The Factory Girl's Song


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.”

Date Made: 1840s1835 - 1855

Location: Currently not on view

Place Made: United States: New England

Subject: Girlslabor issuesMusicTextile Processing and Production


See more items in: Home and Community Life: Textiles, Cultures & Communities, Work, American Enterprise, Industry & Manufacturing


Exhibition Location:

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: 2013.0125.01Accession Number: 2013.0125Catalog Number: 2013.0125.01

Object Name: broadside

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


Record Id: nmah_1445159

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