- from Colonial America
The first business of America’s colonists was staying alive. So farming was their biggest job.
But when survival was no longer an issue, the colonists got serious about business. At first they made money from the natural resources of the land and the sea. They fished and caught whales. They cut down trees for lumber and shipbuilding. They also collected such forest by-products as pitch, tar, resin, and turpentine. Later, they found lots of iron ore. They made this into pots, pans, and cannonballs.
By the eighteenth century, many of America’s colonial merchants were very successful. They built fine houses in growing cities. They liked to show off their wealth. One popular way was to turn silver coins into silverware. Some of it was useful. Some pieces were just for looks. Silversmiths were respected craftspeople in all the large cities. One of the most notable was Boston’s Paul Revere.