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The Industrial Revolution that occurred in the 19th century was of great importance to the economic development of the United States. Industrialization in America involved three important developments. First, transportation was expanded. Second, electricity was effectively harnessed. Third, improvements were made to industrial processes. Many of these improvements were made possible by American inventors. Here is a look at ten of the most significant American inventors during the 19th century.01of 10
Thomas EdisonUnderwood Archives / Getty Images
Thomas Edison and his workshop patented 1,093 inventions. Included in this were the phonograph, the incandescent light bulb, and the motion picture. He was the most famous inventor of his time and his inventions had a huge impact on America's growth and history.02of 10
Samuel F. B. MorseHenry Guttmann / Getty Images
Samuel Morse invented the telegraph which greatly increased the ability of information to move from one location to another. Along with the creation of the telegraph, he invented morse code which is still learned and used today.
Alexander Graham BellTopical Press Agency / Stringer / Getty Images
Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone in 1876. This invention allowed communication to extend to individuals. Before the telephone, businesses relied on the telegraph for most communications.04of 10
Elias Howe/Isaac SingerBettmann / Getty Images
Elias Howe and Isaac Singer both were involved in the invention of the sewing machine. This revolutionized the garment industry and made the Singer corporation one of the first modern industries.
Cyrus McCormickChicago History Museum / Getty Images
Cyrus McCormick invented the mechanical reaper which made the harvesting of grain more efficient and faster. This helped farmers have more time to devote to other chores.06of 10
George EastmanLibrary of Congress Prints and Photographs Division
George Eastman invented the Kodak camera. This inexpensive box camera allowed individuals to take black and white pictures to preserve their memories and historical events.07of 10
Charles GoodyearHulton Archive / Getty Images
Charles Goodyear invented vulcanized rubber. This technique allowed rubber to have many more uses due to its ability to stand up to bad weather. Interestingly, many believe the technique was found by mistake. Rubber became important in industry as it could withstand large amounts of pressure.08of 10
Nikola TeslaBuyenlarge / Getty Images
Nikola Tesla invented many important items including fluorescent lighting and the alternating current (AC) electrical power system. He also is credited with inventing the radio. The Tesla Coil is used in many items today including the modern radio and television.09of 10
George WestinghouseBettmann / Getty Images
George Westinghouse held the patent to many important inventions. Two of his most important inventions were the transformer, which allowed electricity to be sent over long distances, and the air brake. The latter invention allowed conductors to have the ability to stop a train. Prior to the invention, each car had its own brakeman who manually put on the brakes for that car.10of 10
Dr. Richard GatlingBettmann / Getty Images
Dr. Richard Gatling invented a rudimentary machine gun that was used to a limited degree by the Union in the Civil War but was later used extensively in the Spanish-American War.