A promotional painting by George Inness will introduce students to a new invention indigenous the nineteenth century: the locomotive. Then, they will research one more invention native the nineteenth-century and the affect it had on the resides of the American people. Student will highlight two advertisements: the an initial as a promotion of the positive influence of the invention and the 2nd as a public service announcement warning around potentially harmful side effects.

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George InnessAmerican, 1825–1894The Lackawanna Valley, c. 1856oil ~ above canvas, 86 x 127.5 cm (33 7/8 x 50 3/16 in.)National collection of Art, Gift that Mrs. Huttleston Rogers

Curriculum Connections

History/Social StudiesLanguage ArtsScience (ecology)


Computers v internet access for students to do researchWriting and also drawing materials

Warm-Up Question

The Industrial transformation meant that some products once do by hand can now it is in made in bigger quantities much more quickly through machine. Just how did this influence the farming preference for train transportation?


I prefer to watch it lap the Miles— and also lick the Valleys up— and also stop to feeding itself in ~ Tanks— and then—prodigious step

Around a heap of Mountains— and also supercilious peer In Shanties—by the political parties of Roads— and also then a Quarry pare

To right its sides and also crawl in between Complaining every the when In horrid—hooting stanza— Then chase itself under Hill—

And neigh like Boanerges*— Then—prompter than a Star Stop—docile and omnipotent in ~ its very own stable door—

*Biblical name meaning “sons of thunder”

Emily Dickinson’s poem “I favor to view it Lap the Miles” (nineteenth century)

The Industrial transformation in the United states saw the rise of textile mills and also mass production in other industries. National roads were constructed to make transportation easier, however railroads and steamboats made the movement of raw materials and manufactured goods even faster. By 1850, just two decades after the engine Tom Thumb lost its race against a railroad vehicle pulled by a horse, around nine thousand mile of railroad track crossed the nation.

One that the early on railroad lines was the Delaware, Lackawanna, and also Western. In the 1850s, the president of this brand-new company commissioned the artist George Inness to repaint The Lackawanna sink to usage for proclaiming purposes. When documenting the accomplishments of the railroad, Inness additionally created a convincing view of Scranton, Pennsylvania. The artist took relatively few liberties v his composition, however in compliance v the wishes of his patron, he contained four trains and exaggerated the importance of the railroad’s yet-to-be-completed roundhouse, a structure for housing and repairing trains.

Steam-powered trains were fueled by lumber or coal (this one offers wood). They released smoke and also soot in the air that often made rail travel dirty. It was not unusual for porters to brush passengers turn off at the finish of the line. In 1831, a passenger composed this firsthand account of an early trip by rail:

The to be coupled together with chains, leaving from 2 to 3 feet slack . . . And in stopping, came along with such force regarding send flying from their seats. . . . Black smoke v sparks, coals, and also cinders, come pouring back the entirety length the the train. Each of the tossed passenger who had actually an umbrella increased it together a protection against the smoke and fire. They were uncovered to be little protection, for i think in the very first mile the last umbrella go over-board, all having their covers burned off native the flames.

quoted in Lorna C. Mason, william Jay Jacobs, and also Robert P. Ludlum, background of The unified States, vol. 1: beginnings to 1877 (Boston: houghton Mifflin, Co., 1992), 364

Inness seems to have minimized the acting in the landscape and also painted that a clean billowing white—perfect because that a advancement painting.

When the poet Emily Dickinson (1830–1886) was young, trains were so new that civilization often described them together “iron horses.” she poem, “I favor to watch it Lap the Miles,” compares a train’s movements to those the a horse. Dickinson to be born and lived in Amherst, Massachusetts. In she late twenties, she became increasingly withdrawn and thereafter rarely ventured exterior her home. On among her rare trips out, she was standing in a neighbor’s woods to clock the very first train in her town leave the station.

Guided Practice

In the early 1800s, some world called trains “iron horses.” Why can Emily Dickinson have contrasted a train’s movements to those that a horse? (Trains were made the iron, equines were the fastest and strongest setting of transportation at the time, and both essential to be “fed” in order come run.) What geographical functions in The Lackawanna Valley and “I like to watch it Lap the Miles” can trains have quickly traveled through, around, and also along? (Valleys, mountains, roads, quarries, hills.) Trees had to be reduced down come accommodate the railroad just as this day trees need to be clearing to make means for brand-new highways. However cutting under trees deserve to be harmful to the environment. How would you handle this issue?What brand-new information has this painting and also poem taught you around the nineteenth century?


There were plenty of scientific, medical, and technological advances that enhanced the high quality of life in nineteenth-century America. This patented innovations include:

Steamboat1807Robert Fulton
Locomotive1830Peter Cooper
Porcelain teeth1844S. S. White
Ether as an anesthetic1846W. T. Morton
Sewing machine1851Isaac Merritt Singer
Hypodermic needle1853Alexander Wood
Telephone1876Alexander Graham
Phonograph1877Thomas Edison
Electric irradiate bulb1879Thomas Edison
Automobile assembly line1893Henry Ford
Products do from peanuts1890sGeorge Washington Carver
X-rays provided in dentistry1896Edward Kells

Have students research an invention from this list or an additional that understand them. They need to write one essay that explains the invention, once it happened, who developed it, how it to be used, and also how the made a difference in people’s lives.


Students will certainly make a promotional advertising for the innovation they researched. Favor Inness, castle should focus on the positive aspects of this technology. Does it conserve time because that the consumer/worker? how does it enhance the top quality of life because that the American people?

Lastly, lock will develop a counterpart public business announcement showing the an unfavorable impact the this invention. For instance, go it add to contamination in the environment? room their possible health risks or allergies associated with the invention?

VA:Cr1.2.7Develop criteria to guide making a work of arts or design to fulfill an identified goal.

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VA:Cr2.3.7Apply visual business strategies to design and also produce a work-related of art, design, or media that clearly communicates details or ideas.