Talk:Cotton mill

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I added some stuff to the England section and removed the stub stamp (as it now has more than the America which isn't a stub)--Whap 12:55, 14 January 2007 (UTC)

Why does this section contiually refer to the fiber as wool, when talking about cotton mills? I would think that the manufacture of cotton would be slightly different from that of other textiles, as I thought it was originally only inported into England, and wasn't used there much until the spinning jenny in the mid 1700's, at which point making cotton cloth was no longer a cottage industry. Loggie 21:16, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

I've gone through the England (now Great Britian) section and removed the references to the cottage industry stage and wool. I removed the cottage industry stage because the information on processing the cotton should go in the processing the cotton section. I removed the wool parts, because cotton is not wool.
Also, I wonder if it would not be better to merge the Great Britian and United States section into a history section, as they are both history related, and it isn't as if the cotton mills in the US were all that different from those in Great Britian. Loggie 23:28, 4 March 2007 (UTC)


Textile mill redirects here. Is this correct? Are there not other kinds of textiles not using cotton? -- Centrx 20:03, 10 June 2006 (UTC)

Well, there were 'silk mills' (q.v. John Lombe) so there may be a need for a disambig page. Noisy | Talk 23:02, 10 June 2006 (UTC)
I have converted Textile mill into a disambiguation page, but this merely reveals that more articles are needed. Peterkingiron 17:49, 27 January 2007 (UTC)


Trying not to be biased (as it is my part of the world!), shouldn't there be a mention of (what is now) the Greater Manchester region (which was sometimes called "Cottonpolis", and "King Cotton"), specifically places like Oldham - which was the most productive cotton spinning town in the world, and Royton - which was the first town (though not settlement) where a cotton mill was built (and the place where the last was built in England). I realise there may be other regions which played a role in the evolution of the cotton mill, but I think these are fairly significant, even just for a passing mention. Thoughts? Jhamez84 13:48, 23 October 2006 (UTC)

Royton Mill[edit]

If Royton Mill is really the first Cotton Mill, it needs an article of its own. This should cite somethign more reliable than modern newspaper articles and websites that cite no sources. Its alleged date of 1764 is before Arkwright's patent, which makes me suspicious, particularly as Wadsworth and Mann say nothing of the subject. Peterkingiron 18:00, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

Since no one has responded to my request above, I have moved the statement about Royton Mill to a point later in the article, and added a skeptical tone to it. Peterkingiron 16:35, 20 February 2007 (UTC)
Jhamez84 has been making strong claims for priority in regard to Oldham, and has (quite properly) cited a number of local information sites. However, it is far from clear to me what is being claimed for Royton Mill. Is this about the spinning jenny? This certainly may have been invented as early as 1764, but the jenny was initially a manual machine which people used in their homes, not in mills. The word mill in the context of the texile industry is loosely used as a synonym for any factory. However, in an encyclpaedia it ought to be limited to its strict sense, which I would take to be an artificially machine or the building containing it. A water mill and a wind mill are the obvious cases, but it is perfectly legitimate to extend it to a horse mill and a tread mill. In each case, power is being provided from outside a machine to drive it. From the 1790s, many cotton-spinning works were steam-engine powered, and common usage naturally extended the term 'mill' to apply to them. That was evidently common usage, about which I cannot complain. However, a workshop where there were a number of manually-operated spinning jennies ought not the be called a mill.
My concern is that a number of unrelated facts (each true individually) have been brought together to produce a synthesis that is either untrue or at best misleading. The spinning jenny may have been invented in 1764 (but this is not certain); jennies were later (but not initially) operated by mills; a mill at Royton may have built in 1764 (which I do not know). I therefore ask for a thorough account of the history and acheivements of Royton Mill based on veriable academic publications. Popular information sites are all very well, but rather too liable to copy ewach other in repeating information that is in fact inaccurate. Peterkingiron 16:11, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

I would re-emphasise my last comment. There seems to be a gap in what is known of the advance of textile technology between the faiulure of the mills at Northampton and Leominster and the incorporation of a carding machine into Arkwright's water frame and the appearance of the scribbling mill (called elsewhere carding mill) in the Yorkshire woollen industry. Both have an origin in Lancashire, but I have been unable to discover precisely what. It may be that the claims about Royton Mill have a substantial basis, which I have not found, but what has been provided so far is merely unverified local rumour. Whether this has a substantial basis remains unclear. If it does, it needs to be incorporated into the story; if it cannot be verified, it should be deleted. Peterkingiron 08:38, 7 April 2007 (UTC)

I have just undone the latest revision by Jhamez84, who seems to give the claims of Royton Mill undue prominence. I accept that he cites three Internet references, but (with the possible exception of 'spinning the web', these are not authorative sources. His comment appears to accuse me of 'personal interpretation of sources'. That I refute; I have been careful to cite my sources for the earlier cotton mills at Northampton and Leominster (both towns). I have succeeded in tracing older references to what turns out to be Thorpe Mill, Royton, not 'Royton Mill', but only (so far) as a passing allusion. The text provided is an exact quotation from Victoria County History, Lancs. V (1911), a reputable (but now old) academic source, with a citation. Unfortunately this indicates nothing about its significance.

  • A month or two back, I looked for any academic source over several weeks without success. In particular, I found nothing on the subject in an English Heritage book on Lancashire textile mills. While that is primarily about standing buildings, I could not believe that the authors would have ignored something as important as this. In consequence, I am very suspicious of the correctness of the statement.
  • I accept that the paragraph was inappropriately located, and have moved it up to (I hope) a more appropriate place.
  • It is quite possible that Thorpe Mill is of great significance. There appears to be a gap in the history of the carding mill. This is said to have reached Yorkshire from beyond the Pennines in c.1780. However, no progess appears to have been made with that subject since W B Crumpe in the 1930s. Research in Lancashire has largely related to cotton, where mill developments can be traced back to Arkwright's developments at Nottingham and Cromford. Mill-based technology for carded woollens is derived from that for cotton, but there appears to be a missing link in what we know.
  • Please discuss this matter HERE. I do not want to engage in competitive editing, as this is an undesirable practice. I hope to follow back the source in the next few days and will further edit the article according to what I find. However the most recent secondary reference that I have found refers to 'jenny shops', in which case, my correction may be wrong. If so, I will correct it myself. Peterkingiron 11:11, 2 May 2007 (UTC)
I have now traced the source of the statement about Royton Mill - It comes from Butterworth, Oldham who had it from an aged inhabitant, whom he quotes expressing doubt about the statement. All other references are derived from this and add nothing to it. Please do not treat the other references as independent authorities: THEY ARE NOT. I hope this lays this controversy to rest. Thorpe Mill (incorrectly described previously as Royton Mill) was the first cotton mill in Oldham parish; it was probably not the first in Lancashire and certain not the first in the world. Peterkingiron 19:31, 3 May 2007 (UTC)

Lacking Sources?[edit]

The article is tagged as lacking sources, but I see a good amount of sources on the page and no discussion as to a complaint about sources missing. I've taken the tag out for lacking sources, but this talk section is here in case someone complains :) Silivrenion 11:58, 1 April 2007 (UTC)

Roller Spinning machine[edit]

I have added the following, if someone can think of a better way to integrate this please do, Roller Spinning machine was extremely important and the fact it gave rise to Arkwright's water frame even more so..

