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controlled by man, it was forced to serve him. It was a true vision, for now the Merrimack is said to turn more spindles than any river in the world, a service which, if not so romantic, is none the less inspiring and stimulating to the imagination.
The first man familiar with the process of spinning and weaving to prophesy the future of Derryfield was Samuel Blodget, a trader of Goffstown. He gained some water rights and on May 1, 1793, began on the east side of the river, a canal and locks, for carrying freight. On May 1, 1807, the canal was finished and opened with joyful demonstrations. All that has happened in following years seems indirect fulfillment of his prophecy at that time, namely, "As the country increases in population, we must have manufacturers, and here at my canal shall be the Manchester of America." In 1810 the name of the town was changed to Manchester, and from his small beginning has developed one of the great cotton manufacturing centers of America.
In the meantime Benjamin Pritchard had been busily engaged in a daring enterprise. He had bought a water right on the west side of the falls, and in the fall of 1805 he started spinning cotton with second-hand machinery in a wooden one-storey building. At first he was unsuccessful but, gaining the help of four others, he enlarged the original mill and began spinning cotton yarns. In 1810, to gain more capital, they obtained an act of incorporation from the legislature under the the name of The Amoskeag Cotton and Woolen Manufacturing Co. Their spinning jenny, with only eight spindles, was run by power but the picking and carding was let out to be done on hand looms by women of the neighborhood. A smart weaver earned thirty-six cents a day at the average rate of three cents per yard.
From 1805 to 1824 some additions
were made but the venture was un
succesful financially. The property changed hands twice, passing in 1824 to a group of men who reorganized it under the name of the Amoskeag Manufacturing Co. This last transfer of the property was the beginning of continued and unbroken success in the manufacture of cotton, and, as a result, of the prosperous development of Manchester.
The three first mills were known as the Old Mill, The Island Mill and the Bell Mill and manufactured shirtings, sheetings and tickings. By 1847 these three buildings had all been destroyed by fire at different times, but they were not rebuilt as other mills had taken their place.
The owners, forseeing the need of more power and land, had obtained most of the water rights at Amoskeag and by 1835 all the rights on the Merrimack between Manchester and Concord, obtaining also large grants of land on both sides of the river for future mills and the growth of the city. Soon they started to lay out streets, plant elms, and plot house-lots to sell to those wishing to build. Much of the orderly, attractive arrangement of Manchester is due to these pioneers of the textile industry.
Now in 1838 a division was made in the work. Several men decided to form a new company for the manufacture of cotton goods alone. They purchased land and water rights from the Amoskeag, arranged with them for the construction of a mill, and obtained from the Legislature an act of incorporation under the name of Stark Manufacturing Co. On June 24, 1839, the canal was filled for the first time and they began to grind cards. On July 21st, "they got off two pieces of cloth, having been less than one month from grinding the cards to the production of cloth." Such deliberateness did not last long however. By the early fifties more mills had been built, equipment increased and improv
ed, the combined production of which was 2,180,000 two-bushel bags, 8,000,000 yards of sheeting, drilling and duck. annually. The payroll was $30,000 a month. This achievement might well have seemed the fulfillment of that early vision of the settlers, but development had not ended, for from 1863 to 1880 the record was one of steady growth in every way, in looms, spindles, and buildings. By 1880, they were employing 950 women, 250 men, and had a payroll of $40,000 a month.
It is interesting to compare the working conditions of seventy years ago with those of to-day. In the first place, unbelievable as it may seem, the employees worked thirteen hours a day, part of the time by lard oil in tin lamps set under the looms, as gas was not used until 1851. The hours for work varied with the season so that there were eight different schedules for the day's employment of which the few below are samples.
The 1st bell rings at 42 o'clock
"From the 20th of November to the 1st of February.
The 1st bell rings at 5 o'clock
"From the 1st to the 20th of Novem- ing to Saturday night, they were glad
to be busy and to earn so much money. The French came to Manchester after the Civil War, the Swedes in 1882, but the great immigration wave did not come until after 1905.
