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Inventions of the 1800s

In the 1800s there were many new inventions that improved productivity, transportation and communication in the United States and around the world.

PRODUCTIVITY is how quickly and easily something can be done.  What are some things you use that can help you be more productive?

TRANSPORTATION (moving goods and people over a distance) includes things such as horses, cars, airplanes, boats, jets, buses, and so on.  What kind of transportation do you use to get to and from school?

COMMUNICATION (how people communicate, or get information to and from each other) includes talking to each other, but also sending written messages, letters, mail, using telegraphs, telephones, satellite phones, email, and so on!  In what ways do you communicate with your friends and family?


Some important inventions of the 1800s:

The COTTON GIN, invented by Eli Whitney, made it much simpler to remove the seeds from cotton.  Before, each cotton ball had to have the seeds removed by hand, and that took a long time!  But because of Whitney's invention, the seeds were removed by the machine.  How did this increase productivity?  Well, it saved time and made the work easier (but not for slaves)...Check out this video to see how the cotton gin actually made slavery spread in the southern United States.




The TELEGRAPH improved communication by making it faster to send messages over long distances.  The telegraph was invented by Samuel Morse, who also invented the dot-dash code, Morse Code.  Can you write your name using Morse Code?



The STEAMBOAT improved transportation over rivers and other bodies of water.  Steamboats were powered by a steam engine, which turned a large wheel on the boat.  Since the wheel would drive the steamboat upriver or downriver, sails and paddles were no long necessary.  Many people used steamboats to ship their goods between large cities all over the United States!  One of the most-famous steamboats, named the Clermont, was made in 1807 by a man named Robert Fulton.

What are some cities along the Mississippi River that would have really grown because of of the usefulness of steamboats coming and going, with people selling goods and buying other goods?


The STEAM LOCOMOTIVE (also known as the steam train) improved transportation over land.  Now, people and goods could be moved over land quicker, which saved time and thus saved money.  More people could then afford to travel, and cities grew even larger!  The steam locomotive was the first sucessful train.  Now, however, most of our trains are coal-powered or electrical.

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