Trendsetting and Apparel Manufacture in an Industrial AgeYet with all of the European couturiers' trendsetting history, the Industrial Revolution of the early nineteenth century revolutionized the apparel business, made mass manufacturing possible, and centered much of that manufacturing in the United States. In fields ranging from steel to oil to textiles and department stores, industrial barons made such profits that America became one of the wealthiest and most powerful countries in the world by the early twentieth century. Cottonpicked by millions of slaves became the South's greatest export, providing the indispensable raw material for the textile industries of the American North and the English Midlands. Earlier, in the seventeenth century, cotton had been too expensive to use regularly, but the invention of the cotton gin enabled cheap mass cultivation and production, fueling a market boom. The Civil War
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early twentieth century, late nineteenth century, American retail scene