In the decades following the Civil War, the United States emerged as an industrial giant. Old industries expanded and many new ones, including petroleum refining, steel manufacturing, and electrical power, emerged. Railroads expanded significantly, bringing even remote parts of the country into a national market economy.
Industrial growth transformed American society. It produced a new class of wealthy industrialists and a prosperous middle class. It also produced a vastly expanded blue collar working class. The labor force that made industrialization possible was made up of millions of newly arrived immigrants and even larger numbers of migrants from rural areas.
American society became more diverse than ever before.
These amazing pics from Thiophene_Guy documented everyday life of the United States from between the 1850s and 1890s.
Broadway on a rainy day, NY, 1859
The Rag Rorums celebration at St Johnsbury, Vermont, 1959
Market Day, Hanover Street entrance, Carlisle, PA, 1860
The railroad station at Lewistown, PA, circa 1860s