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How Far does Quarry Bank Mill enable you to understand the factory system of textile production introduced during the Industrial Revolution of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries?

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Question 1. How Far does Quarry Bank Mill enable you to understand the factory system of textile production introduced during the Industrial Revolution of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries? Before the factory system was introduced people used the domestic system to produce cotton, where spinning and then weaving was a very slow and simple process. The Domestic system was very relaxed where people could have lunch or go to the bathroom whenever they wanted to, unlike in the factory system, which was very disciplined and regimented. We have to determine if Quarry Bank Mill was typical of other mills at the time, to be able to see how much it tells us of the factory system. Quarry Bank Mill may be an exception to other mills, maybe having better or worse conditions than most. How much can we actually learn about the factory system by studying Quarry Bank Mill? There were many machines used in the factory and we saw some of these when we visited the mill. The machines we saw included a Spinning Jenny, a Flying Shuttle and a carding and mule machine, although the Spinning Jenny and the Flying Shuttle were from the domestic system, seeing how they were used also helped to understand more of the importance of the factory system noticing the changes from domestic to factory. We saw machines from different time periods, not just from the industrial revolution. ...read more.


Our time in the weaving shed was recommended to spend less than 15 minutes in there, because of the cotton, dust, noise and the heat. We have to imagine what it would have been like to work in there for about 12 to 13 hours every day and even longer in other mills, which is very difficult to reconstruct. It would probably have posed serious health risks to the apprentices, mainly children. Understanding how the power was operated in the factory system was shown in the power room where there was a mini model of The River Bollin displaying weir and sluice gates making it usable by controlling the flow in order. Seeing how the water wheel worked through this model, was informative giving us an idea of how everything worked. Although to see the central shaft working was helpful, it was also limited, as it is no longer powered by water. All the machines that we observed were powered by electricity which they definitely would not have been powered by electricity in the 1800s. The water wheel was replaced with two major turbines. In 1805 the source of power was changed to steam. Greg bought a new steam chimney, which would have been very expensive, which shows that since the mill owner paid so much for this extension that power was very important. There are a couple more buildings on site, which are Quarry Bank House, opened in 1796 and the apprentice house, opened in 1790. ...read more.


For example, stories of Robert Blinco suggest that Cotton Mill created a very different version of the factory system from that at Quarry Bank Mill, suggesting that conditions were extremely bad for the workers. The owner of the mill, Samuel Greg, lived on the site, so he was close to his work and his employees, able to easily go to and from the mill. The mill also had a managers office on site where the employees who collected wages, would have to see him every Friday to obtain their wage of 1p an hour, so Greg had a closer relationship with them. Although, not all mills were like this, some mill owners hardly ever had direct contact with their workers, so again this is not typical of the factory system. Also, the majority of workers did not receive wages as they were given in their place, food, clothes, education, shelter, and a doctor supplied if you fell ill. What we saw at the mill however is controlled by the Gregs and they might want to give us more of a positive impression to show how it was run far better than the other mills during that time were. Perhaps we were not shown everything or with complete accuracy. We have no evidence for or against to prove that the punishments were harsher than we were told they were. So it is useful to visit Quarry Bank Mill and does help us find out about some parts of the factory system, such as size of buildings but what it can tell us about conditions is limited. ?? ?? ?? ?? Tara Bahia 10B 4 ...read more.

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