The Boston Manufacturing Company was a business that operated the first factory in America. It was organized in 1813 by Francis Cabot Lowell, a wealthy Boston merchant, in partnership a group of investors known as The Boston Associates, for the manufacture of cotton textiles. It built the first integrated spinning and weaving factory in the world at Waltham, Massachusetts, using water power. They used plans for a power loom that he smuggled out of England as well as trade secrets from the earlier horse-powered Beverly Cotton Manufactory, of Beverly, Massachusetts, of 1788. This was the largest factory in the U.S., with a workforce of about 300. It was a very efficient, highly profitable mill that, with the aid of the Tariff of 1816, competed effectively with British textiles at a time when many smaller operations were being forced out of business. While the Rhode Island System that followed was famously employed by Samuel Slater, the Boston Associates improved upon it with the "Waltham System". The idea was successfully copied at Lowell, Massachusetts and elsewhere in New England. Many rural towns now had their own textile mills.
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