Lowell MA Mill Girls History
Who were the Lowell Mill Girls?
We don't have enough time to fully touch on the importance of women working in the Lowell, Massachusetts mills during our Lowell Food Tours so we thought we'd include some extra trivia about these hard workers who were pivotal to Lowell's history and fought hard for their rights.
1. Industrial Revolution - the term was coined during the Industrial Revolution of the United States. By 1840, they made up the majority of the Lowell textile workers.
2. Ages 18 - 35 - these women were young, between the ages of 18 and 35. There were over 8000 workers in the mid-1840's.
3. Challenging Gender Stereotypes - these workers were independent women earning their own wages, which they often used for independence as well as to help out other family members such as brothers to pay for college.
4. Difficult Factory Conditions - these women worked in very sub-par conditions, upwards of 70 hours a week in grueling environments. The air was very hot in these rooms that were full of machines that generated heat, the air quality was poor, and the windows were often closed.
5. Voracious Readers - Although they had little time for relaxation and entertainment during the week, many of the workers used the Lowell library to read books and also circulated novels among themselves.
6. Strikes - One of their strikes helped reduce the work day by 30 minutes, but they were unsuccessful getting the work day reduced to 10 hour days. It was extremely impressive that these women came together to form the Lowell Female Labor Reform Association and concentrate their efforts to organizing.
7. Women As Capable - Overall, these women proved to the world at large that women were capable of physical labor, diligence and leadership in the workplace, and the ability to come together and organize.
Learn more about the evolution of Lowell on our weekly Downtown Lowell Food Tour and upcoming Lowell Mill No. 5 Food Tour. We can't wait to have you join us in Lowell and explore the best restaurants in Lowell downtown.