Timeline of Manufacturing in the Industrial Midwest

Expanding railroads meant a growing demand for steel in the mid 1800’s. The vast iron ore reserves around Lake Superior, the coal of Pennsylvania and the cheap transport on lakes and rivers made the region the bastion of the iron and steel industry. Workers organized to win higher wages, shorter hours, and safer working conditions. The factory jobs had an aura of permanence but in truth they were always able to move where production was cheaper.

Read on to view the interactive timeline.

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