Filed under textile industry

Teazel House

Teazel House

Trowbridge was for centuries a major centre for the wool trade.I think its last weaving factory closed about 1980, and many former mills have been converted to other uses, with one being engulfed into the shopping centre as part of the local history museum. But when I was told about this one, called Handle House, … Continue reading

Halifax Cloth Hall Saved

The present government’s policy of slashing local government funding has caused massive problems in preserving heritage sites and museums, so here’s a rare bit of good news. This is from the i paper of 5 April An 18th century trading centre of  Yorkshire handloom weavers is to get a new lease of life as a … Continue reading

Spellcheck Meltdown

I have often found unusual names for fabrics from 18th century archives, but this account shows the wide variety that was available, in a single store. These names reflect the wide ranging sources – of different breeds of sheep that produce the wool, of cotton, of coarse and fine linen, and silks, plus the many … Continue reading

Embroidering for a First Date

A while back I did a post or two on the history of English embroidery, so when I spotted ‘The history of English Embroidery’ by the Victoria and Albert Museum,it seemed £2 well spent. Sadly, the pictures in it are in black and white, but this is a piece showing how little things have changed: … Continue reading

Logwood Business

Logwood Business

In a previous post I described the tree which produced logwood, which grows in Central American swamps. Here is another extract from Captain Southey’s Chronological History of the West Indies which shows the politics of the trade, and how it had changed from the part time employment of pirates and itinerants such as William Dampier, … Continue reading

Robot Myths and Origins

Robot Myths and Origins

We think of robots as being a very modern, even futuristic invention, but the ideas behind them date back thousands of years. . The word ‘Robot’ was coined by Karel Capek in his 1920 play ‘Rossum’s Universal Robots’ in which automata were built to replace humans in boring or dangerous work. The word is derived … Continue reading

Edmund Cartwright, Polymath

Edmund Cartwright, Polymath

Edmund Cartwright was born in 1743 to a wealthy family of talented men in Nottinghampshire. His brother John became an important radical politician, earned the title Father of Reform and led him to publish over eighty works between 1774 and 1824.   and his eldest brother George joined the army, then became an explorer in Canada … Continue reading