Friday, April 12, 2013
Tika & History: Lowell Mill Girls
I'm taking notes for Tika; today I toured the Lowell Mills National Park in Lowell, Massacusetts. In the period 1820 to the Civil War, some 10,000 "white Yankee" girls (no immigrants and no black ladies until after that war) were employed in the nation's largest textile mills in America.
Theire lives were strictly regimented; theyhad to be approved and accepted into a mill boarding house and then they could have a mill factory job. They worked 14 hour days (beginning at 4:30am) and onlhy a haf day of 8hours on Saturday all for under $3.00 per week. Their contract said they must attend church on Sunday.
But I also learned that these girls were eager to come...... to leave the farm life for the big city with things to do and their own money to make and spend. Seems to me it was the beginning of a sort of emancipation for women. Even if they were mostly always under the watchful eye of the boarding house mistress or factory boss.
Tika will be interested to hear all about this...... if she stays awake long enough.