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Ipswich Mills Collection
Catalog Record
Mss 440 1868-1929
Cartons 8 and 11

The Ipswich Mills Collection contains the records of a textile company with branches in Ipswich, Lowell, South Boston, and Gloucester, Massachusetts, and in Belmont, New Hampshire. The company was organized by Amos Lawrence in 1868 and continued in operation until 1929. Fragmentary and summary payroll records in the collection give no names or other indication of the gender identity of the workers. However, the collection does contain information on employee relations with women workers.

A 1923 company appeal to promote its hosiery netted almost one hundred handwritten letters from employees, many of them women. Most, but not all, were positive. A company nurse responded that her friends complained that Ipswich hosiery "does not keep its shape after washing." It netted an enraged memo from the company treasurer, Russell Leonard, who responded with a memo to his secretary: "I wish you would try to determine whether [she] is doing the 'boosting' work that she should. A nurse, with us, ought to be a pusher, and I have always had a feeling that Miss M is not entirely with us. After some period of investigation, should like your frank opinion. Incidentally, find out if she wears Ipswich." In 1925, the nurse was still working for Ipswich.

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