Filtering by: Lectures

Mill Talk: The Life and Times of Francis Cabot Lowell
May
8
7:00 PM19:00

Mill Talk: The Life and Times of Francis Cabot Lowell

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The Charles River Museum of Industry and Innovation is located in what was, for 117 years, the Boston Manufacturing Company — the first fully integrated textile mill in the world, and the precursor to the famous mill cities and towns that followed in Lowell, Lawrence, Nashua, Chicopee, Saco/Biddeford, and many more. 

The brainchild of Francis Cabot Lowell, what happened here established America's first industrial dynasty and propelled the transformation of the young United States from an agrarian nation into an industrial powerhouse.

Author Chaim M. Rosenberg

Author Chaim M. Rosenberg

Chaim M. Rosenberg's book, "The Life and Times of Francis Cabot Lowell," chronicles the life of its visionary subject, what inspired Francis Cabot Lowell, and what he and those he recruited to manifest his vision of American self-sufficiency ultimately achieved.

In this talk, Mr. Rosenberg will lead us on a journey from Lowell's 1775 birth, through his career as a shipping merchant, on to his transformational sojourn to England and Scotland where he extensively toured the great British textile mills. Upon returnng to the United States in 1812 Francis Cabot Lowell set about to implement his vision for helping the United States earn their financial independence from the British Empire through industrialization.

After a long career as a psychiatrist, Chaim M. Rosenberg turned his attention to research and write about the American industrial revolution that had its start with cotton textiles in early 19th century Massachusetts. His 2007 book "Goods for Sale" describes the products made, using water, steam and then electric power. His 2011 book describes the extraordinary "Life and Times of Francis Cabot Lowell, 1775-1817". In his 2015 book "Yankee Colonies Across America" Rosenberg describe thes great migration that seeded New England ideas and enterprise across the nation. And his 2019 book will explore the International Harvester Company, once America's leader in farm equipment, tractors and trucks.

This event is FREE and open to the public. Advance registration, on Eventbrite, is requested.

Doors open 30 minutes prior to the start of the talk.

Light refreshments will be served.

This Mill Talk is generously sponsored by The Lowell Institute.

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Mill Talk: Civil War Massachusetts
Apr
18
7:00 PM19:00

Mill Talk: Civil War Massachusetts

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This Mill Talk begins at 7:00pm. Doors open at 6:30.

This talk is free, and light refreshments will be served.

Massachusetts recruited over sixty regiments during the Civil War and their records are preserved in the Massachusetts Archives.  Highlighting original materials from the files of the "Great War Governor,"  John Albion Andrew, the lecture presents the stories of three unique regiments:  the 20th "Harvard Regiment," the " Irish-American" 28th Regiment, and the  "African-American" 54th Regiment, featured in the motion picture Glory!  It also includes material on the technology that made the Civil War so devastating.

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Our speaker, Stephen Kenney, has been Director of the Commonwealth Museum, the Massachusetts state history museum, since 2002.  He has a Ph.D. from Boston University and has been a faculty member and administrator at several colleges including service as Interim President at Quincy College. He has been curator for several exhibits at the Commonwealth Museum, including Civil War Massachusetts, Sacco and Vanzetti, Road to Revolution: the Stamp Tax Crisis of 1765, and Freedom's Agenda: African-American Petitions to the Massachusetts Government.

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This Mill Talk begins at 7:00pm. Doors open at 6:30.

This talk is free, and light refreshments will be served.

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Mill Talk — Liberty Street: Anti-Slavery Activists in Waltham
Mar
28
7:00 PM19:00

Mill Talk — Liberty Street: Anti-Slavery Activists in Waltham

THIS EVENT HAS BEEN RESCHEDULED FROM THE ORIGINAL DATE OF MARCH 21st.

Mill Talk begins at 7:00pm. Doors open at 6:30.

This talk is free, and light refreshments will be served.

In the 1830s, Waltham's first middle-class residents built a neighborhood near the Common that came to include some of the town's most radical abolitionists. Starting as a small group, they became a force in the antislavery movement and drew abolitionist leaders to Waltham, including Frederick Douglass and Ralph Waldo Emerson. In a house at the corner of Main and Liberty Streets, one man also harbored runaway slaves.

With the discovery of a largely untouched room papered with Civil War images from Harper's Magazine, historian Alex Green uncovered Waltham's hidden role in the Underground Railroad. Green will share his findings and what they mean for Waltham residents today.

