Trenton Makes The World Takes
The Trenton Makes Bridge celebrates Trenton's manufacturing (Making goods) history. Located halfway between New York City and Philadelphia, Trenton's products had a large nearby market. It's transportation system allowed its goods to be shipped around the world. Located at the edge of where navigation (travel) was possible on the Delaware River, along with two canals (Delaware Raritan and the Pennsylvania ), goods manufactured in Trenton could be shipped to far away ports. Pennsylvania coal, a fuel source, could be shipped down along the Pennsylvania Canal.
Chocolate, tiles, pottery, bathroom fixtures, rubber products, wire, cable, furniture, paper, jewelry, beer, and flour have all been produced in Trenton. There was even a brief time when automobiles were manufactured in Trenton. Most of Trenton's row houses were built to house factory workers. A hundred years ago, Trenton residents would have woken up to the sound of the factory horn calling people to work. During this time, most children would have only gone to school until the sixth grade. The boys would have joined their fathers at the mill, while the girls would have helped their mothers with cooking, weaving and sewing, and child care.
The largest and most well known of Trenton's mills was the John Roebling wire mills. Roebling developed the technique of twisting steel wires to form cables. These cable were used in building the Brooklyn Bridge, the first major suspension bridge in the world. In fact, John Roebling designed and supervised the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge until his death. Roebling cables were also used in the Golden Gate Bridge.
As with most manufacturing in the United States, it has left the country. Manufacturers moved to countries with cheaper labor (Workers) and less regulation (Rules). This has taken away many jobs and hurt Trenton's economy. Maybe someday, the Trenton Makes sign will again signify a time when goods made in Trenton are shipped around the world.
Posted: Thursday, January 28, 2016