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Spinning Room in a Textile Mill

Big Factories and New Industries, 1820–1920

In the 19th century, New Hampshire was one of the first states in America to build factories. This period of time was known as the Industrial Revolution, when factories made it possible for people to make all sorts of products faster and cheaper than ever before. The people in the factories used machines to help them do their work. Even with the machines, working in a factory was hard and very different from the kind of work people had done before. The Industrial Revolution changed more than just the way people worked, though.

The Industrial Revolution had a big impact on almost everything in people’s lives in the 19th century, especially for those who moved closer to the factories to work in them. All of the people living around the factories made towns grow into cities, with restaurants, shops, theaters, apartment buildings, churches, clubs, and even amusement parks! The cities were linked to one another by transportation networks (like railroads) and communication networks (like telephones). With all these changes to the way people lived and worked in New Hampshire, the Granite State was a very different place in 1900 from what it had been 100 years earlier.

As you learn more about New Hampshire during the Industrial Revolution, think about the following questions:
  1. How did industrialization change the way people worked in New Hampshire?

  2. How did people change the way they lived because of industrialization in New Hampshire?

  3. How did New Hampshire modernize because of the Industrial Revolution?

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The Factory System

What is a factory, and where does it get the power to make machines work?

The Industrial Revolution was a period in American history that saw an enormous amount of change in the way Americans lived.

Although the Industrial Revolution was at its height from 1840 to 1920, it all started earlier than that—around 1800—with a shift in the way people made the things they used in their lives.

Where did Americans get their clothes from in 1800? What about shoes? Or books? Or the dishes they used to cook and eat their food? Before the Industrial Revolution, all of those items would have been made by hand by people who lived in your own community. But once the Industrial Revolution happened, those items were made in factories with the help of machines. The items were probably produced someplace far away from where you lived and transported to a store close to your neighborhood so you could buy them.

And from that one change in the way people produced the things we use, a lot of other changes followed.

Sawyer Woolen Mills
Mill at New Ipswich

Water Power

The story of the Industrial Revolution starts with power and the development of machines to do the work people used to do themselves.

For centuries, people had been using water to create power, a process called hydropower. The simplest form of hydropower was to have the water of a river run through a waterwheel and turn it. The wheel was attached to a machine, so when the water turned the wheel, the wheel gave power to the machine.

Although people had been using waterwheels for a long time, they mostly used them for two purposes: to grind corn or wheat (which were called gristmills) and to cut wood (which were called sawmills).

Around 1800, though, inventors came up with new ways to use waterwheels that generated more power. With more power available, people started finding new ways—and invented new machines—to make the things they needed.

With all of New Hampshire’s rivers, the state was perfect for factories because the water in the rivers provided enough power for the machines to work.

New Hampshire also had the other resources needed to start successful businesses. A business needs four inputs, called factors of production, which are: labor, land, capital, and entrepreneurship. New Hampshire had all of them in the early 1800s. That’s why New Hampshire developed factories earlier than many other states.

By the time other states started building factories, New Hampshire already had hundreds of them.

Logging at Amoskeag Falls

The First Mills

One of the first products people started making with these new machines was cloth, which is also called textiles. Textiles were used for all sorts of things like clothing and bedding. But it took a long time to create fabric from cotton or wool.

With new machines to make textiles, people started to build factories, which were buildings that held all the machinery and provided power to make the machines work. Factory workers operated the machines to make sure everything ran smoothly.

The machines couldn’t do everything, though, so factory workers also did by hand any parts of production that couldn’t be done by machine. Creating goods in factories was much cheaper and faster than creating them by hand.

People in the early 1800s were quick to build more factories and produce more goods because it made them money.

Cotton Carding Machines
Corliss Steam Engine

Steam Power

As the Industrial Revolution developed, the factories got bigger and bigger, and they needed more and more power. Water power alone was not going to be enough to keep all the machines working.

Another invention called the steam engine started to replace waterwheels by the middle of the 19th century. Steam engines were still hydropower but used water in a different way. Instead of the water from a river turning a waterwheel, steam engines worked when giant tanks of water were heated until they got so hot that the water turned to steam. Then the pressure from the steam in the tanks would push the pistons of the steam engine so that it moved, which created power to make the machines run.

Steam engines provided a steady source of power to the factories that allowed them to use more machines and make more goods even faster than they had before. The steam engine was a very important invention that inspired other inventions, like the railroad, steamships, and eventually cars. All of them operated on steam engines when they were first invented.

