The Lowell Offering
The Lowell Offering is a literary magazine edited and written by the factory workers of the cotton mill in the year 1840 to 1845, these years stand at the intersection of capitalism and industrial development in the United States. These years have changed the modes of literally production, authorship, and identity of gender. Lowell, Massachusetts, in the year 1800 was developed as the cotton center of the large cotton mills which was operated by the Boston Associates groups. The transition of the life of the rural to the labor that too in the region of the Lowell, by the young women. The urban industry was established by womanhood. The farm owners have left the traditional way of learning to be a wage earner which was an important milestone in women getting out of the house to become bread owned and independent in developing a new skill. The idea of developing a literary work that eases the tension between the culture by motivating the women to work in the factory.
The main focus was not including the women, in the process of industrialization but they also raised the marginal product and the gender norms were broken. The conventional pattern of marriage and courtship was broken, by the factory labor. Despite these positive outcomes, there were a few drawbacks such as young women being threatened to have become wage salve which results in the abuse of the laborer.
Between 1840 to 1845, the pages by the mills become a place for the young women to have an experience of freedom and independence another importance of the mill workers was that company stood up to the parents of rural areas. The mill workers have written the first issue of the offering to the rural people, their labor used to write poetics, autobiographical and fictional accounts. They used to write about the cultural exposure they had in the mill along with it the opportunity provided to exposure to culture in the form of lectures, performances, and reading groups which were sponsored by the Boston Associates. The most prominent contributor of Sarah Bagley wrote The Pleasures of Factory Life”.
The letters have provided the significance of home which the urban industrial space has made less important. The indusrtization has increased education and the attention has been diverted to the piety hinterlands. During the days of offering the work hours of the mill workers were twelve-hour and six days a week. The offering has hinted at the problems of the mill workers in terms of adjustment from the rural areas to urban industrialization. The satisfaction of the girls in order to the mill working can be evidently seen in the demand of the factory. One opinion which prevails in Massachusetts and the areas around was that the manufacturing of the Lowell was full of ignorance and depravity.
However, the opinion of the people was not true. The letter also reflected on the reduction of work hours, to ten hours. The offering also acknowledged the conflict between the factory girls and the management, which resulted in the working conditions which were difficult and also did prevail. The writer described the difficult working conditions by stating the noise of the machines affected the hearing of the girls by saying that the cotton wools were in her ears. Another difficulty she mentioned was that she has trouble standing which made her feel swell and ached which she wanted to get used to. In 1845, the writer of the letters Sarah Bagley elaborated the people to the lofe of the factory on the issues “The Pleasures of Factory Life” and reflected the control by the influence of corporation. The offering has importance in the meaning of the cultural activities, which are reading and writing, however, the authors of the offerings did not re4cognise themselves as literacy masters and they write in a limited mode of displaying their sentiments and feeling, they used to write about the self-consciously which is seen as the depiction of the womanhood.
Shaw, A. (2020). ‘We Could Do, Perhaps, More Good There Than Here’: Harriet Farley and the Transatlantic Audience of the Lowell Offering. Women’s Writing, 27(4), pp.416–427.
Spencer, S. (2019). ‘Let Me Launch upon the Sea of Genius’: Reimagining the Lowell Offering as Education Reform Literature in Antebellum America. American Periodicals: A Journal of History & Criticism, [online] 29(1), pp.63–75. Available at: https://muse.jhu.edu/article/720292/summary.