Author Alex Green

Author Alex Green

Alex Green is a Fellow at Harvard Law School. A longtime Waltham resident, he is the former chairperson of the Waltham Historical Commission. His writing has appeared in The AtlanticThe Huffington Post, and Lapham's Quarterly, and he is a contributor to WBUR-NPR's Cognoscenti.

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This Mill Talk begins at 7:00pm. Doors open at 6:30.

This talk is free, and light refreshments will be served.

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Presentation: "Steampunk Art & Design: The Philosophy, Process and Pictures"
May
13
12:00 PM12:00

Presentation: "Steampunk Art & Design: The Philosophy, Process and Pictures"

What is Steampunk? Steampunk art and design uses the core principles of both STEAM and Victorian-era industrial style to reimagine, make, create (recreate), and infuse a vision of the Future and answers the question: "What would the past look like if the future had happened sooner?"

In this one hour presentation, Bruce Rosenbaum, who the Wall Street Journal dubbed "The Guru of Steampunk" will bring you through his inspirations and his own work to show you how he is able to create virtual time machines by fusing the past with the present and future.

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Mill Talk: The Story of Marshmallow Fluff
Mar
22
6:30 PM18:30

Mill Talk: The Story of Marshmallow Fluff

Eventbrite - Mill Talk: The Story of Marshmallow Fluff

This Mill Talk by Mimi Graney, author of "Fluff: The Sticky-Sweet Story of an American Icon," will explore the history of Marshmallow Fluff and the company and people that made it. 

At the turn of the twentieth century, Boston was a booming candy town. Of all the tantalizing treats, nothing has stuck around like Marshmallow Fluff. Since that time, the small, family-run company Durkee-Mower has churned out a century of Fluff with the secretive air of Willy Wonka. Little has been made of this extraordinary legacy—until now.

To author Mimi Graney, Fluff is more than a retro ingredient. It is a story about the merits and pitfalls of adaptation and innovation.

Graney deftly brings the factory floor alive, weaving a fascinating narrative about New England’s forgotten candy industry, changing social roles for women, the advent of commercial radio and modern advertising, and the supermarket revolution. Fluff has survived two world wars, corporate attacks, nutrition battles, and the rise and fall of manufacturing towns. The world has changed around it, yet this icon remains the same.

Author and speaker Mimi Graney

Author and speaker Mimi Graney

Mimi Graney is the founder of What the Fluff?, a festival celebrating Marshmallow Fluff that draws thousands annually. Her work in neighborhood economic development takes her to communities across Massachusetts where she focuses on creative industries and food-based businesses. Her favorite way to enjoy Marshmallow Fluff is by the melting spoonful in a mug of hot chocolate.

Come to this Mill Talk and learn a great, local story that will really stick with you!

Eventbrite - Mill Talk: The Story of Marshmallow Fluff
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Nov
2
6:30 PM18:30

Mill Talk: Almost Forgotten Female Inventors

Mill Talk: Almost Forgotten Female Inventors

Extraordinary Innovations in Industry and Technology

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Hollywood starlet and ingenious inventor: Hedy Lamarr and pioneering African American inventor Margret Stewart Joyner.

Hollywood starlet and ingenious inventor: Hedy Lamarr and pioneering African American inventor Margret Stewart Joyner.

Yankee Ingenuity.... Another name for the spirit of invention.

Some have asserted that because labor shortages perpetually plagued Americans, prior to immigration, that the Yankee mind was uniquely innovative, always searching for new labor saving devices.  To wit: Eli Whitney’s cotton gin.  But the spirit of innovation also came from another place in America, the open patent system, making innovation accessible to all, blind to race and gender and to the amateur or the professional.

"The Landlord Game" on which Monopoly was based.

"The Landlord Game" on which Monopoly was based.

This talk will explore the motivation and successes of four female inventors: Margaret Knight (the flat-bottomed paper bag machine), Margaret Stewart Joyner (the permanent-hair-wave-machine), Hedy Lamarr (a radio wave changing device that blocked signal jamming by the Germans in World War II) and Elizabeth Maggie (the woman behind the Monopoly game).  In doing so, Dr. Green will explore the range of inventions credited to women, the reasons for success and failure, and more generally to evoke the spirit of innovation in America writ large.

Doors open at 6:30pm. The talk begins at 7:00pm. - Come early for a self-guided museum tour!

Eventbrite - Mill Talk: Almost Forgotten Female Inventors
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