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The Industrial Revolution

The Industrial Revolution lasted from 1840 to 1920. It was a shift in the way people made things. Items started to be made by machines in factories instead of by hand at home.

Hydropower

New Hampshire developed factories because it had access to a source of power: water. With all the rivers in the state, factories could use water to power machines. This kind of power is called hydropower.

The First Factories

Textiles, or cloth, were one of the first products made by machines and people in factories. Making textiles and other goods in factories was much faster and cheaper than making them by hand.

Steam Engines

By the middle of the 19th century, steam engines started to replace waterwheels in factories. Steam engines provided a constant source of power to machines so factories could make more goods faster. Steam engines were also used in railroads, steamships, and even the first cars.
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New Hampshire's Main Industries

What were the most important industries in New Hampshire during the Industrial Revolution?

All sorts of things were made in New Hampshire during the Industrial Revolution: furniture, mattresses, boxes, glass, guns, engines, hats, cigars, sleds, and more!

Some New Hampshire products became famous all over the world, like the Concord coach, which was a kind of stagecoach. Granite was another famous New Hampshire industry, as the granite quarries in the state produced granite for many important buildings all over country, including the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.

But the state was really well known for three industries in particular: textiles, shoes, and lumber.

Workers at a New Hampshire Factory
Power Loom Weaving

Textiles

The textile industry was by far the biggest industry in New Hampshire during the Industrial Revolution. There were textile factories all over the state, and some of the most important ones were in Dover, Rochester, Nashua, and Manchester.

Textile factories tended to be very big, with lots of noisy machinery that changed cotton or wool into cloth that could then be turned into clothing.

Although there were many textile factories around the state, one in Manchester became the largest textile factory, not just in New Hampshire but in the entire world! Manchester’s textile factories were owned by the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company.

When the Amoskeag Company first started its textile business in Manchester in the 1820s, the town was still pretty small, and most of the people who lived there were farmers. The town center was not along the river, where it is today, but further east where two major roads met. The Amoskeag Company built its mills along the Merrimack River because the mills needed the power of the river to make the machines work.

Amoskeag Falls
Mason's Fun Fact
Bird's-Eye View of Manchester
By the late 1830s, the Amoskeag Company had built so many factories along the river that most of the people in Manchester lived in that part of town. The company built apartments and houses for the workers so they would be close to the factories, and thousands of immigrants started coming to Manchester to work in the mills.

With so many people living along the Merrimack River in Manchester, the company decided to design the streets of the new city to make it more organized. They hired a young man named Ezekiel Straw
Ezekiel Straw
, who was just 18 years old at the time, to figure out where all the streets would go. Straw also designed a dam on the river that would allow the company to control the water—and the power it generated—better. Straw also laid out canals that would bring water to more of the factories and help power the machines.

By 1850, Manchester had become a real city, home to thousands of people. It was laid out with streets on a grid pattern that contained mill buildings, housing, stores, churches, and office buildings. Almost everyone who lived in Manchester worked for the Amoskeag Company in one way or another.

There were very few farmers living in Manchester by that point. Instead, food was brought in from farms located in the surrounding towns. The factory workers bought their food at stores instead of growing it themselves.

Amoskeag Manufacturing Company

Mason Asks: What Were the Amoskeag Mills?

One Day's Production of Amoskeag Cloth
By the 1910s, when the Amoskeag Company had grown to be the largest textile factory in the world, about 17,000 people worked there. More people worked at the Amoskeag Company than at any other company in the state. The Amoskeag Company owned 40 mill buildings in Manchester, and it produced 500 miles of cloth per day. The company made enough cloth in a year to circle the moon 23 times!

New Hampshire’s fabrics were sold all over the world. For example, Nashua’s textile mills produced fabric that was sent by train to the west coast of the United States and was then put on ships that went to China where workers turned the fabric into clothing and then sold it.

Award-Winning Amoskeag Cloth
Mason's Fun Fact

Shoes

Another big industry in New Hampshire was shoe making.

Most of New Hampshire’s shoe factories were in the southern part of the state, and New Hampshire’s shoe industry started later than its textile industry.

Nashua got its first shoe factory in 1874, Newport opened its first shoe factory in 1887, and Manchester got its first shoe factory in 1892. All three places became major producers of shoes that were sold all over the country.

Shoe Advertisement

Lumber

Logging New Hampshire’s trees had always been a big industry, even when New Hampshire was still a colony under Great Britain.

