24 Facts About Samuel Slater


Samuel Slater was an early English-American industrialist known as the "Father of the American Industrial Revolution", a phrase coined by Andrew Jackson, and the "Father of the American Factory System".


Samuel Slater stole the textile factory machinery designs as an apprentice to a pioneer in the British industry before migrating to the US at the age of 21.


Samuel Slater designed the first textile mills in the US and later went into business for himself, developing a family business with his sons.


Samuel Slater eventually owned 13 spinning mills and had developed tenant farms and company towns around his textile mills, such as Slatersville, Rhode Island.


Samuel Slater received a basic education, perhaps at a school run by Thomas Jackson.


Samuel Slater was well trained by Strutt and, by age 21, he had gained a thorough knowledge of the organization and practice of cotton spinning.


Samuel Slater learned of the American interest in developing similar machines, and he was aware of British law against exporting the designs.


At this point, Samuel Slater wrote to them, offering his services.


Samuel Slater realized that nothing could be done with the machinery as it stood and convinced Brown of his knowledge.


Samuel Slater had the experience of working with all the elements as a continuous production system.


In 1812, Samuel Slater built the Old Green Mill, later known as Cranston Print Works, in East Village in Webster, Massachusetts.


Samuel Slater moved to Webster due in part to an available workforce, but due to abundant water power from Webster Lake.


Samuel Slater created the Rhode Island System, which were factory practices based upon family life patterns in New England villages.


Children aged seven to 12 were the first employees of the mill; Samuel Slater personally supervised them closely.


Samuel Slater provided company-owned housing nearby, along with company stores; he sponsored a Sunday School where college students taught the children reading and writing.


Samuel Slater brought the Sunday school system from his native England to his textile factory at Pawtucket.


Samuel Slater built factories to make the textile manufacturing machinery used by many of the region's mills and formed a partnership with his brother-in-law to produce iron for use in machinery construction.


Samuel Slater refused to go outside his family to hire managers, and, after 1829, he made his sons partners in the new umbrella firm of Samuel Slater and Sons.


Samuel Slater hired recruiters to search for families willing to work at the mill.


Samuel Slater advertised to attract more families to the mills.


In 1791, Samuel Slater married Hannah Wilkinson; she invented two-ply thread, becoming, in 1793, the first American woman to be granted a patent.


Samuel Slater married for a second time in 1817 to a widow, Esther Parkinson.


Samuel Slater died on April 21,1835, in Webster, Massachusetts, a town which he had founded in 1832 and named for his friend Senator Daniel Webster.


Samuel Slater's papers are held at the Harvard Business School's Baker Library.