High School Unit III

Activity 1: Early Years in the Lowell Mills

After students are familiar with Lucy Larcom, have them explore Suggested Resources to learn more about the operation of the Lowell mills in the early years.


  1. What inventions and innovations allowed for the growth of mill towns such as Lowell, Lawrence, Fall River, Holyoke, and North Adams?
  2. What were some of the advantages and disadvantages of working in the Lowell mills between 1826 and the 1850s?
  3. How and why did conditions change in the 1840s and 1850s? Was change inevitable? Why or why not?

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