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Factory Production in Nineteenth-Century Britain

Edited by Elaine Freedgood

Publication Date - 26 December 2002

ISBN: 9780195148725

336 pages
5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches


This anthology brings together writings ranging from the canonical to the obscure that suggest the scope of responses--from wondrous celebration to apocalyptic horror--elicited by the advent and establishment of the factory system in nineteenth-century Britain. Addressing complex questions about the possible effects of mass production on human life and labor, this collection presents important works by John Ruskin, Thomas Carlyle, and William Morris alongside lesser-known selections from factory tourists' tales and inspectors' reports, Parliamentary testimony, a Luddite pamphlet, and a cotton mill worker's autobiography. These texts reveal the richness and complexity of the debates, contradictions, and conflicts that accompanied the rise of the factory as the most important site of commodity production. The selections are arranged and introduced in a way that helps students make sense of this complicated field. An introduction by the editor and a chronology of the British factory system help place the materials in their historical context.
Ideal for courses in Victorian history, literature, and culture, Factory Production in Nineteenth-Century Britain will also interest students of industrial development and of the history of economics, urbanization, women's work, and childhood.

Table of Contents

    1. Tourists
    George Dodd, A Day at a Hat-Factory (1843)
    Harriet Martineau, What There Is in a Button (1852)
    Lady Bell, The Process of Ironmaking (1907)
    2. Investigators
    Charles Babbage, On the Method of Observing Manufactories (1832)
    Emilia Dilke, The Industrial Position of Women (1893)
    3. Historians
    Edward Baines, Jr., Inventions in Spinning Machines (1835)
    4. Theory
    Adam Smith, On the Division of Labor (1776)
    Robert Owen, from A Statement Regarding the New Lanark Establishment (1812)
    David Ricardo, On Machinery (1821)
    Thomas Carlyle, Captains of Industry (1843)
    Karl Marx, The Factory (1867)
    5. Practice
    George Beaumont, from The Beggar's Complaint (1813)
    Charles Babbage, from On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures (1832)
    Andrew Ure, General View of Manufacturing Industry (1835)
    Francis Place, Hand Loom Weavers and Factory Workers: A Letter to James Turner, Cotton Spinner (1835)
    The Effects of Machinery on Manual Labor, and on the Distribution of the Produce of Industry (1842)
    6. Childhood and Domesticity
    James Phillips Kay-Shuttleworth, from The Moral and Physical Condition of the Working Classes (1832)
    Peter Gaskell, Separation of Families (1833)
    Thomas Macaulay, Speech on the Ten Hours Act: Delivered in the House of Commons on the 22d of May, 1846 (1846)
    7. Limbs and Lives
    Richard Oastler, Yorkshire Slavery (1830)
    Charles Wing, Parliamentary Testimony on Child Labour (1837)
    Friedrich Engels, from Single Branches of Industry (1845)
    Henry Morley, Ground in the Mill (1854)
    John Ward (O'Neil), From His Diary (1860)
    8. The Humanity of the Handmade
    John Ruskin, The Nature of Gothic (1853)
    William Morris, The Revival of Handicraft: An Article in the "Fortnightly Review," November 1888 (1888)
    9. "Manual" Labor and National Independence
    Mahatma Gandhi, The Duty of Spinning (1921)
    Hand-Spinning Again (1921)
    The Secret of Swaraj (1921)
    Contributor's Biographies
    Suggestions for Further Reading