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The Rise of Skilled Manufacturing

Between 1870 and 1900 the United States became the world's foremost industrial nation, emerging as the leader in meatpacking, timber and steel production as well as in mining. The nation experienced a stunning growth in the scale and pace of industrial production, which transformed business, the environment, the workplace, the home, and everyday life. In Wisconsin, early manufacturing was primarily extractive - - removing raw materials such as fur, lumber, and lead from the landscape and processing them for market. In contrast, by 1860 Milwaukee had become a center of modern manufacturing - - creating finished consumer goods from those... more...

Original Documents and Other Primary Sources

Link to article: A tariff advocate seeks worker support, 1880  A tariff advocate seeks worker support, 1880
Link to article: How aluminum becomes Mirro cookware  How aluminum becomes Mirro cookware
Link to article: The Sheboygan Press covers the strike in Kohler, 1934  The Sheboygan Press covers the strike in Kohler, 1934
Link to artifacts: Parker Pen trim lathe  Parker Pen trim lathe
Link to artifacts: A gas powered tractor for small-scale farmers  A gas powered tractor for small-scale farmers
Link to book: An 1888 milling catalogue from the Allis Company  An 1888 milling catalogue from the Allis Company
Link to book: A history of aluminum manufacturing in Manitowoc  A history of aluminum manufacturing in Manitowoc
Link to book: The history and making of Holeproof Hosiery  The history and making of Holeproof Hosiery
Link to book: Three new flour mills open in Superior in 1893  Three new flour mills open in Superior in 1893
Link to book: A trip through an instrument factory in Elkhorn, 1920  A trip through an instrument factory in Elkhorn, 1920
Link to book: A colorful and opinionated guide to Milwaukee businesses, 1877  A colorful and opinionated guide to Milwaukee businesses, 1877
Link to book: A look at Wisconsin industry on the eve of the Depression  A look at Wisconsin industry on the eve of the Depression
Link to book: A Labor Day souvenir from the 1900 celebration  A Labor Day souvenir from the 1900 celebration
Link to book: The many products of the Manitowoc Shipbuilding Company, 1948  The many products of the Manitowoc Shipbuilding Company, 1948
Link to book: Kimberly-Clark Company celebrates its history, 1922.  Kimberly-Clark Company celebrates its history, 1922.
Link to book: Catalog of outboard motor manufacturer Evinrude, 1929.  Catalog of outboard motor manufacturer Evinrude, 1929.
Link to book: Susan Frackelton's manual on ceramic arts, 1886  Susan Frackelton's manual on ceramic arts, 1886
Link to book: A catalogue of industries from Milwaukee's Industrial Exposition in 1881  A catalogue of industries from Milwaukee's Industrial Exposition in 1881
Link to book: The National Labor Relations Board tries to settle the Kohler strike, 1934  The National Labor Relations Board tries to settle the Kohler strike, 1934
Link to book: Kohler workers strike for Union recognition  Kohler workers strike for Union recognition
Link to book: The Kohler Company celebrates industrial progress, 1934  The Kohler Company celebrates industrial progress, 1934
Link to book: Kohler: A place to work and live (1920)  Kohler: A place to work and live (1920)
Link to book: A guide to Milwaukee's commercial industries, 1882  A guide to Milwaukee's commercial industries, 1882
Link to book: A bathing suit catalog from Gimbel Brothers of Milwaukee  A bathing suit catalog from Gimbel Brothers of Milwaukee
Link to book: Annual summaries of Milwaukee industry, 1919-1929  Annual summaries of Milwaukee industry, 1919-1929
Link to book: A Depression-era quilt design catalog from Walworth, Wis.  A Depression-era quilt design catalog from Walworth, Wis.
Link to images: Toy carriages and wagons from a Sheboygan factory, 1873-1875  Toy carriages and wagons from a Sheboygan factory, 1873-1875
Link to images: Images of the Winther Motor Truck Company  Images of the Winther Motor Truck Company
Link to images: Advertisements for farm equipment  Advertisements for farm equipment
Link to images: Photographs of automobile manufacturing in Wisconsin, 1905-1968.  Photographs of automobile manufacturing in Wisconsin, 1905-1968.
Link to images: Photographs of Wisconsin workers and factories, 1900-1909  Photographs of Wisconsin workers and factories, 1900-1909
Link to manuscript: Papers of ceramic artist Susan Frackelton, 1882-1953.  Papers of ceramic artist Susan Frackelton, 1882-1953.
Link to places: The Kissel Motor Car Industrial District  The Kissel Motor Car Industrial District
Link to places: The Kohler Company Complex in Sheboygan  The Kohler Company Complex in Sheboygan
Link to places: The Harley-Davidson Motor Company  The Harley-Davidson Motor Company

Primary Sources Available Elsewhere

Link to article: The tendency of youth to leave farm life, 1898  The tendency of youth to leave farm life, 1898
Link to book: State regulations for women workers, 1920  State regulations for women workers, 1920
Link to book: A study of women laundry workers in Milwaukee, 1913  A study of women laundry workers in Milwaukee, 1913
Link to book: Wisconsin Blue Books  Wisconsin Blue Books
Link to book: A history of the rubber industry in La Crosse, 1925  A history of the rubber industry in La Crosse, 1925
Link to book: The economic and agricultural riches of La Crosse, 1904  The economic and agricultural riches of La Crosse, 1904
Link to book: "Billie" the button describes how pearl buttons are made in La Crosse  "Billie" the button describes how pearl buttons are made in La Crosse
Link to images: Photographs of Wisconsin's heavy industrial manufacturing  Photographs of Wisconsin's heavy industrial manufacturing

Related Links

Discover classroom resources available from our Office of School Services
Search our catalogs for materials on this topic that aren't yet available online.
Borrow books about this topic through our interlibrary loan service
Borrow manuscripts about this topic through our Area Research Center network.
Learn about other topics from our new book, Wisconsin History Highlights
A history of industrial development in Wisconsin
Read how Allis Chalmers brought technology to the farm
Allis-Chalmers' Vice President discusses the history and future of the company, 1960

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