In the second half of the 19th century, logging became the main industry in the northern part of the state, in the White Mountains and the Great North Woods regions.

There was a huge demand for lumber all over America during the Industrial Revolution because there was so much building going on. Cities were growing, and companies were constructing mills and building housing. New Hampshire’s thick forests provided a lot of that lumber.

Logging Workmen and Horse Team
Mason's Fun Fact
Stacked Lumber Waiting for Transport
In 1852, the Berlin Mills Company started its lumber business in Berlin, New Hampshire, just north of the White Mountains.

There was an enormous waterfall on the Androscoggin River that ran through Berlin, which was just a small town at this time. The Berlin Mills Company opened a sawmill there, using the waterfalls to power the machinery. There were also plenty of trees all around to provide the lumber.

But the Berlin Company didn’t just produce lumber for all the construction going on. It also produced paper using a new process that allowed paper to be made from wood pulp rather than cloth. The old way to make paper, using cloth, took a long time and cost a lot of money. The new way to make paper, using wood pulp, was much faster and cheaper to produce.

With so many forests in that part of the state, there was also a lot of wood pulp available to make paper. Soon Berlin had several paper factories along the banks of the river, making it one of the largest paper manufacturing centers in the world.

Inside a Paper Mill
Mason's Fun Fact

Railroads

How did the Industrial Revolution encourage the development of the railroads?

The railroads were one of the new technologies that grew out of the Industrial Revolution. Some of the same technology that powered the factories, like the steam engine, also made railroads possible. The factories and the railroads grew at the same time because they needed each other to make money. The factories needed the railroads to bring them raw materials and to transport finished products. But the railroads also needed the factories because the factories kept them in business. As factories grew around New Hampshire, the railroads followed them and grew as well.

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Three Main Industries

Although many items were made in New Hampshire during the Industrial Revolution, the three biggest industries in the state were textiles, shoes, and lumber. Factories making these goods were built all over New Hampshire, which also encouraged the spread of the railroads. The railroads brought factories raw materials, then shipped the finished goods around the state and the world.

Textiles

The textile industry was the largest industry in the state. In fact, the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company in Manchester became the biggest textile company in the world! Many towns and cities in New Hampshire had textile factories. More people worked in textiles than any other industry.

Shoes

New Hampshire’s shoe factories were mostly in the southern part of the state. This industry developed toward the end of the 19th century, but it became one of New Hampshire's biggest industries. Granite State companies shipped shoes all over the country.

Lumber

Logging in New Hampshire has been a big industry for a long time, especially in the northern part of the state where there are so many trees and thick forests. Lumber was used for all sorts of things in the 19th century. The Berlin Mills Company in Berlin produced timber and also made paper out of wood pulp in its factories.
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Factory Workers

Who worked in the factories, and what was it like?

All of these factories in New Hampshire needed thousands of people to work in them. As the factories got bigger and bigger, more and more people got jobs in them. But the types of people who worked in New Hampshire’s factories changed over the course of the 19th century.

All factories hired men to care for the machines and perform some of the labor, whether it was making shoes or cutting down trees.

Textile Mill Workers and Bobbins
Cotton Carding Machines
Women also worked in factories in large numbers, especially in the textile industry. Even when textiles were produced by hand before the Industrial Revolution, most of the work was done by women working in their homes. When textile work moved to factories, women moved to the factories as well, even though it meant no longer working from their homes.

Factory owners also liked to hire women because they believed that women’s small hands could do the delicate work with threads to make textiles.

Farmers to Factory Workers

Nearly everyone who started working in New Hampshire factories in the 19th century originally came from a farm. Whether they were immigrants looking for work or young workers supporting their family, they had to take jobs that were available, which was factory work. But working in a factory was very different from working on a farm.

New England Mill Girls

By the 1830s, many of the workers in the state’s factories were young women who came from New Hampshire’s farms.

Working in the mills provided these women with more opportunities to earn money and help support their families. At the time, women did not do the same kind of tasks on a farm that their brothers did, most of which required a lot of physical strength, so many people thought women could be more productive and earn more money if they worked in factories. These workers, who were young, unmarried women usually in their teens, became known as New England mill girls.

Amoskeag Mill Girls
The Bobbin Girl
At first, factories gave jobs to women who lived nearby. But the factories soon got so big and needed so many workers that they had to hire women who lived farther away, which meant these girls had to leave their families and live near the factories.

