The cotton mills of Lowell, Massachusetts, and other New England sites began to employ the first female industrial labor force in the United States. The din and clatter of these five hundred looms, under full operation, struck us on first entering as something frightful and infernal, for it seemed such an atrocious violation of one of the faculties of the human soul, the sense of hearing. After a while we became somewhat used to it, and by speaking quite close to the ear of an operative and quite loud, we could hold a conversation and make the inquiries we wished. The author was probably Harriet Jane Farley, a mill girl who eventually became editor of the Lowell Offering. He also wanted to provide an environment that sharply contrasted the poor conditions of the British Mills. A usually working day consisted of twelve to fourteen hours of work.
So live and toil the young women of our country in the boardinghouses and manufactories which the rich an influential of our land have built for them. The workers initially recruited by the corporations were daughters of propertied New England farmers, typically between the ages of 15 and 35. These boardinghouses were in clean, neat, and well painted. After returning to the U. Available online through , Smithsonian. Single women were chosen because they could be paid less than men, thus increasing corporate profits, and because they could be more easily controlled then men.
But when you sell your labour, you sell yourself, losing the rights of free men and becoming vassals of mammoth establishments of a monied aristocracy that threatens annihilation to anyone who questions their right to enslave and oppress. As subjects, they were expected to observe rules and behave in a. Boarding house keepers and overseers were to be held responsible to a superintendent who of necessary must be a person of character and dignity for the welfare of those under their charge; and no immoral person was to be admitted to employment in the mills Lucy Larcom: Among Lowell Mills Girls. This reliance on immigrant workers slowly turned the mills into what they were trying to avoid: a system that exploited the lower classes and made them permanently dependent on the low-paying mill jobs. A complex election Schouler lost to another Whig candidate over the issue of railroads.
It is these wages which, in spite of toil, restraint, discomfort, and prejudice, have drawn so many worthy, virtuous, intelligent, and well-educated girls to Lowell, and other factories; and it is the wages which are in great degree to decide the characters of the factory girls as a class. The Lowell System was different from other textile manufacturing systems in the country at the time, such as the Rhode Island System which instead spun the cotton in the factory and then farmed the spun cotton out to local women weavers who produced the finished cloth themselves. The dedication of Malden Mills to its employees, industry and the community during reconstruction was a remarkable occurrence in business management. Boarding houses were dormitories owned and located close to mills. The author compares this form of labor to slavery.
Francis Cabot Lowell, an American businessman, began to to reform the manufacturing industry by hiring women and creating a centralized workplace. Based on what the author wrote, what can we infer about him. They were paired with more experienced women, who trained them in the ways of the factory. When , the great , visited the United States in 1842, he was taken to Lowell to see the factory system. They are said to be healthy, contented, and happy.
The houses were often run by widows who kept a close eye on the workers and made church attendance mandatory for all of the girls. In addition to working 80 hours a week, the women had to adhere to strict moral codes enforced by the matrons as well as attend religious services and educational classes. How does this account differ from the others? Mill and Mansion Charles Dickens. As I looked back at the long line that followed me, I was more proud than I have ever been since at any success I may have achieved, and more proud than I shall ever be again until my own beloved State gives to its women citizens the right of suffrage. They show how these slaves were treated, subjected to harsh and inhumane working conditions and given strict rules to comply with. Early Factory Labor in New England Loom and Spindle. The most striking example of this political overtone can be found in a series of tracts published by the Female Labor Reform Association entitled Factory Tracts.
Newcomers were mentored by older women in areas such as dress, speech, behavior, and the general ways of the community. Paradoxically, they were still required to do female domestic duties, like cooking and cleaning, as well. Online at 2009-03-05 at the. After workers faced poor dangerous working conditions along with strict and limiting housing that couldn't be fixed by poor labor relations Lowell Mills went down hill. This gives us some idea of the application required during the thirteen hours of daily labor. Lowell Conference on Industrial History, 1981. Workers were force to work at a faster pace to keep up with new machinery.
The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. Although large numbers of Irish and French Canadian immigrants moved to Lowell to work in the textile mills, Yankee women still dominated the workforce until the mid-1880s. The women working for the Boston Associates were expected to report early in the morning and to work all day. However, there are still questions over the reliability of some of the sources, so further research and comparisons with other mills need to be made. That system was established at a cotton-spinning mill near Pawtucket, Rhode Island, in 1790. They could not leave when they were tired or take breaks other than at designated times.
The content poems and autobiographical sketches, which were usually published anonymously, or with the authors identified solely by their initials. Although most of the original were laid off and replaced by immigrants by 1850, the grown, single women who had been used to earning their own money ended up using their education to become librarians, teachers, and social workers. The Lowell Offering: Writing by New England Mill Women Hannah Josephson. Primary Source Analysis Insert Insert The communist manifesto Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels 1998 Location: Website. Think, for a moment, how many of the next generation are to spring from mothers doomed to infamy! A little more than a century ago, women were property and were like. This gives us some idea of the application required during the thirteen hours of daily labor. In 1844 the Athens Manufacturing Company declared a 24 percent dividend on its stock, and Henry Merrell, the factory manager at the newly constructed Curtwright Factory in Greene County, expected to make similar profits for the foreseeable future.