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Slater Mill Panorama


In 1790, Samuel Slater, a former apprentice at the Arkwright and Strutt textile mill in England, copied from memory the design for a spinning machine and offered it to Moses Brown and William Almy of Pawtucket, Rhode Island on the Blackstone River, where the panorama below was taken. Their "putting out" system took in raw cotton and produced yarn to be woven into cloth. In 1815, Francis Cabot Lowell and mechanic Paul Moody introduced a power loom at Waltham Massachusetts that combined all steps from carding to spinning and weaving under a single roof, employing and housing entire families, as well as young, single women. 

As you view the panorama look at the way in which the dam supplied water power for the adjacent mill and speculate on the implications of the dam for fish, wildlife, farmers, textile workers, slaves, and entrepreneurs. Use the linked quotations to assist you in your interpretation.

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Slater Mill

Credits: Photographs by Carolyn Merchant; panorama assembly and web page by Rob Weinberg.