Additional resources on industrialization in Connecticut and New England

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Additional resources on industrialization in Connecticut and New England

History Now (Gilder Lehrman Institute) issue on 19th-century technology:

See especially the interactive timeline of 19th-century inventions, under the “Interactive History” link:
“Who Made America?” PBS website of key inventors in American history:
see also “Inventor of the Week” at
Springfield Armory: Forge of Innovation (includes some lesson plans and links):
“On Time” exhibit at Smithsonian National Museum of American History (online version):

Tsongas Industrial History Center at Lowell:

Download materials created for different school programs available at Lowell National Historic Park:

“From Bale to Bolt”: process of cloth-making, by hand and in the factory

“Invention Factories”: cutting edge technology in 19th century

“Power to Production”: water power in the industrial revolution

“Workers on the Line”: conflict between workers and owners in the industrial revolution

“Change in the Making”: how the industrial revolution changed work, daily life, land use

“Industrial Watershed”: impact of industrial revolution on water resources

And see this link for variety of classroom activities related to these topics, including a literature circle on the novel Lyddie, workers’ protest songs, measuring water power, making a water wheel, and using mathematics to teach about industrialization
“Daughters of Free Men” produced by the American Social History Project; its online Viewing Guide is useful as an introduction to the experience of young women workers in Lowell, even if you are not using the video:
“Lowell Workers and Producers Respond to Incentives,” an economics lesson from “EconEdLink” Project:
Old Sturbridge Village lesson plan on “Making Cloth: The Impact of Technology”
Digital History Reader – module “Industrialization and Its Discontents: The Great Strike of 1877”
Between a Rock and a Hard Place: A History of American Sweatshops, 1820-Present

Connecticut industry
Hartford Board of Trade, Hartford, Conn., as a Manufacturing, Business and Commercial Center (1889), a promotional booklet available online at

Digitized Hartford city directory for 1873-74:
David Meyer, Roots of American Industrialization (section on Connecticut industrialization as an archetype)
Peter Temin, ed., Engines of Enterprise: An Economic History of New England (Harvard University Press, 2000)
Thomas Beardsley, Willimantic Industry and Community: The Rise and Decline of a Connecticut Textile City (Windham Textile and History Museum, 1993)
Jeremy Brecher, ed., Brass Valley: The Story of Working People’s Lives and Struggles in an American Industrial Region (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1982)
William Sullivan, “Battle for the Brass City: The Waterbury Strike of 1919,” Connecticut History v. 45 #1
Robert Asher, “Two Models of Paternalism,” Connecticut History v. 39 n. 1
Ellsworth Grant, Yankee Dreamers and Doers: The Story of Connecticut Manufacturing (Hartford: Connecticut Historical Society, 1992)
Janet Siskind, Rum and Axes: The Rise of a Connecticut Merchant Family
William Hosley, Colt: The Making of an American Legend (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1996)
“Water Wheels and Steam Engines II: Visions of Change,” section of Connecticut History on the Web, including primary documents relating to Colt, Cheney, and labor statistics for Connecticut in the 19th and early 20th century:
“Pursuit of Precision: the Hendey Machine Tool Company” DVD/VHS available from the Torrington Historical Society
Robert Forrant, “The International Association of Machinists, Pratt & Whitney, and the Struggle for a Blue-Collar Future in Connecticut,” International Review of Social History 47 (2002): 113-136
Robert Forrant, “Too Many Bends in the River: The Post-World War II Decline of the Connecticut River Valley Machine Tool Industry,” Journal of Industrial History, 5 (2), 71-91, 2002
Directory: HICresources

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