The Structure of Industry and Capital Requirements

  • S. D. Chapman
Part of the Studies in Economic History book series


ALL the early estimates of the number and size of cotton mills in Britain are based on an estimate of the number of Arkwrighttype factories and a calculation of the supposed value of these investments (see Tables 3 and 4). Colquhoun’s mill census in 1787 seems fairly accurate, but he thought the mills were all of 2,000 spindles and cost £5,000 each to build, while in fact most were built on the model of Arkwright’s smaller (1,000 spindle) mills. Consequently, his estimates of £715,000 (1787) and £775,000 (1790) for fixed capital are too high, and £500,000 would be nearer the true figure. Colquhoun made no estimate of capital invested in weaving, dyeing, bleaching and printing, and indeed no one else did so before 1834.


Eighteenth Century Industrial Revolution Cotton Manufacturer Steam Engine Working Capital 
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Copyright information

© The Economic History Society 1972

Authors and Affiliations

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

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