Chronicles of Mechanical Engineering in the United States
Chapter 2: The Emergence of ASME
American industrialization grew on the foundations laid by early American mechanical innovators like Samuel Slater, Robert Fulton, and Eli Whitney. By the 1830s water-powered industrial complexes at Lowell and Lawrence, Massachusetts, using machinery introduced into America by Slater and processing cotton produced by Whitney’s gins, were equal to or surpassed anything found in Europe. American-produced steamboats plied the Ohio and Mississippi and a host of other rivers in large numbers. And by 1840 the number of miles of railroad laid down in America far surpassed that of any nation in Europe.