'In 1738 Lewis Paul and John Wyatt, of Birmingham, patented a Roller Spinning machine and a flyer-and-bobbin system, for drawing cotton to a more even thickness, using two sets of rollers that travelled at different speeds. This principle was the basis of Richard Arkwright later water frame.'

1757: Rev John Dyer of Northampton recognises the importance of the Paul and Wyatt cotton spinning machine in poem:

"A circular machine, of new design In conic shape: it draws and spins a thread Without the tedious toil of needless hands. A wheel invisible, beneath the floor, To ev'ry member of th' harmonius frame, Gives necessary motion. One intent O'erlooks the work; the carded wool, he says, So smoothly lapped around those cylinders, Which gently turning, yield it to yon cirue Of upright spindles, which with rapid whirl Spin out in long extenet an even twine."

see also: science and invention in Birmingham Thanks Nick Boulevard 14:01, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

Spinning jenny and mule[edit]

I would stress that the jenny and mule were NOT initially powered machines and did not require mills. I thus have grave doubts as to whether the jenny should appear in this article at all. It certainly should not have been interjected into the middle of a discussion of the water frame, even if it might chronologically fit there. I have tried to rectify this problem. However, the article does not at present say enough about developments in carding, which Arkwright incorporated inot this second (but invalid) patent. Peterkingiron 23:28, 6 April 2007 (UTC) I have been over the text again to try to put it in a more logical order. I would however draw attention to my remarks above under Royton Mill. I would caution against too much further expansion. If more needs to eb said the right place is probably the articles on the individual technologies. Peterkingiron 08:41, 7 April 2007 (UTC)

I must stress, with regards to Royton - that if you don't like, or don't agree with the paragraph, it's not grounds to remove/undermine it. The threshold for inclusion is verifiability; not truth and not point of view. There are now four seperate sources stating the first cotton mill was in 1764 in Royton. That it didn't employ certain technologies is irrelevant as it was still, verifiabily, the first cotton mill. Jhamez84 23:16, 2 May 2007 (UTC)

Recent addition[edit]

I have just removed the following recetn addition:

There were many accidents in the cotton mills where many people lost limbs and even their own lives.

If the contributor wishes this to be part of the article, he (or she) needs to find a means of includign it without upsetting the flow of the article, and to cite an appropriate source. The statement may be well true, but requires proper discussion, not merely a bland statement. Peterkingiron 18:35, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

First section title[edit]

I've changed the title of the first section from "Great Britain" to "Development of the Cotton Mill", as the former implies that the section is only of local relevance. The story of the development of the cotton mill in Britain is that of the development of the cotton mill globally during the period under discussion. JimmyGuano (talk) 17:44, 3 January 2009 (UTC)

Well done. Peterkingiron (talk) 20:33, 3 January 2009 (UTC)

Cotton Mills?[edit]

I am working on List of mills owned by the Lancashire Cotton Corporation Limited and you are all welcome to join me. In short I added 53 fair use images of Cotton Mills and them needed to populate each of the Notes boxes with something more than was printed in 1951 in this publicity. But is this supposed to be the article on Cotton Mills? Nice touch on Herefordshire- and a good unreferenced section on one of the six processes on producing cotton fabric- but were are the mills? Were are the links to Stott and Sons, the prodigious mill architects? Am I the only one to possess Joseph Naismiths book? Am I going to tread on any toes if I do a bit of surgery and refocus the article on Cotton Mills?

I would suggest that the answer to the issue that you raise is to have another article to provide an expansion of the second paragraph of Water frames. That paragraph could also usefully be expanded, but not by too much, otherwise it will unbalance the article. I would suggest that you start a further article, such as Cotton mills in Lancashire. There was (I think) a book in one of the archaeology series, possibly British Archaeological Reports, or an English Heritage series on Cotton Mills of East Lancashire to provide you with a source. List articles have their place, but it is better if there are substantive articles, which can be placed in a category. Peterkingiron (talk) 17:07, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
Going in cold would be the wrong way to do it. When I have done a major job in the past, I have built up the structure of the articles in my sand box so the articles development is not impeded by existing material- and the existing article remains undamaged until we have a consensus on what will replace it. I am sure that the task is big- and even before we start we need to write some supporting articles: but we do have some excellent resources Manchester City Councils Spinning the web Site has an archive section. Naismiths book is excellent, the references on List of mills owned by the Lancashire Cotton Corporation Limited gives many good leads. We can't limit the text to Lancashire, Stockport was Cheshire, Todmorden was Yorkshire, Dinting and Glossop and Masson Mill were Derbyshire but the final title is well down the line. So I have created a page, User:ClemRutter/Cotton and when real life events (end of UK tax year!) have been dealt with, I will start doing some work. --ClemRutter (talk) 23:32, 18 January 2009 (UTC)

Major rewrite- the logic.[edit]

As I said above, I was unhappy about the article. It was obviously seen as important and many folk had cut and pasted in text to give it some bulk. But it didn't address the title- or even provide references. It didn't say what it was, how it developed and its implications on global society etc.

I set out to address that. I copied the former article to my sandbox, where you can see the edit history, and tried to order it into a history of the various stages of mill development: from a common source in Belper- across two continents through 2 and a half centuries till today. Then I wanted to discuss the architectural features that the cotton mill exhibited- discuss the technology of the mill, and its power plant. At each stage I wanted a concise stub leading to an independent article. Each statement had to be sourced with a harvard format reference. The references need to be hooked to the article.

I cut material that existed elsewhere. I took out a lot of fluff- verbal padding. Every time one has an article on a Cotton related subject, the history of early machine patents is rewritten- that went. I made decisions on whether text was main stream or an interesting aside- I cut more text.

You will see from my bibliography that there are now some interesting resources. Two web sites have an archive of old relevant books. is also several pounds richer. I set about writing material derived from those sources. I reorganised it and deleted material that was off the topic of Cotton Mills- but about the history of the cotton industry. In researching, I discovered the other topics that needed to be included . That included Child Labour (1820) in the UK and Child Labor (1910s) in US. I also discovered that the buildings I had driven past twice a day for 3 years actually were of international importance- not just ugly! New diagrams are coming into commons daily so that needs to be watched.

So now I think it is time to share the text in its uncompleted state so I don't start taking too much ownership. There is a lot to do still- a lot to add- some to cut and the whole lot needs to be copyeditted. I need to complete all the twentieth century stuff and research and add details of Indian and Chinese Mills if indeed they are called Mills.

A lot of my excised text is quarentined in comment statements in the text- some of this needs to be built up into independent articles. I want to continue to work on boilers, size and weight of machines and tie it into the way it affected the mills appearance. I have a couple of svgs I want to create and add.

