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

The Rule of the Bell

 
 
The Rule of the Bell Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Don Morfe, May 25, 2013
1. The Rule of the Bell Marker
Inscription.  High above the courtyard of the Boott Cotton Mills stands a clock tower, crowned by a street bell. The bells chimed six times each day, summoning workers to and from their machines. In the new industrial cities of America, the factory bell replaced the sun as a signal for daily tasks.

Each day the workers passed through the mill gates to a workplace where danger, noise and filth were common. Workers arriving late found locked gates and had to enter through the adjacent countinghouse. There they faced the mill agent and the penalty of docked pay or dismissal. Today the sidewalk leads to the Boott Cotton Mills Museum.

Among the workers were children---often from immigrant families. Pay was poor, and many families depended on children’s wages for survival. Child labor laws encouraged children to obtain working papers to work in the factories.

(Inscription beside the photo on the lower left)
“Bell Time” by Winslow Homer, Harpers Weekly, 1868

(Inscription under the photo in the center)
Boott Cotton Mills spinning room, 1938

(Inscription over the photo on the right)
Workers leaving
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the mills, ca.1910
 
Erected by Lowell National Historic Park.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Industry & Commerce. In addition, it is included in the Historic Bells series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1868.
 
Location. 42° 38.85′ N, 71° 18.467′ W. Marker is in Lowell, Massachusetts, in Middlesex County. Marker is on French Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Lowell MA 01852, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Lowell Sculptures: One, Two, and Three (a few steps from this marker); Evolution of a Millyard (within shouting distance of this marker); Florence Patti Marion (within shouting distance of this marker); In the Shadow of the Mills (within shouting distance of this marker); Harnessing Waterpower (within shouting distance of this marker); W.H. Parker Building (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Brown, Fay, and Watson Houses (about 600 feet away); The Birth of an Industrial City (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Lowell.
 
The Rule of the Bell Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Don Morfe, May 25, 2013
2. The Rule of the Bell Marker
The Rule of the Bell Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Don Morfe, May 25, 2013
3. The Rule of the Bell Marker
The Rule of the Bell Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Don Morfe, May 25, 2013
4. The Rule of the Bell Marker
The Rule of the Bell Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Don Morfe, May 25, 2013
5. The Rule of the Bell Marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on June 23, 2013, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 496 times since then and 13 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on June 23, 2013, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.

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Apr. 15, 2024