THE technical developments that laid the foundation of the nineteenth-century success of the cotton industry have received more attention than any other aspect of its history. The literature on Hargreaves’s jenny, Arkwright’s water frame, Crompton’s mule, and the ancillary preparation machinery, is so abundant that a new description, even of the salient features, seems unnecessary, and in any case students of economic history are more interested in the significance of innovations than in the details of inventions. This section will therefore be confined to three features of technical change in the cotton industry which are essential to an appreciation of the process of economic growth: the adoption of mechanical power, the increase in productivity, and the stages in the transition from the domestic to the factory system.


Eighteenth Century Mechanical Power Steam Engine Steam Power Sour Milk 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 6.
    R. L. Hills, Power in the Industrial Revolution (Manchester, 1970) pp. 66–7;Google Scholar
  2. J. Tann, The Development of the Factory (1970) pp. 47–9.Google Scholar
  3. 7.
    D. S. L. Cardwell, ‘Power Technologies and the Advance of Science, 1700–1825’, Technology and Culture, V I (1965).Google Scholar
  4. 8.
    S. D. Chapman, ‘The Cost of Power in the Industrial Revolution’, Midland History, i (1971).Google Scholar
  5. 9.
    Extracted from E. Baines, History of the Cotton Manufacture (1835) pp. 386–92.Google Scholar
  6. 10.
    H. B. Rodgers, ‘The Lancashire Cotton Industry in 1840’, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, xxviii (1960).Google Scholar
  7. 11.
    H. Catling, The Spinning Mule (Newton Abbot, 1970) p. 54.Google Scholar
  8. 12.
    Calculations based on data in Portland MSS., Notts. C.R.O., DD 4P 79/63, and Chatham papers, P.R.O., 30/8/187.Google Scholar
  9. 13.
    Abraham Rees, Cyclopaedia, article on ‘Cotton’ (1808); C. Aspin, James Hargreaves and the Spinning Jenny (Helmshore, Lancs., 1964).Google Scholar
  10. 14.
    M. Lévy-Leboyer, Les Banques Européennes et l’Industrialisation Internationale (Paris, 1964) p. 27.Google Scholar
  11. 15.
    S. D. Chapman, ‘Fixed Capital Formation in the British Cotton Manufacturing Industry’, in J. P. P. Higgins and S. Pollard (eds.), Aspects of Capital Investment in Great Britain, 1750–1850 (1971) pp. 72–3; R. S. Fitton and A. P. Wadsworth, The Strutts and the Arkwrights (Manchester, 1958) pp. 196–8.Google Scholar
  12. 16.
    Hills, Power in the Industrial Revolution, chap. v; Chapman, ‘Fixed Capital Formation’, pp. 61–3.Google Scholar
  13. 17.
    Wadsworth and Mann, The Cotton Trade, pp. 477–80; Radcliffe, Origins of Power Loom Weaving, p. 62.Google Scholar
  14. 18.
    D. Bythell, The Handloom Weavers (Cambridge, 1969) p. 33; Wadsworth and Mann, The Cotton Trade, p. 307; E. Gauldie, ‘Mechanical Aids to Linen Bleaching in Scotland’, Textile History, i (1969) p. 129.Google Scholar
  15. 19.
    A. E. Musson and E. Robinson, Science and Technology in the Industrial Revolution (Manchester, 1969) chap. 8.Google Scholar
  16. 20.
    Baines, History of the Cotton Manufacture, pp. 228–40.Google Scholar
  17. 21.
    James Montgomery, Carding and Spinning Master’s Assistant (Glasgow, 1832) p. 170, and A Practical Detail of the Cotton Manufacture of the U.S.A. . . . compared with that of Great Britain (Glasgow, 1840) pp. 75–81; A. Ure, The Cotton Manufacture of Great Britain (1836) pp. 297–313.Google Scholar
  18. 22.
    Chapman, ‘Fixed Capital Formation’, pp. 76–81.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Economic History Society 1972

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. D. Chapman
    • 1
  1. 1.University of NottinghamUK

Personalised recommendations