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PeterSibley
08-24-2009, 06:21 AM
I heard a very interesting interview on the radio today ,this is the link .
http://www.abc.net.au/rn/counterpoint/stories/2009/2662082.htm.
A somewhat different proposition regarding the reasons for the time and place of the beginning of the industrial revolution .The speaker was Robert Allen ,Professor of Economic History, Professorial Fellow, Nuffield College. University of Oxford .

Why did the industrial revolution take place in eighteenth-century Britain and not elsewhere in Europe or Asia? In this convincing new account Robert Allen argues that the British industrial revolution was a successful response to the global economy of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. He shows that in Britain wages were high and capital and energy cheap in comparison to other countries in Europe and Asia. As a result, the breakthrough technologies of the industrial revolution - the steam engine, the cotton mill, and the substitution of coal for wood in metal production - were uniquely profitable to invent and use in Britain. The high wage economy of pre-industrial Britain also fostered industrial development since more people could afford schooling and apprenticeships. It was only when British engineers made these new technologies more cost-effective during the nineteenth century that the industrial revolution would spread around the world.

http://www.cambridge.org/aus/catalogue/catalogue.asp?isbn=9780521687850

Andrew Craig-Bennett
08-24-2009, 06:27 AM
Definitely a different approach; I was taught what I think is the conventional explanation - the exclusion of the Dissenters from the Universities and from Government posts - but that cannot be a sufficient explanation.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
08-24-2009, 06:36 AM
I didn't do justice to my teachers there; I certainly was taught that the industrial revolution was built on the back of the far less well known agricultural revolution.

"Turnip" Townsend's Norfolk Rotation, the use of lime, drainage and Jethro Tull's horse hoeing husbandry (i.e. the use of the seed drill enabling the use of the horse hoe) certainly hugely increased the supply of food, without which the industrial revolution would have been impossible.

PeterSibley
08-24-2009, 06:41 AM
It was a convincing presentation Andrew ,an interesting explanation ,not as I had been taught .That was more in the vein of British inventiveness and some spin off from Enclosure ,not that I can remember it all now .

Actually ,it seemed to have been assumed to be just the way things should be !

PeterSibley
08-24-2009, 06:44 AM
Wool was the thing Andrew .A profitable business ,lots of fortunes made and a trading enterprise begun in earnest .

Andrew Craig-Bennett
08-24-2009, 06:51 AM
Yes but wool was the big thing in the High Middle Ages, and remained so until the collapse of the wool trade under the impact of the New Draperies in the reign of Henry VIII.

I'm more inclined to think cotton. Being able to spin cotton, rather than importing it from India, was a huge breakthrough.

PeterSibley
08-24-2009, 06:57 AM
Did that happen more or less simultaneously ? Imported spun cotton , then a spinning industry while the wool industry plugged along domestically and benefited from the new cotton technology .

The second wave of wool would have been the Scottish expansion wouldn't it ?

martin schulz
08-24-2009, 07:02 AM
I say: protestant ethik!

PeterSibley
08-24-2009, 07:09 AM
What could be more Protestant than a Lutheran !

Andrew Craig-Bennett
08-24-2009, 07:11 AM
You and Max Weber and RH Tawney ! :)

Andrew Craig-Bennett
08-24-2009, 07:12 AM
What could be more Protestant than a Lutheran !

A Calvinist, of course! ;)

Andrew Craig-Bennett
08-24-2009, 07:14 AM
Unfortunately Weber and Tawney don't explain Renaissance Lombardy (Catholic) or modern East Asia (Shintoist/Daoist/Buddhist/Stalinist!)

PeterSibley
08-24-2009, 07:23 AM
Thank you Andrew , I've just been googling Tawny .Education continues .

or Venice .

PeterSibley
08-24-2009, 07:24 AM
A Calvinist, of course! ;)

Shudder .:D

PeterSibley
08-24-2009, 07:32 AM
Actually the proposition made in Professor Allens talk was that British pay rates were high by European standards of the time and coal cheap ,as the industry had developed following the dearth of firewood and charcoal .
Apparently he has just completed an extensive comparison of these costs in various European countries .

Andrew Craig-Bennett
08-24-2009, 07:54 AM
I'll have a listen when I get home. Thanks for the link.

The "textbook case" of high wages and low raw materials and land costs is 18th/19th century North America, north of the Mason/Dixon Line, of course.

PeterSibley
08-24-2009, 08:02 AM
But according to the Professor , not sufficiently so to initiate the whole process .

Off to bed .Thanks for the discussion .

Andrew Craig-Bennett
08-24-2009, 08:25 AM
Too early anyway - Jethro Tull's "Horse Hoeing Husbandry" 1708 and Abraham Darby's smelting of iron using coke 1709...

But probably North America was too richly supplied with land and raw materials at that point.

The theory that Qing China regressed away from industrialisation due to the population explosion triggered by the appearance of the New Worl vegetables (a theory espoused by Jared Diamond IIRC) appears to match this train of thought.

damnyankee
08-24-2009, 09:59 AM
My personal favorite explanation for the Industrial revolution: Coffee.
Before the industrial revolution, people drank alchol all the time, they couldn't trust the watter. Along comes coffee in significant quantities and people stop drinking as much alcohol, and drink huge quantities of coffee. So not only where they not drunk but they where caffeine buzzed. This gave the great thinkers the clarity and energy to be revolutionary. Its no coincidence that the first insurance companies where coffee houses. People really started to think about money, which then led to the things above.

Christopher

George Roberts
08-24-2009, 10:06 AM
It takes a whole lot of small changes before one notices the big change.

James Burke seems to have a grasp on the subject. He might have some details wrong, but the idea that major changes are caused by a single man or idea seems to be wrong.

martin schulz
08-24-2009, 11:11 AM
Let me use a modern example Bill gates revolutionized computing.

Which is a bad example, because BG didn't create anything. All he did is to take a computer language (one he didn't even design himself) and make a deal with IBM.
This is just clever marketing.

If you want to talk about PC inventors Steve Wozniak/Steve Jobs are the names to work with...

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
08-24-2009, 01:02 PM
Took from PARC and sold to the world.

Arrrrr Jim Lad.

Captain Intrepid
08-24-2009, 03:23 PM
the key elements then are

a man or small group of men who had an idea
they were in a position to develop this idea
they happened to develop this idea at the right time in history

Ah, the Great Man theory. If only things were so simple. It seems to me that theory is so much bunkum. If you look throughout history it can sometimes take only one individual to topple a teetering tower, but huge events always require huge momentum to occur. It seems to me that for example, the circumstances that led to WWII would have provoked some great conflict even if Hitler had not risen to power. As for technology, take the lightbulb. Well over 20 people "invented" the lightbulb.


If you want to talk about PC inventors Steve Wozniak/Steve Jobs are the names to work with...

Well, Steve Wozniak. He was the tech brains, Jobs wasn't so technically minded as a business whiz.

