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Grant number: BH-50445-11

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BH-50445-11

University of Massachusetts, Lowell (Lowell, MA 01854-2827)
Sheila Kirschbaum (Project Director: 03/09/2011 to present)

Inventing America: Lowell and the Industrial Revolution

Two one-week Landmarks workshops for eighty school teachers on the textile industry in Lowell, Massachusetts, as a case study of early nineteenth-century industrialization.

"Inventing America: Lowell and the Industrial Revolution" consists of two one-week NEH Landmarks of American History and Culture Workshops held during summer 2012 for eighty school teachers. The program is offered by the Tsongas Industrial History Center, a partnership of the University of Massachusetts at Lowell and the Lowell National Historical Park, and focuses on the textile industry in Lowell, Massachusetts, as a case study of early nineteenth-century industrialization. During the workshops, historians and other scholars lead lecture/discussions on key themes in Lowell's history. Merritt Roe Smith (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) places the local textile industry in an international context; Patrick Malone (Brown University) focuses on Lowell's water power system; Jack Larkin (Old Sturbridge Village) talks about the transition from an agrarian to a market-based economy; Gray Fitzsimons (formerly National Park Service) focuses on the textile industry's management structure and on the experience of Irish and French-Canadian immigrants; Robert Forrant (University of Massachusetts, Lowell) speaks about labor's responses to the new industrial order; and Chad Montrie (University of Massachusetts, Lowell) explores the tensions between the traditional and the modern in the literature of the early nineteenth century. Participants visit historic sites around Lowell and Concord such as Walden Pond and Minute Man National Historical Park; they also visit Old Sturbridge Village. Marie Frank (University of Massachusetts, Lowell) utilizes two selections (by Thomas Cole and Charles Sheeler) from the NEH Picturing America portfolio to explore responses to industrialization and the American landscape. The participants read selections by historians including Thomas Dublin, Merritt Roe Smith, Jack Larkin, Patrick Malone, Chad Montrie and Brian Mitchell, and writings by Charles Dickens, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and young women who worked in the mills.

[Grant products]

Project fields:
U.S. History

Program:
Landmarks of American History

Division:
Education Programs

Total amounts:
$172,880 (approved)
$172,880 (awarded)

Grant period:
10/1/2011 – 6/30/2013