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Amoskeag

Life and Work in an American Factory-City

Tamara K. Hareven and Randolph Langenbach

First published in 1978, this classic book, through vivid oral histories and historic photographs, documents the social and cultural impact of the industry during America’s rise as a manufacturing power. For nearly a century, the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company was chief architect of the social, ethnic, and economic existence of Manchester, New Hampshire. In the early 1900s, it was the largest textile mill in the world, employing 17,000; its red brick facade stretched for nearly a mile along the Merrimack River and its payroll drew immigrants by the thousands. In their own words, laborers, foremen, managers, and town residents paint a detailed portrait of the mill’s nearly feudal dominance of every aspect of their lives and offer their response to this existence, with fierce pride and an unshakable sense of community. When competition, labor unrest, and obsolescence caught up with the mill in 1936, a weaver recalls, “the mills went out and the world stopped for everybody.”

Cover Image of Amoskeag: Life and Work in an American Factory-City
Paper: $35
ISBN-13: 9780874517361
Pages: 410 | Size: 5.25 in. x 8 in.
Date Published: September 1, 1995
Screenshot-2023-10-11-at-16.51.58

[Amoskeag] belongs to the literature of testimony, offering up insights on work experiences, family practices, patterns of sociability, the pleasures and miseries of life and labor in Manchester.

The New Republic

Reviews

  • [Amoskeag] belongs to the literature of testimony, offering up insights on work experiences, family practices, patterns of sociability, the pleasures and miseries of life and labor in Manchester... Tamara Hareven, one of the most intelligent and prolific among contemporary historians of the family, has disclosed something of the life and work patterns of men and women in a great mill. In the course of it, she has also warned us about the insufficiency of simple formulas, the complexity of men and societies, and we are in her debt for it.

    The New Republic

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