William Blake - Tony Benn - Kurt Vonnegut - Jacob Bronowski TV - The Men Who Built America TV - The British TV - Jeremy Paxman TV - Empires TV - Noam Chomsky - Mark Williams TV - Ronald Top TV - A N Wilson TV - Elon Musk - Fred Dibnah TV - William Wordsworth - John Ruskin - America: The Story of the US TV - Samuel Smiles - Stephen Hawking TV - Everyday Miracles TV - Thatcher: The Downing Street Years TV - Back in Time for the Weekend TV - Henry Ford - The Lightbulb Conspiracy 2010 - American Factory 2019 -
I turn my eyes to the Schools and Universities of Europe,
And there behold the Loom of Locke, whose Woof rages dire,
Wash’d by the Water-wheels of Newton: black the cloth
In heavy wreaths folds over every Nation: cruel Works
Of many Wheels I view, wheel without wheel, with cogs tyrannic,
Moving by compulsion each other; not as those in Eden, which,
Wheel within wheel, in freedom revolve, in harmony and peace. William Blake, Selections from ‘Jerusalem’
We have come to the end of a chapter in our industrial history. The industrial system to which the Tory Party adheres – at least officially and in its manifestos – has failed us … It is no use blaming working people or the unions if they have to work in ancient factories with obsolete equipment producing old-fashioned goods at unecomonic prices and earning low wages as well. Working people not only are not responsible for the weakness of British manufacturing industry. They have hitherto been denied the tools and tackle that they needed to put it right … We have got to make a fresh start now. We have got to get investment up, and to get it up as soon as we can. If the market economy cannot or will not give us that investment, we must do it direct. Tony Benn, speech House of Commons 17 February 1975
The planet was being destroyed by manufacturing processes, and what was being manufactured was lousy, by and large. Kurt Vonnegut
England was already the leading manufacturing nation. Jacob Bronowski, The Ascent of Man 8/13: The Drive For Power, BBC 1973
Henry Ford had created a new kind of car ... The assembly line completely changed manufacturing for ever. The Men Who Built America VIII: The New Machine, History 2012
Britain earns itself a new title – the Workshop of the World. The British V: Superpower, Sky Atlantic 2012
Britain leads the world in manufacture, trade and engineering. But at a terrible human cost. The British VI: Tale of Two Cities
His factory on the Tyne became Britain’s largest manufacturer of guns and warships. With the profits of war Armstrong built his very own stately home ... In 1887 he became Baron Armstrong. Jeremy Paxman, The Victorians: Having It All, BBC 2009
They had pioneered the age of steam. They made more than half the world’s industrial goods, and three-quarters the world’s trade was carried in British ships. But despite this success Victoria’s cities were pits of poverty and deprivation. Empires: Queen Victoria’s Empire III: The Moral Crusade, PBS 2001
From the 1970s, there has been a significant change in the US economy, as planners, private and state, shifted it toward financialisation and the offshoring of production, driven in part by the declining rate of profit in domestic manufacturing. Noam Chomsky
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 healthier too. Mark Williams, Industrial Revelations s1e2: Pants for All, Discovery 2002
All of a sudden cotton was cheap. And that was a revolution. ibid.
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. ibid.
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. ibid.
Cromford was to become Britain’s spin-city. ibid.
Beautiful patterned cotton from India was all the rage. ibid.
Cotton could now be spun in mills on Arkwright’s frames using cheap unskilled labour and the latest water-powered technology. ibid.
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. ibid.
Creamware: a very pleasant tea-drinking vessel. The man who first made this genteel crockery was a hero of the industrial revolution: engineer, scientist, marketing genius – Josiah Wedgwood turned cups and saucers into an international business empire. Mark Williams s1e3, Industrial Revelations: Clocking On
The Wedgwood factory near Stoke ... A production line: consistent quality on a massive scale. ibid.
This new product used powdered flint for colour and texture. And was made of white clay and stone from Cornwall and bore clay from Devon and Dorset. And Creamware was the speciality of Josiah Wedgwood. Master potter, inventor, and one of the great entrepreneurs of the industrial revolution. ibid.
You can’t put this lot straight into a kiln; you have to make a protective container known as a Sagger. And this job is known as Sagger-maker’s-bottom-knocking ... Leading to this – the Bottle Kiln. ibid.
In fifty years revolutionaries like Wedgwood transformed the trade of potter into an industry. Wedgwood’s manufactory innovations were so well executed and so durable that Cream, or rather Queensware, is still made today. ibid.
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 500 horsepower. Mark Williams: Industrial Revelations s1e4: Pennine Passage
Because this is what it’s driving – 300 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. ibid.
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. Ronald Top, More Industrial Revelations: Europe s4e4: Cotton, Linen and Rope, Discovery 2006
Arkwright built a series of mills across the north of England. This is Cromford, the first. His appetite for cotton was insatiable. ibid.
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. A N Wilson
The Enlightenment ... All of those things in a single individual ... Wedgwood was a founding father of the industrial revolution with a relentless urge to change. A N Wilson, The Genius of Josiah Wedgwood, BBC 2013
The company went through a post-war renaissance. ibid.
America would become Wedgwood's most important overseas market. ibid.
Josiah asked for permission to call his Creamware – Queensware. ibid.
Josiah’s science was self-taught. ibid.
The rumours of the demise of the US manufacturing industry are greatly exaggerated. Elon Musk
By 1813 William Cockerill’s manufacturing empire employed 50 blacksmiths and 1,500 wool workers. The Fred Dibnah Story: Beginnings, BBC 1978
By 1830 Cockerill was the largest integrated company in the world of Europe. Maybe even the world. ibid.
Fred kept reminding us of the importance of manufacturing industry and of the hard graft of ordinary working people. Fred Dibnah’s World of Steam, Steel and Stone: A Good Day’s Work, BBC 2006
By 1847 Armstrong had given up practising law; he opened his Elswick works on the banks of the River Tyne where he manufactured hydraulics and all sorts of other engineering equipment. Fred Dibnah’s World of Steam, Steel and Stone e4: Men of Steel, BBC 2007
By 1867 the Armstrong company had begun to build iron warships, and in the first fifteen years they built twenty. ibid.