My books on manufacturing

My books on manufacturing
My books on manufacturing history

Friday, May 10, 2024

The stuff of manufacturing: textiles

 At the Great Exhibition, the number of exhibits relating to the textile industry was not great, but the Census of 1851 had pointed to the huge number of people the industry employed. It was highly significant, but where had it come from, not least those dark satanic cotton mills? Many families set up in Lancashire as a cottage industry supplementing the living they earned from their small holdings. They mirrored their sister families in Yorkshire and elsewhere who had spun and woven wool for centuries. The Napoleonic wars changed everything. The European market disappeared for British goods, demand tumbled and prices crashed. For the small holders this was disaster; for the merchants it was a crisis from which opportunity came. They began to mechanise the cotton industry in mills with machines powered by water. What was needed was more power.

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