City of Providence
Providence is the capital of and most populous city in the U.S. state of Rhode Island, founded in 1636, and one of the oldest cities in the United States. It is located in Providence County and is the third most populous city in New England, after Boston and Worcester. Providence has a city population of 179,154; it is also part of the Providence metropolitan area which extends into southern Massachusetts. The Providence metropolitan area has an estimated population of 1,604,291, which exceeds that of Rhode Island as a whole by about 60%. This can be considered, in turn, to be part of the Greater Boston commuting area, which contains 7.6 million people.
Providence was founded by Roger Williams, a religious exile from the Massachusetts Bay Colony. He named the area in honor of "God's merciful Providence", which he believed was responsible for revealing such a haven for him and his followers to settle. The city is situated at the mouth of the Providence River at the head of Narragansett Bay.
By the early 1900s, Providence was one of the wealthiest cities in the United States. Immigrant labor powered one of the nation's largest industrial manufacturing centers. Providence was a major manufacturer of industrial products from steam engines to precision tools to silverware, screws, and textiles. Giant companies such as Brown & Sharpe, the Corliss Steam Engine Company, Babcock & Wilcox, the Grinnell Corporation, the Gorham Manufacturing Company, Nicholson File, and the Fruit of the Loom textile company were based in or near Providence.