I am nominating this for featured article because... this is an article I'm bringing along quickly in the hopes of having it be TFA for the celebrations of Boulton on the 200th anniversary of his death, and I think it meets the criteria, based on my experience. I am nomming it quickly (not my usual practice) in the hopes of having time to regroup if there's a problem. However, I think it meets the criteria and should pass once I vacuum up all the sawdust!Wehwalt (talk) 21:12, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
Oppose on criterion 3
File:Anglesey 1790 Rev 400 (1).jpg - This needs to go through OTRS. Chris Leather's letter needs to be sent to permissions-commons AT wikimedia DOT org and a ticket number established for the image, etc.
File:Cartwheelrev.jpg - This needs to go through OTRS. Chris Leather's letter needs to be sent to permissions-commons AT wikimedia DOT org and a ticket number established for the image, etc.
File:Swordvanda.jpg - I don't see any evidence for this being released under GFDL or CC on the V&A website. Since this is a 3D object, the copyright is owned by the photographer.
Hopefully these can be resolved soon. I look forward to reading the article! Awadewit (talk) 23:08, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
Chris sent the letter yesterday. How does the ticket get established? I will delete the sword image, we can make do without it.--Wehwalt (talk) 23:13, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
Actually, he sent it to permissions-en at wikimedia dot org. That is what it said to do in the instructions, which we followed to the letter ...--Wehwalt (talk) 23:18, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
I've added the "OTRS pending" tag. OTRS sets up the ticket number. All should be set in motion now. We just wait. Awadewit (talk) 23:21, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
How long does it usually take? And how do we know when OTRS sets up the ticket number? And I imagine we can proceed with the FAC otherwise in the interim?--Wehwalt (talk) 23:23, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
Around a week or so. Or you could find a nice OTRS volunteer who will jump the queue for you. The number will appear on the image description page. Awadewit (talk) 23:30, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
Do they take credit cards?--Wehwalt (talk) 23:33, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
I've asked User:Cirt to look at it. He's got so much experience doing FAC's, I'm hoping he'll give me a trade discount.--Wehwalt (talk) 23:40, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
Another volunteer took care of it, so the photo issues should be resolved. Note that I added a photo to the article and asked your opinion on another, details on your talk page, Awadewit, and then added another one, File:Wilkinsontoken.jpg, which is OTRS pending. Since it is a "twofer", both a Boulton work and shows someone discussed in the article, it's worth the delay. My thanks to Chris Leather of sohomint.info for his images and his careful reading of what I wrote about Boulton's mint and its works to make sure they are accurate (general sources tend to make technical mistakes as we all know)--Wehwalt (talk) 14:11, 24 June 2009 (UTC)
I've responded at my talk page. Awadewit (talk) 16:12, 24 June 2009 (UTC)
The OTRS issues are now resolved for all three images, and I've asked Awadewit to strike the oppose, which I'm sure she will, at least on image grounds.--Wehwalt (talk) 10:46, 25 June 2009 (UTC)
Comment: Basically good. However, I did spot (and correct) a couple of silly copy-editing errors, which makes me wonder if there aren't some more that I missed. The science is accurate, and in the correct proportion for the length and subject of the article: non-specialist readers might appreciate a few more glosses and wikilinks. I can't see a reason to oppose, but I'd like more eyes on the article before I can fully support. Physchim62(talk) 16:10, 24 June 2009 (UTC)
Support after passage of the vacuum cleaner(s). Physchim62(talk) 19:55, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
I've asked Mattisse if she is willing to copyedit, and also requested help from the Wikiprojects. You are correct, I did misspell "or moulu" as "or muolo", and I apologize. But otherwise I think the many eyes that will look this article over during the FAC will be sufficient to the day. C'est l'vie.--Wehwalt (talk) 16:16, 24 June 2009 (UTC)
Comment - I've gone through it with a spell-checker and made some minor corrections. Is "inspring" in the block quote at the end of this section a sic, or should it be "inspiring"? I'll look through the rest later before supporting, but think this woiuld make a good TFA for August. — Tivedshambo (t/c) 06:41, 25 June 2009 (UTC)
No, it is my typo. My bad. I corrected it. By the way, Mattisse has copyedited quite a bit now. I think most of the sawdust is gone now.--Wehwalt (talk) 10:26, 25 June 2009 (UTC)
Comment - the lead scetion has "Boulton expanded the business" twice in successive sentences. Can this be re-written in some way? — Tivedshambo (t/c) 10:44, 25 June 2009 (UTC)
Comment That's done.--Wehwalt (talk) 10:48, 25 June 2009 (UTC)
Support. Much improved. Still haven't got through it in full detail, but Support on what I've seen so far. Incidentally, if you need any photos taken in the Birmingham area to help improve this article, let me know. — Tivedshambo (t/c) 21:00, 25 June 2009 (UTC)
Comment: I am naturally pleased to see an article about Boulton. I haven't read it properly, yet, but I stumbled over the second paragraph of the lead. I like reading my name, but...six repeats in close proximity is a bit of an overdose. In fact, I thought this whole paragraph could be written more smoothly, cutting the repeats and avoiding the slightly awkward reference to "the manufacturer". Would you consider this, as an alternative:-
Boulton was born in 1728, the son of a Birmingham manufacturer of small metal products who died when Boulton was 31. By then the younger Boulton had managed the business for several years, and had expanded it considerably, consolidating operations at the Soho Manufactory, which he built near Birmingham. At Soho, Boulton adopted the latest techniques, branching into silver plate, ormolu and other decorative arts. He became associated with James Watt when Watt's business partner, John Roebuck, was unable pay a debt to Boulton, who accepted Roebuck's share of Watt's patent as settlement. He then successfully lobbied Parliament to extend Watt's patent for an additional seventeen years, which enabled the firm to develop the steam engine, hundreds of which were installed in Britain and abroad.
