The Wilkinson Mill
David Wilkinson (1771-1852), a blacksmith from Smithfield, Rhode Island, moved to Pawtucket in the early 1780s. Wilkinson invented new machines, including a steamboat, which he demonstrated in Pawtucket in 1792 (15 years before Robert Fulton's steamboat), a screw-cutting lathe in 1794 that became an industry standard, and by 1815, some of the first power looms.
Wilkinson built this rubblestone mill with his father between 1810-11. The building housed a machine shop, a spinning mill, and a blacksmith shop. David Wilkinson worked with Samuel Slater and also produced equipment for dozens of other new factories. Today Wilkinson Mill houses a water-powered machine shop, a gallery, and administrative offices.
[Illustration captions, clockwise from top left, read]
• David Wilkinson (1771-1852)
• After 1810, stone mills replaced or joined wooden mills in the growing industrial landscape. In this 1880s photograph taken from the opposite riverbank, Wilkinson Mill and Slater Mill are surrounded by shops and factories
• Patent drawing (above) with top, side, and front views of Wilkinson's screw-cutting lathe--perhaps his most important invention. The lathe cut screw threads evenly onto black stock by following a reference guide. This revolutionary process created precision parts and helped standardize machine
Erected by Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor and Old Slater Mill Association.
Location. 41° 52.653′ N, 71° 22.957′ W. Marker is in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, in Providence County. Touch for map. Marker is on the Slater Mill Historic Site grounds, just east of the Wilkinson Mill. Marker is at or near this postal address: 67 Roosevelt Avenue, Pawtucket RI 02860, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. A different marker also named Wilkinson Mill (here, next to this marker); The Old Slater Mill (a few steps from this marker); First Successful Cotton Mill in America (within shouting distance of this marker); Waterpower (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Old Slater Mill (within shouting distance of this marker); Sylvanus Brown House (within shouting distance of this marker); Slater Mill Historic Site (within shouting distance of this marker); Pierce Park and Riverwalk (approx. 1.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Pawtucket.
Also see . . .
1. Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor. (Submitted on June 4, 2018, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. David Wilkinson Bio at American Society of Mechanical Engineers. (Submitted on June 4, 2018, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
3. Wilkinson Mill ASME Landmark. (Submitted on June 4, 2018, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
Categories. • Industry & Commerce • Man-Made Features • Settlements & Settlers • Waterways & Vessels •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 4, 2018. This page originally submitted on June 4, 2018, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 61 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on June 4, 2018, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.