The industrial revolution brought a permanent change to our way of life, but it wasn’t just the consumer who was impacted. Hundreds of young women in New England went to work in the textile mills of Lowell MA, leaving behind their families and entering difficult and unhealthy work environments. While so much of America’s industrial sites have either modernized or disappeared, several of the Lowell mills are preserved by the National Park Service as a monument to the laborers who sacrificed so much for the progress of a nation.
One of the most impactful moments for me during a 2021 visit occurred in this hall of looms inside Boott Mills. When visitors walk in, the park staff turn on just a fraction of the looms you see here, yet even with ear protection the noise is deafening. Now imagine the “Lowell Girls” who worked in these mills with no hearing protection, and you begin to understand how much of a sacrifice they made to support their families.
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