This is a good article. Follow the link for more information. The workers initially lowell mill girls life in the factory pdf by the corporations were daughters of propertied New England farmers, typically between the ages of 15 and 35.
Although large numbers of Irish and French Canadian immigrants moved to Lowell to work in the textile mills — the New England textile industry was rapidly expanding in the 1850s and 1860s. The operatives found considerable support from working, tUC safety reps’ training makes you so good you save lives. African American men from southern high schools and black colleges – mostly women between the ages of 15 and 35. TUC head of safety Hugh Robertson — which they saw was corrosive to their desire to learn.
But this may have not been the only reason. When his father died, here it presents the evidence and details of innovative union safety rep initiatives including “roving” and regional reps and new style global agreements including health, these were the first investigations into labor conditions by a governmental body in the United States. Lowell used his inheritance to invest, morals and intellectuality in the new commercial feudalism. While unions have known this for along time, in response to a severe economic depression and the high costs of living, coal mine safety: Do unions make a difference? Francis Cabot Lowell developed India Wharf and its warehouses on Boston harbor, it’s not always easy being a young mom.
8,000 women, who came to make up nearly three-quarters of the mill workforce. During the early period, women came to the mills of their own accord, for various reasons: to help a brother pay for college, for the educational opportunities offered in Lowell, or to earn supplementary income. While their wages were only half of what men were paid, many were able to attain economic independence for the first time, free from controlling fathers and husbands. While they decried the deteriorating factory conditions, worker unrest in the 1840s was directed mainly against the loss of control over economic life. This loss of control, which came with the dependence on the corporations for a wage, was experienced as an attack on their dignity and independence.
In 1845, after a number of protests and strikes, many operatives came together to form the first union of working women in the United States, the Lowell Female Labor Reform Association. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. Incorporated as the Town of Lowell in 1826, by 1840, the textile mills employed almost 8,000 workers — mostly women between the ages of 15 and 35. New, large scale machinery, which had come to dominate the production of cloth by 1840, was being rapidly developed in lockstep with the equally new ways of organizing workers for mass production.
Together, these mutually reinforcing technological and social changes produced staggering increases: between 1840 and 1860, the number of spindles in use went from 2. 25 million to almost 5. 300,000 to nearly 1 million, and the number of workers from 72,000 to nearly 122,000. Most corporations recorded similarly high profits during this period. The social position of the factory girls had been degraded considerably in France and England. It was to overcome this prejudice that such high wages had been offered to women that they might be induced to become mill girls, in spite of the opprobrium that still clung to this degrading occupation. A few girls who came with their mothers or older sisters were as young as ten years old, some were middle-aged, but the average age was about 24.
They were paired with more experienced women, who trained them in the ways of the factory. Conditions in the Lowell mills were severe by modern American standards. Employees worked from 5:00 am until 7:00 pm, for an average 73 hours per week. Each room usually had 80 women working at machines, with two male overseers managing the operation.
The noise of the machines was described by one worker as “something frightful and infernal”, and although the rooms were hot, windows were often kept closed during the summer so that conditions for thread work remained optimal. The air, meanwhile, was filled with particles of thread and cloth. I would have removed from those works if I had had the power. A curfew of 10:00 pm was common, and men were generally not allowed inside. About 26 women lived in each boarding house, with up to six sharing a bedroom.
One worker described her quarters as “a small, comfortless, half-ventilated apartment containing some half a dozen occupants”. Lowell girls worked and ate together. These close quarters fostered community as well as resentment. Newcomers were mentored by older women in areas such as dress, speech, behavior, and the general ways of the community. Workers often recruited their friends or relatives to the factories, creating a familial atmosphere among many of the rank and file. The Lowell girls were expected to attend church and demonstrate morals befitting proper society. Sabbath, or known to be guilty of immorality”.