Philobiblon: The early industrial revolution

Friday, October 08, 2004

The early industrial revolution

Engine-looms making silk ribbons grew more common after the Restoration and there were riots in London in August 1675 against their use.
"Trouble started on the night of Sunday 8 August around Moorfields, and over the next four days spread to Spitalfields, Stepney, Whitechapel, Cloth Fair and Blackfriars ... and also beyond that to Stratford le Bow, Westminster, and Southwark. .. One report claimed that there were 'reckoned to be above 30,000' tumultuous weavers in the City of London alone .... at least 85 engine-looms belonging to 24 different owners were destroyed.
... of the 201 suspects who eventually appeared in court, 11 were females. This is in contrast to the more specifically political riots of the reign, for which there is no evidence of female participation."
From T. Harris, London Crowds in the Reign of Charles II, Cambridge Uni Press, 1987, p. 193.


Blogger Ronnie Smartt said...

Sounds a lot of tumultuous weavers. Do you know what engine-looms were: how they were powered. I had thought that handloom weaving went on until the nineteenth century I might drag up from a mire of ignorance words and names like Luddites and Jacquard, but I think now that they were more worried about steam-power and that his changes were to improve the weaving of complicated patterns. Even so I still wonder if the Industrial Revolution started sooner than I had known or if silk was sui generis or if I have misunderstood.

10/08/2004 11:39:00 pm  

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