Lewiston Sun Journal
In April, the Lewiston City Council voted to demolish the massive Bates Mill No. 5, the last component of the original textile giant, dating from 1850, that is owned by the city. The decision graphically symbolizes the burial of a textile industry. When the textile mills arrived in Maine, public officials viewed them as cathedrals of prosperity and progress, while workers welcomed the opportunity to earn a livelihood. Labor reformers, however, often viewed them as corporate entities that regimented life and work, describing them as "tombs for the living," "living hells," and "prison factories." Over the years, labor made sporadic efforts to rescue the "poor devils" who entered the factory gates and "in the name of humanity" called upon all sentient beings to rush to their rescue.
Scontras, Charles A., "Requiem for an industry" (2009). Bureau of Labor Education. 20.
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