After the Civil War, there was a surge of new technology in the United States. Inventors like Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell made new and exciting things that changed the way life was. Thanks to things like the Bessemer process, industry soared and big businesses were formed. Labor unions too were affected by this new technological growth. There was a big impact on all aspects of American lifestyle as a result of the inventions of this time.
Thomas Edison was one of the most important inventors of this time. Known as the Wizard of Menlo Park, Edison patented over 100 inventions in his lifetime, such as the phonograph. However, the invention that had the most impact on American growth at this time was the light bulb. The light bulb revolutionized daily life in America. People now could do more, since they could work later. Although not everyone had access to electricity, this invention changed the way people lived.
Alexander Graham Bell was another important inventor of this time period. Before Bell, communication was very difficult. People either sent a telegram or mail, but there was nothing quite like the telephone. Bell’s invention of the telephone allowed communication to be easy and helped people connect with friends, family, and business in a way that could not be done before.
One invention that benefited business organizations was the Bessemer process. The Bessemer process revolutionized steel making by making it possible to produce large quantities of steel at a low cost. Andrew Carnegie saw the way that the Bessemer process would make producing steel easier, and, using crafty methods, took over the steel industry by using this process. His control of the steel energy was one of the first monopolies and was the first business to use the method of horizontal consolidation. Carnegie changed the way that business was done in America.
Railroads also benefited business organizations. Trains made shipping products much easier. Many big businesses, like Rockefeller’s oil company, made deals with shipping companies that let them ship their goods at a lower rate. This benefited businesses because they could charge less for their product because it cost less to ship it. The railroads allowed a company’s product to be purchased by a wider group of people.
New machinery also came around during this time. The big business leaders did not care about the well-being of the workers, so many people got injured. Because of the workers’ being injured, and taking advantage of in other ways, labor unions were formed. The Knights of Labor and the AFL were two of the labor unions at the time. Although these unions did not have many successes, they were the ones that began the fight for fair treatment of workers.
These new technological advances that were made during this period made many changes in the course of American history. Many of the new inventions that came about during this period shaped American lifestyle today.