The Transformation of Work and Community in Lowell, Massachusetts, 1826-1860
In this prize-winning study, Thomas Dublin explores, in carefully researched detail, the lives and experiences of the first generation of American women to face the demands of industrial capitalism. Dublin describes and traces the strong community awareness of these women from Lowell and relates it to labor protest movements of the 1830s and '40s.
Of the many books of Lowell's operatives, only Dublin's perceives the indissoluble relationship of consciousness and material reality. He has explored this history with better judgment and more sensitivity toward the common life of Lowell's female labor force than any other scholar of our day.
Given the many vantage points from which the Lowell experience can be viewed, it is doubtful that any one study can be 'definitive,' but Dublin has made long strides toward that goal. His lucid presentation and analysis of evidence make Women at Work a model of social history.
TablesIllustrationsPrefaceAcknowledgements1. Women Workers and Early Industrialization2. The Early Textile Idustry and the Rise of Lowell3. The Lowell Work Force, 1836, and the Social Origins of Women Workers4. The Social Relations of Production in the Early Mills5. The Boardinghouse6. The Early Strikes: The 1830s7. The Ten Hour Movement: The 1840s8. The Transformation of Lowell, 1836-1850, and the New NMill Work Force 9. Immigrants in the Mills, 1850-186010. Housing and Families of Women Operatives11. Careers of Operatives, 1836-186012. The Operatives' Response, 1850-1860Appendixes1. Preparation of the Hamilton Company Payroll, 18362. The Social Origins Study3. The Hamilton Company Work Force, August 1850 and June 18604. The 1860 Millhand Sample5. Sources of Bias and Considerations of Representativeness