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British Industrial History

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Samuel Slater

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June 9, 1768 – April 21, 1835

Industrialist from Belper, known variously as the "Father of the American Industrial Revolution", "Father of the American Factory System" and "Slater the Traitor"

He learned about textile machinery in England, having been apprenticed to Jedediah Strutt at Milford Mill in 1783. He emigrated to the USA in 1789, and eventually owned thirteen spinning mills there.

'The first mill to use steam [in the USA] was erected by Mr. Slater and his assistants in 1827 at Providence, and it was run with anthracite coal from the Schuylkill, producing yarn No.80, the cloth of which was said to be the finest in the country. Slater’s successful use of Arkwright’s machines not only brought him and his associates great prosperity, but placed cotton manufacturing in the United States on a secure footing. By this time Slater had become interested in wool as well as cotton, and was the leading textile manufacturer of his era. The War of 1812 greatly increased his prosperity, as cotton cloth sold at forty cents a yard and the demand was unlimited.'[1]

Slater married the daughter of Oziel Wilkinson. One of her brothers was David Wilkinson.

See also Wikipedia entry


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Sources of Information

  1. 'Some Particulars in Relation to Cotton and Cotton Manufactures, Chronologically Arranged' by Samuel Batchelder. Journal of the Franklin Institute, Vol 95, Isssue 5, May 1873