|Hamilton Manufacturing Company Collection
|Mss 442 1825-1917 H218
Volumes 112 -113, 216-249, 260-480, 481-505, 506-511
Between 1827 and 1876, women constituted the greatest majority of the employees of the Hamilton Manufacturing Company of Lowell, Massachusetts. The managers kept detailed information about their work force, which makes up a good part of this extensive collection. Today, the volumes serve as an excellent source for study of the demographics and retention rates of employees in a long-lived New England textile mill. In the early years, the women textile workers mainly came from New England towns, but by the 1850s the mill employed more and more immigrants from Canada, England, Ireland, and Europe.
The registers include start dates and end dates for all of the employees, their names, hometowns, occupations, and reasons for leaving. 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 for lying or stealing, but sometimes because they did not do good work, were dissatisfied with their wages, or tried to live in housing other than that provided by the corporation.
Wage and time accounting
Payrolls (1826-1876) give dates of employ and room. The volumes for the 1820s describe the reason for leaving. After 1830, the payrolls contain no anecdotal information (kept in the registers after that date): volumes 250-480
Time books (1867-1897) give rooms, numbers of days worked and amount paid to each employee: volumes 216-249
Company reports and registers; office records
Registers and alphabet books (1825-1876) with name, town of origin, wages, boarding house, start date, termination date, reason for leaving: volumes 481-505
Rent and board rolls (1830-1904): volumes 506-511
Accident and insurance reports
Volumes 112 and 113 (1888-1896)