Amoskeag: Life and Work in an American Factory-City

A Sweatshop During the Industrial Revolution

Main Street, Corner Cabot
Main Street, Corner Cabot.

Hamilton Street School
Hamilton Street School.
        The habit of saving is itself an education. It fosters every virtue. It teaches self-denial. It cultivates a sense of order. It trains to forethought, and so broadens the mind. It reveals the meaning of the word business, which is something very different from its routine. One may know all the forms of business, even in a practical way, without having the business characteristic.

Sargeant Street
Sargeant Street.
Were a merchant to chose for a partner a young man thoroughly conversant with the business, but having expensive, self-indulgent personal habits, or one not yet versed in its details, but who knows how to keep a dollar when he has earned it, he would unhesitatingly take the latter.
        The habit of saving, while it has its dangers, even fosters generousity. The great givers have been great savers. The miserly habit is not acquired, but inborn. Not there lies the danger. The divinely-ordered method of saving so educates and establishes such order i the man, and brings him into so intelligent a relation to the world, that he becomes a benefactor. It is coarse thinking to confound spending with generosity, or saving with meanness.
        (2.) I vary the strain but little when I say, Avoid a self-indulgent spending of money.
        The great body of young men in our country are in the receipt of such incomes that the question whether a thing can be afforded or not becomes a highly rational inquiry. With incomes ranging from a dollar or less per day to a thousand dollars a year, there is room for the play of that wise word, afford. I think it tends to shut out several things that are very generally indulged in.

The Third Level Canal, Near Riverside
The Third Level Canal, Near Riverside.

The Old South Holyoke Ferry
The Old South Holyoke Ferry.

Halcyon Boat House
Halcyon Boat House.

Outskirts of Springdale
Outskirts of Springdale
With a Glimpse of Elmwood on the Hill.

© Laurel O’Donnell 1996 - 2006, all rights reserved
This document may be downloaded for personal non-commercial use only
and may not be reproduced or distributed without permission in any format.
This is an edited adaptation from the original publication.