Technological, Economic, and SocialDevelopment for the 21st Century
issued for inventions: 544 in 1830,883 in 1850, 12,137 in 1870, and 25,313 in 1890 (U.S. Bureau of the Census, 1975, Series W99).
Innovation was important to systems as well as to machines. Eli Whitney, at the beginning of the nineteenth century, beganto apply the principle of standard- ization and interchangeability of parts in the manufacture of firearms. The "Waltham System" advanced the factory production of textiles by bringing to- gether all the processes of spinning and weaving. Alexander Holley designed a floor plan that improved the utilization of Bessemer converters and which be- came the standard layout of American steel plants.
Engineering, before 1850 largely the province of the military, gained rapidly in industrial importance in the latter part of the nineteenth century. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, at Troy, New York, and the Columbia University School of Mines pioneered in nonmilitary engineering instruction. In 1862, the Morrill Act furthered the "practical education of the industrial classes" by a grant of public lands to each state for support of a school to teach agriculture and the "mechanic arts"; many state-supported schools of engineering resulted.
Industrializationrequiresa labor force motivated,educated,and trainedto staff the new factories,offices, financial institutions,and laboratories.There mustbe a sufficient numberof peopleto staff positions;peoplemustbemoti- vatedto put up with the regimenof industrialwork; and theymustbeprovided with basicand specificskills.
In the U.S., unlike many other developing countries, the very availability of persons was a major problem. Industrialization was not largely propelled by
"surplus" grants. In
farm labor; the 1790, the total
large majority of population of the
the industrial millions were immi- United States is estimated to have
beenless than 4 million; in risen to almost 100 million. came to the United States,
1860 it was just over 30 million; From 1860 to 1914, over 25 most of them from Europe.
1914 it had
Farm hands and immigrants had to be educated, acculturated, and trained. This was done rather effectively. By 1840, for instance, 90 percent of white adults are reported to have been literate, a higher rate than in most countries (Fishlow, 1966, p. 418). Expenditures on education grew from 0.6 percent on GNP in 1840 to 1.7 percent in 1900; since GNP was climbing rapidly, actual expenditures increased thirtyfold (Ibid., p. 430). By 1920,83 percentof Ameri- cans age 5 to 17 were in school for at least some part of the year, and although only about one in six graduated from high school, that proportion was increasing