Francis Cabot Lowell changed the labor force by hiring young single women to tend the power looms in his factory instead of sending out yarn to local weavers. By mechanizing the entire process, Lowell pioneered the first American manufacturing company in 1815.
Take a look at these web sites about Lowell: Mill Girls and Immigrant Video: http://www.nps.gov/lowe/photosmultimedia/mgi.htm (Links to an external site.) and Harriet Hanson Robinson’s autobiography:http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/robinson-lowell.html (Links to an external site.)
1) Assume that you are a 20-year-woman in the Boston area in the early nineteenth century. Would you have taken a job in Lowell’s mill? What were the pros and cons of being a “mill girl”?