at Boot Mill, Lowell, MA photo: Tyson Smith
Steve Dunwell is a professional photographer living in Boston.
This project began in early 1973, when Steve was invited to visit a textile mill in Fall River. Inside, he found a completely different world, and was immediately captivated. Supported by a grant from the Rhode Island Arts Council, he began to photograph mill workers around New England.
He discovered a network of these industrial sites, usually adjacent to small rivers for hydro power. Each year, the scope of work increased, to include more sites, and views of mill town environs and home interiors.
David Godine, the Publisher, encouraged the work and insisted on a compendious treatment profusely illustrated. “The Run of the Mill” (1978) is the result, with 300 pages, 200 historical illustrations and 103 contemporary photographs by the author.
“With These Hands” highlights the workers in their factories, with 9 photographs chosen to represent 9 different textile mills, in 5 New England states, all with different jobs.