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Francis Cabot Lowell

Lowell, Francis Cabot, 1775–1817, pioneer American cotton manufacturer, b. Newburyport, Mass.; son of John Lowell (1743–1802). A merchant in Boston, he traveled (1810) to England, where he studied closely the new machinery used in the textile industry of Lancashire. Upon his return, with the aid of Paul Moody, he designed and constructed the first power loom in America, which had important improvements over its English prototypes. With Patrick T. Jackson (his brother-in-law), Nathan Appleton, and others, he formed the Boston Manufacturing Company and at Waltham, Mass., built the first factory in America to perform all the operations involved in converting raw cotton into cloth. He succeeded in having a duty on cotton incorporated into the tariff law of 1816. Lowell, Mass., founded after his death, was named for him.

See C. F. Ware, The Early New England Cotton Manufacture (1931, repr. 1966).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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