In the latter half of the 19th century, all industries in the United States were undergoing a period of dramatic change. Consequently, the American industrial worker found himself in a fluctuating work environment, affected by the influences of immigration and technological innovation.
The United States throughout the late nineteenth century was rapidly giving birth to a number of new technologies. Much of the century’s industrial progress can be attributed to inventions that led to greater productivity. After Samuel Morse invented the telegraph, Cyrus Field discovered how to improve the transatlantic cable and people could subsequently send messages over long distances. The telephone was additionally invented by Alexander Graham Bell along with the typewriter, cash register, an
Without the responsibility of paying so many people, business owners figured they would save an abundance of money and thus increase their profit. These advances generally speeded up production, which could have both positive and negative affects on the American industrial worker. Other new technologies include equipment used to compose commodities. This was both positive and negative as well. Another factor that American workers had to worry about was the increasing addition of immigrants into the country. These new American inhabitants were a threat to the already working American citizens. Thomas Edison also contributed a lot to America with his phonograph, ability to generate electric power, and motion camera. The high number of immigrants was not solely negative. New industries also had a profound impact on American workers with the steel industry and the railroads. Those who kept around the majority of their workers despite the technological advances began doing whatever they could to increase productivity. This meant being assigned to a single task that they repeated over and over in a repetitive manner. They heard that the conditions in the United States were superior to those in their own country and traveled a long way to make a better life for themselves. However, technological changes could undoubtedly be contradictorily analyzed. The majority of these immigrants were from countries such as Europe, Asia and Mexico.