Textile Industry In The 1800s

Decent Essays
In the 19th century, America saw major expansions and technological advances that paved way for the grand expansion of agriculture that boosted the nation’s economy. Regardless of the fact that Great Britain had tried to keep secrets regarding machinery and inventions, most of America’s advances were propelled by inventions such as the cotton gin by Eli Whitney in 1793, steel plow by John Deere, railway, steamboats, telegraph, and canals. In addition, technology’s profound effect on agriculture also led to the rise of the textile industry whereby factories produced materials such as cotton thread and cloth. Many of these initial factories are recognized in historical texts, but the Lowell factory system is one that is famous – precisely the…show more content…
These mills were different as they had seen a major advancement in machinery whereby they were able to combine processes such as spinning and weaving under one roof. This meant more production of goods and an increase in profit as the companies only had to rely on the mills to not only transform raw materials but also weave them into finished goods – cloth. According to Tindall, and in contrast to the English mills, the founders of the Lowell mills opened up the mills in the countryside as they were less crowded, and their workers would be able to receive paternal guidance whereby they were required to live in the housing provided by the company and away from unpleasant urban conditions, and attend church every Sunday. The aim of the founders was to introduce a system whereby their workers would not only gain monetarily but also spiritually and form healthy relationships. Most of the factory workers at the Lowell mills were mainly of the female sex as most men had migrated westward in search of cheap land and economic opportunities. The Lowell mills also employed mostly young women because they were dexterous in operating the machinery, and were willing to work for lower wages than those paid to men. The “Lowell experiment” was supposed to provide the young women with tolerable work conditions, prepared meals, comfortable boarding houses, education and cultural privileges. However, as years passed by the expectations changed and they women became weary and formed strikes in protest to their conditions. A thorough analysis of Harriet Robinson’s Loom and Spindle: Or Life Among the Early Mill Girls shows the reasons behind the strikes at the Lowell
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