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Innovation in Connecticut

How To

Classroom Setup

Students will need computers with access to the internet, poster paper for brainstorming questions, and journals to write reflections on this lesson.

Part 1: Have students in small groups brainstorm the role of innovation and technology in the Industrial Era (1870-1900). What were some of the innovations that changed life in America?  Who benefitted from these changes?

Consider the examples from your textbook. Identify the innovation and implications for economic and societal changes. Students can chart their answers on poster paper.

Possible answers include:

  1. Interchangeable parts
  2. Taylorism
  3. Technology: machine tools, steel, electric light, combustion engine, electricity

Part 2: Have students, in groups, review documents 1-4. Have students record their answers on anchor charts to share with the class.

  1. What innovations are illustrated in Colonel Pope’s bicycle factory?
  2. Now have students review the posters from Pope’s Bicycle Factories in document 5.
    • Who is targeted in this advertising?
    • What are the advantages for consumers who buy this product?
    • How will this product impact consumers? Be specific here.
  3. Finally, have students review document 6 and document 7. Albert Pope organized the American Wheelman Association to advocate for the bike riding public. The Association published a book called the Cyclists Road Book of CT. Document 6 is the intro from this book. Pope also testified before the Connecticut State legislature to support better infrastructure for the bike riding public. Document 7 pages 11-14 describe Pope’s suggestions for public policy on improving roads for the bike riding public.
    • What is the date of the Cyclists Road Book? What is the purpose of this book?
    • What does Pope argue for in his appeal to the Connecticut Legislature? Why is this appeal important for the bicycle industry? 

Part 3: Have students record in their journals:

  • How did Albert Pope’s bicycle help to shape life in Hartford Connecticut?
  • How did the bicycle impact mobility and independence for consumers?
  • How did the bicycle help to change public policy?