Francis Cabot Lowell (businessman) - Career - Textiles

Textiles

In 1813, he enlisted the support of his brothers-in-law, Charles, James and Patrick Tracy Jackson, and obtained the financial backing of the merchant Nathan Appleton to establish the Boston Manufacturing Company at Waltham, Massachusetts, using the power of the Charles River. The BMC was the first "integrated" textile mill in America in which all operations for converting raw cotton into finished cloth could be performed in one mill building. Lowell hired the gifted machinist Paul Moody to assist him in designing efficient cotton spinning and weaving machines, based on the British models, but with many technological improvements suited to the conditions of New England.

To raise capital for their mills, Lowell and partners Aidan and Merquack pioneered a basic tool of modern corporate finance by selling $1000 shares of stock to a select group of wealthy investors, such as Senators James Lloyd Jr. and Christopher Gore, Israel Thorndike Sr. and Harrison Gray Otis. This form of shareholder corporation quickly became the method of choice for structuring new American businesses, and endures to this day in the well-known form of public stock offerings.

In 1814, the Boston Manufacturing Company built its first mill beside the Charles River in Waltham, housing an integrated set of technologies that converted raw cotton all the way to finished cloth. Patrick Tracy Jackson was the first manager of the BMC with Paul Moody in charge of the machinery. The Waltham mill, where raw cotton was processed into finished cloth, was the forerunner of the 19th century American factory. Lowell also pioneered the employment of women, from the age of 15-35 from New England farming families, as textile workers, in what became known as the Lowell system. He paid these "mill girls"(also known as Lowell girls) lower wages than men, but offered attractive benefits including well-run company boardinghouses with chaperones, cash wages, and benevolent religious and educational activities. The Waltham Machine Shop attached to the BMC made power looms for sale to other American cotton mills Nathan Appleton established a region-wide system to sell the cloth manufactured by the BMC.

The end of the War of 1812 was a severe threat to the budding domestic textile industry as the British dumped cheap cotton cloth on the American market. In 1816, Francis Cabot Lowell traveled to Washington to lobby for protective tariffs on cotton products that they were included in the Tariff of 1816.

Although he died early at age 42, only three years after building his first mill, Lowell left the Boston Manufacturing Company in superb financial health. In 1821, dividends were paid out at an astounding 27.5% to shareholders. The success of the BMC at Waltham exhausted the water power of the Charles River. To expand the enterprise, in 1822, Lowell's partners moved north to the more powerful Merrimack River and named their new mill town at the Pawtucket Falls on the Merrimack River "Lowell," after their visionary leader. Many textiles mills were built in Lowell, using the power of the fast-flowing Merrimack River. The Lowell Machine Shop built power looms for sale, and later expanded to build locomotives. With the introduction of steam power, the importance of a river site for the mills began to decline. The Lowell System, first introduced at Waltham, was expanded to the new industrial city of Lowell and soon spread to the Midwest and the South. The mechanized textile system, introduced by Francis Cabot Lowell, remained dominant in New England for a century until the industry shifted to the Midwest and the South. By the close of the nineteenth-century the United States had a thriving textile industry for home consumption and for export.

Read more about this topic:  Francis Cabot Lowell (businessman), Career

Other articles related to "textiles, textile":

Singe - Textiles
... See also Heatsetting In the textile industry, loose fibres protruding on the surface of textile goods are singed to remove them ...
Lohrke V. Commissioner - Facts
... In Lohrke, the petitioner was a licensor and inventor as well as President for Lohrke Textiles, Inc ... (Textiles) ... Although petitioner and Textiles are separate taxable entities, petitioner paid for the damages caused by a defective shipment of fiber for which he owned ...
Lucienne Day
... Lucienne Day RDI (née Conradi 5 January 1917 – 30 January 2010) was a British textile designer ... School of Art, where she discovered a love of printed textiles ... I put my inspiration from painting into my textiles, partly, because I suppose I was very practical ...
Calico Acts
... The Calico Acts (1690–1721) banned the import of textiles into England, followed by the restriction of sale of most cotton textiles ... quickly embraced the demand for calico, importing exotic textiles from around the globe into England and creating competition for domestic textile factories ... began to see a decline in domestic textile sales, and an increase in imported textiles from places like China and India ...
Lima Culture - Material Culture - Textiles
... Textiles were considered a symbol of status and wealth, many mummies have been found wrapped in many layers of the finest embroidered tapestries symbolizing a person of power in society ... The particular styles of textile in Lima culture have transformed and evolved over time, yielding a variety of textile patterns throughout the culture's history ... At certain periods the textiles used geometric, anthropomorphous and animal designs such as birds and felines ...