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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Lowell in Middlesex County, Massachusetts — The American Northeast (New England)
 

Life on the Corporation

 
 
Life on the Corporation Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, May 25, 2013
1. Life on the Corporation Marker
Inscription. Lowell’s first company-owned boardinghouses were built across the canal in 1823, to house young women workers from rural New England.

Neat rows of boardinghouses once lined the streets of Lowell. The companies hoped that a moral, clean, and safe boardinghouse environment would encourage parents to send their daughters to work in the mills. Life “on the corporation” soon became a centerpiece of the acclaimed “Lowell Experiment.”

Over time, as mill owners sought to cut costs, working and living conditions deteriorated. Workers resisted with strikes in the 1830s, and agitation for a shorter work day in the 1840s.

(Inscription next to the bottom photo on the left)
The once-heralded Merrimack Mills boardinghouses were demolished in 1966. This destruction fueled an intense local debate. One result was Lowell’s commitment to preserve its industrial and cultural heritage.

(Inscription under the photo on the lower right)
Merrimack Mills and boardinghouses, 1848. By providing decent housing for employees, Lowell investors sought to avoid the brutality of Britain’s factories and urban slums.
 
Erected by Lowell National Historic Park.
 
Location. 42° 38.833′ N, 71° 
Life on the Corporation Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, May 25, 2013
2. Life on the Corporation Marker
18.65′ W. Marker is in Lowell, Massachusetts, in Middlesex County. Marker is on French Street. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Lowell MA 01852, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Birth of an Industrial City (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); St. Anne's Church (about 400 feet away); Debating Slavery (about 500 feet away); Irish Labor (about 500 feet away); Steam Railroads In New England (about 600 feet away); Merrimack St. Depot (about 700 feet away); Street of Lighting (about 700 feet away); The Rule of the Bell (approx. 0.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Lowell.
 
Categories. Industry & Commerce
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. This page has been viewed 222 times since then and 17 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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