The next time you go exploring in your town or neighborhood, see if you can find a large brick building, probably located near a river. If you find one, there’s a chance you’ve discovered one of New Hampshire’s old mills or factories. These buildings still exist all over the state, but especially in the southern part of New Hampshire.
In the 19th century, Granite Staters built factories that made all different types of products that people wanted to buy. Factories made things like clothing, bedding, shoes, windows, sleds, carriages, boxes, and glass. Machines in factories were powered by water, and were run by dozens of workers who could make these products quickly. The products they made were then transported by railroads to stores all over the country so people could buy them.
The change from making things at home to making things in factories was called the Industrial Revolution, and it had a big impact on people’s lives in America during the 19th century and beyond.