• Father Of The American Industrial Revolution Samuel Slater, Vilified In U.K., Signed Business Document

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    SAMUEL SLATER (1768-1835) became known as the “Father of the American Industrial Revolution” and the “Father of the American Factory System.”  While popular in the United States, he was vilified by those in the United Kingdom who believed he stole technology and designs from British factories and capitalized on them after coming to America. He first operated a textile mill in partnership with his son-in-law William Almy and cousin Samuel Brown, which came to be known as Almy & Brown as seen in the document offered here. He split from the company in 1798 and opened his own mill, Samuel Slater & Company. He would eventually own 13 spinning mills throughout New England. Slatersville, Rhode, Island was one such town and named after him. At the end of his life, Slater was worth $1.3 million, equivalent to nearly $40 million in today’s money.


    One page, 7 ¼ x 11 ½, North Providence, Rhode Island, August 12, 1799. Signed at the top right corner “S. Slater” and addressed to Messrs Almy & Brown. An order for 280 lbs of cotton yarn, sent via Oliver Carpenter. The document outlines the different varieties of yarn, such as 10 lbs Twist No. 8 ½”; 10 lbs 2 thd whit No. 7 ½; 20 lbs do whit 11; and 10lbs 3 thd do – 17, totaling the 280 lbs.


    With two additional notes at the bottom. The first reads: “Please make Jonathan Hill Ltd as under/1799 July 9/5lbs Twist No. 6 ¼...18 lbs 3 thd 6 ½ priced at $18.97.” The second, dated August 7, 1799, reads, “Also James Burnham Ltd” for an order of 100 lbs of yarn, six varieties, sent by R. Gray.”


    Docketing on verso. Mail folds with minor edge tears and chipping. There is a small area of tearing and paper loss at the center where the wax seal was opened reinforced with archival tape.  Boldly signed by Slater.


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