Industrial Revolution Museum Trip

“Transporting the Industrial Revolution” poster by Paul, Christina, Andrew, Julia and Ellie


          The first step in the analysis process was sourcing the document. Once it was sourced, there were two main questions to answer; why the author was motivated to write this source, and what important information could exhibit viewers gain from looking at the poster. These were both important parts of curating because it gave an over view of the document, as well knowing what to pick out as the most important information. All of the sources for this exhibit were about transportation during the Industrial Revolution. The first source was a timeline of the advancements of canals and railroads, which gave a good overview of the whole topic. The next source was a steam engine diagram, which showed how the train worked. The third source was a debate on the railroads, which showed both the positive and negative effects of having railroads. The fourth source was a letter from a captain on his first steamboat journey. Next, there was a picture of cutting a railroad. This source showed how dangerous cutting railroad track could be. The final source was a map of added canals to England in the 1860’s. This showed how transportation was in high demand because of all of the merchandise being produced in factories. The title of the exhibit was “Transporting the Industrial Revolution” because all of the sources were about how advances in transportation methods (canals, railroads) aided the Revolution. When visitors look at the exhibit, hopefully they will learn how the invention of new transportation increased the progress of industries.

            The other four exhibits were all connected to the Industrial Revolution in one way or another. The first exhibit was titled “Before and After: The Industrial Revolution’s Textile Industry” and was about how the industry was improved throughout the revolution. The exhibit showed how because of the demand of more cloth, the spinning jenny and power looms were invented to speed up the process. The second exhibit was “An Era Built on the Backs of Children” and was about child labor during the revolution. The poster focused a lot on how badly the children were treated. It gave specific examples, including how they were forced to work in poorly built mines, and were even chained to loads in order to pull heavier things. The third exhibit was “The Cotton and Slave Boom In The Industrial Revolution”, which showed the increase of slave population in US was directly connected to the escalating need of cotton for the factories. In 1834 there were 22 mills and 2,300,000 slaves in the US. But in 1858 (only 24 years later), the number of mills climbed to 53, and there were almost 4 million slaves. The last exhibit was “The Industrial Revolution Brings Poverty and Pollution”, and was the most negative towards the whole revolution. One specific document read that the cost to live in the city was raised, but workers wages were not. This led to many people living on the streets because they could not afford to live anywhere else. 

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