Factory Production in Nineteenth-Century Britain

By Elaine Freedgood | Go to book overview
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1733John Kay invents the flying shuttle, speeding the process of handloom weaving.
1759Josiah Wedgwood's pottery opens in Burslem.
1766Grand Trunk Canal opens.
1769Richard Arkwright and John Kay take out a patent for a spinning frame which makes it possible for warp threads to be made of cotton rather than linen. This is the origin of calico in Britain (it has long been produced in Calicut, in India). James Watt patents his first steam engine.
1770James Hargreaves patents the spinning jenny.
1775Matthew Boulton and James Watt establish engineering firm.
1776American war of independence begins.
Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations.
1779Samuel Crompton invents the spinning mule.
1782Slubbing billy invented.
1784Henry Cort invents “puddling” process for iron production.
1787Power loom patented by Edmund Cartwright.
1788French Revolution begins.
1793Eli Whitney invents the cotton gin.
Beginning of Napoleonic Wars.
1798Thomas Malthus's Essay on the Principle of Population.
1799The Combination Act passed, forbidding collective action and bargaining.
1880Second Combination Act passed.
1801Union of England and Ireland.
First English census.
Robert Owen establishes model factory and factory village at New Lanark, Scotland.
1802Factory Act limits the hours of “apprentices” (usually indigent children).
Requires mill owners to provide some education, have workers


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