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How to Use the Images


Inquiry Question

Historical Context



Drawing 1
2, 3, &
Photo 1


Table of

Visual Evidence

Drawing 4: Original plan of Boott millyard.
[Graphic] Drawing 4 with link to higher quality image.

(Lowell National Historical Park; Nicholas Wyman, Illustrator)

Drawing 5: Boott Cotton Mills site plan, 1985. [Graphic] Drawing 5 with link to higher quality image.
(Timothy Short-Russell, Boott Mills Recording Project, Historic American Engineering Record, 1986)

Originally, the Boott millyard was more open. The mills were freestanding and had individual tunnels known as penstocks delivering water from the canal to the mill's water wheels. Tailraces would then return the water to the river (the penstocks and tailraces are indicated by dashed lines on Drawing 4). Eventually, newer, larger mills were built as shown in Drawing 5. New sources of power are also evident (the powerhouse in Drawing 5). Steam and electricity allowed the millyard to expand and run more efficiently.

Questions for Drawings 4 & 5

1. Compare and contrast the two drawings. Highlight the original mills still evident in Drawing 5.

2. Based on what you already know, what did these four original mills look like? Why were they separated? Why were they later able to be connected?

3. Look at all that has been built up around the original mills. What might explain this construction?

4. What two sources of power for the mills are evident in the drawings? Which one allowed the mill to run more efficiently?

* 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 4 & Drawing 5, but be aware that each will take about 30 seconds to load with a 28.8K modem.




Comments or Questions

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