Francis Cabot Lowell was the man who is given credit for starting industry in the United States. He is the man for whom Lowell, MA is named. Lowell, MA was the first major center of manufacturing in the United States.
Lowell was a member of an extremely rich and prominent family in New England. He first got rich through his involvement in the shipping business. However, he became determined to get the US involved in the manufacturing of textiles, an industry that was making a lot of money for the English at the time.
Lowell went to England, studied and memorized the machines used to make textiles, and created his own factories in Massachusetts. These factories became the first major industrial centers in the United States.