|Thorndike Company Collection
|Mss 442 1836-1918
Volumes 28-79, 99-107
The Thorndike Company was a cotton textile manufacturer with mills in West Warren and Palmer, Massachusetts, which produced ticking, denims, and awnings. The collection contains two series of payroll records containing the names, wages, job titles, and signatures of women factory workers.
Payroll records for the Thorndike Company begin in 1838 and show considerable gender segregation. Although both men and women worked in the carding room, all the weavers were women and all the spinners were men. By 1900, all the spinners were women.
Another series of payroll records which is part of the collection, for the Warren Cotton Mills from 1854 to 1886, paints a slightly different picture. In 1854, approximately three-quarters of the workforce were men, outnumbering women workers even in usually female occupations such as weaving. In 1860, perhaps reflecting the advent of the Civil War, three quarters of the workers in the weaving room were women. By 1886, there were many more women than men throughout the company, and both men and women worked in the previously all-male spinning room.
Stock records for the Warren Cotton Mills contain names of women investors.
Wage and time accounting
Payrolls: Thorndike Company, volumes 28-78 (1838-1900); Warren Cotton Mills, volumes 99-107 (1854-1886)
Family and financial records
Stock ledger: Warren Cotton Company, Volume 79 (1854-1918)