The Chicopee Manufacturing Company, 1823-1915 by John Cudd

By John Cudd

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For the common business of the company such as purchase of Stock & materials for building & for machinery & goods for the Store within limitations to be prescribed by the Directors, but shall not borrow money without express written authority from the Directors. The agent was ultimately responsible to the directors, and he used several methods to inform them of affairs at the mills. He was required to send them written reports, at first semi-annually and later monthly. The directors occasionally requested special reports on some particular aspect of company affairs.

3 In addition to an absence of surplus labor, there was little unemployed Page 3 capital. Commerce, land speculation, and consumption offered avenue enough for American capital. English capital, profitably employed at home, did not seek foreign outlets. A bias against manufactures further handicapped American industrial development. Some Americans, like the French Physiocrats, believed that manufactures did not add to the total national wealth. They feared, in addition, that factories would recreate the demographic, political, and economic conditions of Europe.

Slater built an Arkwright frame from memory, and the mill opened at Pawtucket, Rhode Island. The Pawtucket mill had simple machinery which was operated by children. Families in the vicinity picked dirt from the cotton by hand in the home. The picked cotton was brought to the mill for carding, a combing of the cotton fibers between two wire-pinned cylinders until the fibers were parallel. A second machine combined the wads of carded cotton into a soft roll of roving. The spinning frame twisted the roving into coarse threads.

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