"Provides information on the lawsuit filed against the Hamilton Manufacturing Co. by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Complaint against the Lowell, Massachusetts firm for having a woman work in its factory for more than 60 hours a week; The relevant statute; Arguments of the plaintiff and the defendant; More information."
"The burgeoning textile mills in Lowell, Massachusetts, brought increasing competition among the owners and declining conditions for the workers. In the 1830s the women working in the mills turned to economic protests and collective action; their “turn outs” or strikes proved unsuccessful in combating the wage cuts. In the 1840s mill workers turned to political organization as they mounted annual petition campaigns calling on the state legislature to limit the hours of labor within the mills. These campaigns reached their height in 1845 and 1846, when 2,000 and 5,000 operatives respectively signed petitions. to reduce the hours of labor in the mills. Women operatives organized the Lowell Female Labor Reform Association in 1845. An important part of the campaign was their periodical The Voice of Industry. Another publication, Factory Tracts, was part of their effort to expose conditions in the mills and advocate a ten hour day. Male mechanics and other workers in industrial communities joined the Lowell women operatives' campaign. "