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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Pawtucket in Providence County, Rhode Island — The American Northeast (New England)
 

The Wilkinson Mill

 
 
The Wilkinson Mill Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., May 19, 2018
1. The Wilkinson Mill Marker
Inscription.  

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

The Wilkinson Mill and Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., May 19, 2018
2. The Wilkinson Mill and Marker
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 building and repair, opening the door to a new level of technology.
 
Erected by Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor and Old Slater Mill Association.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & CommerceMan-Made FeaturesSettlements & SettlersWaterways & Vessels.
 
Location. 41° 52.653′ N, 71° 22.957′ W. Marker is in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, in Providence County. Marker is on the Slater Mill Historic Site grounds, just east of the Wilkinson Mill. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 67 Roosevelt Avenue, Pawtucket RI 02860, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Milling Machines (here, next to this marker); a different marker also named Wilkinson Mill (here, next to this marker); The Old Slater Mill (a few steps from this marker); A Family Business (within shouting distance of this marker); Harnessing the Power of the Blackstone River (within shouting distance of this marker); First Successful Cotton Mill in America
Wilkinson Mill image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., May 19, 2018
3. Wilkinson Mill
(within shouting distance of this marker); Birthplace of American Manufacturing (within shouting distance of this marker); A Mechanic's Life (within shouting distance of this marker). 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.)
 
Wilkinson Mill's Basement Water Wheel image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., May 19, 2018
4. Wilkinson Mill's Basement Water Wheel
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 4, 2018. It was originally submitted on June 4, 2018, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 99 times since then and 16 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on June 4, 2018, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.
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Aug. 8, 2020