Overnight sensation

  19th Century mill buildings on the Pawtucket Canal, in Lowell.

19th Century mill buildings on the Pawtucket Canal, in Lowell.

"Overnight the brick town of Lowell {Mass.} rose on the Merrimack River, attracting hundreds of farmers' daughters with  relatively high wages. For a generation the Lowell factory girls, with their neat dresses, proud deportment and literary weekly, were one of the wonders of America -- the first which Charles Dickens, arriving in New England, requested to see.

-- From How New England Happened, by Christina Tree