Mass production, a word never brought upon the human ear before in the late 1700's was about to get a lifetime supply of it. New America needed a way to produce weapon at a fast pace. This fast-pace mentality was a spark for the fire of the Industrial Revolutions. Before the Revolution skilled craftsmen handcrafted every manufactured good. This procedure was not only timely but also costly.
The U.S. Government needed a fast-pace economy to run efficiently. So they looked for someone or something to help that cause, that someone or something was inventor Eli Whitney. In 1798 Whitney acquired a contract with the government to manufacture 10,000 muskets in two years. Nearly 30 years ago this was unheard of. Arms factories could produce only about 250 muskets a year. This was so, due in part that each part had to be handmade to fit each weapon.
Three years later, in 1801, Eli showed up to Washington D.C. not empty handed as many thought he would be, but presented a dramatic presentation to the President and his cabinet. The presentation included various musket parts in different crates. With these crates and muskets he demonstrated the interchangeability of these parts by putting together musket pieces chosen at random from each box. The time Whitney put into this was a failure in one way and a success in another. Whitney's initial efforts failed because of a lack of start up money and precision machine tools. These advances Whitney brought about speeded up the manufacture of goods and improves their reliability. Inventions and ideas such as these caused dramatic changes in the way Americans labored in the coming century. These changes would affect different regions of the young nation in different ways.
Whitney's interchangeable parts for muskets took industry out of American households and artisans" workshops and put it, instead, in large semi-mechanized factories. The factory system, using power-driven machinery and laborers assigned to different tasks, made the production of goods in large quantities or possible.