Factory Production in Nineteenth-Century Britain

By Elaine Freedgood | Go to book overview

Contributors' Biographies

Babbage, Charles (1792–1871) A mathematician, Babbage started work in 1819 on the project that was to occupy much of his life: a machine to calculate numerical tables. His plans for a “difference engine” won the financial backing of the Royal Society and the chancellor of the exchequer. In 1823, Babbage received the first gold medal from the Astronomical Society (which he had helped found), its president saying the proposed machine was “in scope, as in execution, unlike anything before accomplished.” Babbage's travels to study mechanical works abroad led to On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures (1832) and to the idea for a new machine, an “analytic engine” using two sets of perforated cards that could solve multiple functions.

Baines, Sir Edward (1800–1890) At age fifteen, Baines started reporting for the Leeds Mercury, one of the leading provincial newspapers, and he became the editor three years later. He also began to teach Sunday school at the Congregational chapel in 1815, a task he continued for over forty years His books include History of the Cotton Manufacture of Great Britain (1835), Crosby Hall Lectures (1848), and Testimony and Appeal on the Effects of Total Abstinence (1853). In 1859, Baines was elected to the House of Commons, where he was principally involved in widening the electorate and fostering a set of issues important to nonconformists.

Beaumont, George Biographical information is unavailable.

Bell, Lady Florence (1851–1930) Florence Eveleen Eleonore Olliffe Bell, a writer of plays, children's stories, novels, and essays, grew up in Paris during the Second Empire, but left during the Franco-Prussian war of 1870. In 1876, she married Hugh Bell, who had inherited his family's ironworks. Bell's book At the Works (1907, revised ed. 1911) grew out of her thirty years' experience as the wife of a leading industrialist.

Carlyle, Thomas (1795–1881) Carlyle, born in Scotland, spent his early career teaching while he wrote articles for the Edinburgh Encyclopaedia and translated Legendre's Geometry (1824), Goethe's Wilhelm Meister (1824), and German Ro

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