Process Paper

Two years ago, we studied and took a field trip to the Lowell Mills in Lowell, Massachusetts.  We were intrigued by what had occurred less than two centuries ago in a city that was so close to our own homes.  After becoming deeply concerned by the fact that most of these mill girls were being severely overworked in unhealthy conditions, we were immediately drawn to doing more research on this topic.  In addition, we realized we had close connections to three people that were involved with working in textile mills during different times.  We took advantage of this, gaining a variety of information in regards to the work that went on in mills that utilized the power loom, helping to develop our topic.

                In order to conduct our research, we first went to a textile museum in Lowell, Massachusetts intending to find out what the lives were like of the girls who worked in the mills.  We found out that they’d left the tranquility of their homes to fulfill the labor needs of the newly established mills in America.  In order to figure out exactly what kind of machines they were imposed with to use, we looked up inventions that were operated during this time.  From that, we concluded that it was the invention of the power loom that had the largest impact on the mill girls.  Afterwards, we obtained information from books on what led up to its creation and the outcome.

                Originally we decided on wanting to design an exhibit board because the two of us are very much into the visual appeal of a project.  However, when organizing our information, we found that it would be best if we created a website because it had the capability of being formatted to fit our needs of being presented in a clear and orderly format. We created our project by breaking down all of our research into four categories with even more specific subcategories. The most sensible way to do this was to start off with giving background on what was used before the innovation, then the power loom itself, the impact and change it had on mill girls, and life today in mills.  Without a doubt, the format we chose for our project was the most effective way to deliver our thesis to the reader.

                Our project on the innovation of power loom undeniably relates to the topic of Innovation: Impact and Change.  The power loom was the first machine that rapidly increased the speed of the production of cloth, ultimately boosting the American economy and allowing it to compete with cloth manufacturing in England.  Not only did this pivotal invention help the economy, but it strongly affected the lives of the workers.  Depending on the type of job assigned to them, girls that worked in mills either were grateful for the opportunity they’d been given to earn money or dreadful for the dirty work they were stuck doing from day in and day out.