A New Order of Things: How the Textile Industry Transformed New England

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UPNE, 2002 - Business & Economics - 156 pages
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For nearly two centuries, the New England economy revolved around coastal seaport towns, scattered farms, town centers, and a forest industry geared to turning tall trees into masts for His Majesty's Navy. The American Revolution eliminated the need for masts, but technologies imported from England for twisting cotton and woolen fibers into yarn initiated a major change in the newly-independent country's textile industry. Mills and factories replaced crops and trees, changing the people and landscape of New England forever.

Dramatic technological advances in textile production spurred revolutions in land use, commerce, transportation, business organization, and family life. Based on oral histories and archival documents, and enhanced by 100 illustrations from across New England, A New Order of Things offers an expansive, accessible overview of the rise and collapse of the industry that forced New England into the modern age.

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Manufacturing Linen in New England
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Lowell Astonishes the World
New Englands Woolen Mills Catch Up
The New England Mill Workers
The Struggle for Freedom
Steam Engines Promote Textile Manufacture

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About the author (2002)

PAUL E. RIVARD served as Director of the American Textile History Museum in Lowell, MA, from 1991 to 1999, and as Curator of Technology through 2001. He has also served as Director of the Maine State Museum, the Slater Mill Historic Site. He works today planning exhibitions for a number of New England museums.

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