University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Digital Library for the Decorative Arts and Material Culture

Page View

Bishop, J. Leander (John Leander), 1820-1868 / A history of American manufactures from 1608 to 1860 : exhibiting the origin and growth of the principal mechanic arts and manufactures, from the earliest colonial period to the adoption of the Constitution ; and comprising annals of the industry of the United States in machinery, manufactures and useful arts, with a notice of the important inventions, tariffs, and the results of each decennial census
Volume 3 (1868)

Manufactures of Lawrence,   pp. 316-318

Page 316

LAWRENCE, in Essex County, ten miles below Lowell, is the last of
the important manufacturing towns that have been erected on the banks
of the Merrimac River. It is but seventeen years since it was incorpo-
rated as a town, and it now contains a population of over 17,000.
In 1844 several capitalists of Boston determined to build at this place
a manufacturing city, and formed a company with a capital of $1,500,000,
which was incorporated April, 1845, as the Essex Company, having the
following officers as its first board-lion. Abbott Lawrence, President;
Messrs. Patrick T. Jackson, William Sturgis, Nathan Appleton, John A.
Lowell, and Ignatius Sargent, Directors; and Chas. S. Storrow, Treasu-
rer and Chief Engineer. This Company proceeded to erect a Dam at
a cost of $250,000 across the Merrimac, giving a head and fall for the
whole river of 28 feet, and a water power said to be equal to that at
Lowell. From this dam they conveyed water for manufacturing pur-
poses by a canal on the north side of the river, over a mile in length,
100 feet wide at the upper end, 60 feet at the lower, and 14 feet deep in
the centre. The canal is parallel with the river at a distance of 400
feet, giving that space for Mill sites.
The first Mills erected were " The Atlantic Cotton Mills," by a com-
pany incorporated in February, 1846, wili a capital of $1,800,000.
The principal building is 570 feet long, consisting of a centre Mill six
stories high with two wings five stories high.  The Company have
45,000 spindles, employ 1200 operatives, and in ordinary seasons con-
sume 30,000 bales of cotton.
In 1853 the Pacific Mills were incorporated, with a capital of
$2,500,000. The factory buildings of this Company were at the time
they were erected the largest in the country. The principal building is
800 feet long, six stories high in front and eight in the rear. The river
building is 1000 feet long, with wings 310 feet and 225 feet, three stories
high. This company has 110,000 spindles, 2,500 looms, and when in
full operation employs 3,000 operatives, and produces goods to the
value of nearly four millions of dollars annually.
The " Washington Mills," incorporated in 1858, have a capital of
$1,500,000, and occupy the premises of the " Bay State Mills," which
failed in 1857. The mills form a parallelogram of 1000 feet in length
by 400 feet in breadth between the canal and river, and are, it is said,
the largest in the world devoted to the manufacture of Fancy Woolen
Goods. They employ about 2,300 operatives.

Go up to Top of Page