THIS EVENT IS FREE TO THE PUBLIC
This talk will be given by renowned photographer Steve Dunwell.
New England is blessed with abundant streams and rivers, offering many opportunities for industrial waterpower. For the first 40 years of American industry, hydro was the only power available. A half-century later, it was still the dominant source.
Let’s explore the way in which mills were located to exploit the hydro opportunities at various sites. Some started small, then expanded gradually. Later, more ambitious plans were promoted, tapping huge hydro power sites and creating the great mill cities at Lowell, Lawrence, Holyoke, Manchester and Lewiston.
The Francis Cabot Lowell mill in Waltham is an excellent starting point, with its 500-horse-power dam, and its incremental growth from all-hydro to mostly steam.
The hydro story takes us to fascinating mill villages in rural areas such as Ponemah (Taftville, CT), North Grosvenordale, CT, and Pontiac, RI. Each has its own quirky story, and its own mix of immigrants who kept the machines running.
With this geography in mind, Steve Dunwell will also show each of the portraits in the exhibit “With These Hands” and tell us about these mill workers.