Products of the Mills
Cotton cloth was always Lowell's major product. But from its earliest years, the mills turned out a variety of textile goods. The Middlesex Company, for instance, manufactured woolen cloth. The Lowell Manufacturing Company was a leading producer of carpets. During the Civil War years, the Lawrence Manufacturing Company moved into the production of hosiery.
Lowell's cotton textiles ranged from pattern weaves to printed cloths. The Merrimack Company specialized in calico prints and pioneered in the development of cloth printing technology. Skilled printers were recruited from England in the early years. The head printer hired by the company in 1825 commanded a salary higher than the treasurer's. Other companies specialized in coarse drillings, sheetings, twilled goods, and shirtings, minimizing competition among Lowell textile firms.
Source: Lowell National Historical Park Handbook 140
Did You Know?
Protests came to Lowell in the mid-1830s. Mill management...twice reduced the take-home pay of women workers. Faced with growing inventories and falling prices, owners believed the only way to sustain profits was to cut labor costs. The mill workers were not willing to accept this logic.