In Water And Power we dramatize the plight of the mill girls in the cotton factories of Lowell, Massachusetts, circa 1940. The mill owners needed a skilled and literate labor force, so they recruited teenage girls from the farms of Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont and paid them the princely sum of $2 a week.
For the first few years, everyone was happy. Then the mill owners and the stockholders got greedy and cut the wages of the mill girls while increasing their work load.
This led to women speaking out in public (for the first time), organizing and going on strike. The mill girls demanded a 10 hour work day (instead of 13).
The 10-hour work day law was finally passed by the Massachusetts legislature in 1874.