Pawtucket, a town of Providence co., Rhode Island, on both sides of Pawtucket river, here navigable and spanned by a stone and three iron bridges, and on the Boston and Providence and Providence and Worcester railroads, 4 m. N. of Providence; pop. in 1870, 6,619; in 1875,18,464. The town is beautifully situated, and has a picturesque appearance. The river here has a fall of 30 ft., supplying extensive water power. The first cotton manufactory in the country was established here by Samuel Slater in 1790, and for 40 years the place held the first rank among the manufacturing towns of the country. The principal manufactories now in operation are 11 of yarn, 2 of worsted braid, 5 of woollens, 13 of cotton cloth, 1 of wadding, 12 of thread, 2 of hair cloth, 2 of card board, 2 of paper bags, 4 of machinery, 1 of bolts, 3 of files, 1 of tacks, 1 of brooms, 1 of chemicals, 1 of brushes, 1 of screws, 1 of gas, 3 of boots and shoes, 1 of manufacturers' supplies, 7 of belting, 3 of thread spools, 1 of furniture, 2 of steam fire engines, 2 of sash and blinds, 1 cloth and 2 yarn printing establishments, 2 brass founderies, 1 stove and 3 iron founderies, 2 bleacheries, and 8 tanning and currying establishments. From five to ten vessels, laden with coal and lumber, arrive daily during the season of navigation.
The assessed value of property in 1874 was $16,356-629. The town has a paid fire department, three national banks, three savings institutions, an insurance company, 14 public schools including a high school, a public library, two weekly newspapers, and 18 churches, viz.: 4 Baptist, 2 Congregational, 4 Episcopal, 3 Methodist, 3 Roman Catholic, 1 Swedenborgian, and 1 Uni-versalist. - Pawtucket formed part of Bristol co., Mass., till 1861. A portion of the town of North Providence was annexed to it in 1874.