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Organization Spotlight: Old Slater Mill National Historic Landmark

Old Slater Mill National Historic Landmark

By: Samantha Lavoie

From Spring, 2020

The Old Slater Mill Association (OSMA) preserves and stewards the Slater Mill National Historic Landmark for the benefit of all. Recognized internationally as the birthplace of the American Industrial Revolution, the museum celebrates innovation and the entrepreneurial spirit by engaging audiences in relevant cultural, historic, and artistic endeavors. At Old Slater Mill, we interpret the site to visitors globally with a 50-min guided tour through our three historic buildings, 1758 Sylvanus Brown House, the 1810 Wilkinson Mill, and the 1793 Slater Mill. The tour information focuses on Samuel Slater’s earlier life and how he and his colleagues started the Industrial Revolution in Pawtucket, RI. Old Slater Mill also engages audiences through a variety of events, including our largest event, Knitting Weekend, a fiber market that draws in around 1,000 – 2,000 guests from around New England. Every spring and fall our organization offers different fiber art classes at the museum’s Trad Arts Studio, connecting history with art. The most interesting piece in our collection is the Replica Arkwright Waterframe on display in the museum, which was the first successful spinning machine invented by Richard Arkwright in England. It was completed in 1775. As an apprentice, Samuel Slater, in Strutt’s textile mill experienced first-hand the machine, and how to build it with memorization. He used this machine to start Slater Mill in 1793. Slater Mill is located in downtown Pawtucket at 67 Roosevelt Avenue, Pawtucket, RI. We open after the first day of spring in March & April on weekends, 11am – 3pm. In May through October we are open Thursday through Sunday, 10am – 4pm. You can find more information at slatermill.org, email info@slatermill.org, or call 401-725-8638.
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