Milo Christensen
08-24-2009, 04:28 PM
My personal favorite explanation for the Industrial revolution: Coffee.
Before the industrial revolution, people drank alchol all the time, they couldn't trust the watter. Along comes coffee in significant quantities and people stop drinking as much alcohol, and drink huge quantities of coffee. So not only where they not drunk but they where caffeine buzzed. This gave the great thinkers the clarity and energy to be revolutionary. Its no coincidence that the first insurance companies where coffee houses. People really started to think about money, which then led to the things above.

Christopher

Thanks for posting the importance of coffee, I would have if you hadn't already.

David G
08-24-2009, 04:36 PM
Mr. Sibley,

Very interesting. Perfectly plausible on the face of it. Sent it off to my old history professor. He's retired, and a bit sickly, but might be interested enough to comment more intelligently than I would. I'll report if he does so.

Cheers,

PeterSibley
08-24-2009, 05:09 PM
Thanks David , I heard the talk on the radio and thought it worth sharing .I'm sure Professor Allen would approve !:)

One titbit of information I have just recalled from the interview .The original Newcomen engine used 55 pound of coal per hourse power /hour .100 year later it was 3 pound /hp /hr ,at which stage the industrial revolution really took off in other countries .

David G
08-24-2009, 05:40 PM
Thanks David , I heard the talk on the radio and thought it worth sharing .I'm sure Professor Allen would approve !:)

One titbit of information I have just recalled from the interview .The original Newcomen engine used 55 pound of coal per hourse power /hour .100 year later it was 3 pound /hp /hr ,at which stage the industrial revolution really took off in other countries .

It was 44 # initially (not 55#), but that's still quite the dramatic reduction in coal required. As he said, at that point the cost of fuel became almost trivial - thus enabling the use of this technology in other developing countries.

If you're interested in this topic, you should read "The Stages of Growth", by Walt Rostow. This is still regarded - I believe - as the seminal work on the mechanisms, requirements, and pre-cursors of economic growth. I studied with Rostow at UT-Austin, and argued with him a lot over the Vietnam War (he was the very hawkish, staunchly anti-communist national security advisor for both Kennedy and Johnson during the escalation of the war). I found very little to argue with on his Stages theories.

PeterSibley
08-24-2009, 05:54 PM
You're correct , such is memory ...mine anyway !

Bruce Hooke
08-24-2009, 06:07 PM
I am more familiar with New England history than British history and find especially interesting the discussion of why the industrial revolution happened roughly "second" (in the world) in New England, following in England's footsteps. England, at the time, was already a major cultural and commercial center, while New England was pretty much the sticks, which makes it especially interesting why we got such an early start on the industrial revolution here.

However, I think there are lessons from looking at New England that can also be applied to the English case. As I understand it, some of the major factors here in New England were:

1. A ready supply of power in the form of rivers with a relatively good drop, useful for powering mills.

2. Good access to the oceans for shipping finished goods.

3. A relatively large population trying to live on land that is largley relatively poor for farming. Even quite well off people in New England could not count on living well by farming.

It is the last that I find most interesting. Basically, if the way you have been living is working just fine, why risk a lot to head off in a very new direction? Those with the power in the southern US had a pretty good system for making a comfortable living. The same was true in many other places around the world, but this was not true of New England and I suspect a similar dynamic might have been in play in England.

The underlying message is that there is an awful lot of luck behind the places that industrialized first and gained a big advantage in the centuries ahead. For those of us whose ancestors are from these places, it is pleasing to our vanity to think that our ancestors were something special, and that is why they started the industrial revolution, but it is not really true. Africans could just as easily have started the industrial revolution if circumstances had been different.

"Reflections in Bullough's Pond" is a good book about the reasons behind the industrial revolution in New England.

Ted Hoppe
08-24-2009, 06:32 PM
Perhaps one needs to consider cheap coal and vast displaced personage as important as Britain's significant state intervention with mercantile development, politically integrated economy, commited colonialism with mass migrations, and relative lower expense of European wars (land vs. sea). One must also remember that it wasn't till 1845 did England outlaw slavery as well as the continued persecution of the Irish, Welsh and Scotts.

Interesting to note: The Dutch on the other hand during the same period...Holland was the world leader of market capitalism in the mid-18th century, as Adam Smith clearly recognized. The question remains, why Britain before Holland (or Flanders, which was the urbanized leader with manufacturing, and strikes in its textile manufactories dating back to the 1200s)? The various dutch guilds created a true middle class for centuries. Maintained trade relationships verses conquering native peoples. It seems that The Netherlands had a comparative advantage in world shipping, trade, and finance. With its small population it came to specialize in those activities, outsourcing much of its manufactures to England and elsewhere.

Maybe Amsterdam or The Republic in general was less bad a place to live than England? In the 17th century it definitely seems to have been the place to be, instead of some cold shore in the New World, propigating unhealthy coal powered industries or creating greater class divisions.

PeterSibley
08-24-2009, 06:44 PM
Ted , one possible contributing reason is tthe Dutch choice of peat as a fuel ,rather than coal .Entirely satisfactory for the early stages of change but not the more sophisticated later machinery .

The British venture was based on coal and coal mining , something the Dutch didn't do .Neither did the Germans to start with , they were about 100 years behind and it wasn't until Unification that the wheels really began to spin .

PeterSibley
08-24-2009, 06:47 PM
I am more familiar with New England history than British history and find especially interesting the discussion of why the industrial revolution happened roughly "second" (in the world) in New England, following in England's footsteps. England, at the time, was already a major cultural and commercial center, while New England was pretty much the sticks, which makes it especially interesting why we got such an early start on the industrial revolution here.

However, I think there are lessons from looking at New England that can also be applied to the English case. As I understand it, some of the major factors here in New England were:

1. A ready supply of power in the form of rivers with a relatively good drop, useful for powering mills.

2. Good access to the oceans for shipping finished goods.

3. A relatively large population trying to live on land that is largley relatively poor for farming. Even quite well off people in New England could not count on living well by farming.

It is the last that I find most interesting. Basically, if the way you have been living is working just fine, why risk a lot to head off in a very new direction? Those with the power in the southern US had a pretty good system for making a comfortable living. The same was true in many other places around the world, but this was not true of New England and I suspect a similar dynamic might have been in play in England.

The underlying message is that there is an awful lot of luck behind the places that industrialized first and gained a big advantage in the centuries ahead. For those of us whose ancestors are from these places, it is pleasing to our vanity to think that our ancestors were something special, and that is why they started the industrial revolution, but it is not really true. Africans could just as easily have started the industrial revolution if circumstances had been different.

"Reflections in Bullough's Pond" is a good book about the reasons behind the industrial revolution in New England.

Interesting Bruce , but I will take issue with your point 3 .Britain has some quite excellent farmland ...and some far less useful , but in general here food growing ability has always been a strength , not a weakness .

Bruce Hooke
08-24-2009, 06:54 PM
Interesting Bruce , but I will take issue with your point 3 .Britain has some quite excellent farmland ...and some far less useful , but in general here food growing ability has always been a strength , not a weakness .

