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★ Cotton

Cotton: see Industry & Manufacturing & Clothes & Factory & Textiles & Wool & Canals & Slavery & South & Agriculture & Plants & Fashion

America: The Story of the US TV - Jacob Bronowski TV - The British TV - Jeremy Paxman TV - Mark Williams TV - Ronald Top TV - David Christy - Muddy Waters - Phil Gramm - Alex Shoumatoff - A N Wilson - Louis Hughes - Pete Daniel - Richard Barbrook - Niall Ferguson TV - The Genius of Invention TV - Reginald D Hunter TV - David Olusoga TV - Michael Buerk TV - Stacey Dooley TV -         

 

 

28,833.  The US is gaining ground.  Spreading out across North America.  The economy is booming.  In the south there’s cotton.  In the north industry.  But the new nation is divided.  In a land where all men are created equal four million black Americans live as slaves.  And it’s tearing the nation apart.  (United States of America & Slavery & Cotton & South & Industrial Revolution)  America: The Story of the US: Division, History 2010

 

48,197.  Cotton: but its rapid spread will plant the seeds of war.  Tropical cotton flourishes in American southern states.  Its valuable soft fibres are easy to grow.  But processing cotton is labour intensive.  By hand separating seeds from fibre in a couple of kilos of raw cotton could take a whole day.  A simple patent filed on the 4th March 1794 changes that: the cotton gin.  By automating the process it deeply divides the country.  (United States of America & Slavery & Cotton & South & Industrial Revolution)  ibid.  

 

48,198.  By 1830 America is producing half the world’s cotton; by 1850 it’s nearly three-quarters.  Cold white gold, cotton supports a new lavish life- style in the south.  (United States of America of America & Slavery & Cotton & South & Industrial Revolution)  ibid.

 

28,834.  With the cotton explosion, slavery becomes critical to the economy of the south.  Slaves are now up to five times more valuable than before the invention of the cotton gin.  (United States of America & Slavery & Cotton & South & Industrial Revolution)  ibid.

 

48,199.  But over-production is destroying the land.  So cotton heads west in search of fertile soil, bringing slavery with it.  (United States of America & Slavery & Cotton & South & Industrial Revolution)  ibid. 

 

48,200.  The boom is powered on a new machine: the power loom.  Raw cotton comes in; finished cloth goes out.  All under one roof.  The modern factory is born ... 85% are single women between fifteen and twenty-five.  Harriett Robinson is ten.  (United States of America & Slavery & Cotton & South & Industrial Revolution & Factory & Manufacturing)  ibid.

 

48,201.  The mills also revolutionised how Americans dressed.  (United States of America a& Slavery & Cotton & South & Industrial Revolution & Factory & Manufacturing & Clothes)  ibid.

 

4,783.  And together they begin to make their voices heard.  In October 1836 women from the Lowell Mills gather after work and organise.  Their protest against wage cuts is one of the first strikes in US history.  And they will win.  The mill bosses backed down.  A generation of young women go on to become teachers, writers and college graduates.  Harriet Robinson would become a leading suffragette.  (Woman & United States of America & Suffragettes & Trade Unions & Cotton & Strike & Solidarity & Industrial Action & Industrial Revolution & Factory)  ibid.

 

 

5,806.  Cotton underwear and soap could work a transformation in the lives of the poor.  (Evolution & Cotton & Humanity)  Jacob Bronowski, The Ascent of Man 8/13: The Drive For Power, BBC 1973    

 

 

30,434.  Lancaster 1768 ... They are trying to build a machine to stretch and spin cotton perfectly.  (Great Britain & England & Cotton & Industrial Revolution)  The British V: Superpower, Sky Atlantic 2012

 

30,435.  The Luddites are now doomed: they cannot resist the power of the state or the advance of the machine.  (Great Britain & England & Cotton & Industrial Revolution)  ibid.

 

30,436.  Lancashire’s cotton mills will employ 120,000 people.  (Great Britain & England & Cotton & Industrial Revolution)  ibid.

 

 

31,258.  By the 1920s Lancashire’s cotton mills dominated the world market.  (England & Great Britain & Empire & Cotton)  Jeremy Paxman, Empire IV: Making a Fortune, BBC 2012

 

31,259.  Gandhi was coming to Britain and would visit Lancashire.  (England & Great Britain & Empire & Cotton)  ibid.

 

 

49,196.  By the middle of the eighteenth century Manchester is a boom town ... The cotton industry is booming.  It’s not mechanised yet.  But it’s attracting lots of workers.  (Cotton & Industrial Revolution & Great Britain & England & Manchester)  Mark Williams, Industrial Revelations s1e1: Boom Time, Discovery 2002

 

50,111.  Cotton was the first industry to be revolutionised.  (Canal & Cotton & Industrial Revolution & Great Britain & England & Manchester)  ibid.  

 

 

49,188.  One of the glories of the industrial revolution for which we should all get down on our knees and give thanks was that people went from wearing this to this: in the nineteenth century we will be mostly wearing cotton undergarments.  Cotton wasn’t just more comfortable, it was more healthy too.  (Cotton & Textiles & Industrial Revolution & Manufacturing & Great Britain & England)  Mark Williams, Industrial Revelations s1e2: Pants for All

 

49,189.  All of a sudden cotton was cheap.  And that was a revolution.  (Cotton & Textiles & Industrial Revolution & Manufacturing & Great Britain & England)  ibid.

