It was a new industry, and it required not just new buildings but new types of buildings, and not just new types of buildings but whole new towns. Appearing suddenly wherever there was a source of water power, New England textile-mill towns like Lowell, Lawrence, and Holyoke were the Restons and Columbias of their day, albeit not cluttered by social-theory niceties. They were places for people to work, and when not working, to live (or more accurately, to be housed). The builders of these towns weren’t looking for a new aesthetic—the architectural details were identical to those of Boston and Providence—but in the process of creating the industry they also invented factories and dormitories on a whole new scale. Boston University professor Richard Candee, a Senior Fellow at the Smithsonian’s Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation, discusses the phenomenon in his lecture. At 6:30 p.m. at the National Building Museum, 401 F St. NW. $6. For reservations call (202) 272-2448. (Mark Jenkins)