Am reading on and will comment further. Brianboulton (talk) 20:55, 26 June 2009 (UTC)
Sure, I'll insert that. I figured you'd be interested but feared letting you know might be considered canvassing and figured you'd find it out.--Wehwalt (talk) 22:55, 26 June 2009 (UTC)
Comment - Agree with Brianboulton that use of "the manufacturer" for Boulton is a "slightly awkward reference". I think I spied its use elsewhere and suggest replacing it.
Also suggest rewording of too many "which"s eg "which enabled the firm to develop the steam engine, hundreds of which were installed in Britain and abroad."
I'll look at the which's (Eastwick?). As for the manufacturer, if I simply call him "Boulton" all the time, I'll get a complaint about the monotony. Any ideas for an alternate term besides "manufacturer"?--Wehwalt (talk) 12:39, 27 June 2009 (UTC)
Not specifically. Just skillful use of wording, such as Brianboulton used in his sample paragraph above. —Mattisse (Talk) 12:52, 27 June 2009 (UTC)
Not a problem. The article no longer uses "manufacturer" in the place of the word "Boulton". From now on, I'm sticking to people whose professions are at most two syllables, and whose towns of residence make for easy adjectives, unlike this Brummy. I got rid of about half the "which"'s by the way, not including those in quotes. I think the remaining ones are the best usages.--Wehwalt (talk) 12:59, 27 June 2009 (UTC)
Further comments: I have ploughed on to the end of the "Expansion of the business" section and have found numerous prose glitches, none of them in themselves particularly serious but all needing attention or consideration – and there are rather a lot of them.
Suggest an appropriste link on "coke", to distinguish the fuel from illegal substances or fizzy drinks.
Some brief description of the role of "Chancellor of Lichfield" would be useful.
Early and family life
"The elder Boulton's business continued to prosper after young Matthew's birth,..." We have not established that it was prospering previously. Suggest: "The elder Boulton's business prospered after young Matthew's birth,..."
"...on the other side of the city from Snow Hill." Last three words redundant.
A bit of information missing? He left school at 15 and at 17 invented an inlaying technique. So, where did he get the technical know-how to do this? Did he go to work in his father's workshops? Was he trained by his father, was he self-taught? Was this the first inkling of inventiveness on his part? It could be an interesting part of the story.
"Though his son signed business letters "from father and self", he was effectively running the business by the mid-1750s;" I would suggest a slight rewording and reordering: "Though the son signed business letters "from father and self", by the mid-1750s he was effectively running the business;"
Expansion of the business
The thumbnail image is so small as to lose most of its presentational value. I think that this is a case where it would be OK to force to a size consistent with most other images in the article.
"came into full control" - save words, use active voice: "...assumed full control..."
"He spent much of his time travelling and away in London to promote his wares." Doesn't read smoothly. My suggestion: "He spent much of his time in London and elsewhere, promoting his wares." or: "He spent much of his time promoting his wares in London and elsewhere."
More awkwardness: "He arranged to have a friend present Prince Edward with a sword." This form of words leads to an "a sword. The sword..." combination which is avoidable. "He arranged for a friend to present a sword to Prince Edward. This sword..."
