The Factory Learning Journey
Follow the Learning Journey steps and experience the world of the cotton factory.
Click on the steps below to explore.
The Factory Learning Journey Step 2
By 1815 money is flooding into Lancashire as adventurers and entrepreneurs join the rush to grab the rich profits to be made in cotton manufacturing. Slavery and the opening of new cotton plantations in the colonies mean a plentiful supply of cheap raw cotton and exports of cotton goods are booming. New factories are springing up everywhere, the design of the buildings is revolutionary:
"..... In a short stroll which only lasted fifteen minutes I counted over sixty spinning mills in Manchester. I could well have arrived in Egypt-there were so many factory chimneys which are needed because steam engines are used - stretching up into the sky like obelisks. Today I saw a power loom weaving factory which was about half way through the course of its construction and unfortunately more and more are being built everyday. This factory was about 130 feet long and 50 feet broad and has six floors. Not a stick of wood is being used in the whole building. All the girders are being made of cast iron and are joined together. The pillars are hollow iron columns which can be heated by steam and in this building there are 270 such pillars. Nearly all the spinning mills, without exception have six or seven floors. The attics which are always used, have windows which are parallel to the roof and are similar to those in greenhouses.
Source: Johan (Hans) Caspar Escher writing (1815) in L.D. Bradshaw (ed.) Visitors to Manchester: A selection of British and Foreign Visitors Descriptions of Manchester from c1538 to 1865.
Images: Manchester Mills in 1830 - hand-coloured print
Follow the learning journey steps and join the morning rush hour!