In 1814, a group of wealthy Boston merchants led by Francis Cabot Lowell established the Boston Manufacturing Company in Waltham, Massachusetts. In the decades before the Civil War, Lowell and his partners constructed public schools for Waltham children living in the vicinity of the mills and paid many of the schools' educational expenses, including teachers' salaries. The company also promoted adult education through its establishment of the Manufacturers' Library and its support of the Rumford Institute for Mutual Instruction, one of the first lyceums in the United States. Previous research on the Boston Manufacturing Company has primarily focused on its unique labor force ("mill girls") and its role as America's first modern industrial corporation, while the story of the company's involvement in education has been neglected. Based on company records, school committee reports, newspaper accounts, Francis Lowell's personal correspondence, and other archival sources, this study highlights the forgotten history of corporate support for education in antebellum Waltham. The findings indicate that the support given to Waltham educational institutions by Francis Lowell and his business partners can be attributed to their patriotism, generosity, and belief in civic virtue. Implications for the history of American education, the Industrial Revolution, and twenty-first century public/private sector educational partnerships are addressed.