New England has some good farmland too, the key point is that by the time of the industrial revolution it had nowhere near enough decent farmland to provide a good living to everyone who lived here. So, there was a substantial pool of people who needed another way to make a living.

PeterSibley
08-24-2009, 07:12 PM
My British history is a little rusty , but I think the Enclosure Laws performed the same task in Britain .

If I'm lucky ACB will drop by and correct me .

Ted Hoppe
08-24-2009, 07:27 PM
Ted , one possible contributing reason is tthe Dutch choice of peat as a fuel ,rather than coal .Entirely satisfactory for the early stages of change but not the more sophisticated later machinery .

The British venture was based on coal and coal mining , something the Dutch didn't do .Neither did the Germans to start with , they were about 100 years behind and it wasn't until Unification that the wheels really began to spin .

Interesting points.

It seems that dirty fuels do provide more than what is appearent.
Makes one think about clean fuel technologies. Dutch and their windmills and peat farms were no match against the industialization of fossil fuels. By 1850 The steam and coal power shipping finally comes into its own, the dutch have only trading partners and no naterial resources - It seems that only when the Royal Dutch Petroleum Company (Shell) in 1890 becomes a relevant power broker entity that the coal to power equation balanced again, or at least industrial productivity is changed once more.

PeterSibley
08-24-2009, 07:48 PM
The British have a very long history of coal mining .This was a very interesting read ,coal's place in developement , ancient and modern .
http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/BookDetailsPL?bi=1380982596&searchurl=kn%3Dhistory%26sts%3Dt%26tn%3DCoal%26x%3 D0%26y%3D0

Bruce Hooke
08-24-2009, 08:03 PM
My British history is a little rusty , but I think the Enclosure Laws performed the same task in Britain .

If I'm lucky ACB will drop by and correct me .

I could see that being a contributing factor.

It does seem like there is another piece here. The person who actually owns and runs the mill is not likely to be a farmer's son but rather a merchant's son or someone with similar connections and wealth. There needs to be a reason why such people were pushed into taking a new direction (industrialization) rather than following whatever "trade" had already brought their family wealth. I'll have to go back and re-read my history on this.

Then there also needs to be the pool of workers who can work in the mill, which would be the "displaced" farmers.

Figmental
08-24-2009, 08:12 PM
Samuel Smiles wrote an incredible history entitled, Industrial Biography, that is a must read. Smiles wrote wonderfully clear descriptions of early industrial inventors

Henry Maudsley was such a gifted person and his tools invented the industrial age. He had a personal caliper he built named the Master. The compound feed was from him as was the lead screw to cut threads.

Steam engines had to wait for the first lathes to be built to bore round cylinders.

Smiles telling of the Eddystone Light's 3 separate builds is facinating!

Cuyahoga Chuck
08-24-2009, 08:55 PM
If you read a little of Diderot's "Encyclopedia of the Trades and Industries" you become aware that France seemed to have as wide an array of businesses, enterprises and trades as any other successful European country. But, every successful enterprise in France had a common characteristic. They all had the king as a benefactor or business partner. The king was not happy just collecting his taxes. He could decree who could make/sell what. He handed favored families monoplies in perpetuity. Flashes of entreprenurial brilliance could be cut off at the knee because they threatened the monopoly privleges of some court favorite or just because the king liked things the way they were.
France had the ingredients but just couldn't seem to bake the cake.

PeterSibley
08-24-2009, 09:30 PM
You would have to thank Cromwell for the difference in Britain .

Andrew Craig-Bennett
08-25-2009, 12:14 AM
Perhaps one needs to consider cheap coal and vast displaced personage as important as Britain's significant state intervention with mercantile development, politically integrated economy, commited colonialism with mass migrations, and relative lower expense of European wars (land vs. sea). One must also remember that it wasn't till 1845 did England outlaw slavery as well as the continued persecution of the Irish, Welsh and Scotts.

Interesting to note: The Dutch on the other hand during the same period...Holland was the world leader of market capitalism in the mid-18th century, as Adam Smith clearly recognized. The question remains, why Britain before Holland (or Flanders, which was the urbanized leader with manufacturing, and strikes in its textile manufactories dating back to the 1200s)? The various dutch guilds created a true middle class for centuries. Maintained trade relationships verses conquering native peoples. It seems that The Netherlands had a comparative advantage in world shipping, trade, and finance. With its small population it came to specialize in those activities, outsourcing much of its manufactures to England and elsewhere.

Maybe Amsterdam or The Republic in general was less bad a place to live than England? In the 17th century it definitely seems to have been the place to be, instead of some cold shore in the New World, propigating unhealthy coal powered industries or creating greater class divisions.

Dear Ted - nearly every single assertion made above is incorrect.

The Dutch were very active, very brutal, colonialists (Indonesia, South Africa...) They did not develop industrialisation because they were, like the slave owning planters of the Old South, sitting pretty on a system that exploited the labour of others - they controlled the spice trade.

Britain outlawed slavery in 1832 not 1845 and slavery was never lawful in the British Isles. The leading case, in which a Russian visitor was prevented from beating his servant (presumably a serf) whom he called his slave, dates from the reign of Queen Elizabeth the First - the judge held that the moment the "slave" set foot on English soil he was a free man, and could not be beaten.

Far from being "persecuted" the Scots (one "t" unless you are referring to a family) were leaders in the Agricultural and Industrial Revolutions - think, for example, of James Watt, of Glasgow University. Do you suppose that Adam Smith was English?

Above all, Britain had no "significant state intervention with mercantile development", unlike France. Indeed much of the Industrial Revolution was the work of Dissenters who were shut out from access to the Government.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
08-25-2009, 01:40 AM
Anyway, let us return to our muttons...

New England does provide a parallel with Britain.

High labour cost, surplus of food, rivers with a good drop...

Enclosure runs alongside agricultural improvement because there is no point spending money on land unless you are going to get the benefit.

Nobody fertilises beyond a single crop year, limes, drains, uses an improved rotation or invests in machinery whilst they are stuck with strips in the open field system.

A friend of mine who sometimes lurks here, a shipowner, points out that Chinese agriculture is stuck at this very point at the present time - strip allocation is in the hands of the village Party chief so no-one will "improve".

It was enclosure for improvement that created both the food surplus and the labour surplus that permitted the creation of the industrial towns and cities.

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
08-25-2009, 01:46 AM
...
New England does provide a parallel with Britain.

High labour cost, surplus of food, rivers with a good drop...
.....

And a ready but somewhat protected market for manufactured goods - so that New England found it more profitable to import the HowTo knowledge rather than the goods themselves.

damnyankee
08-25-2009, 03:20 AM
And a ready but somewhat protected market for manufactured goods - so that New England found it more profitable to import the HowTo knowledge rather than the goods themselves.

Huh? are you talking post industrial revolution? Have you heard of Manchester New Hampshire, or Lowell Massachusetts? At different periods each could claim to be the largest mill towns in the world. Manufacturing was huge in New England. It was after the industrial revolution that things changed that equation.


