Guiding Question:

What were the values of business leaders of the Pemberton Mill and how do they reflect the overall attitudes of business leaders throughout the country at this time?


In the early 19th century the invention of the Cotton Gin and Steam Engine contributed to a worldwide improvement in technology and manufacturing. A new invention, the loom, spun cotton quickly, increasing the productivity of cotton. In the American Northeast, spinning factories sprouted and Lowell, Massachusetts became a leading community of manufacturing spun cotton in the country. For further review: Extra Info

On a quiet cold day in January of 1860 the Pemberton Mill in Lawrence collapsed trapping more than six hundred workers under the rubble. Mostly women and children were victims. Sadly, later, a lantern fell and set fire to the already destroyed mill. The ensuing chaos and rescue effort mobilized a movement to improve better working conditions in mills all around the country.

Background image: Cotton Plant, retrieved from Wikimedia Commons