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The Course of Industrial Decline : The Boott Cotton Mills of Lowell, Massachusetts, 1835-1955 - Laurence F. Gross

The Course of Industrial Decline

The Boott Cotton Mills of Lowell, Massachusetts, 1835-1955

Paperback Published: 20th February 2000
ISBN: 9780801863639
Number Of Pages: 324
For Ages: 22+ years old

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Studies of American industry frequently cite Lowell, Massachusetts, as an early model for business practices. Scholars have sought to explain the city's rise to prominence, the impact of its textile mills on workers and on commerce, and its part in regional development and American prosperity. Laurence Gross looks beyond these issues. Focusing on Lowell's Boott Cotton Mills, he examines the industry's struggle to maintain its prominence, the causes of its decline, and its ultimate flight south.

Gross puts much of the blame for the pattern of events on the mill-owners themselves. They resisted reinvestment, so their operations became less efficient. They kept antiquated machinery running long after it was safe to do so, and they were slow to respond to issues of worker safety. The increased textile demands of World War II, Gross explains, only forestalled the mills' inevitable demise.

Industry Reviews

Essential reading for historians interested in the technology of the textile industry. * Labor History * What is important about this study is that it looks at the consequences to labor of the decision making of the company, which sought to increase profits, while labor worked hard to produce and protect itself against a management system that did not have its interests at heart. * Journal of American History * A major contribution to our understanding of the city of Lowell and its significance in american industrial history... Gross does a masterful job of depicting the industrial process and the complex interplay between the worker, the machinery, and the management. * New England Quarterly *

Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Introductionp. xiii
Lowell through the Civil War
Lowell to 1850p. 3
Precursorsp. 3
Founding the New Cityp. 4
Launching the Boott Cotton Millsp. 6
Labor in the New Millsp. 9
Responses to Lowellp. 14
A Loss of Lustre, 1850-1870p. 23
The New Laborp. 24
Hours and Wagesp. 24
Labor's Responsep. 26
Management Actionp. 26
Government Actionp. 28
Management Critiquedp. 28
The Treasurer Coolidge Erap. 30
Expansion and Failure, 1871-1904
Organization and Equipmentp. 41
Overview and Trendsp. 41
The Agentp. 45
Technological Choicesp. 49
The Interaction of People and Machinesp. 61
Effects of New Machineryp. 63
Effects of New Proceduresp. 65
Working Conditionsp. 68
Wagesp. 75
Labor and Managementp. 79
Workforcep. 79
Management Oversightp. 81
Labor's Responsep. 87
Collapse of the Millsp. 91
Conclusionp. 93
Reorganization and Success, 1905-1930
Direction of the New Boott Millsp. 99
Reorganizationp. 99
Reassessmentp. 102
Revised Productionp. 103
Administrationp. 104
Conflict within Managementp. 110
Managing Productionp. 113
Technology and Laborp. 118
Responding to Changep. 118
Condition of Machineryp. 123
The Role of Factory Buildingsp. 124
The Conduct of Laborp. 125
The Condition of Laborp. 133
Participants and Prospectsp. 139
Supervision of the Operationp. 139
Workforcep. 141
Wagesp. 144
Income and the Cost of Livingp. 148
Labor's Responsep. 151
Management's Response to Laborp. 155
Financial Positionp. 162
Lowell and the Southp. 164
Conclusionp. 168
Depression, Continuity, and Change, 1931-1946
Factors Affecting Survivalp. 173
Tacticsp. 174
The Millsp. 176
The Machinesp. 179
Working Conditionsp. 182
Training and Skillp. 183
Operation in the Depression and Wartimep. 189
Depressionp. 189
Wartimep. 195
Conclusionp. 211
The Boott Mill Expires, 1947-1955
Manufacturing Winds Downp. 215
Productsp. 215
Operationp. 216
Final Daysp. 225
Two Points of Viewp. 230
Management's Assessmentp. 230
Labor's Interpretationp. 236
Conclusionp. 238
Postscriptp. 241
Note on Sourcesp. 251
Notesp. 253
Indexp. 277
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780801863639
ISBN-10: 0801863635
Series: New
Audience: Professional
For Ages: 22+ years old
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 324
Published: 20th February 2000
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.96 x 15.49  x 2.08
Weight (kg): 0.49

Earn 162 Qantas Points
on this Book