176 177 PAWTUCKET, RHODE ISLAND THE 2.0 VERSION PAWTUCKET, R.I. F ounded in 1671, at the strategic falls of the Black- stone River in northern Rhode Island, Pawtucket is a city with a special place in the industrial history of the United States. For it was here, in 1793, that Samuel Slater built the first fullymechanized cotton-spinning mill in America.Over the next cen- tury, a variety of machines and iron working shops grew up alongside Pawtucket’s bourgeoning textile industry and, by the early 1900s, the city was a highly developed and prosperous manufacturing center, boasting over a half-dozen movie theatres, two dozen hotels, and an impressive collection of fine commercial and residential architecture. Unfortunately, the textile busi- ness in New England declined during the Great Depression of the 1930s with manymanufacturers