Life in the Mill
For centuries, most textile manufacturing relied on people working in their own homes. All that changed in 1761 when Richard Arkwright began construction of the first water-powered cotton mill in Derbyshire.
The complex woollen industry was transformed as mills spread cross the north of England and into Scotland, with tasks taken out of the cottage and into the factory. This informative guide tracks the development of the textile manufacturing industry, from industrial power looms meeting with Luddite resistance, to the distinctive silk weaving workrooms.
Mill towns sprung up around places of work, including special apprentice houses for children. Conditions were harsh and often dangerous, both in the mills and in woollen towns living under permanent palls of smoke. Packed with photographs and illustrations, this is a classic Pitkin guide to the everyday lives of the workers in this mills and towns, from their work to their time off.
There was a time when Britain sent textiles around the world: this is the story of the workforce, mainly women and children, who made this possible – and created the factory age.
Includes a list of mills, museums and visitor centres to visit.