Christopher

Andrew Craig-Bennett
08-25-2009, 03:43 AM
Huh? are you talking post industrial revolution? Have you heard of Manchester New Hampshire, or Lowell Massachusetts? At different periods each could claim to be the largest mill towns in the world. Manufacturing was huge in New England. It was after the industrial revolution that things changed that equation.


Christopher

No, I never heard of Manchester, New Hampshire, but I've just looked it up:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manchester,_New_Hampshire

Population 108,000.

and I had heard of Lowell, Massachusetts:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lowell,_Massachusetts

Population 105,000

The largest mill towns in the world? :rolleyes: :D :D

Ever heard of Manchester?

Population 2,553,000.

damnyankee
08-25-2009, 03:51 AM
No, I never heard of Manchester, New Hampshire, but I've just looked it up:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manchester,_New_Hampshire

Population 108,000.

and I had heard of Lowell, Massachusetts:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lowell,_Massachusetts

Population 105,000

The largest mill towns in the world? :rolleyes: :D :D

Ever heard of Manchester?

Population 2,553,000.

Ok, i can tell you didnt really read the articles.

"incorporated as a city in 1846, Manchester would become home to the largest cotton mill in the world—Mill No. 11, stretching 900 feet (270 m) long by 103 feet (31 m) wide, and containing 4,000 looms (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loom)."
Right form the link you posted.

Christopher

Andrew Craig-Bennett
08-25-2009, 04:02 AM
So it had a big mill.

I don't think that would make it the biggest mill town in the world.

Try Oldham.

Same size, more cotton.

360 mills, 16,400,000 spindles in 1911

damnyankee
08-25-2009, 04:15 AM
So it had a big mill.

I don't think that would make it the biggest mill town in the world.

Try Oldham.

Same size, more cotton.

360 mills, 16,400,000 spindles in 1911
I guess I miss spoke, or there was a misunderstanding based on variances of the English language. Eitherway, my point that New England was very Industrial stands.

Christopher

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
08-25-2009, 04:18 AM
Huh? are you talking post industrial revolution? Have you heard of Manchester New Hampshire, or Lowell Massachusetts? At different periods each could claim to be the largest mill towns in the world. Manufacturing was huge in New England. It was after the industrial revolution that things changed that equation.


Christopher

I don't think you're using "Industrial Revolution" in quite the same way as brits do - the large mills were the industrial revolution.

The "revolution" was the replacement of hand spinning on treadle operated wheels by power (often water) driven spinning - See Arkwright's Spinning Jenny (http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/historic_figures/arkwright_richard.shtml).

Andrew Craig-Bennett
08-25-2009, 04:24 AM
I guess I miss spoke, or there was a misunderstanding based on variances of the English language. Eitherway, my point that New England was very Industrial stands.

Christopher

Yes, we've got at cross purposes. Not to worry. There's no doubt that New England was very heavily industrialised, from quite an early date. I think that if we are going to find causes of the industrial revolution it will be handy to look at what factors there may have been in common between New England and Britain.

damnyankee
08-25-2009, 04:44 AM
Yes, we've got at cross purposes. Not to worry. There's no doubt that New England was very heavily industrialised, from quite an early date. I think that if we are going to find causes of the industrial revolution it will be handy to look at what factors there may have been in common between New England and Britain.

Actually, I feel this may be a red herring. New England was founded by English, the people wanted to be English and for the most part, did English things. Perhaps the nature of the two regions shaped the Industrial revolution, but I don't think they caused it.

Christopher

Andrew Craig-Bennett
08-25-2009, 04:56 AM
Christopher - I was thinking of external factors - rivers suitable for water wheels, availability of wood for charcoal, and later, of coal, availability of surplus labour, presence of a market for manufactured goods, good transport systems (canals, ports, and, later, railroads) and the availability of capital for investment.

PeterSibley
08-25-2009, 05:30 AM
How would pay rates havce compared between New and Old in the early 1700s .Any idea Andrew ?...a bit esoteric but very relevant .

Andrew Craig-Bennett
08-25-2009, 05:43 AM
Very complex question! Well above my pay grade!

Hwyl
08-25-2009, 05:59 AM
Out of the date spectrum but within family memories here in New England recruiters were going to mills in England and offering much more money "twice as much".

It's all gathered oral reports on my part, but I've heard "my great grandfather was from Oldham" that would put it in the later 1800's.

I also understand there was more of a meritocracy ethos here in that time period.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
08-25-2009, 06:15 AM
That's interesting.

I'd put that in the category of "importing the know how".

I was at school when the Lancashire cotton industry was still important enough to be taught in geography as well as in history; my geography teacher was a Yorkshireman, however, so I know much more about the wool trade, including the obscure detail that the Yorkshire Dyers' Association recognised seven shades of black!

Lancashire was reckoned to have a climate particularly suited to cotton spinning, being cool and damp.

The Yorkshire mills on the other hand were predominantly in the wool spinning and weaving business.

PeterSibley
08-25-2009, 06:32 AM
The pay question harks back to Professor Allen's proposition that high wages and low energy costs where the instigator of the industrial revolution in Britain . I have to admit to very little knowledge of the sequence of early North American industralisation .When did things start ,the key points like a transition from water power to coal ?

Peerie Maa
08-25-2009, 06:49 AM
I'm not sure that coal as a motive power was at the start of the IR, the steam engine needed a lot of development before it replaced the water wheel.
The use of coal for smelting will have been much more important. Charcoal was such a light bulky commodity that the furnaces and bloomeries had to be set up in the forests, near the charcoal hearths, so had to be small, and only capable of small burns as the supply of coals was quickly used up.
I have also heard it said that the UK's skill at making files was an important trigger. A small thing, but without good files you cannot build the machines that the IR needed.

There is a reference here to the typical size of the charcoal store: Duddon Ironworks (http://www.visitcumbria.com/sl/dudiron.htm) 100feet long and as high as a church.

PeterSibley
08-25-2009, 06:53 AM
That may well have something to do with the composition of the ore they were using as well as the foundrymen's skill .

Peerie Maa
08-25-2009, 07:02 AM
Not really, the Furness ore (mined a couple of miles from ches moi) is pure haematite. We used to export most of it for the purpose of improving poorer ores. The problem really is that charcoal is really bulky, so you need several cart loads for each ton of ore and limestone. It was much more economical to take the ore and flux to the charcoal rather than the other way round.

damnyankee
08-25-2009, 07:22 AM
AFAIK, their is no coal in New England. Manchester(NH) and Lowell still used watter power up until the end (1935). Perhaps the Merrimack was some how special.

Christopher

PeterSibley
08-25-2009, 07:31 AM
Not really, the Furness ore (mined a couple of miles from ches moi) is pure haematite. We used to export most of it for the purpose of improving poorer ores. The problem really is that charcoal is really bulky, so you need several cart loads for each ton of ore and limestone. It was much more economical to take the ore and flux to the charcoal rather than the other way round.