At this time, few parents would allow their daughters to live on their own without supervision. So the companies that owned the factories often provided housing for the girls and agreed to look out for them when they moved near the factory.

The girls lived in boardinghouses run by the company, and there was a matron (an older woman), who would take care of them. They ate their meals together in the boardinghouse and had to live by strict rules that said where they could go when they weren’t working and what time they had to be back at the boardinghouse every night. The girls were sometimes allowed to go to approved activities, like church, a concert, or a lecture.

The company often sent the money the girls earned, which was just a few dollars a week, home to their parents. Once the girls got older, they usually got married and stopped working in the factories so they could take care of their husbands and children.

Boardinghouse Rules
Amoskeag Manufacturing Company Workers

Immigrants

Even with the New England mill girls, the factories needed more workers. So, starting in the 1840s, immigrants from other countries began to arrive in New Hampshire to work in the mills. They came from Canada and Europe and brought with them their ethnic heritage from their native lands.

Thousands of Irish, French-Canadians, Italians, Germans, Russians, Greeks, and Scandinavians journeyed to the Granite State, got jobs in one of New Hampshire’s industries, and made America their home. Many of the people who live in New Hampshire now are descended from these immigrants. By 1860, the immigrants had replaced the New England mill girls as factory workers.

Children in the Factories

Although most of the workers in the factories were men and women, the mills also employed children, especially in the textile industry.

Most of these children were from immigrant families that had recently arrived in the United States. The money the kids earned helped their families survive in their new country.

Young Workers at Amoskeag Manufacturing Company
Kids as young as five years old could work in a factory, and they had very important jobs. Because children were smaller than adults, they could climb up into the machines if something broke. It may seem strange that kids the same age as you would work all day in factories instead of going to school. But in the past, people had different ideas about what childhood should be like.

Girls often had jobs as spinners. They had to walk up and down the factory floor and make sure the threads didn’t break on the machinery. If a thread broke, then the spinner had to reach inside the machine and retie the thread. They also had to sweep up all the lint that fell on the floor. Lint is made up of tiny loose threads that float in the air and eventually settle on the floor when textiles are created.

Boys were usually doffers, which meant they had to change the thread bobbins on the machines when the bobbins got full.

All of these jobs were dangerous. It was common for kids to lose a finger or a hand in the machinery and sometimes even die in an industrial accident when the machines broke down. Many kids got sick from breathing in the lint, which clogged up their lungs.

Children Working in a Textile Mill
Girls Running Machines in a Textile Mill
Like their parents, kids worked six days a week, usually for 10 or 12 hours a day. They were so busy in the factories that they didn’t go to school, so they often didn’t learn how to read or write.

Kids earned less money than their parents, and the company usually paid their parents directly so the kids never collected their own wages.

The government of New Hampshire passed a few laws, starting in 1846, to protect kids who worked in the factories, but most of the laws didn’t work very well.

It was not until 1910 that the state passed a child labor law that stopped kids from working in the factories. Instead, they had to go to school.

Boys Working at Amoskeag Company
March to Support Striking Workers
Mason's Fun Fact

Labor Strikes

Sometimes factory workers got upset about the conditions they had to work in. They did not get paid very much for working such long hours. Their work was not very interesting, and it could be dangerous. If the factory owners asked them to do more work, often for less money, workers would protest by going on strike.

A strike is when the workers refuse to come to work and do their jobs. Instead, workers would picket in front of factories or hold big rallies or meetings where they would speak out against the way the factory owners treated them. If just a few workers went on strike, the factory owners would fire them. But if many workers went on strike at the same time, it would bring factory work to a stop. The factory owners would be forced to try to find a compromise with the workers.

Strikes didn't always work out this way, though. Sometimes factory owners just let the factories stop production until the workers came back. Since workers didn't get paid when they were on strike, they couldn't afford to be on strike for very long. Other times, the factory owners would fire all the workers who were on strike and hire new workers to replace them.

Labor Unions

Toward the end of the 19th century, some workers joined together to form labor unions, which were kind of like clubs for factory workers. These clubs were often organized for workers at a particular factory, like the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company. Or they could be organized for a particular type of worker, like shoemakers or mechanics.

Unions represented factory workers and negotiated with factory owners for better working conditions, higher pay, and shorter hours. If factory owners didn't work with the unions, then the unions could call a strike. But since strikes didn't always turn out the way unions wanted, unions did not call strikes too often.