But to resume the story of the mills. From 1880 to 1899, the Stark Mills were not only doubled in size but strengthened financially. Severe competition was encountered however and the Stark mills changed hands several times, working under new management
"From the 1st of March to the 1st of always with increase in equipment and
production. Finally in 1913 the company became a Massachusetts corporation, surrendering for the first time its New Hampshire charter and assuming the name of Intrenational Cotton Mills with Lockwood Greene & Co. as Managers. When America entered the World War, The Stark was able to meet the demands of the government and fulfil them so efficiently that by 1921, when business was resumed on a
The hands work before breakfast.
"From the 20th of March to the 1st of May.
As long as the hands can see to advantage
"From the 1st of May to the 1st of September. Work until 7 o'clock.
"The dinner bell rings at 121⁄2 o'clock the year round. From the 1st of May to the 31st of August the hands are allowed 45 minutes; from the 1st of September to the 30th of April, 30 minutes.
These changes go on endlessly. It is difficult to see how such complicated changing schedules could be followed when one compares them with that of the Stark Mill in 1920.
"Monday to Friday inclusive-7:15 A. M. to 12 M.; 1 P. M. to 5 P. M. Saturday 7:15 A. M. to 11:30 A.
The pay was as small as the hours were long. A girl who averaged one dollar a day was envied by her companions, all of whom thought themselves fortunate to be able to save two dollars and fifty cents a week above board and room rent. The employees were all English people from the surrounding country, simple in habits, and in tastes. Although the mill gave little time for pleasure from Monday morn
peace basis, the Stark Mills' annual production was 30,000,000 yards and their pay roll for 1,700 employees, $1,500,000.
Due to financial depression and other reasons, the Stark Mills have been absorbed within the last year by the Amoskeag, which brings us again to a consideration of the parent organization. What has it been doing in the interval which has so prospered the Stark?
This is a question which probably the greater number of readers can answer readily. We all know how steadily the industry has increased with constant extension along all lines. Only a detailed summary of their career could reveal, however, how truly marvelous has been the part the Amoskeag has played in the life of Manchester, and in the world as well, for as early as 1851 the company was awarded its first medal for superiority of goods at the World's Fair in London. Scarcely a year passed without a step forward for the organization in acquisitions and production. In 1871 a new dam was constructed which served until recently when another slightly below the old in position, far wider and more expansive has been completed, while plans for still another below Goffs Falls are under consideration. In 1905 the Amory and the Manchester Mills were purchased and new buildings have been added, the largest of which is the Coolidge Mill, built in 1909. The many organizations for the employees are undoubtedly well known and are only mentioned as another indication of what the Amoskeag has become.
It is unnecessary to list here increase in machinery, spindles, and amount
manufactured. The only statistics given will be the fact that the Amoskeag now employs 16,500 hands and has reached this number through the stages shown in the brief table below:
TABLE SHOWING WAGES PAID PER YEAR AT END OF 10 YEAR PERIODS 1831$36,298
Recent events in the life of the textile industry are too vivid in the minds of all to need further recital here. Its growth is a wonderful history of the growth of a city also, and of the plans and work of many men throughout their lifetime.
To one family especially does great credit belong for the prosperity of the mills, to the Straws, who for three generations have served as agent. On July 26, 1856, Mr. Ezekiel Straw was chosen for the responsible place, was succeeded by his Mr. Herman Straw, while at present Mr. William Parker Straw holds the position of vast importance in the life of so so many thousands.
Their effort has been made possible and aided by the Merrimack River, which now, with our help and thought in turn, will make it possible for Manchester to retain the high place she has
About Our Recent Travels
HERE was once an old resident of Franklin, named Benson, whose memory, of unusual keenness, went back, so he said, to the days when the rivers were nothing but young little brooks, which, strangely enough, ran in the opposite direction to that which the rivers now take. Some say, perhaps from jealousy, that Benson's memory was helped by generous imbibing of hard cider. We are not, of course, in a position to vouch for the truth of the story. But we are more inclined to believe there may be truth in it now that we have been in Franklin and know something at first hand about the versatility of those rivers.
Our sojourn in the city covered three days. When we arrived, the rivers were quietly murmuring along between welldefined banks of new white snow. To our untutored eye there were, even then, a bewildering assortment of streams, but after Mr. Herrick Aiken had drawn for us a beautiful topographical map, navigation seemed simple.
