The 2nd Industrial Revolution

During the Gilded Age, America developed its mass production, clinical management, and managerial skills.

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Key Takeaways

Key PointsThe significant economic and industrial growth of America ~ the civil War became known together the “Second commercial Revolution.”Large corporations or trusts managed the manufacturing of raw materials such as coal, iron, and oil.The Bessemer process for production steel led to America’s an initial billion-dollar corporation, United claims Steel.Improvements in workflow, such as mass production and scientific management, contributed greatly to economic growth.Key TermsSecond commercial Revolution: The second Industrial Revolution, additionally known as the “Technological Revolution,” was a phase of the bigger Industrial revolution corresponding to the latter fifty percent of the nineteenth century until human being War I. The is thought about to have started with Bessemer steel in the 1860s and culminated in mass production and the production line.Bessemer process: The very first inexpensive industrial procedure for the mass manufacturing of stole from molten pig iron.

The second Industrial Revolution, likewise known as the “Technological Revolution,” was a phase of fast industrialization in the final third of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth century. The very first Industrial Revolution, which finished in the early-mid 1800s, was punctuated through a slowdown in macroinventions prior to the second Industrial transformation in 1870. Though a number of its characteristic occasions can be traced to previously innovations in manufacturing, such together the development of the Bessemer procedure in 1856, the 2nd Industrial revolution is usually dated between 1870 and 1914 up to the begin of world War I.

Advancements in manufacturing and also production an innovation enabled the widespread adoption of preexisting technological systems such together telegraph and also railroad networks, gas and water supply, and also sewage systems, i beg your pardon had earlier been concentrated to a few select cities. The huge expansion of rail and also telegraph lines after 1870 allowed unprecedented movement of people and ideas, which culminated in a brand-new wave of globalization. In the exact same period, brand-new systems to be introduced, most significantly electrical power and telephones.

Growth and readjust in Industry

A synergy between iron and also steel, and railroads and coal emerged at the beginning of the second Industrial Revolution. Railroads allowed cheap transportation of materials and products, which consequently led to cheap rails come build much more roads. Railroads additionally benefited native cheap coal because that their vapor locomotives. This synergy brought about the laying that 75,000 mile of monitor in the United claims in the 1880s, the biggest amount almost everywhere in people history.

By 1900, the procedure of economic concentration had extended into most branches the industry—a couple of large corporations, some organized as “trusts” (e.g., standard Oil), conquered in steel, oil, sugar, meatpacking, and the manufacturing of agriculture machinery. Other major components that this framework were the brand-new methods for production steel, especially the Bessemer process. The an initial billion-dollar corporation to be United says Steel, formed by financier J. P. Morgan in 1901, who purchased and consolidated steel firms developed by Andrew Carnegie and others.


Diagram the the Bessemer converter: waiting blown v holes in the converter bottom create a violent reaction in the molten pig iron that oxidizes the overabundance carbon, convert the pig iron come pure iron or steel, depending on the residual carbon.

Increased mechanization the industry and also improvements come worker effectiveness increased the efficiency of factories while undercutting the require for experienced labor. Mechanical advancements such as batch and continuous processing began to end up being much more prominent in factories. This mechanization made part factories an assemblage that unskilled laborers performing straightforward and repetitive jobs under the direction of expert foremen and also engineers. In some cases, the breakthrough of such mechanization substituted for low-skilled employees altogether. Both the variety of unskilled and also skilled workers increased, as their wage prices grew. Engineering colleges were created to feeding the enormous demand for expertise. Together with rapid expansion of tiny business, a brand-new middle class was conveniently growing, especially in north cities.

The period from 1870 come 1890 witnessed the best increase in financial growth in together a short duration as ever in vault history. Living requirements improved considerably as the price of items fell significantly due come the boosts in productivity. This led to unemployment and an excellent upheavals in commerce and industry, with numerous laborers being displaced by machines and also many factories, ships, and also other creates of fixed capital coming to be obsolete in a an extremely short time span. Crop failures no longer resulted in scarcity in areas connected to large markets through transport infrastructure. Through 1870, the work done by steam engines exceeded that excellent by animal and human power. Horses and also mules remained essential in farming until the advancement of the internal combustion tractor close to the finish of the second Industrial Revolution. Improvements in steam efficiency, such as triple-expansion vapor engines, enabled ships to carry much more freight than coal, result in greatly increased quantities of international trade.

The 2nd Industrial revolution continued right into the twentieth century with at an early stage factory electrification and the production line, and ended in ~ the begin of the civilization War I.

