Old Slater Mill Association
The Old Slater Mill Association (OSMA) preserves and stewards the Slater Mill National Historic Landmark for the benefit of all. Recognized internationally as the birthplace of the American Industrial Revolution, the museum celebrates innovation and the entrepreneurial spirit by engaging audiences in relevant cultural, historic, and artistic endeavors.
In 1921, a group of visionary business leaders with ties to the textile industry convened to form the Old Slater Mill Association (OSMA), to prevent the mill's demolition and to preserve the physical presence of the birthplace of the American Industrial Revolution.
In the 1950s, OSMA opened a museum of industrial history at Slater Mill, and by the 1970s, the U.S. Department of the Interior recognized the campus, including its three historic structures and mill race, as a National Historic Landmark District.
Nearly 100 years later, OSMA continues to fulfill and futher this mission, and serves as an educational anchor and community champion in the Blackstone River Valley and statewide.
In December 2014, Congress passed the Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park Establishment Act, identifying the Old Slater Mill National Historic District as a contributing element within the park boundary. While this designation is not expected to bring substantial federal funding support to OSMA, it is expected to lead to a surge in visitation over the coming months and immediate years.
Slater Mill is currently visited by 10,000 school children each year, and 25,000 additional adult and family visitors who come for tours, events, festivals, to make research inquiries, and to experience a physical connection with American History.
The OSMA maintains an archive and object collection of approximately 50,000 documents, photographs, graphics, textile samples, and swatches, works of art, company and family papers, and industrial objects and parts. This includes operable industrial spinning, weaving, wood shop and metal shop equipment, and waterpower generation infrastructure.
As the collecting institution that will serve as the cornerstone of the newly-established Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park, the Old Slater Mill Association is viewd as a lead steward of the cultural landscape of the region.