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Samuel Slater

Samuel Slater (June 9 1768 - April 21 1835) is known as the father of the American Industrial Revolution.

The son of William Slater, a wealthy farmer, Samuel Slater was born in Derbyshire, England. In 1783, Slater was apprenticed to a local factory master, Jedediah Strutt, who had been doing business with Samuel's father. As a partner of Richard Arkwright, Strutt was a pioneer in the use of the new British textile technology, and he passed along the trade secrets to Slater over the course of the seven year apprenticeship.

After the apprenticeship, when Slater was 21, he decided to travel to the United States, carrying his technical knowledge with him, despite the fact that Britain outlawed the emigration of any engineers. Britain did not want their trade secrets to leave the country, which would hurt the British economy. In November, 1789, Slater arrived at New York.

In 1789, a Quaker merchant by the name of Moses Brown, had decided to start his own textile factory in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, and was looking for someone to reproduce Arkwright's machines. Slater offered his service and helped to build the mill based on the Awkwright designs in his memory. This mill called Almy and Brown would be the first successful water-powered textile mill in America.

In 1798 Samuel Slater split from Almy and Brown to build his own larger mill called the White Mill. Slater estimated his wealth at close to one million dollars, and when he died, he owned all or part of 13 textile mills.

Slater died in Webster, Massuchusetts.