--ClemRutter (talk) 16:51, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

Wow, you've put in a huge amount of work there, and introduced all sorts of really good stuff.
I do feel there are some fairly big problems with the article as it is though:
  • In general an over-reliance on Williams and Farnie, not a particularly serious academic text, one that is only concerned with a single aspect of the subject (the cotton mills of Greater Manchester) and one that is rather lacking in historical context or analysis, is extremely evident.
  • The article seems to focus in huge detail on trivial facts about apparently random mills (eg "Kent Mill Chadderton (1908) was a five storey, 11 bay mill, 84.6m x 43.9m. It had 90,000 spindles." - why is that significant?) while completely ignoring major historical turning points (eg only passing mention of Arkwright and no mention whatsoever of Cromford - the pivotal moment in the development of the cotton mill, and one of the key moments in the development of the modern world. Surely that deserves a section to itself? But you've actively removed what content there was about Arkwright, and all of the coverage of Paul and Wyatt, who invented the entire concept of the cotton mill.)
  • Despite the presence of lots of coverage of America, the article as a whole seems very parochial (Production peaked in 1912? In Manchester maybe, but not globally ... The cotton mill was a Lancashire phenomenon? Only after the introduction of steam power, before 1820 only a minority of cotton mills were in Lancashire and most of the mills that pioneered significant advances (Marvells, Cromford, Papplewick) were in the East Midlands ... cotton mills were typically built between 1775 and 1930? try telling that to the Chinese)
  • The relationship of the chronological narrative and the thematic discussion is extremely hazy. Surely steam power is the biggest component of any discussion of cotton mills between 1790 and 1840 - how can you keep it isolated as a separate subject away from the main narrative?
  • Genuinely significant mills that are covered (eg Shudehill, the Ancoats mills) don't really have any explanation of why they are significant.
  • This article does (as you say) need to focus on the concept and phenomenon of the mill rather than cotton technology more generally, but you've introduced lots of stuff that breaks your own rule here, such as the huge and irrelevant diagram of "Cotton Manufacturing Processes". And there are some technologies - roller spinning, the water frame, the steam engine, the mule, the power loom - that are essential to any understanding of the history and development of the cotton mill and whose significance needs detailed coverage in this article, but you've removed what coverage there was.
I hope this doesn't appear too negative. I appreciate this is still work in progress, the article needed major expansion, and a lot of what you've added is valuable (particularly where you have focussed more on the wood and less on the trees - the child labour section looks really strong for example; the role of the cotton mill in the revolutionary phenomenon that was 1830s Manchester could do with similar coverage) The overall framework seems confused and unbalanced, however, and some of the stuff you've deleted seems to have more value than some of the stuff you've added.
As you've clearly been bold yourself, are you happy for others to weigh in likewise?
JimmyGuano (talk) 08:05, 11 March 2009 (UTC)
Your response is not negative- it is detailed and serious. My intention was to raise the profile of mills- to bend the article to the common place rather than the unique. One month in- I was farther away from a conclusion than I was at the beginning. Rather than do the definitive work, as I imagined, I now see this a base level article that will spawn others- and it will be there that some of the details will be carried.
My background is Stockport- my mother worked at Blackfriars house (LCC) so and each Christmas went back to show off her children to her former colleagues. Mills were obviously important but distant. Three years working in North Manchester and driving through Ancoats, I never noticed anything important- roll on thirty years. Living in Industrial north Kent- I have kids setting up home in Glossop, and I am starting to see the northern lanscape afresh. So, my knowledge is distorted and my access to books is limited- thats where I am coming from. In a topic of this size it is important to accept fallibility.
Williams and Farnie- Yes. I had started with Nasmith, Hills, Spinning the web and the Uni of Arizona collection. The problem was where to set the time divisions. I had this almost formulated- then got a copy of Williams and Farnie and found they had almost written what I wanted write. There structure was the same- so I was able to tie my text to their references. WP:NOR. Maybe because we are of an age, we had the same interpretation. What was useful was the structure for each time period
  • Intro
  • External details
  • Construction
  • Power
I see that the structure is important- but the examples are merely ones where I had the facts about spindleage etc. They are of a typical mill rather than a historical significant mill- where I didn't have the data. Our readers (if anyone ever does) will be looking for two things here- either a historical treatise, or some useful cut and paste to illustrate their 'A' level essay, or speech in the House of Commons!
I suggest we need two extra sections.
  • Significant mill
  • Typical mill
This will allow both to be accommodated. However, I envisage a series of spin off articles to handle the topic in more depth
Trivial data- While writing this, the problem was not what trivial facts to leave in but cutting extraneous material. I cut out Arkwright and Cromford (but they can go back) because the fascinating intricacies of inventions seem to be discussed in great detail distorting the article. They belong in an article on the History of early cotton machinery. They had little influence on the design of the structure of a mill. Nasmith doesn't give them an entry in his index. I spent several days writing paragraphs on jennies and frames- but ultimately edited it out. The article on Mule spinning needs strengthening and Ring spinning remains a red link. Its fair to say that I cut out Paul and Wyatt- I think they should be in Early Cotton Mills in the 1700s with a one liner linking when the subsection is rewritten. I was keen to keep the article short, and emphasise the current mill, to keep the more esoteric links to the end so that this is Cotton mill rather than History of Cotton Mill.
The article as a whole seems very parochial. I did hit a problem here, Manchester Mills seem to go between 1800- 1926, New England were a spin off. The Southern states started in 1865 and grew in importance. I haven't touched India or China. To keep the Article general all have to be touched, to give a reference a book is needed and all my references are Lancashire based- though I have now discovered some interesting web material on South Carolina. Statements like production peaked in 1912- need to be developed in to Lancashire production peaked in 1912 and the Piedmont mills took the lead (if that is what happened). But I am way out of my depth when it comes to making comments about the North America. Like everything on this topic- correcting a sentences leads to an vast amount of additional material. But back to parochial-- for 150 years Manchester was the centre of the commercial world-- not accepting that is like writing a piece on colonial development without mentioning London. (Sorry Liverpool). There is a problem in referring to the geographical area. A lot of the development was in Derbyshire, and industrial Cheshire- but what shorthand do we use, industry never fitted well with the county structure vis SELNEC, Gtr Manchester etc. I am open to suggestions and changes- I just cant get my head around how Tintwistle, Cheshire is now in the East Midlands!
Do I break my own rules. Yes. Sometimes out of negligence- but sometimes I considered that being too strict was and cut to far. My flowchart has an interesting history. I wanted to excise the processing of cotton entirely- but I found that I was using various terms that had to be explained- and that was expanding the text and bringing in repetition- so the flowchart was drawn. As the article gets better, there will be less need for it, but I cannot see how you explain the difference between slubbing and scutching. I want to wrap it in a expandable template, so it can be used in several cotton based articles. So at the moment I think it is helpful but at a later stage it may go totally.
And there are some technologies - roller spinning, the water frame, the steam engine, the mule, the power loom - that are essential to any understanding of the history and development of the cotton mill and whose significance needs detailed coverage in this article, but you've removed what coverage there was . I have removed the existing coverage because I believe this should be treated separately but the slot is there for their inclusion Equipment. This section is abysmally written- the intention was fine- mention what goes in the mill- then describe it- a subsection can be added for the historical precursors. I ran out of time. For instance: I agree that Power Loom is important- so I looked at Power loom. That was 20th Feb. 3000 characters- so I added to it it is now 13000. These articles are so neglected and do require more time than I have to correct. I disagree about Water frames- the whole concept is too narrow-- while ring frames are immensely important and are noticable by their absense. More to add to the too do list.
So, please be bold, anything too controversial can be discussed her. I consider that getting so far is an achievement- one that needs to be built on.--ClemRutter (talk) 11:11, 11 March 2009 (UTC)
I am not quite sure about your proposed structure:
  • A single article covering all cotton mill before Arkwright would be quite adequate. The text that is about concenring these is about as much as can be said on the subject.
  • Another covering the application of Arkwright-type mills in all places 1770s to (say) 1815. This would need to cover Arkwright in Derbyshire; Peel at Tamworth etc. and cotton mills in west Yorkshire. The latter seem to have been comparatively shortlived and may be ignired by some text books.
  • Unless there is a great deal to say, I would suggest that we start with a single article on Antebellum American mills (not two), but I suspect that we may need one on the spread of cotton mills into Europe.
  • For later periods, I would suggest English Cotton Mills (not Lancashire): most were in Lancashire, but not all. I presume that the 1855/65 boundary relates to the cotton famine due to the American Civil War, but this will need explanation.
  • I do not know enough to commetn further.
I write this without having yet looked at what you have done, but you need to avoid an anachronistic focus on Lancashire. Peterkingiron (talk) 21:24, 13 March 2009 (UTC)
Lancashire focus: I have added stats on the number of mill in the Lancashire region in 1860- c&P from my bit in The Cotton famine. The description of the area is difficult- Parliament in 1863 seems to have settled on the term Lancashire region because there was not an available description. Not having a Lancashire focus is hard given the numbers, plus the fact that all the specialist mill architects were in Oldham, and most of them were called Stott. It was the Stotts that built the mills in NL, B, and the Rheinland.--ClemRutter (talk) 09:26, 19 June 2009 (UTC)


