In a group of my peers with varied information on industry in America, my knowledge and understanding of the topic was surely expanded. There were three other members in our group to create the photo essay: Brett, Ricky, and Ryan. Each of these members brought new information to the general group understanding of our shared topic, all derived from different concentrations on information researched. For example, Ricky was especially interested in the inventions created during the 19th century, highlighting the new developments such as the telegraph by Samuel Morse and the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad. Ricky’s interest and new information broadened everyone’s understandings on how new inventions connected American industry together, allowing for easier communication and supply transport to quickly cross the country. Brett concentrated on business trusts, the combination of businesses, and major monopolies that dominated American industry. Brett concentrated on the business consolidations utilized by major businessmen Carnegie and Rockefeller, adding great information to our photo essay. Ryan provided good information on the workers employed by the American industries, highlighting how poor their working conditions could be, prompting them to retaliate in labor unions and with strikes. Ryan’s information was especially utilized when writing about the Homestead Strike. Each member of our group provided great information to add to our general understanding of our topic, American industry.
The process of creating the photo essay was difficult at first, my group had to assemble all the general information we had amassed over the course of our studies. Acknowledging that a good number of the information would contain general background facts, our group had to summarize our information to the most necessary details. In doing so, we had to cut out some of the extra details of our presented information, all the while attempting to highlight the enduring understandings of our topic. The process of collecting and summarizing our information had its own difficulties along the way, some members would consider some information more important than others, while others believed some details were completely unnecessary and should have been omitted. Once our information was finally complete, we had to add the pictures to the photo essay, which by itself was a challenge indeed. Finding historical photos from scholarly websites was especially difficult, and once the pictures were found they also needed to be cited properly. Some pictures did not have accompanying citations with them, so further research was required to find the developers of these pictures. We had to combine both our summarized information and our cited historical pictures together for the photo essay, prompting commentary mess-ups and technical failures that were truly spectacular. It was frustrating but entertaining to work in such a group to produce the photo essay, we shall soon see the fruit of our labor once these photo essays are shown on Monday.