Nashua Manufacturing Company

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Nashua Manufacturing Company and the Nashua River in 1909, still in its heyday.

The Nashua Manufacturing Company was a cotton textile manufacturer in Nashua, New Hampshire that operated from 1823 to 1945.

History[edit]

Map of Mine Falls Park in green with the Nashua Manufacturing Company Historic District east of that in light blue.
Part of the company's original mill complex, now Clocktower Place

It was one of several textile companies that helped create what today encompasses the City of Nashua. Nashua was one of several towns that blossomed along the Merrimack River to take advantage of water power in the early days of the Industrial Revolution; the most notable of these today are the Merrimack mills (founded 1821) at Lowell, Massachusetts where the American Textile History Museum is located, and the Amoskeag mills (founded 1825) at Manchester, New Hampshire, where the Millyard Museum is located. The Nashua Manufacturing Company was incorporated in 1823 on the initiative of Daniel Abbot (today considered the "father of Nashua", he renamed the town from Dunstable, New Hampshire to Nashua in 1803). He and several other local tradesmen began the company after quietly buying up land from the banks of the Merrimack along the Nashua River up to Mine Falls, as they planned to use the falls to power their mills, rather than the Merrimack.[1] They hired Asher Benjamin to design the mills, including churches and a grid of streets.[1] They modelled their plans on the experiment at Lowell with the Lowell Mill Girls. They were highly successful, and after digging the Nashua power canal were able to build more mill buildings and hire more labor, resulting in the town's population rising from 100 to 1200 in the years 1824-1828.[1]

The company started its own bank in 1835 to pay its workers in its own currency, the Nashua Bank (later the Indian Head Bank). Though others began mills in the same period, the Nashua Manufacturing Company was always the largest and during the 19th and early 20th centuries, it bought several other textile manufacturers, including Jackson Company, Indian Head Mills, and Tremont and Suffolk Mills.[2] The company owned a major part of the land along the Nashua River, that it used for powering its machines, and the largest contiguous portion of these properties encompassing 400 acres is now protected as Mine Falls Park and the Nashua Manufacturing Company Historic District.

It was acquired by Textron Inc., in 1945. The company shut the Nashua Mills in 1948.[3]

Six of the mill buildings along the Nashua River were converted into luxury apartments in the mid- to late-1990s and are now known as Clocktower Place Apartments. The former company properties in Nashua are listed as a historic district on the National Register of Historic Places.

References[edit]

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