It will not be known by everyone, especially non-Brits, that George, Prince of Wales was the future King George III. All I can suggest, and it's a bit clumsy, I know, is: "The sword so interested the Prince's older brother, George, Prince of Wales (later King George III) that the future king ordered one for himself."
I have divided the first paragraph at the change of topic "With capital accumulated..."
"From 1766 until his 1809 death, Matthew Boulton lived at Soho House; in 1783, his wife Anne was stricken suddenly with an apparent stroke and died there." The first part of the sentence has over-repetition from the previous sentence. The second part has "stricken ... with a stroke" How about: "Matthew Boulton lived there until his death in 1809; in 1783 his wife Anne suffered a sudden stroke and died there."
"13 acres" and "thirteen acres" both used. Consistency is required.
Non-breaking spaces required (13 acres, 19 wide bays, etc – probably others through the article).
"The manufactory was advanced for its time and came with a large price tag." This whole sentence seems unnecessary. The previous sentence has told us that the manufactory was advanced, and the following sentence tells us the size of the price tag.
"The total costs were not equal to the partners' means" I think it's the other way round - the partners' means were not equal to the total cost.
"He wrote in 1771..." Need to clarify that "he" was Boulton (long time since last mention)
"...in 1780, he would have nearly a half million silver items hallmarked." Should this be "by 1780", or was half-a-million the year's total?
I think this sentence needs to be redrafted to make it more comprehensible to the ordinary reader: "The silver business proved not to be profitable due to the opportunity cost of keeping capital tied up in the inventory." Thus: "The silver business proved to be unprofitable, due to the extent of capital tied up in slow-moving stock." (or some such)
"entrusted ... trusted" - avoidable repetition (consigned, made over, etc instead of "entrusted"?)
Next line: "sell items ... sell items" - rephrase to avoid repetition.
Use of the noun "quality" to describe the nobility is a little archaic, and could be misunderstood. Suggest use an alternative term
"...the Empress described them..." "Them" is inappropriate here, since in this sentence you are referring to "it", namely the unsold stock. Thus it should be "...the Empress described the vases..."
"poor or orphaned boys who he felt he could train..." "Who" or "whom"? God knows.
"to mechanically reproduce" - split infinitives are frowned on in Brit Eng; in this instance we would probably say "in the mechanical reproduction of..." I'll leave that one for you.
Would it help if, instead of continuing to go through the article in this way, I copyedited the rest of it? That would I am sure produce a much shorter list of points, and would probably save a lot of time. Brianboulton (talk) 18:15, 27 June 2009 (UTC)
Feel free For quality, perhaps "upper class"? I've implemented your proposed changes, though I changed some of the wording. Thanks for the help! --Wehwalt (talk) 19:10, 27 June 2009 (UTC)
Further comment: I have copyedited up to the "Later life, death and memorials" section, and I think the prose is improved, but perhaps others should judge that. The first paragraph of the "Later life..." section I find a bit confusing, what with retirements, semi-retirements, and sons with the same names as their fathers. I have redrafted it (see below). Do you agree this wording is clearer (refs not included)?
With the expiry of the patent in 1800, both Boulton and Watt retired from the partnership, turning over their roles to their respective sons. The younger Boulton and Watt pairing made changes, quickly ending public tours of the Soho Manufactory in which the elder Boulton had taken pride throughout his time in Soho. In retirement, Matthew Boulton remained active, continuing to run the Soho Mint; when a new Royal Mint was built on Tower Hill in 1805, Boulton was awarded the contract to equip it with modern machinery, despite his increasing age and infirmity. His level activity distress his former partner Watt, who had entirely retired from Soho, and who had written to Boulton in 1804, "[Y]our friends fear much that your necessary attention to the operation of the coinage may injure your health".
Other than this, I think the article is looking solid. Brianboulton (talk) 18:42, 29 June 2009 (UTC)
I've implemented that suggestion, somewhat modified because the language about the sons is rather clunky. Fortuitously, it was Watt's only surviving son as well, and thus shorter language is possible without ambiguity or confusion. I assume "level activity distress" is a typo and not a Britishism I'm unfamiliar with, I rephrased that, and also changed "had written" to "wrote", since all these things are really happening more or less simultaneously. If it looks solid, between you, Mattisse, and Amandajm, I think all the sawdust is gone and this article is in excellent condition, and I'm hoping to pick up some support votes.--Wehwalt (talk) 23:06, 29 June 2009 (UTC)
Support: OK, you've got mine. Boulton for the main page! Brianboulton (talk) 17:58, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
Enamel buckles: Both Uglow and Smiles tell the same story, without explanation. Real solid information about Boulton premarriage seems to be a bit thin on the ground. Smiles says that Boulton left school early to go into his father's business. Honestly, I have no doubt that his father took his only surviving son into the workshops from toddler age, and that the kid got few options in the career choice area!
