Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Weathervane Wednesday ~ Above a Textile Mill

Huzzah!  Today is the 300th Weathervane Wednesday post!

Weathervane Wednesday is an on-going series of photographs I post weekly.  I started out by publishing only weather vanes from the Londonderry area, but now I've been finding interesting weather vanes from all over New England.  Sometimes these weather vanes are whimsical, or historical, but all are very unique.  Often, my readers tip me off to some very special and unusual weather vanes.  This weathervane photo today was sent in by a reader and a fellow genealogy blogger.

Today's weather vane is from somewhere in Massachusetts.

Do you know the location of weather vane #300?  Scroll down to see the answer...

These very interesting photographs were sent to me by genealogy blogger Barbara Poole from Lowell, Massachusetts.  She often posts photo essays of her home city and the surrounding area, and has published some lovely photos of the Lowell National Historic Park and the textile mills.  This weathervane is located on the cupola above the Boott Mill.

The weathervane is a replica of a flying shuttle from a loom.  I used to weave on a table loom, and I recognized the shuttle right away.  The shuttle is a symbol of Lowell, and can be found on many items in the Lowell National Park giftshop, and on the literature about the park and the city.  The shuttle held the warp yarns and it was passed from side to side across the vertical yarns.  In the mechanized looms in the mills these flying shuttles would fly very fast back and forth.  When you visit the Boott Mill you will see a floor of looms operating, and the shuttles are actually going across the fabric with cotton yarns.  The noise is deafening, and the entire building vibrates with the machinery.  Imagine how the young mill girls felt when every floor of the building was operating with hundreds of looms!

The Boott Mill is part of a large complex that includes demonstration area for the Lowell National Park.  It also includes condos, apartments, office space and other uses.  The Mill girl housing built in 1837 for the original female employees is part of the Boot Mill complex and offers exhibits, too.

Lowell National Historic Park

Flying Shuttle article at Wikipedia

Barbara Poole's genealogy blog Life from the Roots:

I posted a nice weathervane with a spindle in 2015 at this link:  


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Weathervane Wednesday ~ Above a Textile Mill", Nutfield Genealogy, posted March 1, 2016, ( accessed [access date]).

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