Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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Primary Sources - Workshop in American History Cans, Coal, and Corporationshomesitemap
Introduction -Link Before You Watch - link Lectures and Activities Classroom and Applications - Link

Workshop 5: Lectures & Activities

Activity One:
The Most Important Inventions of the 1890s

After viewing Lecture One, look at the list of 25 major technological inventions and advances from the 1890s. Consider the merits and impact of each invention, then pick one as the most important or influential invention based on its future impact. Use the questions to guide your selection. Facillitator's Note

Consider These Questions


Is the invention/technology still in use?


Has the invention/technology greatly altered or enhanced the quality of life for a majority of Americans? Is it accessible/available to most Americans who need or want it?


Has this invention/technology been used in the development of other modern technologies or influenced the development of other modern technologies?


Would life in America be substantially different if this technology had not been invented? How?


What inventions from 1990 through 2000 do you think are most important?

Image of Jonathan Chu

"Finally, [Borden] hit up upon an idea of greasing the sides of the pan and then putting [milk] into tins. And he finally works out the process.... But in any event, he starts to do this at a moment in which America is becoming urbanized, and one of the problems of urbanization was getting fresh milk into the cities.... A canned good could provide a product that was very much like the natural product that was wholesome and tasty."
— Jonathan Chu

  Primary Sources: Documents

(Click here for information on using primary source documents)


image of a generic historical documentList of Major Turn-of-the-Century Inventions

This is a list of 25 technological inventions and advances from the 1890s.

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