US Textile Production in Historical Perspective

A Case Study from Massachusetts

By Susan Ouellette

© 2013 – Routledge

122 pages

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780415653084
pub: 2012-09-09
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Hardback: 9780415979887
pub: 2006-11-29
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About the Book

This book explores the development of a provincial textile industry in colonial America. Immediately after the end of the Great Migration into the Massachusetts Bay colony, settlers found themselves in a textile crisis. They were not able to generate the kind of export commodities that would enable them to import English textiles in the quantities they required. This study examines the promotion of domestic textile manufacture from the level of the Massachusetts legislature down to the way in which individual communities organized individual productive efforts. Although other historians have examined early cloth production in colonial homes, they have tended to dismiss domestic cloth-making as a casual activity among family members rather than a concerted community effort at economic development. This study looks closely at the networks of production and examines the methods that households and communities organized themselves to meet a very critical need for cloth of all kinds. It is a social history of cloth-making that also employs the economic and political elements of Massachusetts Bay to tell their story.

Table of Contents

List of Charts

Introduction

Chapter 1 — Sheep Flocks And Wool Harvests

Chapter 2 — Flax From The Field, Cotton From The Sea

Chapter 3 — Textile Skills Across Place And Time

Chapter 4 — The Organization Of Production

Chapter 5 — Good "English" Cloth

Notes

Bibliography

Index

About the Author

Susan Ouellette is the chair of the History Department at Saint Michael's College.

About the Series

Studies in American Popular History and Culture

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HIS000000
HISTORY / General
HIS036000
HISTORY / United States / General
HIS054000
HISTORY / Social History