Cyclopædia of Political Science, Political Economy, and the Political History of the United States
"WALTHAM SYSTEM," a term much used in connection with the manufacture of cotton and woolen goods during the period from 1814 to 1830. Prior to the war of 1812, the processes of carding, spinning, weaving and fulling, were carried on in separate establishments under different proprietors. But in 1813, in consequence of the inventions of Francis Cabot Lowell, the Boston manufacturing company was enabled to combine all these processes in their establishment at Waltham. Boarding houses for their operatives, and the periodical payment of wages in money, in lieu of payment in provisions and clothing from the factory store, were also introduced. This system was soon afterward introduced at Lowell, and soon became general. The advantages of the Waltham system, alike to manufacturers and workmen, are too obvious to require explanation.
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