Chelmsford Historical Society
Outline of Interview 1975 William Tobin
17-born in Lowell,Mass., January 10, 1885
23-moved to North Chelmsford the same year
31-father worked in Lamson's Machine Shop
39-then worked a section on B&M Railroad
45-first lived on Primceton Street
55-father started working for B&M in 1885
61-father died in 1914
66-school was on Princeton Street,where Fire Station is today
78-"I used to raise the dickens in school, and I wasn't getting nowhere"
83-uncle took him to Bartlett school
90-lived with grandmother until graduation in 1900
101-at age 11, worked ten weeks of summer vacation at G.C. Moore
107-"apprentice doffer", description of process
119-wool
121-58 hours per week, 5 days; 6:30 to 12; 12:45 to 5:45, and Saturdays 6-12
133-pay was 2.90 a week
140-second year doffer earned 3.48 per week
144-girls in the spinning room earned 5.22 a week
150-boys picking up waste and oilers earned 4.64 a week
157-older women in roping room (before yarn was spun) earned 6.38 to 7.25 a week. "it was heavy work
161-man's average pay was 1.40 to 1.50 per day, or approximately $9.00 a week
173-location of Moore's Mill
180-original building on left going through mill yard from Midilesex to Princeton Streets
196-fire at Shaw's Store, Second Congregational Church
201-caused by Mr. Shaw's dog
203-Bookkeeper had an old hanging lamp on the floor to heat the office (Miss Draper), the dog knocked it over
208-bookkeeper picked up the light
212-Mr .Tobin was on top of the wool wagon, about 8 years old, jumped down off the wagon, ran to railroad station and told agent John Henry Clark to call Lowell Fire Dept.
231-building burned to the ground, including Second Congregational Church of North Chelmsford
237-Church and mill were connected
243-after fire Moore built his church out to the street, over the burned property
253-Mr. Shaw took over another building further down, it was taken over by Queen and Small when Mr Shaw died
278-G.C. Moore benefiiied greatly from the young summer help he was able to hire, he saved a considerable amount of money, he paid very low wages to younger help and got over 50% more work
306-first year he was an apprentice l second year worked in the combing room for 4.64 a week
316-finished school in 1900, worked at the Baldwin Mill (Now Gilet)
322-Mr Edgar Dixon was Superintendent
330-worked feeding washing machines
353-job hunt
357-trouble with Mr. Dixon
358-swimming hole
368-Mr. Tobin thrown into canal
376-Lowell paper route
382-G.C. Prince coordinated paper distribution
402-job offer, Baldwin Mills
410-Silver and Gay Machine Shop burned previous year (lt was located where Hadley Upholstery Shop is)
418-racial references
435-went inside mill for summer
436-fed wool to dryers
441-assisted Owney McGraugh (80)
446-on morning McGraugh didn't show for work, Mr. Tobin took the initiative and Mr. Dixon made him boss
504-stayed at Baldwin 11 years
507-worked late hours and Sundays
515-Liberty Square, Lowell, up Fletcher St., from Depot, made electric motors
520-this was around 1902
522-had contract for fans used in stoker rooms of US Battleships
527-wanted to be a winder
529-discouraged because he was Only allowed to run a lathe
532-others with influence got jobs before him
537-Mr. Dixon lived on the corner fo Church and Middlesex Sts.
542-requested Mr. Tobin to come back to Baldwin Mills
549-used to visit North Chelmsford Depot at night when he was young; sometimes stayed with operator all night, learned Morse Code
553-April 19, 1906 took electric car to Boston to take dispatchers exam to work on railroad
563-Mr. Trombley, Agent in North Chelmsford, one day delivered a message to Mr. Tobin to report to Clinton Junction for work
565-he was to care for the transfer of mail going into Worcester on the WN&P
570-worked there 6 to 8 months
572-traveled by electric car
578-then became the checker at North Chelmsford station when
Ed Dougherty left his job to work at the Robinson Mill in Lowell
583-Tobin was able to transfer immediatly
596-the Checker's job in North was to check cargo going into the mills; Tobin did this for a few months, then another job opening occurred when Arther Wheeler, the telegraph operator left
607-double shift
623-job advancement
634-pay at North Chelmsford
641-transferred to West Chelmsford for about 6 months
650-then became an agent, 1906-1910
654-bid off the first trick operator and ticket agent in North Somerville; worked there 6 or 7 months
658-then took a temporary third trick bid in Lowell
670-worked in Lowell depot for five years
673-North Chelmsford Tower was near the Merrimack River, behind Proctor Lumber near the foot of Church Street
682-worked the Tower for 33 years
683-then all the Towers were consolidated
696-went to Tower on Plain Street
15-worked there 1948-1956, retired from B&M after 50 years
30-this work involved operation of levers to throw track switches
39-Lowell had one of the biggest towers in the East
52-train director in North Chelmsford
54-governed tracks between N. Chel. and Ayer
87-received "Gold Pass" on retirement
140-Industry in North Chelmsford
145-Foundry, Coal Iron Works, Silver and Gay, G.C.Moore, Turner Belt Co.
161-Frank McKittrick
175-near to being a millionaire
183-Mr Moore's brother owned Brookside Mills in West Chelmsford, beginnings of wool scouring
189-after gaining success in West, wool scouring moved to North Chelmsford
196-Moore built a large tank 32"hX6'1X12'w
202-wool was scoured by soaking in these tubs
214-when it was sufficiently scoured, it was raised and drained
220-then it was rived with clean water and moved along to next process
242-here it was dried and bagged in burlap
248-the next process was "picking" to fluff the fleece
256-Carding machine
269-Guild Boxes
275-Combing Machine
280-then to the women in the drawing room
286-spinning and twisting
298-West Chelmsford, Old File Shop, near a big dam
307-began making swords and bayonets for Civil War
316-rivalry between North Chelmsford and Center
321-"They got everything over there, we didn't get nothing"
326-Jim Dunigan, State Rep., ran coal company
335-tried to hitch North Chelmsford Sewer System into Lowell at no cost
351-average laborer earned between 1.40 and 1.50 per day
360-as agent in West Chelmsford earned $1.80 per day for seven days
370-at retirement in 1956, earning $16.00 per day
378-daughter worked for B&M in Boston
383-Frank Rourke superintendent for B&M
393-sent daughter to Glacey, an official who was later arrested for selling Railroad property
398-daughter sent to schools in Boston to learn contometers
407-worked in General Managers office
418-son Bill worked at Wentworth Institute
455-Gay Street Library, on mill side of street
484-Chelmsford Politicians mostly from Center, farm owners "pretty well to do, seemed to beat us out on everything"
495-no industry in Center, except Chelmsford Ginger Ale
509-Members of St John's Parish, helped build St. Mary's Church
What follows are descriptions of pictures shown to Mr Tobin. This was done for purposes of identification and for narrative material for the Slide Tape Show

End of interview
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