Publication Date

January 1992

Journal or Book Title

Historical Journal of Massachusetts


Historians who focus on the development of nineteenth century New England textile mills generally place them in either of two categories. The first, referred to as the Rhode Island system, tended to be small, water-power dependent, family-owned, and located in villages and towns. The mills located in communities along the Quinebaug River in Massachusetts and Connecticut and the Blackstone River in Massachusetts and Rhode Island exemplify this system. The second category is most often called the Waltham or Lowell system. Large-scale, steam-powered, corporately-owned and located in larger cities, these mills could be found in Waltham, Lowell, Lawrence, Chicopee, and Holyoke, among other places.


This article is reprinted with permission from the Historical Journal of Massachusetts

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