I think that what the article says on the early steam engines is not quite. The Savery steam pump was essentially a failure, and it is unlikely many were built after 1706. However Newcomen operated under Savery's patent (which had been extended by statute until 1733). The Newcomen engine was subsequently known as the common engine, and is clearly the engine on the old principle referred to in the 1780s. There were a few cases of them being applied to rotary motion, but more usually in the industrial context to pumping water back to above the waterwheel. I would suggest that this paragraph be pruned and all reference to Savery (who is not relevant to the subject be omitted). Peterkingiron (talk) 22:15, 18 June 2009 (UTC)

That's fine with me. I am happy for you to use the knife- your expertise is greater than mine. Even the early sources seemed to have a political agenda promoting the local boys acheivement-- ´´it was him that invented it but 'e was robbed´´ mentality. That and journalists the near total lack of any scientific education.... I try to be inclusive in an article writing to a imagined A level student who will opt to study the subject further- so I may ramble a little.
--ClemRutter (talk) 08:33, 19 June 2009 (UTC)
I have amended the passage to which I objected. I am not sure about Wrigly and have thus merely deleted 'Savery'. Strictly my comment about using engines to pump water back over the waterwheel is unreferenced. This was for example done at the Coalbrookdale ironworks from c.1745. I could find a source for that, but cannot think of one for the general principle. Peterkingiron (talk)

Beverly Cotton Manufactory / Animal Powered production[edit]

The BCM was the first mill in the US, and was horse powered. I noticed someone had removed the content citing they thought it was competition with RI. I corrected the error. Silivrenion (talk) 21:09, 19 June 2009 (UTC)

Silivrenion wrote on my user page

When I saw your edit some weeks ago, I found your source interesting- and added a reference to Beverley to the piece- but it is very common to find these local history society pages talking up a notable local building. As such they need a low level article written, because they are interesting but not mainstream. I would be personally interested to see plans, lists of machinery, etc.

I edited the content out because of

  • it describes a particular historic first, rather than the subject- cotton mills that talks in generalisations.
  • regional interest, in the same way there is no mention of the earlier mills in Shropshire
  • too specific- there were 2100 mills in 1860 that all deserve a mention
  • it is not verified by any of the reliable sources on mills only local history sources
  • your links to other articles, particular the Quaker industrialists are woolly
  • had no influence on future mill design.

This is not page blanking- merely editing to prevent the article becoming too bloated.

Your edit on section headings is wrong. The first water powered Derbyshire mill dates from 1771. Slaters mill, which copied the earlier North Mill, Belper was indeed built in 1790, that is explained in the article where acknowledgement to Beverley was given.

The page Beverly Cotton Manufactory from where most of this was extracted, is tagged as needing a copy edit. I can't help on that as I have no reliable source materials on the mill, but it would be helpful if that article was brought up to a B standard.

My first thoughts was that the section should be rewritten as an article- Early horse powered cotton mills in New England but it seems that Beverly Cotton Manufactory is the article.

Cotton is a vast area- and few editors are working here- could you pen up an article on the Early Mills in New England, and then the later ones: both in the south, and New England.

I have removed this edit- and corrected the mistakes introduced, and hope to see that Beverly Cotton Manufactory is checked and expanded.

--ClemRutter (talk) 22:26, 19 June 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for your concern.

The page Beverly Cotton Manufactory was made after the fact when I researched and found that's what the facility's name was. I tagged you for removing factual information that was cited.

I have 5-10 sources documenting the information that was added to the page. In addition, the Manufactory did have notable contributions to the future of cotton making. The cost of the machining process that was done there proved to Slater that horse-drawn production was not the way to go, leading for the "Water-Powered" revolution. In addition, the milling techniques tested there were then copied to many other mills afterwards. There's documentation backing all of this up, including the Salem Mercury, records of transactions made, documents released from Beverly City Hall, and others.

In addition, a monument exists from the 1800's in North Beverly, citing the location as the location of America's first cotton mill.

I am working on Beverly Cotton Manufactory, but that wasn't the source of the document. I will again revise the current edit with your and my research, citing more sources.

I'd suggest revising the article instead of removing sections based on preference. You assumed this was a locally sourced documentation, which it is not. Silivrenion (talk) 00:46, 20 June 2009 (UTC)

I have left your tagged edit for two weeks and it has attracted no support. I have moved the entire text (to which I entirely happy) to Textile manufacture during the Industrial Revolution where I am sure it is better placed. This article is about mill buildings- and not historical precedents, the editing process must prune out individual details. If you have got the energy the Textile manufacture during the Industrial Revolution does need a good shaking, and we need a few lists such as List of mills in Fall River, Massachusetts and List of mills in Longdendale and Glossopdale- one for each of the New England states for example.--ClemRutter (talk) 16:51, 4 July 2009 (UTC)
I reintroduced the BCM information with a clearer approach, expanding the horse-powered category once again and incorporating Slater into it. There's no doubt that more information needs to be had, but one can't argue with a monument staring you in the face that says the proof right on it. Silivrenion (talk) 06:52, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
I can't agree. BCM is really a local exception to the general flow, that deserves mention in a local historical context. Peppering an general article with hooks to items of regional interest does not improve its quality. I heve found two or three references to animal power in the 1400 or so mills that have any data on, usually from a later date- in times on recession when the animals replace the water wheel as the mill decline (sorry can give the names). Choosing the transition dates between the periods is not an exact science, but the ones I have used are the ones used by the great historians- D.A.Farnie for example. You are used the date 1800 in your edit, implying a progression, and transition from Animals to water at that point. This is pure rubbish. Shudehill Mill was on the cusp of Arkwright mill powered by water, to steam. Being powered by steam by 1791. Salvins Mill 1793 was using steam for fine cotton spinning. I think that you would be better off, penning a complete article on the development of Cotton Mills in New England, I'll give help where I can. Do try reading some of the online sources in the bibliography- Arnold, Bell, Naismith are all good reads.--ClemRutter (talk) 10:10, 18 November 2009 (UTC)

I understand your point, but this isn't a local anomaly. We're talking about the cut and dry first cotton mill in America. If this was the first Ma and Pop's Hoagie shop, well then yes that would be in a local context, but this is a national to international matter of relevance. This is not a regional interest topic. The BCM is extremely notable and worth mentioning in this article. If you want to subdivide the article into pieces based on regionality, then let's create a Cotton Mills in America article and put the BCM at the top of the list.

