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Lowell Mill Girls
"Mill Girls” became the name for women workers in New England textile mills during the first half of the 19th Century. They were responsible for the machines for spinning and weaving. The girls were owned by a corporation.
“The Lowell system” popularized wage labor which relied on the young “mill girls” to increase efficient productivity this influenced the increase of profits.
The competition of the mills made work difficult for the women.
In response to the working conditions the
Lowell Mill Girls
Factory Girls Association
and went on strike. They demanded better working conditions and a 10 hour work day.
For more, see
The Lowell Mill Girls Go on Strike, 1836
from History Matters: The U.S. Survey Course on the Web.
First Union of Working Women
from the AFL-CIO.
Uses of Liberty Rhetoric Among Lowell Mill Girls
Harriet Robinson: Lowell Mill Girls
provides an account of her life as a female factory worker from the age of 10 in a textile mill.
to read two letters from a mill girl named Mary S. Paul to her father.
"Editorial: Two Suicides," Harriet Farley, //Lowell Offering,// Volume IV, 1844
This document responds to newspaper reports of two suicides committed by female millworkers.
Orestes Brownson, The Laboring Classes
Lowell Mill Girl Picture Gallery
by Katherine Patterson (Puffin Classics, 2004).
Watch a clip on the Lowell Mill Girls,
Bread and Roses
Click here for an
interactive experience about the life of a Lowell Mill Girl
from the Tsongas Industrial History Center.
Decide Eliza Paige's Future!
from University of Massachusetts Lowell Tsongas Industrial History Center
Teaching Resources and Lesson Plans
Have your students learn about the Lowell Mill Girls through becoming one by researching their daily lives. Lesson plan
The Lowell Mill Girls
from the Maryland State Archives features a collection of resources for teaching about the topic.
Was Dickens's Christmas Carol Borrowed from Lowell's Mill Girls?
The Boston Globe, December 15, 2013.
United States History I.28
for more on the textile industry in New England
Women in World War I
Women in World War II
for more on women's roles as paid workers.
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