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The Lowell Mill Museum

Here are some pictures from my recent visit to the Boots Cotton Mill Museum, in Lowell MA. It's operated by the National Parks Service, and it's a great option to explore if you're in the area and interested in textile history. Some of the machines are still set to operate, and the sound of a single loom really drives home what the Lowell Mill Girls experienced everyday - it was a skilled, difficult job. If you have an interest in feminism, the history of women working in the United States and labor rights, so much the better - there's a lot to go deep about in the way these men and women organized, and in the ways in which their fates and those of their industry were so tightly entwined.

For me, of course, it's always fascinating to see the spinning and weaving that I enjoy at the smallest and most intimate scale done at a massive and industrial one. The processes are not so different, but the effect is intensely so. For more places like this I can vouch for as a textile tourist, check out the Pendleton Mill in Pendleton, Oregon or the Thomas Kay Woolen Mill, at the Willamette Heritage Center in Salem OR.

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