As far as Slater's history is concerned, there was a progression between animal and water powered production. I don't have the information on any other animal powered production facilities, but you mention that you found two or three references to animal power in 1400. Why not add them? They're part of history. Perhaps the framework of your date titling system in Cotton Mill is rubbish and needs to be changed, because no matter what stance we take here, the article is clearly missing information that could be incorporated. Providing only the information there allows people to make incorrect inferences.

In the context of Cotton Mill, are we to add an animal-powered category, or are we going to omit that from history? The Water powered section is nice, but we should show a greater view of earlier mills, both in America and across the seas. Don't hold back now, you appear to have more information about other mills. Add that information, please! Silivrenion (talk) 16:00, 18 November 2009 (UTC)

Hi. As soon as I find any reference I will post it here. If you look at this you will see the page I am building at the moment, I just can't type fast enough. I rarely express an opinion on anything the other side of the pond as I can't talk with authority- but I think that the problem we have here is that in a colonial situation there wasn't the fixed infrastructure; Watermills and Windmills had been a fixed part of the landscape in Europe from well before 1300AD, animal gins may have been used in the fields for agricultural purposes but not in a fixed structure. A reference.It must have been different in a community that hadn't occuped the same land for 600years. It is of course interesting that Whitney developed his Gin from a manpowered barrel gin. No matter how deeply I bore down into my data can I find any source that gives a link to animal powered mills in Derbyshire, then Lancashire and the surrounding counties save the foot notes that I have mentioned for later mills in decline
I do think that the economic structure did produce a regional phenonema which is worth a Cotton Mills in America article which I am not qualified to write. But if I were:
  • I would just start the page.
  • Goto this article and copy all the paragraphs that refer to the US, and press [-Save page -]
  • I would now flesh out each of the sections- Search wiki for any US mills and consider how to hook them in
  • Post a request for assistance on the Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Mills
  • Here are a couple of sources that may help Google Books and Interesting general US article]
Still I am off back to Chadderton to get a few more geotags sorted out- pop over for a coffee sometime- I'll still be at it! --ClemRutter (talk) 18:55, 18 November 2009 (UTC)

steam engines[edit]

The present structure suggests that all mills were converted to steam power in 1800. This is patently wrong and probably not what is intended, but the application of dates to the headings implies this. Anyway, was the mill at Ancoats really the first to be driven directly by steam power? Watt devised a rotary engine in the 1780s, though the uptake of it was relatively slow. Peterkingiron (talk) 21:13, 4 October 2009 (UTC)


Where are all the Mills now? What's all this about Japan? Janeyjo (talk) 20:39, 12 February 2010 (UTC))

American mills[edit]

I would not seek to diminish the importance of the American cotton industry, but having a long paragraph with detail of the history of the Beverley Mill in the middle of what is largely an account fo the techological developemtn of the industry seems out of place. Perhpas we need to collect the American paragraphs inot a separate section. Peterkingiron (talk) 16:11, 14 August 2010 (UTC)

First Cotton Mill (Birmingham)[edit]


There appears to be a very important section of history missing from this article. Please see Upper Priory Cotton Mill which is the very first Cotton Mill and although it only operated at the Upper Priory site for a few years, the ingenious efforts of Lewis Paul and John Wyatt need to be accounted for, especially at such an early time.

The machinery was later used in other Cotton Mills: "Despite the commercial failure of Paul and Wyatt's own factory, further mills were established using their machinery in Northampton and Leominster, and a second mill established in Birmingham, which remained in operation at least until the mid 1750s.[15]"

Whether the Mill ran for 2 days or twenty years, it is an extremely important piece of Cotton Mill history and one which so far has been hidden away from public view. The sources are all there in the Priory article. I think this should be included in the article quite prominently, otherwise it's not really a full picture of the history of Cotton Mills?

Thanks Old Bess (talk) 11:10, 25 April 2011 (UTC)

If you look at he source code of the article- a vast amount of text has been commented out- and even more transfered to Textile manufacture during the Industrial Revolution in order to avoid OR and to keep the article to a reasonable length. Early texts like early patents have usually been written to promote a distinct POV. This article is 'cotton mill' not 'history of cotton manufacture', I have looked before at Upper Priory Cotton Mill and it was a four year experiment that had zero effect on future mills. And in fact doesn't exist anymore but it is covered in Cotton mill#Notes.I suspect the link there was broken when some of the early text was commented out. I am glad that others are showing an interest in this area- please join the WP:MILLS group and we can take the conversation there. The difficulty with this article is keeping it down to size- it really needs to be written as an overview- where instinct is just to keep adding and adding.
To answer your point.
  • Bit missing-- it is there in the Cotton mill#Notes but paragraph could be modded to give a link.
  • Machinery used later- the problem with old textile machinery was its precision and the way patents were applied for in retrospect I am still trying to distinguish between mules/mule jennies-- selfactors/mules-new reference shortly to appear!
  • Don't agree- it is important part of cotton spinning history- but a by-way on the history of the title- cotton mill
--ClemRutter (talk) 13:45, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
Hi Clem, thanks for the discourse, this is a great article. I think reading the article, it is essentially about cotton mills, the history and evolution of cotton mills is definitely important. The case can be argued for or against whether later water powered cotton mills were inspired by Lewis Paul and John Wyatt's early mill and their inventions which were housed within those mills, the fact is quite clear though, the first cotton mill was Upper Priory, pre dating water powered cotton mills by many years. Whether it ran for two days or twenty years should be irrelevant in my opinion, Wyatt was imprisoned for debt soon after the mill was started, this quite probably led to the mill's failure.
Also, it states there is no record of the mill past 1743, not that it ended. An additional factor is the subsequent use of Wyatt's machinery in later years: "Despite the commercial failure of Paul and Wyatt's own factory, further mills were established using their machinery in Northampton and Leominster, and a second mill established in Birmingham, which remained in operation at least until the mid 1750s" All these pre date the opening of water powered cotton mills.
I put it to you that the first cotton mills were not water at all, they were in fact worked by the humble donkey, overseen by human operators. I strongly feel that this section of Cotton Mill history be included in a brilliantly educational article such as this. The machinery was in use for many years after the closure of that first mill. Thanks. Old Bess (talk) 13:25, 29 April 2011 (UTC)

