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Stories about the lives we've made

module:Textiles: From domestic to factory production

The Industrial Revolution and the textiles industries

page:Evidence of buildings: Factory production

Mill buildings

Styal Mill was a large factory near Manchester, built by the Greg family for making cotton. Its earliest parts were opened in 1784, though many of the present buildings date from later. It was originally powered by water, with the water wheel subsequently replaced by a much larger wheel. In turn, this was eventually replaced by steam power.

Clock and bell at Styal Mill. © J.N.Hare, c.2002

Notice the clock and the bell. The clock is not original. Factories, like large schools, needed a single official source of timekeeping. Here, the bell was used to note the passage of time. Strict adherence to fixed timescales was seen as essential in the factory to ensure that everyone started and stopped at the same time.

Open question

If we look around us we can see that much still remains of our industrial past. In what ways do these surviving buildings point to the differences between domestic and factory production?

Resource Descriptions

Clock and bell at Styal Mill.
Learning Module
Learning Module