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Francis Cabot Lowell (1775-1817), the man who brought the power loom to the United States, envisioned an entire community involved in textile production. Although he died in 1817, his investors kept his vision and purchased land around Pawtucket falls on the Merrimack River as well as the rights to a small canal there. They built several mills, the first of which opened in 1823. This is a report about three of the largest companies in 1835. Collectively they used twelve million, two hundred fifty-six thousand, four hundred pounds of cotton per year. By 1848, Lowell mills produced fifty thousand miles of cotton cloth per year--enough to circle the world twice. Ironically all of the cotton was grown and processed by slave labor in the Southern states while the abolitionist states of the North profited highly from the textiles made with cotton.


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"Lowell" article regarding cotton mills from Greenfield Gazette and Franklin Herald newspaper

publisher   Greenfield Gazette and Franklin Herald
date   May 12, 1835
location   Greenfield, Massachusetts
width   4.25"
height   8.25"
process/materials   printed paper, ink
item type   Periodicals/Newspaper
accession #   #L05.045

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See Also...

Pages from "The Great South: A Record of Journeys" on cotton statistics in U.S.

Spinning Jenny

Spinning Equipment

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