Pawtucket in Providence County, Rhode Island — The American Northeast (New England)
Sylvanus Brown House
Sylvanus Brown lived in this cottage from 1784 to 1824. Brown's proven pattern-making and carpentry skills earned him a place at Samuel Slater's side. Brown had also built water-powered mills and visited European mill sites. Between 1789 and 1791, Brown helped Slater produce mechanized textile machinery.
The patternmaker played an important role in the process of making new machine parts. Sylvanus Brown, a skilled woodworker, made accurate, full-scale wooden models, or patterns, of machine parts for Slater's machinery.
This house, built in 1758, is a typical artisan's dwelling of the mid- to late 1700s. It is furnished based on Brown's 1825 probate inventory and contains a loom, spinning wheels, and other tools used to make cloth by hand. Brown's wife, Ruth, and other workers wove cloth by hand at home for their own use and factory sale until after the invention of the power loom in the early 1800s.
[Illustration captions, from left to right, read]
• In this 1940s painting The Carding Machine by R.H. Ives Gammell, Samuel Slater displays the invention to entrepreneur Moses Brown. The carding
• Wooden patterns
• Brown's house once stood beside his carpenter's shop near present-day Interstate 95. When urban development threatened the house in the 1960s, a citizens group—the "Live Wires" of the Pawtucket-Blackstone Valley Chamber of Commerce—sold shares to save "Memory Cottage" from demolition. In 1962 the Sylvanus Brown house, weighing nearly 40 tons, was lifted from its foundation and transported by platform truck to this site.
Erected by Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor and Old Slater Mill Association.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Colonial Era • Industry & Commerce • Man-Made Features • Settlements & Settlers. A significant historical year for this entry is 1784.
Location. This marker has been replaced by another marker nearby. It was located near 41° 52.671′ N, 71° 22.957′ W. Marker was in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, in Providence County. Marker could be reached from Roosevelt Avenue, 0.1 miles north of Main Touch for map. Marker was 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 location. A Mechanic's Life (here, next to this marker); Old Slater Mill (here, next to this marker); First Successful Cotton Mill in America (a few steps from this marker); Slater Mill (a few steps from this marker); a different marker also named The Old Slater Mill (a few steps from this marker); Wilkinson Mill (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named The Wilkinson Mill (within shouting distance of this marker); Milling Machines (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Pawtucket.
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker. This marker has been replaced by the linked marker.
Also see . . . Old Slater Mill Association. The History List website entry (Submitted on June 5, 2018, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
Credits. This page was last revised on August 19, 2021. It was originally submitted on June 5, 2018, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 299 times since then and 9 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on June 5, 2018, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.