LEARN NC was a program of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Education from 1997 – 2013. It provided lesson plans, professional development, and innovative web resources to support teachers, build community, and improve K-12 education in North Carolina. Learn NC is no longer supported by the School of Education – this is a historical archive of their website.

View of the first Duke factory in Durham

Factories transformed the landscape of American cities in the late nineteenth century. This photograph shows the first Duke tobacco factory in Durham, 1883. About the photograph

The late nineteenth century is remembered as a time of industrialization in America, when business, industry, and cities grew at a pace never seen before. North Carolina, too, saw new industries emerge. Factories processed tobacco into cigarettes, cotton into clothing and blankets, and timber into furniture. With these changes, North Carolina led the way into what some reformers called the “New South.” In this chapter we’ll learn about the growth of industry and of cities and consider why North Carolina became the home to so much new industry.