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Titus Salt.

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Introduction

Titus Salt Titus was the eldest of seven children, his father was once involved in the white cloth merchandise. Titus had wanted to become a doctor but when he left school he went to work in Wakefield with a wool-stapler. When the family moved to Bradford to set up a wool stapling business, Titus took a job with a firm called Rouse and Son. During his two years with the firm Titus acquired a practical knowledge of all aspects of the wool sorting trade. Titus then became a wool buyer with his father and the firm became Daniel Salt and Son. During this period Titus was constantly alert to the possibility of new materials and methods. He experimented with Dansko wool but his greatest achievement was in processing Alpaca wool. He strove to retain the natural gloss and colour of the wool and to construct economically suitable materials and machinery for production. The result was a beautiful cloth for which demand soon accelerated, this was to make Titus Salt his fortune. It was just what the fashion houses had been hoping for, a fabric cheaper than silk yet resembling it in gloss, elegant in appearance yet durable in war. Queen Victoria owned two alpacas kept at Windsor Park; in 1844 she sent two fleeces to Salt with a request to make them into 'notable cloth', Salt duly did this and the queen's satisfaction further assured Salts commercial success. In 1849 Salt became Mayor of Bradford, showing his local importance. ...read more.

Middle

Salt built his model village for a number of reasons. As an outlet for his greed and power, as a mill by which all over mill owners would measure themselves. He built the mill for the extreme profit it would gain him, he wanted to be remembered, he wanted the palace of industry to stand the test of time and for everyone to remember whom he was. Salt also built the mill and houses to ensure his 'controlled' workforce would work hard and bring in the profits to ensure further development. Titus Salt built a range of buildings in his Model Village. This tells us that Saltaire believed in both efficiency and variety; he wanted to be cost effective without making the whole village look identical and prison-like. The mill was positioned by the canal for the practical reason that the finished wool could be loaded straight onto the canal barges. The mill is just across the road from the church and can be seen from the statue of Sir Titus in the park. The United Reform Church is very Italianate in styling with a tower and a dome on top. There are pillars at the top of the steps to the main doors. On the inside the church has a high ceiling and the pews are raised with a central heating system in the floor to keep the parishioners warm on colder days. The organ is grand and is located just behind the alter. There are 64 visible pipes but thousands more behind. ...read more.

Conclusion

Saltaire today is very different to when Salt had it constricted. The chimney has been shortened considerably because of a risk of collapse. The church has had many things redone and refurbished but Sir Titus Salt's visions remain the same. The mill no longer produces wool. The last wool produce there was in February 1986 - over fifteen years ago. The mill was changed into a cultural centre, three art galleries and has even been used as a theatre. Salts diner, a high-class restaurant, is also in the mill- a tribute to Salt. Now Saltaire mill is used to produce digital receivers. Saltaire has recently become a European Heritage site (1996) and a World Heritage Site (2001) along with the Taj Mahal. This shows how important Saltaire is and how it changed the world. Titus Salt was a businessman and he created an industrial town to his vision. But wool is becoming less popular as a usable fabric. I think Salt would have a hard time seeing an art gallery in his Palace of Industry. However the mill would no longer be profitable and if he saw what an impact he had left I think he wouldn't mind so much. I think Saltaire is a huge achievement, Salt became a pioneer of industry and he made a good workplace, good living conditions and good profits. He paid his workers when there was no work; he used child labour but was no worse than anyone else running the same sort of empire at the time. He was recognised in the National Gallery, he received praise at the time but to still be receiving praise 150 years later after the mill was constructed shows what a substantial achievement Saltaire was. ...read more.

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