Not all workers belonged to a union, and not all factories had unionized workers. If a factory treated workers well, then the workers usually didn't form a union in the first place. The Amoskeag Manufacturing Company, for example, didn't have unionized workers until the 20th century.
Abbot-Downing Company Union Workers

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Factory Workers

Thousands of people worked in New Hampshire’s factories. Men were hired for all jobs, and women worked outside the home at first in the textile factories. For all workers, there was a big change from farm work to factory work.

New England Mill Girls

Many young women from farms came to work in the factories by the 1830s. They supported their families, worked long hours, and lived in boarding houses. They were sometimes allowed to do activities in the evenings and weekends.

Immigrants in the Factories

By the 1840s, immigrants from Canada and Europe were coming to work in New Hampshire’s growing industries. By 1860, they were a main part of the factory workers. Many people in New Hampshire today are descended from these immigrants.

Children in the Factories

Children as young as five also worked in factories. Many were recent immigrants, and all worked to support their families. Girls and boys did dangerous jobs for long hours and did not go to school.
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City Life

With all these workers living near the factories, the area around the mills grew to be cities. And life in the cities was very different from life in New Hampshire’s small towns, where most of the people still worked as farmers.

New Hampshire’s cities grew fast! Cities like Berlin, Manchester, and Concord more than doubled their size between 1840 and 1860.

Manchester grew faster than any other city in the state. By 1860, it was the largest city in New Hampshire, and it has stayed the largest ever since.

Amoskeag Manufacturing Company Upriver
Bird's-Eye View of Berlin Mills
There were also lots more cities in New Hampshire by the middle of the 19th century, thanks to industrialization and all the new factories. By 1920, there were 10 cities in New Hampshire that each had more than 10,000 people living in them.

Most of these cities were built along rivers, where the factories had been built, because they needed hydropower to make the factories work.

Industrialization changed just about everything in people's lives. New Hampshire began to look more like it does today, with cities, factories, roads, public transportation, stores, theaters, restaurants, and other businesses.

The use of electricity powered public transportation like trolleys, as well as lights that encouraged people to go out in the evening more because shops, restaurants, and theaters were more likely to stay open at night if there was light.

With so many people living in New Hampshire in the 19th century and so much activity going on, the pace of life got faster.

New York the Wonder City
Radio Advertisement
Mason's Fun Fact

Communication

People could communicate with one another much more quickly than they did in the 18th century because of new inventions like the telegraph, the telephone, and radio.

A telegraph is a device that sends signals across wires. The signals were short (called dots) or long (called dashes). A wireless operator would tap on a knob to create the dots and dashes. Another wireless operator at a different location would listen for the dots and dashes and then write them down. Each combination of dots and dashes translated into a letter of the alphabet. When the dots and dashes were translated into letters, they made words. The telegraph was the first invention that allowed people to communicate quickly over long distances.

Transportation

People could also move from one place to another more quickly than in the 18th century because of new inventions that developed through the use of hydropower, particularly steam power. Railroads and steamships allowed people and goods to move over long distances in fairly short periods of time.

Eventually cars, which were invented around 1900, allowed people to move both quickly and independently. With a car, you can travel where you want, when you want, instead of relying on the scheduled service of mass transportation.

Trolley Cars from Manchester

Consumerism

Industrialization also produced more goods than ever. Because those goods were made by machines in factories, rather than by hand, they were also cheaper. People started buying more stuff instead of making things themselves.

To buy things, people needed to visit stores, so almost every town in New Hampshire had a general store, full of things to buy, including food, clothing, toys, and tools.

Stores needed to be able to buy the goods they sold from factories and move the goods from the factories to their store, so the roads in New Hampshire became better to make it easier to transport the goods.

Varick's Store

Leisure Time

Working in a factory or having a job in a store, restaurant, or business in the city also changed when people worked. Employees had set hours for when they worked, and when they weren't at work, they had time to do other things, including fun things!

Standardized Time

With so many people and goods moving around, it became important that everyone operated on the same basic standards of time.

If trains were going to travel through many towns and follow a schedule, it was important that all the towns were coordinated on the same time. It wasn't enough to look up at the sun and estimate that it was around noon. The people who used the trains needed to know exactly what time it was, down to the minute, so they knew when the train was expected to come through their station. That meant that everyone's watches had to be coordinated to exactly the same time. In 1888, the United States agreed that clocks all over the country would be set according to Greenwich Mean Time, which is a standard of time determined in Greenwich, England.

