Sepia Saturday

1909.163

This week Sepia Saturday bloggers are transported back to the Gilded Age, to the mills.

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Saw mill, Ireland, 1901

I wouldn’t want to work here.

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Richmond Spring Mills, Tennessee, 1910

How old do you think that young, barefoot mill worker is?

Silk1

Weaving Silk in China

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France 18th Century weaving

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4 thoughts on “Sepia Saturday

  1. The Richmond Mills photo is really interesting – particularly the angle. I think the photographer was very deliberate in their choice of perspective.

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  2. Not all employers who hired children to work in their mills were uncaring. Some hired teachers to educate the younger children who were then spent some of their day in the ‘classroom’. As is the case even today, some employers provided outside opportunities for their workers such as education and recreational options. Happy workers are productive workers, so it was/is a win-win situation for all concerned. Too bad all employers didn’t (and don’t) subscribe to that idea.

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  3. An interesting set. The last two show what how weaving was once a cottage industry. Still very labor intensive considering the time and effort to make yarn and thread. Last year I went to Northern Ireland where my great grandfather was born. He was supposedly a “weaver” when emigrated in the 1890s. Linen is the fabric of Ireland and I went to one museum which outlined the many backbreaking steps necessary to turn flax into fabric. I don’t think it was a pleasant pastoral life. More likely he worked in a mill and as a youth may have resembled that barefoot boy in Tennessee.

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