Lowell, Francis Cabot

Lowell, Francis Cabot,

1775–1817, pioneer American cotton manufacturer, b. Newburyport, Mass.; son of John LowellLowell, John,
1743–1802, American jurist, b. Newburyport, Mass. He became (1762) a lawyer and later served in the provincial assembly (1776, 1778), in the state constitutional convention (1779–80), and in the Continental Congress (1782–83).
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 (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).

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Lowell, Francis Cabot

(1775–1817) textile manufacturer; born in Newburyport, Mass. (son of Judge John Lowell). He worked in import-export trade and observed textile machinery in Lancashire while on a visit to England (1810–12). On his return, he started the Boston Manufacturing Company in Waltham, Mass. (1813) with the assistance of his brother-in-law Patrick Tracy Jackson, Paul Moody, and Nathan Appleton. It was the first mill ever to combine all the operations of making finished cloth from raw cotton. He pushed for high duties on imported cotton cloth. He died prematurely and his partners named their new factory town, Lowell, Mass., after him.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.