The Boston Manufacturing Company of Waltham, Massachusetts, 1813-1848: the first modern factory in America
Mailloux, Kenneth F.
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The Boston Manufacturing Company was established on the Charles River in Waltham, Massachusetts, in 1813. It was America's first modern factory not because it first put the processes of carding, spinning and weaving under one roof, as has often been stated, but because it first put all these processes to work by power. The company had t1velve original proprietors; the three most important were Francis Cabot Lowell, Nathan Appleton, and Patrick Tracy Jackson, all Boston merchants who had made fortunes in commerce and who sought new fields for investment when the War of 1812 made shipping unprofitable. Lowell was especially influential, for in 1811 he visited English factories and memorized plans for a power loom--export of textile machinery and emigration of mechanics was strictly prohibited by British law. To superintend its machine shop, the new company fortunately found Paul Moody. His mechanical genius gave the industry many improvements and several inventions. His shop became a "school for mechanics" and, although the company tried to prevent it, many of the workers stayed only long enough to learn, before answering the huge demand for Waltham-trained men in other factories. [TRUNCATED]
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Boston University
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