Welcome to the Boott Cotton Mill Museum! This is very similar to the mills that were found in Manchester New Hampshire during the industrial revolution.The mills in Lowell and Manchester were built to take raw cotton bales and turn them into the finest cloth in the world. There were many steps in turning raw cotton into cloth.
As we explore the mills, I want you to think about what it would be like to live and work in the Mills producing cotton goods.
Here we are outside of the Museum. Every day, often when the sun was not up, workers would walk to the mills. Workers at the Lowell mills worked from 5 am until 7 pm every day except Sunday.
Lets head inside
We can see the staircase that the workers would use. The Amoskeg mills in Manchester once employed 17,000 people! They would all have to use stair cases similar to this one to get to the floor they worked on. How do these stairs compare to staircases in your home and school?
Here we can get a good look at one of the looms.
Follow this LINK to learn more about how industrial looms work. Look at all the quickly moving parts. The looms used in the Manchester Mills had even more exposed parts. Injuries were frequent. What do you think would happen if you were hurt by one of the machines?
When you look around, take a careful look at the ceiling above the machines. Do you see the belts that connect the machines to the drive shafts? Mills were powered by falling water. That power would be transferred using drive shafts, gears, pulleys and belts. Cars use belts, drive shafts and gears to move power similar to how the mills did. However, unlike today belts of the industrial revolution were made of leather! Could you imagine your car using leather to move?
Follow this LINK to learn about how water was used to power mills. Can you think of ways we use water to power our lives today?
Click me to hear the sounds of the machines running!Have a listen and hear what it sounds like when only a few of these machines are running. Imagine how your ears would feel after listening to them for 12 hours a day!
Thread and how to make it
Here is a video showing bobbins being wound. This isn't the machine you can see in the photo-sphere, but it is similar. There is nothing to prevent hair or cloths being caught in the machinery.
Watch this neat video (and a back up) to learn how raw cotton is turned into thread!
Inspection MachineHere is where the cloth would be inspected.Workers would look over the entire roll of cloth and look for mistakes. Mistakes in the weaving could be caused by the weaver or the machine. Why do you think it would be important to check for mistakes in the cloth?
Think about this:Compare the job of the mill workers to that of your parents. How long do they work everyday? What do you think it would be like to work in a cotton mill during the industrial revolution?
Wikipedia: Lowell Mill Girls
Wikipedia: Boott Cotton Mill
National Park Service: Bootts Cotton Mill