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Manufacturing history and how it has evolved

manwithblueprints26817332.jpg The history of manufacturing in the United States is a fascinating story of evolution and change in society, culture, and economies.As the United States grew larger and its contacts with other countries grew stronger, manufacturing became more and more sophisticated and manufacturing processes became more refined and systematic.

Before and after the United States became an official country after the American Revolution in the eighteenth century, the majority of the economy was comprised of agricultural pursuits.Before the American Revolution, the American colonies were only allowed to trade with England and were only allowed to ship their products on English ships; the majority of the economy was restricted to agriculture and there was not much of a market for actual manufacturing.However, after the American Revolution, things changed rapidly as Americans started to ship products all over the world.

As economic prospects grew, industry grew as well to match the demands of Americans and their new customers across the world, especially in Europe.America had an enormous potential for industry, since there was so much land, so many forests, and so many rivers to help provide the natural resources necessary for production.Manufacturing did not really develop until decades and decades after the American Revolution, primarily after the War of 1812 with England.Due to trade embargoes placed on the United States by both England and France, Americans began to build more and more factories and develop more and more industries so that they would not have to depend on other countries for necessary products.Before the War of 1812, the United States imported and exported large amounts of products, but production really exploded after the war, and American dependence on imports dropped slightly as Americans became more self-sufficient.This self-sufficiency was heightened by the distinctly protectionist policies passed by Congress throughout the nineteenth century as politicians and businessmen fought to protect the American industries from outside competition, particularly English competition.

American manufacturing became concentrated in the Northeast, which had convenient rivers and forests that provided ready energy for factories.As people began to move westward, many factories started to be built in the Midwest. Assembly line manufacturing began to be perfected by Henry Ford in his automobile manufacturing plant in Detroit.Henry Ford really revolutionized the way that manufacturing was done-his real contribution to the history of the world is not even just his production of the automobile, but really the process of production itself.

Manufacturing took place on a larger and larger scale and was really revolutionized during World War II, as machinery was needed on an even larger scale than ever before.The war needed equipment, and manufacturers across the country had to figure out ways to ensure that they could produce equipment quickly and at large volumes, while still maintaining quality so that lives were not put into danger by equipment failures.The post-war boom encouraged greater and greater production as people eagerly consumed more and more.Industries moved the manufacturing lessons learned during the war to the products wanted by consumers:televisions, refrigerators, vacuum cleaners, cars, and so on and so forth.The next real revolution in manufacturing happened in Japan, however, as engineers at companies such as Toyota and Motorola developed approaches to manufacturing that strove to reduce waste and increase quality while taking into account customer satisfaction and needs:Six Sigma manufacturing and lean manufacturing are examples of these types of approaches to manufacturing processes.

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