Women's Wages, Including All That
They Receive At The Lowell Factories, Average About 14s. A Week,
Which Is, I Take It, Fully A Third More Than Women Can Earn In
Manchester, Or Did Earn Before The Loss Of The American Cotton
Began To Tell Upon Them.
But if wages at Manchester were raised to
the Lowell standard, the Manchester women would not be clothed,
fed, cared for, and educated like the Lowell women.
The fact is,
that the workmen and the workwomen at Lowell are not exposed to the
chances of an open labor market. They are taken in, as it were, to
a philanthropical manufacturing college, and then looked after and
regulated more as girls and lads at a great seminary, than as hands
by whose industry profit is to be made out of capital. This is all
very nice and pretty at Lowell, but I am afraid it could not be
done at Manchester.
There are at present twelve different manufactories at Lowell, each
of which has what is called a separate corporation. The Merrimack
Manufacturing Company was incorporated in 1822, and thus Lowell was
commenced. The Lowell Machine-shop was incorporated in 1845, and
since that no new establishment has been added. In 1821, a certain
Boston manufacturing company, which had mills at Waltham, near
Boston, was attracted by the water-power of the River Merrimack, on
which the present town of Lowell is situated. A canal called the
Pawtucket Canal had been made for purposes of navigation from one
reach of the river to another, with the object of avoiding the
Pawtucket Falls; and this canal, with the adjacent water-power of
the river, was purchased for the Boston company.
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