And then-the Deluge! The place became alive with rivers. We got all mixed up and were in constant fear lest we should walk right down the middle. of the Pemigewasset under the impression that it was Main Street. On the whole the walking looked smoother in the river.
The picture of ourself picking our way gingerly among rioting rivers is one of those photographed on our memory by our brief stay in Franklin. But there are many others.
There is one of a busy office where Mr. Richard Sulloway, with an energy eloquent of big business, is testing out some yarn, winding it up on a wheel and stretching it out on apparatus that looks like a cross between a grandfather's clock and a penny-in-the-slot weighing
machine, while we watch fascinated from the doorway.
There is another of Mr. G. L. Hancock demonstrating graphically, with the aid of a thread ripped from his coatlining, the mysteries of the action of a latch needle.
Another is a view from the Library window across the river to the western hills, behind which, attended by magnificient sun dogs to the north and to the south, the sun is just going down. We are indebted to Mrs. Barron Shirley for much valuable help in our pursuit of Franklin's history, but we are most grateful to her for our first introduction to those rainbow pillars of the western sky.
Another picture shows Mr. F. N. Proctor, wielding a murderous Indian battle axe behind the cashier's cage of the Franklin National Bank. Heaven help any bank robber who ventures that way!
A glimpse of the city from the high hill where Mr. James Aiken's home stands, and where in days gone by they used to trap wild pigeons; a picture of a curly-headed little girl, who, with flattering appreciation of the details of our costume, welcomed us at the door of Mr. Herrick Aiken's house; a mill interior with long lines of girls happily busy at the intricate processes of stocking manufacture; the clean, white cafeteria of that same mill where lunch for the workers is in process of preparation-these are a few of the pictures which made our short visit an event to remember with pleasure.
We don't like to think how near we came to missing it. But that trick of mind which keeps one's thoughts run
ning upon details of near escapes, insistently brings ours back to this question: Should we have dared to venture into the town had we read before we started the awesome and alarming statement we later discovered in a dusty tome in the Library: "The town has produced more brains, other things being equal, than any other municipality of New Hampshire."
Were you disappointed last month by being unable to get a copy of the -H. F. M. GRANITE MONTHLY? Lots of people were. The edition sold out almost before it was off the press. There's one way to avoid such disappointments for yourself and your friends. The coupon on the contents page of the magazine makes it easy for you"A word to the wise-"
Our cover picture was taken at the Webster birthplace in Franklin last summer during the time of the meeting of the Grange.
Next month-The American Legion! Do you know what an important work it is doing for New Hampshire? Do you know how it is helping in civic betterment in our towns and cities? The Granite Monthly for May will carry the story.
"Along Came Mary Ann" is the title of an interesting article by Miss Daisy Williamson of New Hampshire State College, which we hoped to present to you this month, but which we were forced to postpone because of lack of space. But it's coming.
A second installment of GEORGE B. UPHAM'S account of Claremont's early days cannot fail to be of interest to his many friends in Claremont.
COOL. whose second article
The New Hampshire Farm Bureau is proud of the fact that, according to many experts, it receives more pub-issue. are Manchester's young women. licity, both in and out of New Hampshire, than any other farm bureau in the East. Therefore, it is proud of H. STYLES BRIDGES, who as Secretary of the Bureau is responsible for that publicity. Mr. Bridges is a University of Maine man. The article on Holsteins is the first of a series. Ayershire's next month!
Both LUCILLE CONANT, whose charming sketch heads the story “A Play Day," and VIVIAN SAVA
The Brookes More Prize of $50 for the best poem published in the Granite Monthly during 1922 was promptly paid by Mr. More and should by this time be in the hands of Miss Helen Mowe Philbrook, the winner.
Miss Savacool begins this month her management of our book review department.
JAMES O. LYFORD needs no introduction to Granite Monthly readers. One of our leading Republican statesmen, he undoubtedly knows more about Legislatures past and present than any other man living.
ELLEN BARDEN FORD is a writer of charming sketches and stories who lives in Lebanon, N. H.
MABEL SAWYER, who has three poems in this magazine, is the wife of Secretary of State Sawyer,