Silver production: Deleted. It looks like Uglow was combining figures for silver, and for Sheffield plate. It did seem rather high for a business he was losing interest in...--Wehwalt (talk) 18:48, 27 June 2009 (UTC)
I've just had a little go at the first paragraph, to summarise the considerable importance of this key figure of the Industrial Revolution, a term which needed to be mentioned, but wasn't. I hope that it meets with your approval. Amandajm (talk) 07:33, 28 June 2009 (UTC)
Quite good, I made a slight change, I said "began the transformation" of British industry to fit with the discussion in the Lunar Society section and the quote from Uglow.--Wehwalt (talk) 11:14, 28 June 2009 (UTC)
I think the current state of the first paragraph is a good summary. Amandajm (talk) 13:20, 29 June 2009 (UTC)
Otherwise, sources look okay, links checked out with the link checker tool. Ealdgyth - Talk 15:07, 29 June 2009 (UTC)
Nice catch, totally overlooked that. I just struck that ref, there is no need for a cite for Boulton's date of death for the lede (it is cited later in the article, though).--Wehwalt (talk) 23:06, 29 June 2009 (UTC)
Wedgwood association. I've just added a couple of sentences. These little steel mounts that he made were one of the most enduring products, and are signiificant in showing a successful commercial link between two important companies. Can you please determine whether I have put the info where you want it? It was a bit difficult but I thought that it linked well to the idea of producing goods for the "not so rich" (like Sheffield plate, before the intro to the next section about the wealthy market. Amandajm (talk) 04:36, 30 June 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for the help. I think those would have been OK there were it not for the fact that it's a very long paragraph, so I moved your language two paragraphs later, actually to a more prominent spot. I also expanded your bare reference.--Wehwalt (talk) 11:09, 30 June 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, that's great. Love the quote. But I think it's now badly placed. I agree that tagging it on the very long parag. is too much. But I think that the products need to be kept together, and the paragraph about employment put after them. Amandajm (talk) 01:48, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
I've played around with it. Hope you now feel the article is FA worthy.--Wehwalt (talk) 18:53, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
Support - This article has come around nicely with the copy editing help above. Quite interesting to read. Well done! —Mattisse (Talk) 19:41, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
Four supports at least one of which was a thorough review (two, really I think, Mattisse did her usual great copyedit job on this), no opposes, image check done, technical check done, all in order. It's looking good. Should it be promoted, I suggest the category "Business, economics, and finance" though it would certainly fit in "Engineering and technology".--Wehwalt (talk) 20:21, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
Support - after my long association with a certain well-known engine, I'm really happy that you have done such a good job here. Amandajm (talk) 01:53, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
Comment make that five supports. It was a situation where the work had to be done, and someone had to do it. But since I am not a technical person, and although I have numismatic interests, they do not fall in the area of Boulton's work, I couldn't have done it to a high standard without your help on the engines and Chris' on the coins.--Wehwalt (talk) 01:57, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
CommentIn "Expansion of the business": The sales succeeded in introducing his works to the quality, but were not successful financially, with many works left unsold or sold below cost. doesn't make sense to me. Can it be clarified? --RexxS (talk) 22:08, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
Well, the sales were heavily attended, both by the wealthy (who were given a day to come unhindered by the hoi polloi), and by the public. They simply didn't sell very much, though Boulton was highly praised for his work. I will rephrase.--Wehwalt (talk) 22:25, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
Thanks, I understand it much better now - I didn't make the connection of "the quality" as a synonym for "the wealthy". A very small stylistic point: the text now has three "the sales" in two sentences - why not retain the former formulation "but were not successful financially" since the subject is inferred from the first half of the sentence? --RexxS (talk) 22:50, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
I want to get "the quality" out of there. It is really not the best phrase. But I'll rephrase.--Wehwalt (talk) 22:57, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
I think you've made a good improvement. Thank you. --RexxS (talk) 23:27, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
Leaning towards support
Images: Checked above. It would be nice to have more images of items that Boulton made. I've tried to find someone who can go to Birmingham and obtain such images (see Talk:Matthew Boulton). We'll see if that works out.
Sources: Sources are reliable and the article appears to cover the major works on Boulton's life. I did some searching around for more Boulton biographies and these appear to be the major ones. Interestingly, Boulton is often mentioned in passing in a lot of books about the industrial revolution. There are fewer individual books devoted to him, which brings me to my next point.