Three years ago I was clear in my mind what a cotton mill was but today I am less sure! The more I do- the more I realise it is original research- the Wikipedia taboo. It is safe to say Williams and Farnie is a modern respected source, and before that Baines 1835 is always used by every modern text. Other works usually have to be checked against them for spin (POV bias- local pride) Williams and Farnie has often considered those texts and rejected them. Since searching I have found mention of animal power in many indexes/indices but following the ref it has often just been included as an amusing anecdote. Donkeys are rated at one third of a horse power or 250 Watts which assuming no friction loss on the shaft would power about 20 spindles- enough for experiments but too little for production. --ClemRutter (talk) 13:57, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
Hi Clem, I have turned my attention to this again to try and reach an understanding of what we are dealing with in the Upper Priory Cotton Mill. I have discovered a bit more, an article exists on Thomas Warren who appears to have funded the opening of the Mill and it is aptly described as "the world's first mechanised cotton-spinning factory" and it cites a source on his page. I think this would be well suited in the main Cotton Mill article with similar description. Maybe a small bit in the introduction citing Wyatt and Lewis' machine and the Upper Priory and maybe preceding the Water Mill, which in real terms was quite late in comparison to the mechanical project in Upper Priory, their issue was more how to power it and the donkey and human effort would have what prevented the Mills with these machines in from really taking off, the introduction of water would have been a second step in the history of the Cotton Mill as we know that although Upper Priory didn't last, this was through bad debt and the machinery was used in other Mills in Northampton for some time after. It is an intriguing story and maybe more to it yet? Old Bess (talk) 00:34, 27 July 2011 (UTC)

Mule-Spinners' Cancer[edit]

Mule-spinners' cancer often developed not just in the scrotum (and mouth), but in nearby skin (he scrotal area), and also developed in the vulvar region of female mule spinners. It is caused by the mineral oil used to lubricate the machines. See Skin Cancer: Recognition and Management,, p. 55. Ileanadu (talk) 17:48, 30 April 2011 (UTC)

There is plenty of material, so Ive stubbed an article Mule spinners' cancer after the 1964 BJIM spelling. --ClemRutter (talk) 17:42, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
Just need the the CC-BY-SA images- do you have any suitably qualified contacts who may volunteer. --ClemRutter (talk) 14:01, 8 May 2011 (UTC)

Globalise hatbox.[edit]

If there are issues please explain them here.--ClemRutter (talk) 00:48, 11 July 2011 (UTC)

The big Cotton Manufacturing Processes diagram[edit]

This huge and massively prominent diagram doesn't seem to add much actual value to the article. It is full of obscure processes that aren't explained anywhere so is only going to confuse and frustrate readers, rather than really aiding anybody's understanding of anything. Additionally it would seem to be over a century old, and is thus unlikely to represent the modern cotton manufacturing process that ought to be the focus of this part of the article (even a cursory overview suggests that the "spinning" bit is out of date - mule spinning isn't used that much these days, but the diagram makes no mention of open-end spinning, which is now very common). Should it be deleted? If we need a better overview of the wider cotton manufacturing process more explanatory text in the "Cotton processing" section would seem a lot more useful? JimmyGuano (talk) 08:20, 7 December 2013 (UTC)

In the absence of any protests i've removed this. As an additional consideration, it completely breaks when viewed on a mobile platform JimmyGuano (talk) 07:28, 21 December 2013 (UTC)
Short of time at the moment- guests arriving. There is an issue that needs to be discussed, things move on. At the time I did the template it was because I failed to see how to express Cotton processing in succinct text. These guys were into making money, and if there was a market they would revise the process. I have not seen one clear description of why a Noble comber was necessary- or indeed how it was different from carding. It was important and it made money but only in a small sector. The diagram demonstrates the complexity of the industry and eventually each term should link to an article on that process. But in those days we didn't have to consider mobile phone rendering... a lot to discuss. ... -- Clem Rutter (talk) 09:59, 21 December 2013 (UTC)
I agree with Jimmy Guano, the diagram added nothing. I hope I can add some sourced material as the article develops, it's certainly heading in the right direction now. Although I have copyedited the lead I do think it will need to be redone when the article is more complete. J3Mrs (talk) 19:08, 21 December 2013 (UTC)

Lead image[edit]

I'm not convinced by the recent change of lead image - firstly it's not a cotton mill, it's a former cotton mill, and secondly it's not distinctively a cotton mill, it could be any big red brick building. The previous one seemed to give a much better impression of what it is to be a cotton mill. JimmyGuano (talk) 07:33, 21 December 2013 (UTC)

Better images are available- it is the task of selecting one that represents 1780 to 2013. We must avoid cliche- which rules out using Masson, Cromford, or Quarry Bank and other museums. Personally Stott mills are a favourite. All cotton mills are former cotton mills- Redhill Street has the advantage of appearing in the quote- there are more spindles in one street in Manchester than in all of ..... (was it Switzerland). What I am against is using a Hine- a social historian who was documenting child labour in the States 100 years after UK factory acts had tacked the problem- (The Lib of Congress has mis labelled the image- it is a doubler.) It says nothing about the architecture- and it un-representatively late. -- Clem Rutter (talk) 09:47, 21 December 2013 (UTC)


