- Hardcover: 128 pages
- Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; First Edition edition (September 26, 1983)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0395348307
- ISBN-13: 978-0395348307
- Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 1 x 12.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 45 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #136,702 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Mill Hardcover – September 26, 1983
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In Mill, a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year, David Macaulay pays tribute to the historically important mills of 19th-century New England. Using close-up pen-and-ink illustrations, Macaulay thoroughly explains the Yankee ingenuity that went into the elaborate process of running machines that were generated by the flow of water. In the case of this cotton mill in the imaginary town of Wicksbridge, Macaulay also demonstrates how important the mill was to a community's economic and social viability. In one scene, he shows the men and women celebrating the framing of the mill with a festive, barn-raising-style party. Macaulay tracks the mill's history, expertly explaining how all its new fixtures and materials reflect the political and industrial changes in the country. For example, in 1852 the owner sides with his abolitionist wife and shuns the use of "Negro cloth," inexpensive cloth made from slave-picked cotton. Instead he decides to start producing multi-colored, finer fabrics--a decision that leads to the expansion of the mill and the introduction of the steam engine. This is a finely woven offering, filled with technical intricacies and intriguing historical details. But ultimately, Macaulay's Mill is generated by the human story that led to the building of New England's cotton mills--as well as their eventual demise. (Ages 9 and older) --Gail Hudson
"Well-researched, ambitious, and absorbing, this is another first-rate history lesson from a practiced, perfectionist hand." -- Review
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"1864 August 15: Mary McDonnell was drawn into the machinery by the belting today and lost her right arm below the elbow. I fear the heat will not help her recovery
August 17: Mary McDonnell died today, the infection having spread too quickly from her injury. I will send her wages on to her mother in Southbridge."
This book is supposedly written for children - I first discovered it in an elementary school library - but I find it more suitable for adults. I have found that many history books geared toward the younger set can have information not found in the more adult-oriented books. The Mill by David Macaulay is one of them. The illustrations themselves are very well done, and the details of running a mill is probably the best I have seen thus far.
Great reading about the lifeblood of a 19th century community.
Anyone who is familiar with the writing and illustrative stories of artist/author Eric Sloane will enjoy this work as well.
The illustrations are remakable. David Macaulay deftly describes and illustrates how the technology that made America a world industrial power came to the young new country and how American ingenuity improved it and made the nation into a world class economic juggernaut.
The author is a superb story teller, and anyone who would like to visualize the nature of mills and to understand the profound impact of this technology on our country should read it.
I highly recommend this great children's book to everyone.