So today I went on a lovely tour of the Boott Mills with one of my classes. Although initially I was not exactly thrilled, I actually learned a lot about some of Lowell’s history and found out some very interesting facts about Lowell!
From 1821 to 1850, Lowell created multiple canals that made it the mill city it is known as today. Lowell was the center of the Industrial Revolution due to its proximity to the Merrimack River. What makes Lowell so unique is the 37 foot drop in the river. The drop was able to generate enough energy to power the mills in Lowell. When mill cities were attempted in other areas, they lacked this energy, which made it more difficult for them to power the mills.
Here is a not so great picture of one of the water wheels we tested on. Basically the point was to see what type of water flow and what type of wheel design could move water the fastest as well as handle resistance. We performed multiple tests and were able to find out that a bucket wheel and an overhead drop was the most efficient way to power a mill.
This area of Lowell is such a great place to walk around. Spending an afternoon walking around the mills was a nice break from studying and gave me a chance to learn more about the history that takes place here.
The Boott Mills are open from 9:30am to 5pm all week long so definitely try to get down there and see some great history!