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How to Use the Images


Inquiry Question

Historical Context



Drawing 1
4 & 5


Table of

Visual Evidence

Drawing 2: Conjectural drawing of Almy, Brown,
and Slater's Mill, 1793.
[Graphic] Drawing 2 with link to higher quality image.
(Courtesy Old Slater Mill Association)

Drawing 3: Boott Cotton Mill, c. 1850. [Graphic] Drawing 3 with link to higher quality image.
(Lowell National Historical Park; Kirk Doggett, Illustrator)

Photo 1: Boott Cotton Mills, March 1928. [Graphic] Photo 1 with link to higher quality photo.
(University of Massachusetts Lowell, Center for Lowell History)

Many factors influenced factory design. When the first mills in the Boott millyard were constructed in the 1830s, they reflected the standard type of factory construction for the times. Drawing 3 and Photo 1 show similar views of the Boott millyard approximately 75 years apart. Several of the original freestanding Boott mills appear to the left in Drawing 3. Secondary buildings, the canal, and boardinghouses for workers appear to the right.

Questions for Drawings 2, 3, & Photo 1

1. Many Americans were influenced by negative public opinion about industry in the early years of the Industrial Revolution. Which of the two mill designs shown in Drawings 2 and 3 do you feel would blend into the existing American landscape better and be a less threatening industrial form? Explain.

2. Based on what you already know, which type of mill looks as if it would better withstand machinery vibrations and better guard against fire? Explain.

3. What reasons can you give for constructing larger mills like those shown in Drawing 3?

4. Compare and contrast Drawing 3 and Photo 1. What features shown in the drawing do you see in the photo? What are some of the changes that appear to have taken place over time?

5. What evidence of a new source of power for the Boott Mills can be detected in Photo 1?

* The images on the screen have a resolution of 72 dots per inch (dpi), and therefore will print poorly. You can obtain a high resolution version of Drawing 2, Drawing 3, & Photo 1, but be aware that each will take about 30 seconds to load with a 28.8K modem.




Comments or Questions

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