Notice for Sunday, January 16: Due to inclement weather, the National Museum of American History will close at 2 p.m..

The Factory Girl's Song

The Factory Girl's Song

Usage conditions apply
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.”
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
1835 - 1855
place made
United States: New England
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
printer's ink (overall material)
overall: 9 1/2 in x 5 3/4 in; 24.13 cm x 14.605 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
labor issues
Textile Processing and Production
See more items in
Cultural and Community Life: Textiles
Cultures & Communities
Industry & Manufacturing
American Enterprise
Data Source
National Museum of American History
Nominate this object for photography.   

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.


Add a comment about this object