Interesting , I don't know much about charcoal cupolas ( inserted ....charcoal was probably surplanted by coke by the time cupolas arrived ), but with coke the ratio is around 7 to 1 ,ore to coke ...but that's Bessemer ,not the old bloom method .I'm afraid that transition period is a bit of a mystery to me .

Jim Ledger
08-25-2009, 08:09 AM
AFAIK, their is no coal in New England. Manchester(NH) and Lowell still used watter power up until the end (1935). Perhaps the Merrimack was some how special.

Christopher

I spent part of my boyhood in Rhode Island, where there are still many mills. They're almost all next to a dammed-up stream. In many cases though, the mills have disappeared, but the dams and mill races remain, usually cut-stone structures. Rhode Island is full of fast-flowing streams with lots of volume an plenty of drop, making it an ideal location for water power.

The first cotton weaving machinery was supposed to have been smuggled out of Britain by Samuel Slater and used to set up a mill in Pawtucket, Rhode Island in an early case of industrial espionage. His mill still exists as a museum.

It was a common practice for American mill owners to recruit skilled labor from Britain, especially for a start-up operation. Subsequent machine operators could then be trained on the job. However, for the more technical jobs, imported labor was easier to obtain from overseas than to train locally.

Much of the actual machinery used was of British manufacture.

This is a Rhode Island mill in West Warwick. Theres a good sized stream behind the building with a dam at least twenty feet high, formerly used for power.

http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m193/searover1916/P1010071-1.jpg

Some of the nice masonry detailing of the tower...

http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m193/searover1916/P1010070.jpg

A dam in Hope Valley, Rhode Island, with what remains of the penstock.

http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m193/searover1916/P1010060.jpg

Andrew Craig-Bennett
08-25-2009, 08:27 AM
Very nice, evocative, pictures.

Tell me something about farming in New England - I am dimly aware that some of the land was none too special, so that in places arable farms have reverted back to the wild (something quite un-imaginable for us in Britain, though we do have hill farms in that category) but I don't suppose you ever had Enclosure since I doubt of you ever had the Open Field system - or am I wrong?

At all events, New England must have had a labour surplus, at some point, for all those young men to choose to Go West.

Jim Ledger
08-25-2009, 08:42 AM
One of the ubiquitous features of New England are the stone walls. The stones themselves are rounded granite. deposited across the landscape by the glaciers. The walls are less to enclose fields than a place to deposit these stones during plowing. Every year a new crop works its way to the surface. This, combined with the often-sandy soil makes New England a less-than-ideal place to farm.

The story has it that many farmers soldiering during the Civil War saw places like Pennsylvania, Maryland and Ohio, places with rich deep soil, milder climate and no stones, and never went back.

damnyankee
08-25-2009, 08:46 AM
Very nice, evocative, pictures.

Tell me something about farming in New England - I am dimly aware that some of the land was none too special, so that in places arable farms have reverted back to the wild (something quite un-imaginable for us in Britain, though we do have hill farms in that category) but I don't suppose you ever had Enclosure since I doubt of you ever had the Open Field system - or am I wrong?

At all events, New England must have had a labour surplus, at some point, for all those young men to choose to Go West.

Sure, I can speak to that. New England farming is lousy. The soil, while good, Is very rocky. Where I grew up (5 minutes from Manchester, NH) had been farmland but was all grown over. You can still see the stone fences winding through the woods. (Robert Frost taught at a high school 5 minutes in another direction, for a while.) They say New Hampshire has more trees than it did in 1860, (the first time they counted them.)
I think its also important to note that England has... England. While New England is part of the US, which has the south and west, places of unbelievably good farming. So, if New England was its own island perhaps people would still be farming, but New England Farmers could not compete with the rest of the US.


Christopher

EDIT: I just realized that I should mention that New england is good for things like Orchards. Londonderry (where I grew up) has many many apple orchards. Its the rocky soil thats a problem if you have to plow every year.

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
08-25-2009, 08:59 AM
....
At all events, New England must have had a labour surplus, at some point, for all those young men to choose to Go West...

I saw a programme some time ago on the development of mass production - specifically the rifles required for the civil war period - the move from individual artisan to mechanised, and repeatable, series production. In this they made the point that there was a shortage of the skilled labour and that the capital for the machinery was more readily available then the skills to create by hand.

So, perhaps while Britain's labour surplus in the early seventeen hundreds allowed the creation of the factory system, once the benefits in productivity were known and understood, the systems were applied as an answer to a shortage of labour.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
08-25-2009, 09:18 AM
I saw a programme some time ago on the development of mass production - specifically the rifles required for the civil war period - the move from individual artisan to mechanised, and repeatable, series production. In this they made the point that there was a shortage of the skilled labour and that the capital for the machinery was more readily available then the skills to create by hand.

So, perhaps while Britain's labour surplus in the early seventeen hundreds allowed the creation of the factory system, once the benefits in productivity were known and understood, the systems were applied as an answer to a shortage of labour.

This brings in one of the giants of the Industrial Revolution - Eli Whitney. Known for the cotton gin, which made him no money but which both revived the Southern slave economy and helped to create the new cotton economy of Lancashire, but who deserves to be known for bringing in the real American contribution to the Industrial Revolution - repeatable standard parts, originally indeed in arms manufacturing.

(So very American and so very "un-British" was this notion that in WW2 Packard had to show Rolls-Royce how to standardise the Merlin engine!)

The impact of this idea was huge.

Peerie Maa
08-25-2009, 09:39 AM
One f the ubiquitous features of New England are the stone walls. The stones themselves are rounded granite. deposited across the landscape by the glaciers. The walls are less to enclose fields than a place to deposit these stones during plowing. Every year a new crop works its way to the surface. This, combined with the often-sandy soil makes New England a less-than-ideal place to farm.


There is a similar problem in Wasdale Head Fat walls (http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?hl=en&client=firefox-a&channel=s&q=stone+walls&ie=UTF8&filter=0&rq=1&ev=p&sll=54.468301,-3.249083&sspn=0.001312,0.003449&radius=0.07&ll=54.468301,-3.249083&spn=0.001312,0.003449&t=h&z=18) The bulges are massive stacks of field stone.
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3389/3330770631_d193596b47.jpg?v=0

Blotto Eft,
One reason for the success in the USA of production line manufacturing, adopted here after the IR, was the influx of Central European immigrants, with little manufacturing skills. The manufacturers set up production lines where the workers carried out simple easy to learn tasks. They only stayed long enough to save up enough to finance the move west and buy a farm, so there was continuous turn over of labour. A bit late in the time frame for this topic, by Hey!.

Ted Hoppe
08-25-2009, 01:40 PM
Far from being "persecuted" the Scots (one "t" unless you are referring to a family) ...
Above all, Britain had no "significant state intervention with mercantile development", unlike France. Indeed much of the Industrial Revolution was the work of Dissenters who were shut out from access to the Government.

forgive my iPhone postings... Now I have two people who think I am wrong (the other is my wife) :).

