The Lowell Work Force, And The Social Origins Of Women Workers

Decent Essays
The first article was chapter three, “The Lowell Work Force, 1836, and the Social Origins of Women Workers” from the book, Women at Work: The Transformation of Work and Community in Lowell, Massachusetts, 1826-1860, written by Thomas Dublin. It paralleled nicely with the article I chose which was, “‘I Think Less of the Factory than of my Native Dell’ Labor, Nature, and the Lowell ‘Mill Girls’” from Environmental History, by Chad Montrie. The article, “The Lowell Work Force” primarily discussed what type of people, predominately women, worked in the Lowell mill. The information was neither new nor surprising for me. I had been to the Lowell Mill museum before and most the information there was in the article. The women were young women, from farming families, not yet married and mostly native-born women, not immigrants. What did surprise me was why they chose to work. I would have guessed that they worked to earn wages to send home to help support their families, yet, that was rarely the case. Moving away did lighten the family burden; however, that is not why these women left. They moved to work in a factory so they could earn wages and use them for nonessential things, things that they wanted, not needed. For many, the appeal of this might have been from the fact that growing up on a farm with limited money, clothes were always homespun and they had few, if any, frivolous things. For example, “Sally Rice left home to ‘earn something of my own,’ which was obviously not
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