Massachusetts Mountain Side

Lowell Girls Over-worked?

May 4th, 1814

Have you ever thought your job was hard? Talk about thirteen year old girls working at mills for long hours. This system was developed by Francis Cabot Lowell and he came up with the system of hiring young unmarried ladies to work in mills. The women spin thread and weave cloth. We interviewed a thirteen year old young lady named Lillian. She had a very strong opinion on working at the Waltham Mill. I also interviewed Francis Cabot Lowell.

Me: Why did you want to work at this mill?

Lillian: Since it was my choice to come here, I thought I would earn more money than doing domestic work.

Me: Does the system seem fair or unfair?

Lillian: To me it is unfair because I signed up to earn money and to do my best. I didn't sign up for cutting my hands on the machine and working fourteen hours a day. I am not aloud to resign until four more months. The only good part about this job is I get room and board.

Me: Thank you.

This was my interview with Francis Cabot Lowell.

Me: Why did you develop this system?

Lowell: I developed it because it is a different approach and no idea is a bad idea. I feel that with this system more women can be employed other than doing domestic or farm work.

Me: Have you heard about Sarah G. Bagley? What is your opinion about her?

Lowell: I have indeed heard about her. I have to give her some credit for changing working hours and for getting to be the Vice President Of the New England Working Men's Association. She is still, from what I've heard, trying to get our company to ten hour workdays. I disagree with this due to the fact I own the best business in New England.

Me: Thank you for letting me interview you.

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Young unmarried women wanted!

Have you, a young lady, ever feel you are not getting full benefits of domestic house work? Well we have the job for you! Why don't you become a Lowell girl! You straighten thread and weave cloth. If you agree you will get paid two to four dollars a week. Room and board are included and are one dollar and fifty cents a month. The hours are fair and food is included.