Thomas Somers

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Thomas Somers was one of the original investors and architects for the Beverly Cotton Manufactory in Beverly, Massachusetts.

Beverly Cotton Manufactory

Beverly Cotton Manufactory was the first cotton mill built in America, and the largest cotton mill to be built during its era. It was built hoping for economic success, but reached a downturn due to technical limitations of the then early production process and limitations of the machines being used. Being the birthplace and testing grounds of the cotton milling industry at the time, it has been called the birthplace of the American Industrial Revolution.

Beverly, Massachusetts City in Massachusetts, United States

Beverly is a city in Essex County, Massachusetts, and a suburb of Boston. The population was 39,502 at the 2010 census. A resort, residential, and manufacturing community on the Massachusetts North Shore, Beverly includes Ryal Side, Beverly Farms and Prides Crossing. Beverly is a rival of Marblehead for the title of being the birthplace of the U.S. Navy.

Thomas Somers had traveled, under his own expense, to England the fall of 1785 on behalf of the Tradesmen and Manufacturers of Baltimore, Maryland, in an attempt to procure the machines used for carding and spinning cotton. After some difficulty, he was able to leave England with descriptions and models of the machines used. He returned to Baltimore in the summer of 1786.

Baltimore Largest city in Maryland

Baltimore is an independent city in the state of Maryland within the United States. Baltimore was established by the Constitution of Maryland as an independent city in 1729. With a population of 611,648 in 2017, Baltimore is the largest such independent city in the United States. As of 2017, the population of the Baltimore metropolitan area was estimated to be just under 2.808 million, making it the 20th largest metropolitan area in the country. Baltimore is located about 40 miles (60 km) northeast of Washington, D.C., making it a principal city in the Washington-Baltimore combined statistical area (CSA), the fourth-largest CSA in the nation, with a calculated 2017 population of 9,764,315.

Maryland State of the United States of America

Maryland is a state in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware to its east. The state's largest city is Baltimore, and its capital is Annapolis. Among its occasional nicknames are Old Line State, the Free State, and the Chesapeake Bay State. It is named after the English queen Henrietta Maria, known in England as Queen Mary.

Carding process that disentangles, cleans and intermixes fibres

Carding is a mechanical process that disentangles, cleans and intermixes fibres to produce a continuous web or sliver suitable for subsequent processing. This is achieved by passing the fibers between differentially moving surfaces covered with card clothing. It breaks up locks and unorganised clumps of fibre and then aligns the individual fibers to be parallel with each other. In preparing wool fibre for spinning, carding is the step that comes after teasing.

Shortly after Somers returned, he found out that the boat that was carrying much of his personal property during his stay in England had crashed at Cape Cod, Massachusetts. It is reported that he lost one-half of the property he brought with him.

Cape Cod Cape in the northeastern United States

Cape Cod is a geographic cape extending into the Atlantic Ocean from the southeastern corner of mainland Massachusetts, in the northeastern United States. Its historic, maritime character and ample beaches attract heavy tourism during the summer months.

Somers created a petition to the Legislature of Massachusetts requesting financial assistance in order to afford the equipment needed to begin manufacturing of his designs of a cotton mill. March 8, 1787, the Legislation granted Somers twenty pounds from the Public Treasury which was used to assist both Somers and the startup costs of the Beverly Cotton Manufactory.

Cotton mill factory housing powered spinning or weaving machinery for the production of yarn or cloth from cotton

A cotton mill is a building housing spinning or weaving machinery for the production of yarn or cloth from cotton, an important product during the Industrial Revolution in the development of the factory system.

There is some indication that Somers' contribution to the Beverly Cotton Manufactory was higher in price than what would have been reasonably expected, and that his grasp of the necessities of the Manufactory construction were overestimated. [1]

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References

  1. Bagnall, William R. The Textile Industries of the United States: Including Sketches and Notices of Cotton, Woolen, Silk, and Linen Manufacturers in the Colonial Period. Vol. I. The Riverside Press, 1893.