“Characteristics of the Early Factory Girls” (1898)

1840-1945, Date, Disruptive Spaces, Subjectives of Refusal, The Workplace, Women, Workers

In this document, Harriet Hanson Robinson describes women working in factories in the 1830s in Lowell, Massachusetts – from her experience working in a factory starting at 10 years old. The Lowell Factories recruited young women and girls to work in factories. These young women and girls disrupted the workplace, demanding better conditions and wages.

“One of the girls stood on a pump, and gave vent to the feelings of her companions in a neat speech, declaring that it was their duty to resist all attempts at cutting down the wages. This was the first time a woman had spoken in public in Lowell, and the event caused surprise and consternation among her audience.”

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