Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Charles River Museum

I wanted to share a little history about my home town of Waltham Ma and maybe someone may want to see it if and when they are in Massachusetts.
In 1976, the Bicentennial issue of Life magazine declared that Francis Cabot Lowell's factory in Waltham was the fourth most important development to shape America.
Unfortunately, Lowell's factory was virtually dead when it received the honor. After 150 years of production, the historic facility was shuttered, neglected, and perilously close to demolition.
Luckily, the mill's fortunes soon turned. The site was granted status on the National Register of Historic Places. Waltham received a $10 million urban revitalization grant, which allowed the site to be renovated and preserved.
As part of the site's renovation, a group of cultural, civic, and business leaders created the Charles River Museum of Industry in what had been the mill's massive steam-powered engine and boiler rooms. Following a monumental campaign of fundraising, cleaning, building, planning, and installation, the museum opened its doors in 1980
The following important events took place here, and are the reasons this complex is a National Historic Landmark and important to the entire nation.
The FIRST time in the world that spinning and weaving were done in one operation under the same roof.
The FIRST power loom to be used in the United States.
The FIRST time in the United States young women were employed as the predominant workforce and paid cash for their labor.
The FIRST company-sponsored housing provided for employees.
The FIRST textile mill to be made of brick.
The Boston Manufacturing Company was the FIRST large successful manufacturing company in the United States. It raised more than $400,000 from investors to develop buildings and machinery. The BMC was the prototype of the modern corporation.
The FIRST industrial labor strike in the United States was in this mill in 1821. The protesters were women, and the issue was wages.
The FIRST time silk was woven by machine was in the 1890s in this mill.
If you are ever in the area this is a good place to spend a few hours and soak up a little history and also check out moody st. for it has many international restaurants.
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