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Factory Labor: Textiles

Allen-Lane Company Collection
Mss 761 1853-1941
Includes payrolls of nineteenth- and twentieth-century New England textile mills, as well as stockholder records, family records, and information on knitting outwork.

Amoskeag Manufacturing Company Collection
Mss 442 1831-1936
Labor records of a Manchester, New Hampshire, textile mill include wage records and employee relations materials.

Boston Manufacturing Company Collection
Mss 442 1813-1930
Payrolls of a nineteenth-century Waltham, Massachusetts, textile manufacturer include employee records for women workers.

Chace, Luther and Company Collection
Mss 442 1827-1862
The "Laborers's Ledger" (from 1834 to 1839) of a cotton textile mill in Grafton, Massachusetts, lists wage payments to women weavers, as well as credits to boarding house keepers, some of whom were women, for the renters' wages.

Cordiss Mills Collection
Mss 446 1836-1887 M645
The time books of a woolen mill in Milbury, Massachusetts, (from 1886 to 1887) listing wages of women weavers.

Dover-Cocheco Collection
Mss 442 1821-1879
The records of a New Hampshire cotton manufacturer (from 1827 to 1845) containing payrolls for women textile workers, as well as records of women stockholders.

Dwight Manufacturing Company Collection
Mss 442 1832-1927 D991
Labor records of a Chicopee, Massachusetts, textile mill include employee records for women workers.

Faulkner & Colony Manufacturing Company Collection
Mss 446 1815-1948
Labor records of a nineteenth-century New Hampshire textile manufacturer employing women factory workers.

N. B. Gordon Collection
Mss 442 1813-1846
Work records (from 1827 to 1847) of an agent for textile companies in New Hampshire and Massachusetts include women workers.

Hamilton Manufacturing Company Collection
Mss 442 1825-1917
Labor records of a Lowell, Massachusetts, textile mill include employee records for women workers.

Hamilton Woolen Company Collection
Mss 446 1822-1936
The papers of a Massachusetts woolen manufacturer include women in payroll records, stockholder records, and strike memoranda.

Haskell Silk Company Collection
Mss 444 1874-1918
Labor records of a Maine textile manufacturer employing women factory workers.

Hillsboro Woolen Mill Company Collection
Mss 446 1880-1935
Records of a New Hampshire woolen manufacturer include information about women workers and investors from 1885 to 1929.

Ipswich Mills Collection
Mss 440 1868-1929
Includes employee relations materials concerning women factory workers and company nurses in an early twentieth-century New England textile factory.

Lancaster Mills Collection
Mss 442 1844-1931
Records of a nineteenth- and twentieth-century Massachusetts textile manufacturer contain records for women workers and investors

Lawrence Manufacturing Company Collection
Mss 442 1831-1926 L419
Labor records of a textile mill in Lowell, Massachusetts, include employee records for women workers.

Robert G. Layer Collection
Mss 442 1951 L513
Work sheets for a 1952 Harvard Ph.D. thesis, containing detailed information from women's payrolls of New England textile mills, from 1825 to 1860, including the Boston, Dwight, Hamilton, Lawrence, and Nashua Manufacturing Companies.

Lyman Mills Collection
Mss 442 1854-1927 L986
Records of a textile mill in Holyoke, Massachusetts, from 1854 to 1927 include payrolls, rent records, and accident notices, as well as material on the importation of women workers.

Nashua Manufacturing Company Collection
Mss 442 1824-1932
Records of nineteenth- and twentieth-century cotton textile mills in New England include employee records for women workers and information about women stockholders.

Parkhill Manufacturing Company Collection
Mss 442 1879-1928
Labor records of a late nineteenth-, early twentieth-century Massachusetts textile manufacturer employing women factory workers.

Peace Dale Manufacturing Company Collection
Mss 446 1742-1919
Records of a nineteenth-century Rhode Island textile manufacturer include information on women workers, an eighteenth-century South Carolina plantation day book, and bank and estate records for Mary P. Hazard.

Pepperell Manufacturing Company Collection
Mss 442 1741-1928 P424
Records of a Maine cotton manufacturer include employment records for women workers and information about women investors.

Plympton Cotton Manufacturing Company Collection
Mss 442 1817-1840
Women's accounts with a company store in Plympton, Massachusetts, from 1830 to 1840.

Pontoosuc Woolen Manufacturing Company Collection
Mss:446 1855-1904
Labor records of nineteenth-century Massachusetts textile manufacturer employing women factory workers.

Roxbury Carpet Company Collection
Mss 461 1837-1923
Labor records of nineteenth-century Massachusetts carpet and textile factory that employed mostly women workers.

Sawyer Woolen Mills Collection
Mss 446 1858-1902
Records of a nineteenth-century New Hampshire textile manufacturer include employment records for women workers.

Slater Companies Collection
Mss 442 1793-1926 S631
Records of a series of nineteenth-century New England textile mills contain information about women workers, patronage records, as well as some information on Slater family estates.

Suncook Mills Collection
Mss 442 1864-1954
Records of series of merging nineteenth- and twentieth-century New England textile companies include information about women textile workers, clerical workers, labor union officials, and stockholders.

Windham Manufacturing Company Collection
Mss 442 1822-1905
Labor records of nineteenth-century Connecticut textile manufacturer include employment records for women workers.

Worcester Cotton Manufactory Collection
Mss 442 1789-1791 W922
Records of an eighteenth-century New England textile mill.



Click for larger image
Engraving illustrating women working in an early textile mill.

Between 1827 and 1876, the managers of the Hamilton Manufacturing Company kept information about each of their employees in registers like the one shown below. Today, the volumes serve as excellent sources for studying the demographics and retention rates of employees in a long-lived New England textile mill. The registers included start dates and end dates for all of the employees, their names, hometowns, occupations, and reasons for leaving. Throughout the life of the mill, women constituted the greatest majority of the employees. In the early years of the company, the women mainly came from New England towns, but as time went on, the mill employed more and more immigrants from Canada, England, Ireland, and Europe. Reasons for leaving the mill varied. Some women left to marry, to attend school, to care for a sick family member, or because they became sick themselves. Others left on unpleasant terms, often because of lying or stealing, but other times because they did not do good work, were dissatisfied with their wages, or they tried to live in housing other than that provided by the corporation.

Click for larger image
Register from the Hamilton Manufacturing Company, 1830.

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