Samuel Slater (1768-1835) often called the 'father of American industry', began his career as an asistant to the industrialist Jeridiah Strutt. In 1789 Slater moved illegally to New York and gained employment in mills. Later that year, attracted by their progresive attitude to manufacture, Slater joined the mills of Almy and Brown. By 1792 Slater had been made a partner and had convinced his colleagues of the need to build a new mill dedicated to textile manufacture. While Slater's desire was to concentrate on a particular aspect of textile manufacture, Almy and Brown believed in covering the whole textile proces. In 1797 this led Slater to set up his own larger mill on the other side of the city, called the White Mill.
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