Unit

SAMUEL SLATER

SamuelSlater almost single-handedly set in motion the American journey into industrialization. However, he was faced with numerous obstacleswhich he had to overcome. Among the very first challenges that he hadto overcome was having to travel from England to the US withoutrevealing his true intentions and identity. He was forced to board aship by faking his trade to avoid being detected by the Britishgovernment. Again, he had to take the risk of carrying his indenturepapers which would have revealed his identity to the British securityagents but would guarantee him a job in the US. As a result, he lefthis family without saying the necessary goodbyes. For a young man hisage, leaving home and sailing to the unknown required immensecourage. The move to the US also kept him away from his family andhomeland and therefore suffered from homesickness. It is noted thatthe Wilkinson family helped him manage his homesickness.

Oncein the US, Slater had no money to start his factory. He had to relyon wealthy investors. Once he landed one investor, he struggled withmaking the first Arkwright machine. He risked the investor’s moneyand time to try to make the first Arkwright machine. Since he had nodesigns created on paper, he relied solely on his memory to recreatewhat he had seen and worked with in Britain several months earlier.On this, he experienced a little bit of self-doubt as the Wilkinsonwere to later reveal that he was very bothered by the failure of hisfirst machine. Had he been unable to overcome his self-doubt, hemight not have made it. In addition to that, he was short on the timegiven to build the machines that he had to make everything fromscratch. Once the machines were complete, Slater had to overcomewinter conditions in the US. He was forced to swim underwater tobreak the ice around the wheel of the machine during the winter. Thiswas later to have an impact on his health as he contractedrheumatism. In general, Slater’s life encourages modernentrepreneurs to be persistent in their beliefs and work hard todeliver.

References

Welles,A. (1954). Father of our factory system. In GreatStories of American Businessmen:New

York:American Heritage Publishing