Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Here is “Millie”, the Mill Girl. She stands in a place well known to her, for she has crossed these brick portals many, many times. This is the world of the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company, what was and what is. We are in Manchester, New Hampshire.
The Amoskeag Manufacturing Company created Manchester, as much as did Samuel Blodgett, who in 1807 constructed a canals and locks along the Merrimack River that would open this area by Amoskeag Falls to industrial development. His idea was of a kind of textile manufacturing center similar to the city of Manchester in Great Britain. In referring to this project as “The Manchester of America”, the nickname stuck, and Manchester, along with the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company, which produced cotton and woolen textiles, became a planned industrial city in much the same way as Lowell, Massachusetts.
The first jeans put out by Mr. Levi Strauss were made from cloth manufacturered here.
There is a very old cycle to creating industry and watching it become obsolete, a pattern we have yet to fully understand, let alone break.
Visit the Amoskeag complex of 19th century factory buildings today, and you find a number of small businesses including software companies, stores, and the very interesting Millyard Museum, which holds the story of Amoskeag, among them.
She stands here, for thousands
Of 19th century working women:
Industrial revolutionaries who broke
With the past to earn their living
Making history and creating the future.
For more on the 19th century mill girls, have a look at this previous post on Millie’s sisters in Lowell and in Chicopee.
For more on the Millyard Museum, have a look at this website.