The Transcontinental Railroads

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

Key Takeaways

Key PointsRailroads replaced stagecoach lines and also wagon trains, and provided safer, faster, and also cheaper transport for goods and also passengers.Many of the workers on the rail were military veterans and also Irish and also Chinese immigrants.Known together the “Pacific Railroad” as soon as it opened, the railroad served as a crucial link for trade, commerce, and travel and opened up substantial regions of the phibìc American heartland for settlement.The sale of land grants and also the transport detailed for timber and crops caused the fast settling the the “Great American Desert.”Key TermsFirst Transcontinental Railroad: A term for a contiguous railroad line constructed in the joined States between 1863 and also 1869 west the the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers to connect the Pacific coastline at mountain Francisco Bay with the existing east U.S. Rail network at Council Bluffs, Iowa.Great American Desert: A term provided in the nineteenth century to define the western component of the an excellent Plains eastern of the Rocky mountains in phibìc America to about the 100th meridian. The area is now usually described as the “High Plains,” and the original term is now sometimes provided to explain the arid an ar of the Southwest, which consists of parts of northern Mexico and also the 4 deserts of north America.Stagecoach: A kind of covered wagon for passengers and goods, strongly sprung and also drawn by 4 horses, usually four-in-hand. Widely used before the advent of railway transport, the made continuous trips between stages or stations, i m sorry were places of rest listed for wagon travelers.

The first Transcontinental Railroad to be built in between 1863 and 1869 to sign up with the eastern and also western halves the the joined States. Started right before the American polite War, its building was considered to be among the greatest American technological feats of the nineteenth century. Known as the “Pacific Railroad” as soon as it opened, it served as a an important link for trade, commerce, and also travel and opened up vast regions of the north American heartland because that settlement. Shipping and also commerce can thrive far from navigable for the an initial time due to the fact that the start of the nation. Much of this heat is still offered by the California Zephyr, back some components were rerouted or abandoned.

The building and construction of the railroad led to the finish of many of the much slower and much more hazardous stagecoach lines and wagon trains. The railroad additionally led come a great decline of website traffic on the Oregon and California Trail, which had actually helped populate much of the West. The Transcontinental Railroad provided much faster, safer, and also cheaper transport for people and also goods across the western two-thirds that the continent. It took one week to take trip from Omaha to mountain Francisco via emigrant sleeping auto at a fare of around $65 for an adult. The sale of soil grants and also the transport noted for timber and crops resulted in the quick settling that the “Great American Desert.”


Many military veterans and Irish emigrants were the key workers ~ above the Union Pacific, while many of the engineers were ex-army guys who had actually learned their trade keeping the trains running during the American civil War. The main Pacific Railroad, dealing with a labor shortage in the much more sparsely resolved West, relied on Chinese laborers that did prodigious work building the line over and through the Sierra Nevada mountains and then throughout Nevada to northern Utah. The Chinese were frequently referred come at the time as “Celestials” and China as the “Celestial Kingdom.” Labor-saving gadgets in those job consisted primarily of wheelbarrows, horse- or mule-pulled carts, and also a few railroad-pulled gondolas. The building and construction work connected an immense amount of hand-operated labor. Initially, main Pacific had actually a hard time hiring and keeping unskilled workers on the line, as plenty of would leave for the prospect of much more rewarding gold or silver- mining choices elsewhere. Most of these Chinese employees were represented by a Chinese “boss” who acted together a translator, accumulated salaries for his crew, enforced discipline, and relayed orders from an American basic supervisor. Many Chinese workers spoke only rudimentary or no English, and the supervisors frequently only learned rudimentary Chinese. Most of the males received in between $1 and $3 per day, the very same as unskilled white workers; however the employees imported directly from China sometimes received less.

Building the Railroad

The track laying was divided up right into various parts. In advancement of the monitor layers, surveyors consulting with engineers established where the track would certainly go. Employees then built and prepared the roadbed; dug or blasted through hills; fill in washes; developed trestles, bridges, or culverts across streams or valleys; made tunnels if needed; and also laid the ties. The actual track-laying gang would certainly then lay rails ~ above the previously laid ties positioned ~ above the roadbed, journey the spikes, and bolt the fishplate bars to every rail. At the exact same time, one more gang would distribute telegraph poles and wire follow me the grade, if the cooks ready dinner and the clerks busied themselves through accounts and also records, utilizing the telegraph heat to relay inquiry for an ext materials and also supplies or to connect with supervisors. Typically the workers stayed in camps built near their occupational site.

Tunnels to be blasted through difficult rock by drilling holes in the rock confront by hand and also filling them with black powder. Sometimes cracks were discovered which can be filled with powder and blasted open. The loosened rock would certainly be accumulated and hauled the end of the tunnel for usage in a fill area or together roadbed, or else dumped over the side as waste. A foot or so advancement on a tunnel face was a typical day’s work. Some tunnels took nearly a year to finish; the Summit Tunnel, the longest, took virtually two years. In the final days of working in the Sierras, the recently developed nitroglycerin explosive to be introduced and also used top top the critical tunnels including Summit Tunnel.

