Old Slater Mill
The Slater Mill is a historic water-powered textile mill complex on the banks of the Blackstone River in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, modeled after cotton spinning mills first established in England. It is the first water-powered cotton spinning mill in North America to utilize the Arkwright system of cotton spinning as developed by Richard Arkwright.
Samuel Slater, the mill’s founder, apprenticed as a young man in Belper, England, with industrialist Jedediah Strutt. Shortly after immigrating to the United States, Slater was hired by Moses Brown of Providence, Rhode Island, to produce a working set of machines necessary to spin cotton yarn using water power. Construction of the machines was completed in 1793, as well as a dam, waterway, waterwheel, and mill. Manufacturing was based on Richard Arkwright’s cotton spinning system, which included carding, drawing, and spinning machines. Slater initially hired children and families to work in his mill, establishing a pattern that was replicated throughout the Blackstone Valley and known as the “Rhode Island System”. It was later eclipsed by Francis Cabot Lowell’s Waltham System. The mill and surrounding area were the site of early labor resistance, including the first factory strike in the United States, which was led by young women workers in 1824. Slater Mill was added to the National Register of Historic Places and designated a National Historic Landmark on November 13, 1966, the first property to be listed on the register. In December 2014, the mill was added to the newly formed Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park.
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Old Slater Mill, 67 Roosevelt Ave
Pawtucket, Rhode Island 02860
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This article uses material from the Wikipedia article “Slater Mill Historic Site“, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.