History of Industry

Village of Whitinsville

Whitinsville, MA

John C. Whitin was tinkering the basement workshop of his family’s cotton mill in 1831 when he created a new pick and spreader machine. This machine would break up the chunks of raw cotton and stretch out the fibers so that they could eventually be spun into thread. John’s inventiveness and marketing acumen led to the development of Whitin Machine Works, which would overshadow the family cotton mills and become the world’s largest textile machine shop, eventually employing over 5000 people to make textile machines sold around the world.

Explore Whitinsville and see how the village grew up around the massive brick mill.

Whitin's Pick & Spreader Machine

Whitin’s Pick & Spreader Machine