Comprehensiveness: His partnership, formed in 1775, with the engineer James Watt began the transformation of British industry through the installation of hundreds of Boulton & Watt steam engines, a driving force behind the Industrial Revolution. - This sentence appears in the lead, however it was not entirely clear to me in the article how pivotal Boulton was in the industrial revolution while reading the article. I think that a bit more needs to be added, perhaps to the end of the article, about Boulton's contribution to the industrial revolution.
Prose: The organization and transitions between paragraphs in "Scientific studies and Lunar Society" and "Other activities" was not effective. The Lunar Society is mentioned several times before it is explained in the article. More serious, however, is that each new paragraph, particularly in the "Other activities" section, is a startlingly new topic. The paragraphs need to flow together better. Finally, the paragraph about Boulton's children seems a bit tacked on. Is there any way to integrate information about his family into the article a bit better? Does it really have to be part of "Other activities"?
I thoroughly enjoyed reading the article and I look forward to being able to support it soon. Awadewit (talk) 23:12, 5 July 2009 (UTC)
The language in the lede had been added by Amandajm in the course of this FAC. I feel a bit pinned between reviewers, but in view of the Uglow quote, I'm going to tone it back. I'll work on your other points. I should note we do have photos of Boulton made objects, the coins and tokens, as well as the steam engine. But yes, it would be nice to have photos of decorative arts. Hopefully, you'll agree with me that this need not hold up promotion. Check back shortly.--Wehwalt (talk) 23:24, 5 July 2009 (UTC)
While Boulton is not responsible for the industrial revolution, he did help "drive" it - that is accurate according to the industrial revolution scholarship I've read. I think that to address this point, you will need to consult materials about the industrial revolution rather than materials about Boulton. I don't think that the missing decorative arts images should hold up the FAC, but I do think that we should attempt to obtain these images - that's why I was looking for someone to help out. I see that someone volunteered above as well. Awadewit (talk) 23:34, 5 July 2009 (UTC)
It is not clear whether he "drove" the industrial revolution as a scientist or as a businessman. I would say the latter. Although he was clearly an intellectually sophisicated man and an "innovator", his scientific interests seem to be other than mechanical engineering: "Electricity and astronomy were at one time among his favourite amusements". However, he made excellent business decisions that may have resulted in furthering the industrial revolution. —Mattisse (Talk) 00:17, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
I'd rather not include language saying he, or his machines, drove the Industrial Revolution. Certainly there is no problem about finding sources saying that the Boulton & Watt engine set off the Industrial Revolution, but there are others that don't take that view. Such a debate has no place in the article, and I think it is suffient to say, as I do, that it made possible large scale factories. To say that it set off the Industrial Revolution is rather conclusory language, and I think that Mattisse's argument (both here and on her talk page) is strong.--Wehwalt (talk) 02:28, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
Are you saying that Boulton, using Watt's machine, "set off the Industrial Revolution" alone, or were he and Watt's steam engine part of a complex of many of persons, factors and historical circumstances? And if so, did he do it primarily through his business skills that enabled the innovations of others to be spread more widely, or was he a significant engineering innovator in his own right? —Mattisse (Talk) 12:05, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
That's just the thing, there's historical debate on this point, and I can't include all that in this article. Maybe in the article on the partnership, or on the engine. I put in some language at the end of the partnership with watt section that I think is about as far as I can go.--Wehwalt (talk) 12:24, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
It seems like something way more toned down, wording to the effect that he was part of the initiation of the Industrial Revolution in Britain. Or even better, just describe what he actually did, without drawing meta conclusions. —Mattisse (Talk) 13:33, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
What is wrong with how it is now?--Wehwalt (talk) 15:36, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
The article is fine now. I think it speaks generally of the influence of the Lunar Society and Boulton's role in it, without specifying Boulton as a "driver" of the Industrial Revolution. Further, I don't see the need for images of his decorated vases, broaches, Wedgewood plates or whatever, as they do not seem significant to his innovativeness or business acumen taken in the context of his work as a whole, being a business venture that fizzled out rather than work that was artistically valued because of Boulton's personal artistic creativity. At least, that is what I glean from the article. —Mattisse (Talk) 16:47, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
Still nice to have, though. Hopefully Awadewit will revisit the comments soon, I left Awadewit a note and this article will be, I hope, promoted next run through.--Wehwalt (talk) 17:02, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive. Please do not modify it. No further edits should be made to this page.