney Island, after ~ she had actually killed number of men and her owners wanted her placed to death.

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AC at some point replaced DC in many instances that generation and also power distribution, enormously prolonging the selection and boosting the performance of strength distribution. Though widespread use of DC at some point lost favor because that distribution, it exists today mostly in long-distance high-voltage direct present (HVDC) infection systems.