All cotton mills are former cotton mills???? Where is cotton spun these days then? Or is cotton not produced any more? Or have we regressed to hand-spinning? Seriously though, I think at the very least the lead photograph should show a mill that was functioning as a mill at the time the photo was taken.
Your point about the child labour picture is a good one that I hadn't appreciated, and I also agree that Cromford, Quarry Bank etc would be inappropriate - as well as being very early examples, they are examples of exceptional importance, when the job of the lead image is to be representative, not exceptional. I do suspect that the best example would be an interior shot rather than an exterior one though. A cotton mill is defined by function, not architecture, and the function of cotton mills has remained relatively stable over time, while cotton mill architecture has varied wildly across time and location. Let's have a hunt around and come up with some suggestions. JimmyGuano (talk) 21:07, 21 December 2013 (UTC)
There's a nice pic of Leigh Spinners at List of mills in Wigan but I am extremely biased as it is my neck of the woods. :) J3Mrs (talk) 21:18, 21 December 2013 (UTC)
The last cotton mill I know was Broadstone Mill, Reddish in 1926. Cotton was then produced in Cotton Factories in China, or Spinning Mills in India and China. I know that this may seem semantic but without end date the article collapses into anarchy. Current techniques rely on Dref Friction Spinning and Open end spinning which can take place in any industrial unit but this is outside my experience and the current articles need a lot of work.
Similarly, I am hesitant to include early cotton manufactories (function) that were often placed in mills built for other than cotton- this means I cannot see the horse powered manufactories as real cotton mills (a difficult one to call that one)
A cotton mill is defined by architecture and that by function. It is the interplay that makes them so interesting. The width of the mules defined the positioning of the cast iron columns (bay), but the size of the bay was limited by the steel and brick technique available for fire-proof construction- which in its turn limited the size of the mule. Ring frames were taller than mules so defined the floor heights, a mill with breakers and cards would require greater floor height for them than the mules. Engine technology, rope races and vertical shafts defined the architecture- and once that was in place there was shifting of function from coarse counts to fine counts and even to changes in fabric. Understanding the processes and their relationship to the article was one of the reasons for the table. There is a large hole in the article at this point.
Back to the image, Chris Allens work is always good. The problem with this 1986 image is a cluttered foreground, and that the image is 640 × 424 pixels.-- Clem Rutter (talk) 02:23, 22 December 2013 (UTC)
You seem to be making a distinction between cotton mills and cotton factories? What is this distinction and where have you got it from? Every source I've ever read (including the opening sentence of this article) has treated the terms as synonymous. Collins English Dictionary, for example, defines a "cotton mill" straightforwardly as a "a factory where cotton is spun or woven" [1]. This would seem to clearly define the scope of this article. Do you disagree with this? JimmyGuano (talk) 06:22, 22 December 2013 (UTC)
A cotton mill is a factory, all the spinning mills in my bit of Lancashire were called factories. The cotton spinners of Tyldesley worked at the factory called Barnfield Mills, well nobody called it that, they called it "Caleb Wrights" or "Calebs". I don't understand Clem Rutter's distinction at all. J3Mrs (talk) 09:18, 22 December 2013 (UTC)
See Naismith, Farnie and Williams, (possible the most important) Callendine and Fricker, Miller and Wild are some of the references to read. ( Miller and Wild p 162 for the source of the template) Can't say much for the terminology in 1960s Wigan- my base was Reddish where definitely the women once worked in the mill and men in machine-tool factories. The mills survived as mail-order warehouses. It was very much the architecture not the function. Making up was done in factories. Both used the factory system, and were subject to the factories acts and the factory inspector. I agree that a cotton mill is a factory- but it is a specialist subset of factories. Similarly a weaving shed is considered by some to be a cotton mill but a specialist type of cotton mill (in places). Though in Stockport it wouldn't have been considered a mill at all! I suppose my earliest source was my mother who had worked at Blackfriars house (HQ of LCC) in the late 1930s when the mills were being consolidated and decommissioned- factory was not a word that was used in LCC. (But personal recollection isn't a valid source). The problem is that of limits and that the definitions changed through time and geography. Holden 1998 p2-18 Stott and Sons 1-85936-9047-5 gives a useful section on the Historiography of the Cotton Mill before giving extensive details on the architecture of the Oldham Limiteds (more work to do on that article)- his line 'Not for another 50 years would a new building for spinning be opened in Lancashire, and this is indistinguishable from any other modern industrial building' Carrington Viyella Unit 1 at Atherton 1993 could be helpful. (oops more visitors) -- Clem Rutter (talk) 12:35, 22 December 2013 (UTC)
I don't quite understand the point you're making here I'm afraid. The article clearly needs a scope, but that doesn't have to be defined by time, it is normally defined by the subject of the article. The subject of the article at the moment is that defined by the first sentence "A cotton mill is a factory housing powered spinning or weaving machinery for the production of yarn or cloth from cotton". Contemporary spinning and weaving factories in India, China, the US and elsewhere are commonly called "mills" just as Victorian ones in Oldham were - here [2] for example is a cotton mill being built in Louisiana in 2009. As far as I'm concerned these are within the scope of this article. Do you think this should be changed and if so what to and on what basis? JimmyGuano (talk) 10:41, 23 December 2013 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── When I made the made the major restructure in March 2009, I was conscious that we couldn't really go beyond 1929 as the subject changed so radically. You are aware of how I found the article. Cotton changed to cotton-mix and most of the machines that were so important were being scrapped, production had moved to India and then China and now back again. I haven't the reference material- and the libraries have closed. The new machines I was aware of, were different in principle. Further the cotton mill, and the wool mill as architectural concepts were finished. There are several interwove narratives in the mills from Arkwright through to Broadstone Mill, Reddish.

The study of mills started in May 1985 when funding was given to the Greater Manchester Archaelogical Unit to initiate a professional survey. Similar studies were done in East Cheshire and Yorkshire. The book that came out of that survey was Williams and Farnie.(1992) He divides the time scale of the Mill into the four I used- The early Mills, Mid 19th Century, late 19th Century and 20th century (1900-1926). He wrote an epilogue- where he says-- "buildings designed designed for the textile industry are turned to new uses at best, or demolished or left empty to decay..." from that I see a possible definition- as a cotton mill being a factory designed specifically for the processing of cotton. Another (parochial POV) is that cotton mill design stopped when the Manchester Royal Exchange closed in 1968. But that is far too late. All later books acknowledge Williams and Farnie, and research has turned to Enonomic History, detailed architecture, geographically specific studies and sociology. Most are in the bibliography. I too stick with Williams and Farnie. There are of course those other books that ignore scholarship completely are use folk tales as fact.. enough said about that though!

We also do need to consider the US examples of New England mills and the Carolina mills of which I have little knowledge but I assume their decline happened in the 1930s as labour got too expensive. What web information I get of Indian and Chinese manufacture tells me that their were no distinctive feature.

We had a similar scope problem with the article Textile manufacture which was split so the historical work went into Textile manufacture during the Industrial Revolution and Textile manufacturing by pre-industrial methods. The standard is grisley- but they are used and do form a framework for expansion. I advise caution. I would suggest that if you think there is a need for an article on the architecture and sociology of Indian Spinning Mills, Chinas cotton factories and Viyellas Industrial Units then a new article is needed that could be written by others with different skills. We can then heavily link it. I am unable to suggest a title 21st Century Textile Processing Units doesn't sound too good.

Have you directed an article to FA. I think this topic is important enough- what will it take?-- Clem Rutter (talk) 17:16, 23 December 2013 (UTC)

You are attempting to make this article unnecessarily complicated. A cotton mill/factory is a cotton mill/factory whatever year it was built in. The size/design of mills was linked to engineering as much as architecture and just because modern mills might resemble any other manufacturing building doesn't stop them being cotton mill/factories. Cotton mills might have had their heyday in Edwardian times but they were still factories/manufactories. I think there needs to be a clarification as regarding spinning mills which came first and the later weaving sheds that took a different form and the large integrated complexes. And yes, I do have a copy of Farnie and Williams and I think Jimmy Guano is on the right track with this article. J3Mrs (talk) 17:50, 23 December 2013 (UTC)
Thanks J3Mrs. This isn't an unusual task for an article like this. The computer article has to cover everything from Pascal's mechanical calculator of 1613 to my current-day Mac; the Automobile article from Richard Trevithick's experiments in 1801 up to today's hybrids. As with all subjects some things change over time, some things remain constant, we just have to use the article to explain how they have in this case. Certainly if we're looking to get this to GA/FA being broad in coverage and comprehensive are key criteria, so arbitrary cut off dates or non-global perspectives are the last thing we need. I think the opening definition is looking sufficiently challengeable to need a citation though. Good point about weaving - one of the article's problems currently is that important aspects of the historical narrative are separate from the main narrative in their own sections and weaving is probably one of these.
Coming back to the lead image - if we want an image that captures the essence of what it is to be a cotton mill then I still think an interior shot makes most sense. The external architecture of mills varies wildly and is often similar to the non-cotton mill industrial architecture of a given time or place, but the internal arrangements - large open spaces filled with ranks of spinning machinery - seems remarkably consistent over time, and arguably definitive. This [3] is a picture of a mill in 1835, this [4] is one in 1909 and this [5] is one in 2012 - they're actually strikingly similar. It ought to be possible to get something like this to represent the idea in the lead. My personal favourite - an excellent photograph, one that illustrates both the scale and order of a mill, one that comes from roughly the middle of our time period and one that also shows the key idea of machines being powered - is this one [6]. Although it is by Hines it does not carry any of the misleading references to child labour that many of his other ones do.
JimmyGuano (talk) 07:45, 25 December 2013 (UTC)
Good morning world. Image- its swings and roundabouts- whatever pic we find will have negative points. If I were picking up my camera 100yrs ago- then my interest would be find an interior shot that demonstrated the cast-iron and fireproof double brick arches of Stott and a spinning room with jammed with self acting mules with a row of ring doublers to one side. It would be in full colour, and there would be no dust in the air. But one has to dream...
I think we have now concluded the discussion on scope- If you have a clear idea on how the task can be achieved then go for it.
I´m glad you have started to use Timmins. I knew him when I was at college and he was totally focused on his research. I used his Last Shift and his other two books in Weavers' cottage. The section on Weavers' cottage#Lancashire cellar loomshops may give you ideas when you discuss the design considerations needed for weaving-sheds. -- Clem Rutter (talk) 11:21, 25 December 2013 (UTC)
Morning Clem, and Happy Christmas. I concur with your description of the ideal image and, apart from the full colour bit (which may present a challenge), it doesn't sound entirely unrealistic either. I'll keep looking... JimmyGuano (talk) 11:34, 25 December 2013 (UTC)

Mill towns and Arkwright[edit]

There is something wrong here as this paragraph just expresses the result viewed from 1970.