Finishing the first Transcontinental Railroad: workers celebrating the completion of the first Transcontinental rail on might 10, 1869.

Key Takeaways

Key PointsMany the the new workers were unskilled laborers that performed simple, repeated tasks.New solution of administration with clean chains of command and complex bureaucratic systems began with rail companies and spread throughout American businesses.Many new blue-collar jobs showed up in manufacturing, as well as white-collar tasks for managers.By the start of the 1900s, the unified States had actually the highest possible per capita income and also industrial manufacturing in the world, with per capita incomes twin those the Germany and also France, and also 50 percent greater than those of Britain.Key Termsmechanization: The usage of machine to replace human or animal labor, especially in agriculture and Administration; the process or exercise of to run an organization.efficiency: The level to i beg your pardon time is well provided for the plan task.

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

The Gilded age was marked by increased mechanization in manufacturing. Businesses searched for cheaper and much more efficient methods to produce products. Corporate public official used miscellaneous techniques, such as timing their workers through stopwatches and also using stop-motion photography, to study the production procedure and boost efficiency. Frederick Winslow Taylor observed the the use of more advanced machinery might improve performance in steel production by requiring employees to do fewer activities in much less time. His redesign raised the rate of manufacturing facility machines and the performance of factories while undercutting the require for expert labor. Factories ended up being an assemblage of unskilled job performing straightforward and repetitive tasks under the direction of professional foremen and also engineers. An equipment shops, comprised of highly expert workers and engineers, thrived rapidly. The variety of unskilled and also skilled workers raised as their wage prices grew. Engineering colleges were developed to feed the enormous need for expertise.

Railroad Companies and Management

Railroads provided rise to the development of modern-day management techniques, such together the use of clear chains the command, statistical reporting, and complex bureaucratic systems. Railroad providers systematized the roles of middle supervisors and collection up explicit job tracks. They rental young males at age 18–21 and advocated them internally until a guy reached the standing of locomotive engineer, conductor, or terminal agent at period 40 or so. Career monitor were readily available to skilled blue-collar workers and also white-collar managers, starting in railroads and also expanding right into finance, manufacturing, and also trade. In addition to rapid expansion of small business, a new middle class was rapidly growing, especially in north cities. Considerable national networks because that transportation and also communication to be created. The corporation ended up being the dominant type of organization organization, and also a managerial change transformed organization operations. Through the start of the 1900s, the unified States had the highest possible per capita income and industrial manufacturing in the world, through per capita incomes double those the Germany and also France, and also 50 percent greater than those the Britain.

The developments of the Telephone and Electricity

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

Learning Objectives

Examine the advent of such late nineteenth-century innovations as electricity, the telephone, and also the lightbulb

Key Takeaways

Key PointsAlexander Graham Bell developed the very first workable telephone, basing his development on a series of previous primitive examples.Thomas Edison, generally credited through inventing the lightbulb, in reality experimented through previous inventors’ principles to produce the an initial commercially successful lightbulb by perfecting the filament material.Edison established the successful Menlo Park study lab to develop innovation.Edison and Nikola Tesla both promoted different solution of electrical energy delivery; eventually, Tesla’s alternative current (AC) mechanism proved much more practical.Key Termsalternating current: an electric present in i beg your pardon the direction of flow of the electron reverses periodically having actually an median of zero, with confident and an adverse values; specifically such a current developed by a rotating generator or alternator.Nikola Tesla: (July 10, 1856–January 7, 1943) A Serbian-American inventor, physicist, mechanically engineer, electric engineer, and futurist that was an important contributor to the use of commercial electricity, and also is best known because that his contribute to the contemporary alternating existing (AC) electric supply current: one electric present in i m sorry the electrons circulation in one direction, but may vary through time.

The Telephone

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

Patent drawing for Alexander Graham Bell’s telephone, march 7, 1876: Bell’s telephone was the an initial apparatus to transmit person speech via machine. His work culminated in one of the most profitable and contested of every nineteenth-century patents.

Bell’s phone call transmitter (microphone) consisted of a twin electromagnet, in former of which a membrane, extended on a ring, brought an oblong item of soft iron cemented come its middle. A funnel-shaped mouthpiece directed the voice sound upon the membrane, and also as it vibrated, the soft steel “armature” induced corresponding currents in the coils of the electromagnet. After ~ traversing the wire, these currents passed through the receiver, which included an electromagnet in a tubular metal have the right to that had one end partially closed by a thin circular bowl of soft iron. As soon as the undulatory present passed through the coil the this electromagnet, the key vibrated, thereby creating sound tide in the air.

The very first long-distance telephone call was made on august 10, 1876, through Bell native the family members homestead in Brantford, Ontario, come his assistant located in Paris, Ontario, part 10 miles away. In June 1876, Bell showed a call prototype at the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia.

