Tuesday, 28 April 2015
Wednesday, 22 April 2015
|Crown Terrace, Belper.|
Belper boy Samuel Slater was one of the child workers whose stories I told in The Children History Forgot. Samuel began his career as an apprentice to Jedidiah Strutt; Slater became one of the founding fathers of the American cotton industry.
|More millworkers' housing, Belper.|
The factory hours were from 6am until 6pm, including dinner and tea-times. Most of the children could read; the Strutts funded a Sunday school and day schools in the town, and built a Unitarian chapel (1788).
|Nail Shop, Joseph St.|
The Strutts told a parliamentary select committee (1816) that their mills had benefits for local families as well as providing them with work: ‘before the establishment of these works, the inhabitants were notorious for vice and immorality, and many of the children were maintained by begging; now their industry, decorous behaviour, attendance on public worship, and general good conduct, compared with the neighbouring villages, where no manufactures are established, is very conspicuous.’
|East Mill, Belper.|
|Unitarian Chapel, Belper.|
However, if you visit the Memories of the Mills website you'll discover millworkers' memories and oral histories of life in the Derwent Valley factories during the twentieth century.
Thursday, 2 April 2015
|North Mill, Belper|
|Belper nailmaker, North Mill.|
Belper was traditionally home to the framework knitting and nail-making industries. North Mill, Belper has a wonderful collection of textile machinery, so do take the time to explore it if you can.
The museum has many more machines than I've been able to show you here, and some social history displays.
Strutt family invented an improvement to the frame so that ribbed stockings could be knitted from either silk or cotton (the Derby rib). Ribbed stockings were more elastic and easier to wear than former designs.
|Spinning Jenny, North Mill.|
Arkwright's first cotton-spinning mill was built at Cromford (1771); Jedediah Strutt's own cotton-spinning mill (the South Mill) in Belper, powered by water, was founded in about 1776; the North Mill was completed about a decade later.
|Stocking frame, North Mill.|
|Arkwright's waterframe, North Mill.|