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AT WORK: OVERSEERS IN LOWELL'S TEXTILE MILLS
Of the many histories of American textile manufacturing few have explored the role of one of the most powerful managerial groups on the factory floor, the overseer. This lack of attention is especially puzzling because members of this occupation, overwhelmingly dominated by men, shaped the daily working lives of countless women, men, and children. And outside the factory, in cities such as Lowell, Massachusetts, overseers were often prominently involved in the political, social, and cultural spheres of their communities.
“Men at Work” explores the lives of overseers in Lowell and the
city’s textile mills. Who were these men that have been so neglected
in the histories of Lowell’s and the nation’s textile industry? What
were their workplace experiences like and how did they interact with the
employees that worked under them? How did they shape textile workers
and the technology on the shop floor? And how, in turn, were they
shaped by the changing workforce, the development of new technology and
the advent of new managerial organization?
"This program is funded in part by the Massachusetts Foundation for
the Humanities, which receives support from the Massachusetts Cultural
Council and is an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities."
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