Charles Dickens wrote with clearity about the industrial revolution and the effects on the British population. His and fellow humanist chroniclers of the time suggest there is no need for slavery because the cost to use the dislocated Britians were cheaper than slaves.

Most colonial occupations are/were brutal. But too suggest the British were somehow superior overseers is disingenuous.
As a reminder - The East India Trading Company was a charter given by the crown and then shared in the profit taking. It's fleet was an informal British naval presence. It's success is driven by aggresive economic policy backed by armed merchant ships santioned by the Admirality.

Our Oz brothers here can personally report thier family history of deportation, clearing native populations and other less attractive actions of taming Austrialia. Which fell about the same time as the great IR.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
08-25-2009, 01:57 PM
"I recommend you to choose the British, because the Spanish will interfere with our holy religion, and the Dutch will steal our land and enslave us, but the British are here for trade only".

The Sultan of Sulu, letter to his sons, 1783, cited in "Readings in Philippine History". He is referring to the East India Company. His territory was eventually attacked, invaded and colonised by the United States.

Peerie Maa
08-25-2009, 02:03 PM
Colonial Powers were really a mixed bag. Conrad's Heart of Darkness has a go at the Belgian colonials, a pretty dire bunch. Andrew spoke of the Dutch. I don't know much about the French apart from their excellent idea of making their colonies Departments of France on equal standing with the French departments. Spain started out bloody and stayed to exploit. The Brits were not so bad, as they established an educated middle and artisan class from the indigenous population, which is why so many nations are now doing OK. It is true that we were not so altruistic in lands that we considered empty like Oz NZ and America.

Ted Hoppe
08-25-2009, 02:05 PM
1. Slaves in the*British Caribbean didn't produce cotton as they did in the US. Sugar was the crop of islands like Jamaica and Barbados and the slaves who produced it were the world's first industrial workers.



2. Thousands of black*slaves were brought to Britain by slave ships. In the 18th Century it was the height of fashion for rich ladies to have a black child servant.

3. Slave-produced sugar tranformed*British national cuisine. Much of what we today think of as the most traditional British food, is in fact only a couple of centuries old. Biscuits, cakes, sweets, toffee, rum and the resulting British sweet tooth - all products of that revolution in the kitchen brought about by sugar. Slave sugar was the missing ingredient that transformed tea from a strange novelty from India into an enduring national obsession.

3. Slavery was the*world's first global industry but before globalism and corporations it was actually run by a few hundred families. Today many of the great aristocratic families of Britain have a hidden past in the slave trade.

4. Slavery in the*British empire came to an end after a rebellion led by the Jamaican slave Sam Sharpe. Sharpe's original plan was to use non-violent passive resistance to end slavery. He was the Martin Luther King of the 19th Century.




Sent from my iPhone

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
08-25-2009, 02:09 PM
This poor iPhone is getting the blame for a lot of rubbish....

Slaves on sugar plantations were agricultural rather than industrial.

Ted Hoppe
08-25-2009, 02:11 PM
1. Slaves in the*British Caribbean didn't produce cotton as they did in the US. Sugar was the crop of islands like Jamaica and Barbados and the slaves who produced it were the world's first industrial workers.

2. Thousands of black*slaves were brought to Britain by slave ships. In the 18th Century it was the height of fashion for rich ladies to have a black child servant.

3. Slave-produced sugar tranformed*British national cuisine. Much of what we today think of as the most traditional British food, is in fact only a couple of centuries old. Biscuits, cakes, sweets, toffee, rum and the resulting British sweet tooth - all products of that revolution in the kitchen brought about by sugar. Slave sugar was the missing ingredient that transformed tea from a strange novelty from India into an enduring national obsession.

3. Slavery was the*world's first global industry but before globalism and corporations it was actually run by a few hundred families. Today many of the great aristocratic families of Britain have a hidden past in the slave trade.

4. Slavery in the*British empire came to an end after a rebellion led by the Jamaican slave Sam Sharpe. Sharpe's original plan was to use non-violent passive resistance to end slavery. He was the Martin Luther King of the 19th Century.




Sent from my iPhone

Ted Hoppe
08-25-2009, 02:42 PM
Sugar cane products such as molasses and Rum are clearly commodities under crude industrialized products which served as currency until 1860s.

The mills, flumes and packaging were on large scale. Even whitneys machines were complementry to these industries. Steam powered machines were brought in when there was a spike in slave prices.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
08-25-2009, 03:15 PM
"Thousands" of black slaves were NOT bought to Britain in the 18th Century. A handful of free black servants is much nearer the mark;

Doctor Johnson's rather idle and drunken servant Francis Barber was one such. I repeat - slavery was never legal in Britain. This is perfectly well known and cannot really be disputed.

You do have a point about slavery in the "sugar islands" which as noted was ended by Act of Parliament in 1832.

Sent from my Blackberry.

Jim Ledger
08-25-2009, 03:17 PM
Sugar cane products such as molasses and Rum are clearly commodities under crude industrialized products which served as currency until 1860s.

The mills, flumes and packaging were on large scale. Even whitneys machines were complementry to these industries. Steam powered machines were brought in when there was a spike in slave prices.

Before the invention of Whitneys cotton gin, cotton wasn't a profitable crop. There was too much hand labor involved in de-seeding the bolls. The machine made the cotton industry possible in the South, resulting in an ever increasing demand for field slaves as cotton supplanted tobacco as the prime cash crop.

Peerie Maa
08-25-2009, 03:21 PM
The processing of the sugar into refined products happened on the plantations, so although a process requiring machinery, it was dispersed, rather that at an industrial mill which centralises the production in a large manufactory. It was not Industrialised to the same extent as the IR mills and 'factories.

PeterSibley
08-25-2009, 04:29 PM
One of the ubiquitous features of New England are the stone walls. The stones themselves are rounded granite. deposited across the landscape by the glaciers. The walls are less to enclose fields than a place to deposit these stones during plowing. Every year a new crop works its way to the surface. This, combined with the often-sandy soil makes New England a less-than-ideal place to farm.



This has become a lovely thread , it's very interesting to hear more about early US agriculture .It's not much discussed in Australian schools ....although I did study US history at school !

I do have to draw attention Jim ,to the mythical swimming rocks !:D
They don't swim Jim ,it's called soil erosion ,the soil suraface erodes away exposing new rock every year . On plowed sloping soil losses can be truly massive .20 ton per acre per year on plowed ground is not unusual .I've heard of far ,far worse .Up to 100 ton per acre per year .

damnyankee
08-25-2009, 04:47 PM
This has become a lovely thread , it's very interesting to hear more about early US agriculture .It's not much discussed in Australian schools ....although I did study US history at school !

I do have to draw attention Jim ,to the mythical swimming rocks !:D
They don't swim Jim ,it's called soil erosion ,the soil suraface erodes away exposing new rock every year . On plowed sloping soil losses can be truly massive .20 ton per acre per year on plowed ground is not unusual .I've heard of far ,far worse .Up to 100 ton per acre per year .

