Factory Girl’s Song

Description
This broadside contains the lyrics to “The Factory Girl’s Song,” a folk song whose origins date back at least to the 1830s. The song’s nineteen 4-line stanzas describe the daily work of the mill girls in different jobs: spinning, weaving, and dressing the finished cloth. At the end the singer tells of returning home to marry, giving up the rigors of tending the machinery and working for harsh overseers. The song may have originated in Lowell, Massachusetts, but some scholars suggest that the reference to wages earned in “shillings” instead of dollars may mean it had connections to Canadian immigrants to the Lowell textile mills. Several iterations of the song are known, including “The Lowell Factory Girl”, “The Factory Girl’s Come-All-Ye” from Lewiston, Maine, and generalized versions titled “Factory Girl.”
Object Name
broadside
date made
1840s
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
printer's ink (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 9 1/2 in x 5 3/4 in; 24.13 cm x 14.605 cm
place made
United States
ID Number
2013.0125.01
accession number
2013.0125
catalog number
2013.0125.01
subject
Cultures & Communities
Work
Industry & Manufacturing
American Enterprise
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Textiles
American Enterprise
Exhibition
American Enterprise
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

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