Return to Content

Timeline of Lowell History

1843: Dr. J. C. Ayer opens a lab for patent medicines, soon a major local industry.

1844: Sarah Bagley and the Lowell Female Labor Reform Association fight for a 10-hour workday.

1850: Lowell is home to 40 textile mills, 10,000 looms, and 10,000 millworkers, producing 50,000 miles of cloth a year: largest industrial complex in the U.S., second-largest MA city.

1861: Volunteer militiamen Luther Ladd and Addison Whitney of Lowell are killed in a riot in Baltimore, MD: first Union casualties of the Civil War.

1876: Dr. Augustin Thompson invents Moxie. Marketed initially as a “nerve food,” it outsells Coca-Cola into the 1920s.

1877: Alexander Graham Bell demonstrates his telephone in Lowell. Two years later, Lowell is the first U.S. city to have phone numbers.

1894: Lowell Normal School for teacher education is founded, followed by Lowell Textile School a year later: roots of today’s University of Massachusetts at Lowell.

1900: 43 percent of Lowell’s population is foreign-born (Irish, French Canadian, Scottish, Greek, Polish, Italian, Armenian, Portuguese, Swedish, Lithuanian, Syrian, Lebanese, Russian, and other nationalities).

1908: Bette Davis is born in Lowell.

1912: Lowell’s labor activists organize in sync with the “Bread & Roses” strike downriver in Lawrence, MA.

1920s: Lowell’s textile industry declines, with companies moving to the South. City population peaks at 112,759.

1922: Jack Kerouac is born in Lowell.

1925: Edith Nourse Rogers represents Lowell and surrounding District 5 communities in Congress, serving through 1960: longest continuous congressional service by a woman.

1931: Harper’s Magazine describes Lowell as a “depressed industrial desert.”

1936: A major flood ravages Lowell.

Please Note: This information was accurate at the time of publication. When planning a trip, please confirm details by directly contacting any company or establishment you intend to visit.

Tags: , ,

Give the Gift of Yankee Magazine and get a Gift in Return!

Send a one-year gift subscription of Yankee Magazine for only $17.99 a 50% savings. In return we will send you a free 2016 Scenes of New England Calendar (a $9.95 value)!


No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

We reserve the right to remove or edit comments that are offensive or disrespectful to our readers and/or writers, cannot be verified, lack clarity, or contain profanity. Your comments may be republished by Yankee Magazine across multiple platforms.

Register Sign In

©2015, Yankee Publishing Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Yankee Publishing Inc., | P.O. Box 520, Dublin, NH 03444 | (603) 563-8111

< Prev

Lowell, MA: Poet Paul Marion

Paul MarionMr. Alphonse Hudon, / wearing a blue parka and dress hat, / leans on his ...

Related Articles

Next >

Mayor of Fitchburg, MA: Lisa Wong

As the former director of Fitchburg's Redevelopment Authority, Mayor Lisa Wong is spearheading the long-term economic recovery of this venerable industrial city. Her goals include the revitalization of downtown, while preserving its historic character.In November 2007, residents of Fitchburg, Massachusetts, overwhelmingly elected Lisa Wong, a 28-year-old political novice ...

Related Articles