October 16, 2001
There is a twenty minute video that I would highly recommend. Its called Lowell the Industrial Revelation. I took it as the name of my journal because it summarized the whole weekend. Lowell was the first great American Textile City. The Merrimack River offered the power that the looms that Francis Cabot Lowell had copied from the English needed. There is a 30 foot drop in the river which provides immense potential. In 1850 this translated into 2 million yards of fabric produced a week.
In the early days, the daughters of New England farmers came here for a chance to earn decent wages and to live in a city where they could attend lectures and concerts. This Utopia was short-lived as corporate greed and competition changed working conditions.
As the local girls grew disillusioned, immigrants were hired to replace them. Thus began the labor disputes that exploded on several occasions culminating in the strike of 1912. The story of Lowell is the story of industry in America.
We made friends with one of the park rangers, Jonathan. He was at the desk in the information center on Saturday, and at the Boott Mill Museum Sunday morning and when we were visiting the Boarding House he was there too. He said he was a clone - it cut down on goverment expenses, they only had to issue one check. He added greatly to our enjoyment. Thanks Jonathan.
From journal Lowell- An Industrial Revalation