• Boott Cotton Mills Museum with Trolley


    National Historical Park Massachusetts

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  • Folk Festival Parking and Schedule Changes

    While the park helps the city prepare for and celebrate the Lowell Folk Festival, the Visitor Center parking lot at 304 Dutton St. will be closed Wed July 23-Mon July 28. Also check our Operating Hours page for changes to tour and exhibit schedules. More »

Lowell's Other Industry


Lowell was dominated by the textile mills in its early years. But throughout the 19th century other important industries grew up in the city. Foremost were textile machinery firms established to meet the demands of textile manufacturers throughout New England. The Lowell Machine Shop and the Kitson Machine Company were the largest of these companies, but there were many others. The Lowell Machine Shop did not limit itself to textile machinery, producing a number of steam locomotives for New England's expanding rail network. Other textile-related firms manufactured and distributed a broad array of mill fixtures, tools, and textile machine parts.

New entrepreneurs built companies unconnected with textiles. A few firms established to supply an expanding national market for Patent medicines grew into a major Lowell industry. The Hood and Ayer companies and Father John's Medicine were prominent in this field, pioneering in the skillful use of mass-market advertising. The city's economic base grew more and more diversified: shoe factories, boilerworks, scalemakers, a brewery. During World War I, munitions manufacturers prospered, and the United States Cartridge Company, founded shortly after the Civil War by well known politician and general Benjamin Butler, was one of the leading employers in the city.

Source: Lowell National Historical Park Handbook 140


Did You Know?

Factory Bell, Lowell, MA

The factory bells dominated daily life in Lowell. They woke the workers at 4:30 a.m., called them into the mill at 4:50, rang them out for breakfast and back in, out and in for dinner, out again at 7 p.m. at the day's close. The whole city, it seemed, moved together and did the mills' bidding.