But Greenwich, England, is a long way from America, and the sun rises and sets at different times in America than it does in England. In fact, the United States is so big that the sun rises and sets at different times across the North American continent. To account for this change in latitude and help railroads create schedules for their trains, the United States also divided the country into four time zones to account for the change in latitude.

These changes allowed for the standardization of time in America.

Amoskeag Locomotive
Merrimack River Bank Currency

National Currency

The United States also started moving toward a system that standardized money. Before industrialization, there lots of different types of currency that was used in America. Each state had their own currency and sometimes banks made their own currency as well. This currency was accepted as money when used locally, but if people traveled out of state or far away from the bank, many businesses would not accept it.

The U.S. government adopted a single form of currency in the 1860s that would be accepted across the country. With everyone using the same form of money, people could buy and sell goods more easily and had an easier time traveling as well.

All of these changes made people feel more connected to the rest of the country and the rest of the world. They could communicate with other people who lived far away by using the telegraph, the telephone, and then radio. Travel was also much easier and faster than it had been before industrialization, mainly because of railroads which crisscrossed the nation. People could travel from the east coast to the west coast of the United States on a train in just a few days, which was much faster than crossing the continent on foot or horseback.

The world, in a sense, became smaller with these changes, and people felt more connected to one another.

Elm Street By Night

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Growth of Cities

New Hampshire’s cities grew quickly during the Industrial Revolution. Some even doubled in size from 1840 to 1860. So many people living and working close together was very different than life in New Hampshire's small towns.

Communication and Transportation

The pace of life got faster during this time as people’s lives changed in the cities. People used telephones and radios to communicate quickly. People and goods were able to move more rapidly using steam engines in railroads and steamships.

Consumerism and Leisure Time

The Industrial Revolution changed how people got the items they needed and how they spent their time. Workers could buy items in a store and then have time to do something fun.

Standardized Time and Currency

As the country and world got more connected, the government organized systems to make it easier for people to interact. Time zones started across the United States so trains could run on schedules. A national currency was created so that people all over could buy and sell goods more easily.
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New Hampshire Farms

What happened to New Hampshire’s farms during this period?

Although lots of people moved to the cities to get jobs in the factories during the 19th century, some people stayed in the country and farmed their land. But even farming changed during the Industrial Revolution.

View from Lewis Nute Farm
Farming had always been hard in New Hampshire. The growing season is short, the soil does not support many types of plants, and there are lots of rocks in the fields that make it hard to care for the crops.

Before 1850, Granite Staters just had to make do with what food they could grow. But after 1850, when railroads began to spread to the middle of the country where it was easier to farm, food could be transported to New England for less than it cost to grow here. The most popular crops to come from the Midwest were wheat, barley, and corn. Meat also began coming from the Midwest, which sent beef, pork, and chicken to New England markets.

Grazing Sheep
Dairy Farm Workers
Farmers in New Hampshire had to find new crops to grow. They ended up shifting their farms to dairy products, like milk, cheese, and butter.

They also grew lots of fruits and vegetables, which did well in New Hampshire’s soil—things like apples, berries, lettuce, and potatoes. New Hampshire farmers started providing big northeastern cities like Boston with these types of products that allowed them to earn enough money to get by.

Lewis Nute Farm
Mason's Fun Fact
Not all farmers stayed in the Granite State, though. In fact, in the second half of the 19th century, lots of New Hampshire farmers left and either moved to the cities or migrated to the Midwest or the west coast of the United States.

The number of people living in small New Hampshire towns plummeted. In a couple of places, so few people lived there that they stopped being considered towns.

By 1900, most people in New Hampshire lived in a city, not a town. That was a big change from 100 years earlier, when almost everyone in the state lived in a small farming community.

But by 1900, New Hampshire had several cities and hundreds of factories surrounded by many small farming towns that were struggling to keep people living there.

Mason's Fun Fact
New Hampshire Farms: Your Opportunity

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New Hampshire Farmers

Many people during the Industrial Revolution left farms to go to the city and work in factories. Farming had always been difficult in New Hampshire, and in some ways it got harder for the farmers who stayed behind.

New Competition

Railroads connected the country, so farmers from all over could send their goods to New England to sell them. New Hampshire farms had to compete with crops like wheat and corn coming from the Midwest, where it was easier and cheaper to grow things. Grani