Not a lot of soil in New England. We have the Ice age to thank for that. Its so bad that you need to blast bedrock if you want to build anything. I worked for a blasting company for a season several years ago (many of the fourmies will recognize Maine Drilling and Blasting's blue trucks). Interesting work. Rock has to be removed for everything from interstates to swimming pools. Having been inhabited sense the very early 17th century, all the easy to build on spots are occupied.

Christopher

PeterSibley
08-25-2009, 05:06 PM
Rocks still don't have fins !

As too not much soil ,neither does Oz , but for totally different reasons .

Jim Ledger
08-25-2009, 05:09 PM
I do have to draw attention Jim ,to the mythical swimming rocks !:D
They don't swim Jim ,it's called soil erosion ,the soil suraface erodes away exposing new rock every year . On plowed sloping soil losses can be truly massive .20 ton per acre per year on plowed ground is not unusual .I've heard of far ,far worse .Up to 100 ton per acre per year .

Well, you might be right, Peter. But, in New England the winter weather often produces above freezing temperatures during the day and sub-freezing at night. Frost heave, probably combined with plowing and erosion, is a factor in throwing up small and medium sized rocks. An hours drive through the area will convince you that all these stones couldn't have been lying on the surface at one time, but were removed year after year.

This is a bit of Rhode Island hillside. Newport, actually, near the ocean, but not untypical. Scraped clean by glaciation, with a thin layer of soil on top of rock.

http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m193/searover1916/april07060.jpg

Now, back to the subject at hand...:D

PeterSibley
08-25-2009, 05:21 PM
Thanks Jim ,I might have to concede ? I know frost heave is deadly on foundations that don't go below the freeze ....I was unaware that it could have an effect on stones within the strata .
That kind of freezing is not something either Oz or NZ experience .....however ,I do remain suspicious !:D

Great photo !!! and damn nice building material .

Stiletto
08-26-2009, 06:45 PM
Great post Peter, thanks for the link.

The phenomenon of rocks rising(?) to the surface is mirrored here in NZ's Far North, only instead of rock they are pieces of what is known as swamp kauri, which is timber from trees felled by some catastrophic event that occured pre human habitation.
Erosion doesnt cause it in this case because as a rule the fields are covered in kikuyu grass and the chunks of wood keep on surfacing..

To this day landowners have piles of this timber in paddocks so that machinery can operate without obstruction in areas that are being converted to horticulture. It wasnt as much of an issue when being grazed because animals would walk around them.

Perhaps they are 'floating' because they are wood instead of rock.

damnyankee
08-27-2009, 07:53 AM
Rocks actually do "float."
I forget which PBS show this was, but some scientists took a jar filled with rocks and sand and then vibrated the hell out of it, and the rocks came to the surface. The reason was as the rocks vibrated they would open a space below them and then sand would fill the void. every time this happened the rock would move up a few grains of sand. Now that I think about it more, I think they where experimenting about beach erosion.

Christopher

Art Read
08-27-2009, 09:17 AM
"They don't swim Jim ,it's called soil erosion ,the soil suraface erodes away exposing new rock every year ."

__________________________________________________ __

New England farmers do indeed "grow" rocks. Entirely frost heave. Erosion such as you speak of would have left exposed bedrock generations ago. If anything, the soil in New England is accumulating.

Captain Blight
08-27-2009, 09:51 AM
One of the first things I read here on the forum, a little over a year ago, was somebody posting something-- pretty long post and a good read, IIRC-- about some 15-pound-brain Ca. 1800 (Englishman, naturally) who developed the first modern lathe; to do so, he first had to cut a perfect screw, by hand, in wood.

Ring a bell for anybody? I think the thread might have been disappeared, because I just can't find it.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
08-27-2009, 10:00 AM
'Twas I.

Referring to one of my heroes, another of the forgotten giants of the Industrial Revolution, Henry Maudslay:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Maudslay

He didn't cut his first perfect thread in wood, though, but in steel.

Having done it once, his screw cutting lathe could replicate itself.

If there were a Patron Saint of Toolmakers, it would be Maudslay.

His life story gives the lie to several of our ideas about Victorian England. I love the account of him marrying his boss's housemaid and asking for a pay rise (refused) then setting up on his own and getting the Navy contract for block making machinery.

Cross refer to Eli Whitney on standardisation of parts...

Captain Blight
08-27-2009, 10:04 AM
Thank you MR C-B!!

Jim Ledger
08-27-2009, 10:07 AM
Although there were earlier screw cutting lathes, the one made by Henry Maudsley around 1800, was the first one to have interchangeable gears, permitting the cutting of different threads and pitches. This machine permitted the development of the rest of the different machine tools.

Without this machine, interchangeable parts would have been an interesting idea and nothing more.

Andrew, I must have read your post last year.:D

Andrew Craig-Bennett
08-27-2009, 10:10 AM
Thanks, Jim - can I encourage you to say more on this?

Dan McCosh
08-27-2009, 10:16 AM
I've always wondered who invented a drill that could drill steel.

Rick-Mi
08-27-2009, 10:20 AM
Very interesting discussion. I can't add to it, but sure have enjoyed reading the different perspectives.



.

Jim Ledger
08-27-2009, 10:23 AM
Thanks, Jim - can I encourage you to say more on this?

Sorry, Andrew, That's all I know about Maudsley without looking it up. I could perhaps do a paragraph on the interchangeable gears if you like but you probably know that already.;)

What I was wondering is how large iron object were turned prior to this date. Cannon barrels, for instance. Or, for a higher order of precision, early steam engine cylinders and pistons. Newcomens atmospheric engine was made around 1730 and there were others, less successful, before that. That must have involves considerable machining due to the size of the parts involved.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
08-27-2009, 10:37 AM
I think I can remember something on the boring of gun barrels before Maudslay (who of course was born in, and began work at, the Woolwich Arsenal).

I have read an account of a primitive method in, of all places, Wallace's "Malay Archipelago".

Will rack my brains.

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
08-27-2009, 10:44 AM
Google Books (http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=xuDDqqa8FlwC&pg=PA371&lpg=PA371&dq=early+cannon+boring&source=bl&ots=dAt7AHDllI&sig=v668eDgzcME-xZbE5GwvEoypUlc&hl=en&ei=PamWSsfjGdyfjAf57-G7DA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=2#v=onepage&q=early%20cannon%20boring&f=false) on early boring.

A history of mechanical inventions, Volume 15 By Abbott Payson Usher

.... fun - Wilkinson's patent of 1774.

Jim Ledger
08-27-2009, 10:59 AM
Good stuff, P.I.

Which gets me wondering, in the other direction. Small and precise. Harrisons chronometers, for one instance, and a world of clock making prior to 1800. There must have been a tremendous amount of thread cutting involved, of all different sizes. Taps and dies maybe?

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
08-27-2009, 11:08 AM
Keep reading - this is great stuff - Brunel to American tin clocks in four pages!

