Philadelphia in the Industrial Age
The Industrial Age in America radically transformed nearly every aspect of American daily life after the Civil War (1861-1865). Nowhere was this more evident than in Philadelphia, "the first great industrial city" (Beers, 430). However, as new technology and new modes of transportation changed the nature of work and travel, rapid industrialization also led to a wave of social and economic problems.
Innovations in transportation and manufacturing accelerated the rate at which goods were produced and distributed, and changed the nature of work. New printing and photographic processes, the invention of the telegraph and telephone, and mass production improved the standard of living for many Americans and connected them to each other in new ways.
New forms of transportation like the railroad and steamboat were adopted by the city in the nineteenth century, requiring the construction of new bridges, turnpikes, and canals, and the improvement of existing ones. By 1821, eighty five turnpikes had been chartered in the state of Pennsylvania. A network of paved toll roads were developed leading from Philadelphia to New York, Reading, Harrisburg, Lancaster, Baltimore, and into New Jersey (Richardson, 230).