My books on manufacturing

My books on manufacturing
My books on manufacturing history
Showing posts with label industrial revolution. Show all posts
Showing posts with label industrial revolution. Show all posts

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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The building blocks of manufacturing: coal and metals

 Coal had ‘tentacles in every part of this changing society’. Landowners loved it, for it lay under their land; farmers benefitted from its use in burning lime for fertiliser; textile manufacturers used its heat in bleaching and dyeing; houses were built from brick and glass both made by the heat of coal; many small workshops across the land, as we shall see, used it to enhance their productivity. Metal was not only needed for large machines, but also for small machines, clocks, guns, instruments and ‘toys’  - small decorative items to delight the growing middle class. Shipbuilders began to explore the use of metal for ships. 

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Key to the effective use of coal and metals were the canals.

How Britain Shaped the Manufacturing World is now available to pre-order

Phil Hamlyn Williams has completed his sixth book beginning an exploration of British manufacturing. His great-grandfather exhibited at the ...