Keith Wilson
08-27-2009, 11:12 AM
another of the forgotten giants of the Industrial Revolution, Henry Maudslay . . . Excellent! Maudslay's one of my heroes. Thanks for bringing him up; he deserves more recognition.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
08-27-2009, 11:15 AM
Ah, clockmaking before 1800 is a subject on which I can bore for England!

The accurate land based clock was produced by a sort of Silicon Valley Effect in London between 1659 and 1671. The hero of the piece is Ahasuerus Fromanteel, but as should admit the possibility of some industrial espionage by his son on the work of Christiaan Huygens on pendulums.

In 1558 clocks were accurate to a quarter of an hour a morning.

By 1671 they were accurate to a minute a week.

A friend has a clock by Edward East, clockmaker to Charles 1 and Charles II, and it is indeed accurate to a minute a week.

Early clockmakers cut their own wheels and pinions and cast their own plates; later on there was a small measure of specialisation.

The likes of Thomas Tompion and espescially his partner "honest" George Graham, who developed the mercury pendulum and the deadbeat escapement, got accuracy down to second a week by the 1720's.

The honesty arises in part from Tompion and Graham both being Quakers.

It is ironic that Graham has gone down in recent history mainly as the patron of John Harrison; Graham was an outstanding horologist in his own right.

Keith Wilson
08-27-2009, 11:50 AM
. . . a subject on which I can bore for England!:D:D

Ted Hoppe
08-27-2009, 02:04 PM
It is interesting to contemplate what really was the industrial revolution. When a single blacksmith or artIsian makes useful tools and item, it is one thing but when a collective-guild-corporation forms for mass production it becomes a different matter. Purpose built machines built to ease labor even more so. Powered machine even more so. *When machines are used make machines or is it when makers of machine products and processes claimed a patient on a turn of art does one regards it as industrial. Ultimately, one could reasonably argue that when pieces of newly invented machines were made with interchangable parts that a true industrial revolution happened.

If one tries to seperate the processing of raw agricultural products into consumer goods with powered machines as opposed to purposes built machines creating products, it muddys the progressive technology waters. Clearly industrial activity has been arround for thousands of years. Ship building, weapon makers, silk textiles have a presidence in this regard. An Anglo-American perspective of the industrial revolution surely favors the wonder in the age of enlightenment during colonial expansion with tremendous raw natural resources, and restrictive trade policies within inter empire entities.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
08-27-2009, 02:31 PM
Ted, the guilds were not organised for mass production; they were organised for the following reasons:

1. To allow the members of their craft independence from feudal obligations

2. To regulate training of apprentices

3. To regulate and ensure quality

4. Not least, to preserve a professional monopoly. Restrictive trade policies long predate the colonial empires.

PeterSibley
08-27-2009, 05:16 PM
"They don't swim Jim ,it's called soil erosion ,the soil suraface erodes away exposing new rock every year ."

__________________________________________________ __

New England farmers do indeed "grow" rocks. Entirely frost heave. Erosion such as you speak of would have left exposed bedrock generations ago. If anything, the soil in New England is accumulating.

Gentlemen...I concede .I have learnt a little more .:)

damnyankee
08-28-2009, 05:40 PM
Gentlemen...I concede .I have learnt a little more .:)

You will have to come visit. See the swiming rocks, and the leaves, and the Camden Maine Schooners, and the WB school, bring me an acubra... ect.


Christopher

PeterSibley
08-28-2009, 05:49 PM
Christopher , it's planned ...one day !

Ted Hoppe
08-29-2009, 12:00 AM
Ted, the guilds were not organised for mass production; they were organised for the following reasons:

1. To allow the members of their craft independence from feudal obligations

2. To regulate training of apprentices

3. To regulate and ensure quality

4. Not least, to preserve a professional monopoly. Restrictive trade policies long predate the colonial empires.

The earliest guilds were formed as confraternities of workers. They were organized in a manner something between a trade union, a cartel and a secret society. They often depended on grants of letters patent by an authority or monarch to enforce the flow of trade to their self-employed members, and to retain ownership of tools and the supply of materials. The modern patent system was set up to break the power of the guilds.

Sounds like an industrial system to me. Mass production was never needed until the flow of goods became easier to transport to extended markets.

It seems that governments' grant of limited monopolies to inventors under a developing patent system (the Statute of Monopolies 1623) could be considered an influential factor. The effects of patents, both good and ill, on the development of industrialisation are clearly illustrated in the history of the steam engine, the key enabling technology. In return for publicly revealing the workings of an invention, the patent system rewarded inventors such as James Watt by allowing them to monopolise the production of the first steam engines, thereby rewarding inventors and increasing the pace of technological development. However monopolies bring with them their own inefficiencies which may counterbalance, or even overbalance, the beneficial effects of publicising ingenuity and rewarding inventors. Watt's monopoly may have prevented other inventors, such as Richard Trevithick, William Murdoch or Jonathan Hornblower, from introducing improved steam engines, thereby retarding the industrial revolution by up to 20 years

Bob (oh, THAT Bob)
08-29-2009, 12:26 AM
I heard a very interesting interview on the radio today ,this is the link .
http://www.abc.net.au/rn/counterpoint/stories/2009/2662082.htm.
A somewhat different proposition regarding the reasons for the time and place of the beginning of the industrial revolution .The speaker was Robert Allen ,Professor of Economic History, Professorial Fellow, Nuffield College. University of Oxford .

Why did the industrial revolution take place in eighteenth-century Britain and not elsewhere in Europe or Asia? In this convincing new account Robert Allen argues that the British industrial revolution was a successful response to the global economy of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. He shows that in Britain wages were high and capital and energy cheap in comparison to other countries in Europe and Asia. As a result, the breakthrough technologies of the industrial revolution - the steam engine, the cotton mill, and the substitution of coal for wood in metal production - were uniquely profitable to invent and use in Britain. The high wage economy of pre-industrial Britain also fostered industrial development since more people could afford schooling and apprenticeships. It was only when British engineers made these new technologies more cost-effective during the nineteenth century that the industrial revolution would spread around the world.

http://www.cambridge.org/aus/catalogue/catalogue.asp?isbn=9780521687850

Absolutely. If you look at the most prosperous and productive years in the USA, it was also when the middle class was relatively well paid and energy and capital were cheap. However, in both cases, there was also little competition at the time. Britain ruled the early industrial revolution, America the second half of the 20th century. The 21st century? I'm thinking China.

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
08-29-2009, 01:46 AM
..... Britain ruled the early industrial revolution, America the second half of the 20th century. The 21st century? I'm thinking China.

Dirty British Coaster with a salt-caked smoke stack
Butting through the Channel in the mad March days,
With a cargo of Tyne coal,
Road-rail, pig-lead,
Firewood, iron-ware, and cheap tin trays.

There's damn all coal comes down the Tyne these days, the Iron production is owned by the Indians, Lead's been pretty near banned and the "Cheap Tin Tray" is now made of melamine somewhere in South East Asia...

Understandably, the coasting trade dried up in the fifties.