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 3
Johan George Khol writing in 1844 describes the scene at the start of the working day for thousands of Manchester's' factory workers as the great steam engines roar into action powering the hundreds of machines racing to produce the cloth and Manchester goods that were to give the city its international reputation.
"......At a distance I saw huge factories, which at first wrapped in total darkness, were brilliantly illuminated from top to bottom in a few minutes, when the hour of work began. The clapping of wooden shoes upon the pavement resounded strangely in the empty streets. In long rows on every side, and in every direction hurried forward thousands of men, women and children. They spoke not a word, but huddled up their frozen hands in their cotton clothes as they hastened on, clap, clap along the pavement, to their dreary and monotonous occupation. Gradually the crowds grew thinner, and the clapping died away. When hundreds of clocks struck the hour of six, the streets were again silent and deserted and the giant factories had swallowed the busy population. All at once, almost in a moment arose on every side a low rushing and surging sound, like the sigh of the wind among trees. It was the chorus raised by hundreds of thousands of wheels and shuttles, large and small and by the panting and rushing from thousands of steam engines"
(source: Johan Georg Khol, (1844 ) in L.D. Bradshaw (ed.) Visitors to Manchester: A selection of British and Foreign Visitors Descriptions of Manchester from c1538 to 1865)
Click on the links below to hear sounds of the early morning mill hooters, clogs on cobbles and the mill engine starting.
Track One - Street Sounds
Track Two Mill Hooter
Track Three Mill Engine Staring
(source: Northwest Sound Archive Theme Pack Textiles: Sounds of the Lancashire Textile Industry - side 2)
Follow the learning journey steps inside the factory!