The phone call was crucial to modernization and labor. That aided in the advancement of suburbs and the separation of homes and businesses, but additionally became the factor for the separation between women occupying the personal sphere and men in the public sphere. This would continue to isolation women and the home.

Women were concerned as the most constant users that the telephone. Together a way of liberation, it allowed women to work-related in the telecommunications sector together receptionists and also operators. The autonomy was commemorated as ladies were able come develop new relationships and nurture preexisting ones in their exclusive lives. Social relations are essential to the accessibility and usage of telephone networks.

The Lightbulb

Thomas Edison’s significant innovation to be the first industrial research study lab, which was built in Menlo Park, brand-new Jersey, and was the an initial institution set up for the particular purpose of producing constant technological innovation. Many of the inventions developed there were legally attributed to Edison, though many employees lugged out study and development under his direction.

Edison did not create the first electric lightbulb, yet rather the very first commercially helpful incandescent light. Many earlier inventors had previously devised glow lamps, including Henry Woodward and Mathew Evans. Rather such as Humphry Davy, James archer Lindsay, Moses G. Farmer, wilhelm E. Sawyer, Joseph Swan, and Heinrich Göbel had occurred early and also commercially impractical incandescent electrical lamps. These beforehand bulbs had an extremely short life, to be expensive to produce, or attracted a high electric current, do them daunting to produce on a big commercial scale.

By 1879, Edison had produced a new concept: a high resistance lamp in a very high vacuum, which would certainly burn for numerous hours. While previously inventors had developed electric light in activities conditions, dating ago to a demonstration of a glowing cable by Alessandro Volta in 1800, Edison concentrated on commercial application. He to be able to market 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 of electricity.

Electric bright in factories greatly improved functioning conditions, remove the heat and pollution resulted in by gas lighting, and reducing the fire peril to the extent that the cost of electricity for lighting regularly was counter by the reduction in fire insurance money premiums. Electric light was lot brighter than that that oil or gas lamps, and there to be no soot. Although early electricity was very expensive compared to today, the was far cheaper and much more convenient than oil or gas lighting.


In 1831 and also 1832, Michael Faraday discovered the operation principle that electromagnetic generators. The principle, later dubbed “Faraday’s Law,” is the an electromotive force is produced in an electrical conductor that is subjected to a varying magnetic flux, as 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 that mechanical power to electricity. By the end of the nineteenth century, the greatest efficiencies were more than 90 percent.

In the beforehand days that commercial electrical power, infection of electrical power in ~ the exact same voltage as offered by lighting and mechanical loads minimal the distance between generating plant and also consumers. In 1882, generation was through direct current (DC), which might not easily be increased in voltage because that long-distance transmission. Various classes of tons (for example, lighting, addressed motors, and traction/railway systems) required different voltages, and so used various generators and also circuits.

Due come this field of expertise of lines and because transmission was inefficient for low-voltage high-current circuits, generators required to be close to their loads. That seemed, at the time, the the market would construct into what is now recognized as a “distributed generation system,” with big numbers of tiny generators located near their loads.

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

The “War of Currents”

Edison’s true success, like that of his girlfriend Henry Ford, remained in his capacity to maximize revenues by establishing mass-production systems and also obtaining intellectual-property rights. George Westinghouse ended up being an evil one of Edison as soon as he promoted the direct existing (DC) for electrical power circulation instead the the an ext easilytransfer alternating current (AC) system invented by Nikola Tesla and promoted by Westinghouse. Unlike DC, AC might be stepped increase to really high voltages through transformers, sent over thinner and also cheaper wires, and also stepped down again in ~ the destination for circulation to users.

The trouble with DC to be that power plants could only supply DC electricity financially to customers within about one and a half miles (about 2.4 km) indigenous the generating station, so that it only was suitable for main business districts. Once George Westinghouse suggested using high-voltage AC instead, together it could carry electricity thousands of miles with only marginal loss of power, Edison waged a “War of Currents” to avoid the adoption of the AC system.

The war against AC affiliated Edison in the advancement and promotion of the electrical chair (using AC) as an attempt to portray AC together having higher lethal potential than DC. Edison ongoing to bring out a short but intense project to half the usage of AC or to border the allowable voltage for safety purposes. As part of this campaign, Edison’s employees publicly electrocuted pets to demonstrate the dangers of AC. On one of the more notable occasions, Edison’s employees electrocuted Topsy the elephant at Luna Park, near Coney Island, after she had actually killed numerous men and her owners wanted her placed to death.

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AC at some point replaced DC in many instances of generation and power distribution, enormously expanding the selection and boosting the efficiency of strength distribution. Though widespread use of DC eventually lost favor for distribution, it exist today generally in long-distance high-voltage direct present (HVDC) transmission systems.