Picture Postcard – Lowell Massachusetts
The factories have long gone idle, but the National Park Service preserves this important remnant of the industrial age.
Lowell National Historic Park showcases water-powered textile factories that at their peak employed almost 10,000 workers. The engineering required to harness the power of the river and canal system was a marvel that drew visitors from abroad.
Waves of immigrants from Ireland, Canada and Poland followed the folks coming off farms to toil here 6 days a week. The wealth brought to the mill owners in the north was heavily dependent on the slave-driven cotton economy in the south prior to the US Civil War. The politics and social concerns from this era can inform us today as we struggle with industries in transition and poor working conditions for many of our fellow citizens.
Welcome to my series of travel postcards that I’ll be posting once a week. Click on the card for a larger view.