During the Industrial Revolution, the success of cotton mills gave rise to the term mill towns, some of which which became significant settlements. Cotton mills facilitated huge and rapid economic expansion particularly in North West England, for example Manchester, Oldham, Bolton, Leigh, Stalybridge, Bury, Preston, Blackburn, Burnley, Ashton, Rochdale, Stockport and other smaller towns.
The model of the milltown was exported to the United States, where it can be found in New England and the southern states

This is hopeless verbose-

Further information: Milltown
Arkwright mills depended on significant quantities if water to power the waterwheel, so were built on rivers and brooks away from major settlements. They needed for 250 plus women and children to operate the the frames, Parish apprentices from the workhouses on London were housed in apprentice house, but each of the early mill owners built cottages, and usually a chapel within walking distance of the mill in order to retain their adult workers. Samuel Oldknow built the village of Mellor, Greater Manchester around Mellor Mill, Arkwright built Cromford around Cromford Mill, and Samuel Greg built Styal from pre-existing hamlets around Quarry Bank Mill. ((Ashmore,1982,p=63)) The success of cotton mills gave rise to the term mill towns, some of which which became significant settlements, later Houldsworth was responsible for much of the housing and community facilities in Reddish.
Cotton mills facilitated huge and rapid economic expansion particularly in North West England, for example Manchester, Oldham, Bolton, Leigh, Stalybridge, Bury, Preston, Blackburn, Burnley, Ashton, Rochdale, Stockport and other smaller towns.
The model of the milltown was exported to the United States, where it can be found in New England and the southern states

This is a draft, but it does tie the early concept down- but still lacks an explanation of how this rural need was transfered to the towns, and indeed the later idea that the mill was the only or major employer. Tied cottages led to a subdued workforce! Parish apprentice and apprentice house seem to be articles that need to be written. -- Clem Rutter (talk) 15:11, 3 January 2014 (UTC)

I think it would be best to remove the subsection as it drifts away from the topic and insert the relevant bits where appropriate elsewhere if they fit. Actually the size of Derbyshire mills was rather unusual, most of the mills built elsewhere at the time were much smaller. J3Mrs (talk) 15:20, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
I think you are wrong. Arkwright mills were the first cotton mills, as opposed to manufactories- jennie shops and loom shops that were not in purpose designed buildings and did not demonstrate the factory system. The first mills in Cheshire, Derbyshire and (if we look at Caton) Lancashire were all rural and all consisted of the building, with the company or mill inside it, an apprentice house and settlement of cottages. Later the model was moved into the towns mentioned and there the house building became more confused.
If we are taking this to GA/FA we must be inclusive and I dont think we can duck the issue.
It could however be written into the early mills section/ Arkwright mills. -- Clem Rutter (talk) 16:45, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
It's completely off-topic and should go, especially the table. You are trying to put too much information into every article about cotton and mills. It's better to link them or add a See also section not reproduce large chunks of the different articles in every other.
I have sympathy with that. The judgement is what will the general reader wants to know- or needs to know. With a top level article like this I concur that links are appropriate, but does it leave the reader understanding that for a swathe of Lancashire/Cheshire the mill was the employer and the towns only exist because of the mill?b There are general readers (like the BBC, and the Guardian) who just don't follow links, we have to leave them an overview.
The point about large sections of other articles appearing in this article misses the point- it is the other way round. When I had enough material to spin off a sub-article (or substantially adjust a stub) then chunks were copied over rather than moved!
The table illustrates the scale of the industry- and really needs to be elsewhere, I think it survived so far because it named all the principal centres of production and had Farnies imprimatur.
All these final sections are a little bitty- tacked onto the article. Perhaps we need to look at == Milltowns== as ==Legacy== or something similar, then it may be easier to rewrite? -- Clem Rutter (talk) 16:45, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
No, you miss the point, this article is about cotton mills, the factories that produced cotton yarn or cloth, not mill towns or tables that don't fit. We are not researchers for the media we should stay on topic not drift off into a complete history of textile manufacturing. If the linked articles aren't up to scratch they ought to be improved not incorporated here. Before 1800 most of Lancashire was rural. There was a mill for carding and spinning in 1772 and a mill with a steam engine in 1792 in my home town. They were small compared with the Derbyshire mills but cotton mills none the less. I thought we had got past the mill?factory issue. J3Mrs (talk) 17:28, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
Yes, looks better. Do we have a link to milltowns? Have you any suggestions on how to add the info to the Arkwright section, or do you want me to pen one- that you can ce? Manufactories were very important- but not mills. -- Clem Rutter (talk) 17:55, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
I disagree, manufactories were mills, and to quote Ashmore from his "Industrial Archaeology of Lancashire", "The great attention given to some of the bigger mills in the early period, especially in Derbyshire, has tended to obscure the fact that the majority of factory buildings were comparatively small, often a single block of three or four storeys, employing relatively few hands." He uses mill and factory interchangeably. Arkwright's large factories were a development of what went before and a place to house his machinery. In the early period they were the exception not the rule. J3Mrs (talk) 19:48, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
Sorry - taken my eye off this article for a bit. I agree that keeping this article focused on the core topic is the key here (obviously linking off to related topics liberally). Milltowns are a tangent that should be briefly mentioned here with links through to its own article. There's a link in the second paragraph of the lead, so it's hardly hidden. Mill towns are just one example of this though - a lot of the sections towards the bottom of the article fall in to this category - there is a lot of detail about the development of steam power that is really generic content about steam power, not cotton mills, for example - and a lot of the content there that's important either belongs in the main narrative or duplicates existing content in the main narrative. Re small mills, Crouzet agrees that Arkwright's mills may have taken the glory and shown the way to the future, but this shouldn't hide the fact that they were the exception rather than the rule in the 18th century at least, and that the despite the headline grabbing McConnel's etc the average mill remained remarkably small even within Lancashire a long way into the nineteenth century. JimmyGuano (talk) 08:11, 4 January 2014 (UTC)

Cotton mill design[edit]

Cotton mill design ==> Architecture. Good.

This is where it gets difficult. I have always had difficulty with that list but couldn't find a reliably referenced way to express it in prose. Looking back I cant even find the source of the list- I had assumed it was Farnie. We need a couple of strong paragraphs here to give direction and tie in the subsections. I will have a look Monday night when I have some time, and have another go. -- Clem Rutter (talk) 23:46, 4 January 2014 (UTC)

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