Expansion of Manufacturing

The development of the American economy in the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries led to the expansion and diversification of manufactures. The growth of printing meant that printers had to have paper. The first American paper mill was constructed at Germantown, Pennsylvania, in 1690. The limiting factor for American papermakers was the shortage of rags, the basic material for paper in the eighteenth century.

Another industry that emerged in the eighteenth century was coppersmithing. This had little to do with the opening of American copper mines, the first being established near Simsbury, Connecticut, in 1705. American copper mines usually exported their ore to England to be refined. American coppersmiths then imported the refined copper in the form of sheets, which they made into teapots, warming pans, bells, and brass surveying instruments. Like blacksmiths, coppersmiths also recycled metal goods.

In addition to the establishment of new industries, old ones continued to grow. In 1739, German immigrant Caspar Wistar, using German workers, built the most successful colonial glass factory in Alloway, New Jersey. Wistar was also one of the few early American buttonmakers.

Expansion of Manufacturing Photo Gallery



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