Slater Mill is the birthplace of modern American industry. As part of their visit, students will be taken through three buildings:
In the Slater Mill, opened in 1793, students will see the original factory floor and machine layout as it was in Mr. Slater's day. Interpreters will guide students through the history of the industrial revolution, periodically bringing the tour to life with various demonstrations of the still-working factory equipment.
In the Wilkinson Mill, opened in 1810, students will see the machine tool shop used to service Mr. Slater's original mill. Students will see a working 16,000 pound water wheel in the shop's wheel pit. Upstairs, our interpreters will explain how the factory transferred power from the Blackstone River into real working machines. Students will see massive gears moving overhead that power the still-functioning drills, lathes, and other machines.
In the 1758 Sylvanus Brown House students will see how a middle class artisan family would have lived in the late 18th century prior to the industrial revolution. Here, interpreters will demonstrate pre-industrial manufactures techniques so students can better understand the true meaning of the factory manufacturing methods they will see in the other buildings.
Students will also visit the nearby Visitor Center, which features a large floor map and a film that lend historical background and modern perspective to the students' visit.
One travel guide describes their Slater Mill visit: "We were frankly startled by the completeness fo this exceptional visitor attraction...Interpreters have a remarkable amount to show you...There's nothing quite like this."
This project attempts to help students see why Pawtucket, and Slater Mill, is the birthplace of Industrialization of America.
The project seeks to to identify a vaiety of factors that commended Pawtucket as the ideal site for early American industry. It seeks to show why the earliest industrial development occurred in Pawtucket as opposed to larger, wealthier and more prominent places such as Boston, Baltimore, Philadelphia or New York City.
The State Arts Council has decided to designate an initial $20,000 from its federal grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to help schools with the cost of hiring buses to transport students to arts and cultural events and programs. For more information visit RISCA.