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Search > Learning Exercise Results > Lowell National Historic Park and Tsongas Industrial History Center

Learning Exercise: Lowell National Historic Park and Tsongas Industrial History Center

Lowell National Historic Park and Tsongas Industrial History Center
Lowell, Massachusetts was the site of the first textile mills constructed in the United States in the first half of the 19th century. The site offerrs the history, a visual tour of the textile mills, and educatonal resources for classroom use. A bibliography of additional resources is provided.
Course: United States History


Submitted by:
William Paquette
Date Last Modified:
June 23, 2008


Instructions: Click History and Culture. Read segments 1-20 on Lowell and the textile industry. Under Multimedia Presentations Click: Canal Development, Boott Cotton Mills Museum Weave Room, Mill Girls and Immigrants Exhibit video, Pawtucket Gatehouse, Water Power Demonstration, Swamp Locks Mill, and Guard Locks video and record data from these items. Click Photo Gallery and look at the three pages of textile mill images. Now you are ready to answer the following questions:1. Where is Lowell located?
2. Describe Lowell during the colonial period of United States history.
3. Why did industrialization begin in Lowell?
4. How did the cotton gin affect Lowell's development?
5. What was the Industrial Revolution?
6. Why did the Industrial Revolution occur in England?
7. List the English inventors and inventions that affected the development of the textile industry.
8. Who was Samuel Slater and what was his relationship to Lowell?
9. How did canal construction affect Lowell's industrial development?
10. What canals were built?
11. Describe the process from picking to weaving for making textiles.
12. What was the Waltham-Lowell System?
13. Who was George Washington Whistler?
14. Who was John B. Francis?
15. Explain how water power and canals transformed the textile industry.
16. What role did the turbine play in textile industry development?
17. How did power looms doom the cottage industry of spinning and weaving?
18. Why were females hired?
19. Where did the girls live?
20. What were their living conditions like?
21. What immigrant groups settled in Lowell?
22. Describe working conditions in the textile factories.
23. What did the textile mills produce?
24. What other manufacturing did Lowell possess?
25. What caused Lowell's industrial decline?
26. has the decline stopped and, if so, why?



  • College Lower Division
  • High School
  • Middle School


Industrialization; Immigration; 19th century United States History.



Learning Objectives

To acquaint students with the history of industrialization in the Unted States.
To offer comparisons of industrialization between England and the United States.
To describe the role of inventions, immigration, and women in the industrialization of the United States.

Type of Task

  • Individual
  • Student-centered
  • Unsupervised


A series of questions.

Technical Notes

Plugins for Flash Movie and Flash Player needed.