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Industrial Age

In 1850, most of Indiana's manufacturing and production took place at home, on the farm or in small businesses. Soon, a growing network of railroads would transport Indiana goods to regional, national and international markets. New technologies such as steam engines and electrical power also encouraged growth of Indiana's industrial economy.

By the 1900s, Indiana cities were home to heavy industry, fueled by Indiana's natural gas and coal reserves. The state became well known for its production of iron, steel, glass, railroad cars and automobiles. As air travel increased, new airports also began to appear on the outskirts of cities.

To succeed in an industrial economy, Indiana factories needed a steady supply of workers. Good-paying jobs attracted Hoosiers from rural areas and many moved to Indiana's growing cities to work the assembly lines. Factory jobs also attracted workers from across the country, including African-Americans from the South and European immigrants.

This era experienced significant social change. Concerns about racial equality, women's rights, public health and industry's impact on the state's natural resources were also important issues of the day.

IHS Press Youth Biography Series

Available for purchase from the Basile History Market:

Fighting for Equality: A Life of May Wright Sewall

Spinning Through Clouds: Tales from an Early Hoosier Aviator

Nature's Storyteller: The Life of Gene Stratton-Porter

Paint and Canvas: A Life of T.C. Steele

IHS Press Biography Series

Available for purchase from the Basile History Market:

Meredith Nicholson: A Writing Life

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