 

49,190.  Cotton – much more difficult to spin than wool.  Has a short staple length ... The Spinning Jenny worked on the same principle as the Spinning Wheel ... The Jenny took cotton out of the home and into the workshops, sounding the death-knell for spinning as a cottage industry.  (Cotton & Textiles & Industrial Revolution & Manufacturing & Factory & Great Britain & England)  ibid.

 

49,191.  They smashed the new machines and rioted and people died.  So if you wanted to make a profit from this new technology you had to protect your investment.  (Cotton & Textiles & Industrial Revolution & Manufacturing & Factory & Great Britain & England)  ibid.

 

49,192.  Cromford was to become Britain’s spin-city.  (Cotton & Textiles & Industrial Revolution & Manufacturing & Factory & Great Britain & England)  ibid.

 

49,193.  Beautiful patterned cotton from India was all the rage.  (Cotton & Textiles & Industrial Revolution & Manufacturing & Great Britain & England)  ibid.

 

49,194.  Cotton could now be spun in mills on Arkwright’s frames using cheap unskilled labour and the latest water-powered technology.  (Cotton & Textiles & Industrial Revolution & Manufacturing & Factory & Great Britain & England)  ibid.

 

49,195.  It had made Arkwright an extremely wealthy man and turned spinners into factory employees ... The people who worked in this mill couldn’t stop and start, come and go as they pleased as they used to when they worked from home: they were now factory employees.  And they worked when Arkwright told them.  Just imagine the noise.  Arkwright was the prototype mill owner.  These are his workers’ houses.  He invented most of the oppressive working practices we now associate with the bad old days, making women and children work from six in the morning until seven at night for a pittance.  And once a year he made his workers sing his song: ‘Let us all here join as one, and give him thanks for favours done.  Let’s thank him for all favours still that he hath done beside the mill.  Modestly drink liquor about and see whose health you can find out.  This will I choose above the rest – Sir Richard Arkwright is the best.’  Was he really!  It better have been a good tune.  (Cotton & Textiles & Industrial Revolution & Manufacturing & Factory & Great Britain & England)  ibid.

 

47,835.  They laid rails but they treated the route as if it was a canal.  Long flat sections interspersed with short steep inclines sometimes up to one in seven.  The new railway reinforced Cromford’s importance as an industrial centre.  Cheap cotton could now be sent to the weaving mills of Lancashire.  These original Cromford & High Peak Company rails are cast-iron and one point two metres in length.  They are all straight.  (Railway & Cotton & Engineering & Industrial Revolution & Great Britain & England)  ibid.

 

 

48,114.  Steam power had finally arrived in the textile industry.  And this is what the boilers are generating steam for: it’s a tandem – because there are two cylinders one in front of the other like a bike – compound – because the steam is used more than once – condensing – because downstairs is James Watt's separate condenser - creating a partial vacuum in this the big cylinder – steam engine!  It develops five hundred horsepower.  (Steam & Engineering & Textiles & Cotton & Factory & Manufacturing & Industrial Revolution & Great Britain & England)  Mark Williams: Industrial Revelations s1e4: Pennine Passage

 

48,115.  Because this is what it’s driving – three hundred power looms.  You can get an idea of how loud it is, but you can’t feel the concrete floor vibrating ... Now everything is powered by steam.  (Steam & Engineering & Textiles & Cotton & Factory & Manufacturing & Industrial Revolution & Great Britain & England)  ibid.

 

 

54,477.  By the 1760s they could use a Spinning Jenny: a glorified spinning wheel with several spindles: but even it couldn’t keep up with demand.  (Steam & Engineering & Textiles & Cotton & Factory & Manufacturing & Industrial Revolution & Great Britain & England)  Ronald Top, More Industrial Revelations s4e4: Europe – Cotton, Linen and Rope, Discovery 2006

 

54,478.  Arkwright built a series of mills across the north of England.  This is Cromford: the first.  His appetite for cotton was insatiable.  (Steam & Engineering & Textiles & Cotton & Factory & Manufacturing & Industrial Revolution & Great Britain & England)  ibid.

 

49,218.  The price of cotton plummeted ... Linen was really hit hard.  Although linen came from a home-grown product – flax – unlike cotton which was imported.  The linen industry in France and Belgium had remained unchanged for hundreds of years.  (Cotton & Textiles)  ibid.

 

49,219.  Mass production had reached the linen industry but perhaps a little too late.  It never truly recovered from cotton’s competition.  (Cotton & Textiles)  ibid.  

 

 

49,202.  King cotton cares not whether he employs slaves or freemen.  David Christy, author Cotton is King; Or, the Economic Relations of Slavery

 

 

49,203.  Oh, I started out young.  They handed me a cotton sack when I was about 8 years old.  Give me a little small one, tell me to fill it up.  I never did like the farm but I was out there with my grandmother, didn’t want to get away from around her too far.  Muddy Waters

 

 

49,204.  Half the world does not know the joys of wearing cotton underwear.  Phil Gramm

 

 

49,205.  The usual way of growing cotton is highly petrochemical-intensive, requiring 110 pounds of nitrogen fertilizer per acre.  Some of the fertilizer is broken down by soil bacteria into nitrate, a toxic and highly soluble chemical that can leach into groundwater or get washed into lakes, creating oxygenless dead zones.  Alex Shoumatoff

 

 

49,206.  In the 18th century, James Hargreaves invented the Spinning Jenny, and Richard Arkwright pioneered the water-propelled spinning frame which led to the mass production of cotton.  This was truly revolutionary.  The cotton manufacturers created a whole new class of people – the urban proletariat.  The structure of society itself would never be the same.  (Cotton & Factory & Manufacture & Textiles & Industrial Revolution & England & Great Britain & Engineering)  A N Wilson

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