The mills of the 1800s mark the rise and fall of the industrial revolution. Still standing tall to this day, the mills served as the source of employment for thousands of young women, children, and immigrants. Without the industrial revolution, we would not have some of the machinery we have today, which was a direct result of the technological advancements, such as the power loom. As I learned at Lowell, these inventions, such as the telephone, the electric light bulb, and the electric powered vacuum cleaner, had a great impact on the average American household. Soon enough, not only the rich, upper-classmen had them.
Another development was the economical power of women. Before the mills, women most commonly stayed home to tend the farm, family, and house, but as the women were needed in the mill, the more the economy became dependant upon them.
The mills also affected our population and its diversity.
Thousands of immigrants from Ireland, Hungary, Greece, Poland, Russia, Italy, Germany, and Britain arrived in America in search of a new life, opportunity, and freedom. Although most immigrants did find work, their hopes of a better life were, for the most part, spoiled. Working for 12-14 hours a day in unhealthy conditions for low wages was everything but the glorious "new life" that most new comers had dreamed of. Even through the hardships they kept their hopes up, all the while saving money to bring the rest of their relatives to America to once again be together as a family. For many immigrants, the chance at a reunion with their loved ones was the only thing that kept them from leaving the mills altogether.
In 1811, Francis Cabot Lowell, a wealthy Boston merchant, traveled to England. While there, he visited a Lancashire, an English mill, and...