zaterdag 8 november 2014

Away from home. ..... ....

... ..... .... quilts inspired by the Lowell factory girls. This really is a lovely book. Laura bought the book during our quiltingtrip and after visiting Lowell myself I really wanted this book.

Not so easy to find... because suprisingly they didn't sell it the New England Quiltmuseum in Lowell. But lucky me, I found the book in England, send it to Emma's mum,  and Emma took it with her to The Hague.
Bedroom of the housekeeper.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner room in the boarding house
 If I'm thinking about the highlights of my quiltingtrip through New England, well Lowell is certainly on my wishlist. The centre of the town is a "national park", with lots of mills. (For my dutch readers: mill = weverij).

1821 - 1863 The Millgirls
Lowell (MA) at the Merrimack river is situated 50km north of Boston. By the 1850s Lowell had the largest industrial complex in the US.
Mills along the Merrimack river
When the first Lowell textile mills began operating in 1823, corporation owners hired unmarried New England farm women between the ages of 15 and 30 to work in the factories. The corporations offered these women good housing, moral supervision, cultural opportunities, steady work and regular payment. The girls had a chance to make their own money, and go away from home. If you had no family in Lowell, you had to stay in a boarding house with a housekeeper. Most mills requierd that the girls attend Sunday worship at the church, and prove it with a certificate signhed by their minister. By modern standards the hours were long and the work tedious. In the summer months hte women had to operate the machine for 14 hours. One of the mill girls wrote to her family that her life was dominated by the bell. The bell for work, breakfast, work, lunch, work, home dinner....... Although life was hard, the girls made more money then they could do at the farm. They had the chance to go to libraries, seminars, recitals and enjoy city life.

Song of the spinner
The day is over, no longer will we toil and spin;
For evening's hush withdraws from the daily din.
And how we sing with gladsome hearts,
The theme of the spinner's song.
That labor to leisure a zest imparts,
Unknown to the idle throng.

We spin all day, and then, in the time for rest,
Sweet peace is found, A joyous and welcome guest.
Despite of toil we all agree, or out of the Mills or in,
Dependent on others we never will be,
So long as we are able to spin. 
Mills in Lowell

2 opmerkingen:

martine zei

Leuk om deze foto's te zien. Ik heb het boek ook met veel plezier gelezen en ook een stukje van de quilt gemaakt.

Nana's Quilts zei

That must have been a very hard life.