Disaster in Lawrence The Fall of the Pemberton Mill

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Disaster in Lawrence The Fall of the Pemberton Mill

Author: Alvin F. Oickle
Publisher: The History Press
Copyright: 2008
Pages: 128
Cover Price: $ 19.99

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The destruction was unimaginable; workers in nearby factories in Lawrence, Massachusetts, watched with horror on January 10, 1860, as the Pemberton Mill buckled and then collapsed, trapping more than six hundred workers, many of them women and children. Oickle's riveting account illustrates why, a century and a half later, the Pemberton collapse is still considered one of the worst industrial calamities in American history.

The mill had been built in 1852 with financing by John A. Lowell, whose family was prominent in the start of the Industrial Revolution in New England, and his brother-in-law. It was sold in 1857 and the new owners jammed more machinery into the building than it was designed for. It was highly profitable, but the stress on the structure led to its collapse.

Background Information

The First Industrial Revolution introduced the use of power, from falling water and steam, as the motive force behind large-scale machinery in factories.