Block of the Month The Mill Girls provides an interesting glimpse into the lives of young women who worked in the textile mills of Lowell, Mass in the mid 1800s. Fabric by Judie Rothermel (including a 108″ quilt back); BOM quilt by Nancy Rink. The program accompanies a book by Oliver Rink, to be published in April 2012 by Kansas City Star Quilts.
Below is an excerpt from the book Away From Home Quilts Inspired by the Lowell Factory Girls:
Between 1820 and 1860 the United States began the century-long transformation that would turn
a nation of farmers and rural folk into a nation of workers living in towns and cities. The U.S. Census of 1820 indicated that 72% of the labor force worked on family farms. By 1860, the end of the first phase of industrialization, that number had dropped to 59%. In that same year, 41% of the nation’s workers labored outside agriculture, and the process of urbanization was accelerating. During the same period the value of manufactured goods increased at a rate more than twice that of population growth. America was becoming an industrial giant among nations.
America’s industrial revolution began in New England’s textile mills when Moses Brown, a
wealthy Quaker merchant in Rhode Island, and Samuel Slater, a former apprentice and mechanic
in English mills owned by Richard Arkwright, opened a textile factory in Pawtucket, Rhode Island.
Slater had pulled off one of the greatest pieces of industrial espionage in history, having memorized intricate plans and diagrams of Arkwright’s spinning and carding machines as well as long lists of specifications. The Brown-Slater Mill employed nine children between the ages of 7 and 12 and paid them 33 to 60 cents per week. Profits came quickly, and Slater and his partners poured them into more and bigger mills. Within a few years, Brown and Slater had become New England’s leading industrialists with over a dozen mills in three states. As New England textile mills grew larger and the machines.
Price for each month (1 through 10) is $22.95 plus shipping.
No Sign Up Fees.
The Mill Girls Block of the Month will run from September 2012 to June 2013. You will receive generous cuts of fabric to make the block sections each month. You will receive border fabrics month 10.