The United States of America just passed 238 years, so it’s a good time to look back at the brave and hardworking people who built this country. Leaders in the construction industry and workers in the skilled trades built the houses we live in, the buildings we work in, the streets we drive on, the bridges we cross over, and much more.
The infrastructure of this nation was enabled by a number of great men whose foresight and innovation allowed the United States of America to grow into the greatest country in the world. Industrial tycoons invested in the trades that would build this country’s infrastructure. Technological innovators revolutionized the skilled trades, and various kinds of tradesmen contributed to the construction of America’s most famous architectural masterpieces.
￼The Titans of Industry
Without certain investors who believed in fostering the growth of this nation, America would’ve likely never been able to advance so rapidly in the late 19th and early 20th century. The earliest innovator was Cornelius Vanderbilt, a shipping and railroad tycoon from Staten Island, NY, whose vision of a vast transportation system supported welders, steel fabricators, pipefitters, and steamfitters, among others. One of the richest men and most prolific philanthropists in American history was industrialist Andrew Carnegie, who led the enormous expansion of the steel industry in this country, thus promoting tradesmen like welders, cutters, and fabricators. Another tycoon known for his massive wealth was John D. Rockefeller, whose oil empire provided countless American tradesmen – from welders and solderers to plumbers and pipefitters – with employment opportunities. Lastly, Henry Ford, founder of the Ford Motor Company, was responsible for the development of the assembly line technique of mass production, awarding myriad tradesmen like electricians and electro-mechanical technicians stable employment.
Skilled Trade Innovators
A number of innovators had a very significant impact on the industrial revolution in America. Thomas Edison founded the Edison Electric Company and the Edison Illuminating Company, and was granted 1,093 patents, including the incandescent light bulb, alkaline battery storage, and the phonograph. Another 19th century innovator was the Englishman Elihu Thomson who co-founded the Thomson- Houston Electric Company and held 696 patents, such as for generators, x-ray tubes, and welding machines. Croatian inventor Nikola Tesla, holding 275 patents, developed alternating-current systems for electricity and the Tesla Coil. In the early 20th century, Willis Carrier, also famous for improving heating systems, patented air conditioning.
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From the Ground Up
A large variety of tradesmen have been contributing to the construction of this country. Many of these occupations are still promising careers today. Pipefitters, plumbers, and steamfitters install and repair pipes for residential and commercial structures. Electricians install and maintain electrical lighting and power systems in buildings, machines, and other equipment. Brickmasons, stonemasons, and blockmasons use stones, blocks, and bricks to erect architectural structures. Carpenters install and repair framework for buildings, using a number of building materials. Glaziers install glass products like windows and skylights. Cement masons pour, smooth and finish concrete floors, sidewalks, and roads, while terrazzo workers use cement to create decorative surfaces for floors and stairways. Welders, cutters, brazers, and solderers cut and join metal pieces, whereas fabricators and assemblers make metal products like aircrafts, ships or electronic devices. Electro-mechanical technicians install and repair mechanical and electrical systems.
The Country Built By Many
All of those mentioned above, from the titans of industry to the innovators of technology and the skilled tradesmen, contributed to some of the most well-known and spectacular architectural structures found in America. The Empire State Building, the Golden Gate Bridge, the John Hancock Center, the Hoover Dam, and the Gateway Arch wouldn’t have been possible if it wasn’t for those who supported and advanced the skilled trades.
If you’re interested in embarking on a promising skilled trades career and contribute to the growth of this nation, check out the various vocational training and degree programs at Tulsa Welding School today!