K-12 Teaching and Learning From the UNC School of Education

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.

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Resources tagged with inventions are also tagged with these keywords. Select one to narrow your search or to find interdisciplinary resources.

Announcing the first flight
In North Carolina in the early 20th century, page 1.7
Telegram sent by the Wright brothers to their father, announcing their first successful flight in December 1903.
Format: article
Antebellum North Carolina
Primary sources and readings explore North Carolina in the antebellum period (1830–1860). Topics include slavery, daily life, agriculture, industry, technology, and the arts, as well as the events leading to secession and civil war.
Format: book (multiple pages)
The Bonsack machine and labor unrest
In North Carolina in the New South, page 3.7
When the Duke tobacco company adopted the Bonsack machine for rolling cigarettes, workers who had rolled cigarettes by hand were thrown out of work, and their replacements made less money.
Format: article
Eli Whitney and the cotton gin
In North Carolina in the New Nation, page 2.4
In 1794, inventor Eli Whitney patented his cotton gin, a machine for removing seeds from cotton. The invention made cotton production -- and with it, slave labor -- far more profitable, and it helped to cement the South's status as an agricultural region and a slave society.
Format: article
Henry Ford and the Model T
In North Carolina in the early 20th century, page 1.9
In North Carolina History: A Sampler, page 8.4
Short biography of Henry Ford explains how he revolutionized manufacturing by using a continuous moving assembly line. Includes a film from the Henry Ford Estate showing how the Model T worked.
Format: article
The impact of the telephone
In North Carolina in the early 20th century, page 1.5
When the telephone became widely available in the early twentieth century, it changed the way people lived and the ways businesses operated. This 1926 essay and accompanying historical commentary explain how.
Format: book
The invention of the telegraph
In Antebellum North Carolina, page 5.1
After Samuel Morse developed a means of transmitting messages using electricity in the 1830s, it took several years for the technology to become commercially practical. The first telegraph wires, between Baltimore and Washington, were strung in the 1840s.
Format: article
Inventions in the tobacco industry
In North Carolina in the New South, page 3.6
Several inventions made the tobacco industry so highly profitable in the late nineteenth century, including machines for tying strings on bags and for rolling cigarettes.
Format: bibliography
Newspaper coverage of the first flight
In North Carolina in the early 20th century, page 1.8
In North Carolina History: A Sampler, page 4.6
Newspaper article about the Wright brothers' first flight in December 1903, written from an intercepted telegram sent by the brothers to their father in Ohio. Historical commentary points out the differences between the version of events that reached the public and what actually happened.
Format: newspaper/primary source
Commentary and sidebar notes by L. Maren Wood.
North Carolina History: A Sampler
A sample of the more than 800 pages of our digital textbook for North Carolina history, including background readings, various kinds of primary sources, and multimedia. Also includes an overview of the textbook and how to use it.
Format: (multiple pages)
North Carolina history: Grade 4 educator's guide
This educator's guide provides teaching suggestions designed to facilitate using the digital North Carolina history textbook with fourth-grade students.
Format: (multiple pages)
North Carolina in the early 20th century
Primary sources and readings explore North Carolina in the first decades of the twentieth century (1900–1929). Topics include changes in technology and transportation, Progressive Era reforms, World War I, women's suffrage, Jim Crow and African American life, the cultural changes of the 1920s, labor and labor unrest, and the Gastonia stirke of 1929.
Format: book (multiple pages)
North Carolina in the New Nation
Primary sources and readings explore North Carolina in the early national period (1790–1836). Topics include the development of state government and political parties, agriculture, the Great Revival, education, the gold rush, the growth of slavery, Cherokee Removal, and battles over internal improvements and reform.
Format: book (multiple pages)
North Carolina in the New South
Primary sources and readings explore North Carolina in the decades after the Civil War (1870–1900). Topics include changes in agriculture, the growth of cities and industry, the experiences of farmers and mill workers, education, cultural changes, politics and political activism, and the Wilmington Race Riot.
Format: book (multiple pages)
The road to the first flight
In North Carolina in the early 20th century, page 1.6
This article explains how the Wright brothers developed their pioneering airplane, from their first experiments as boys to the first successful flight in 1903.
Format: article
Steamboats
In North Carolina in the New Nation, page 7.1
Article about the early development of steamboats and their introduction on North Carolina's inland waterways. Includes an explanation of how steamboats work.
Format: article
By David Walbert.