Cultural Histories and Theories: The United Kingdom Wool-Textile Industry, 1850-1904 - Term Paper Example

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The author examines the textile industry of the United Kingdom and states that textiles are an integral part οf our lives - in Food and Fibre you will have an introduction to basic fibers, fabrics, and skills. This knowledge will help to become a wise textiles consumer…
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Cultural Histories and Theories: The United Kingdom Wool-Textile Industry, 1850-1904
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Download file to see previous pages The power οf gas and oil engines and electric generators were being added to that οf steam and many goods were being mass-produced. Britain, the centre οf a world-wide empire, the greatest free-trade market, drawing on the whole globe for foodstuffs and raw materials and still also the largest exporter οf manufactures, was the hub οf world sea-borne trade: in the period before 1913 about 40 per cent οf that trade was with the UK, and over half οf it was carried in British ship. Thus British shipyards had a huge home and overseas markets.

Expansion οf production and trade was accompanied by changing industrial organization. Though many combined firms existed, they were generally much bigger than woolen mills. The traditional small West Riding clothiers and the associated cloth-halls were declining, with the development οf larger-scale factory and mercantile organization and more direct trading relationships, though small firms and mills still abounded.

However, the real problem, in fact, was that οf developing new industries alongside the old, while the latter still continued to grow profitably. It appears, however, that there were plenty οf savings and capital resources that might have been used for new industrial developments. British overseas investments or capital exports continued to grow prodigiously.

Cotton is still the biggest manufacturer in the textile industry. (Sykas 2007) In the 1907 Census οf Production, the labor force in spinning and weaving factories increased from 331000 in 1850 to 577000 in 1907, while production and trade rose much more, as indicated by the figures οf raw cotton consumption and exports. Mechanization was carried further, not only with more mules, spindles, and power-looms but larger, faster-running and more efficient machines, driven by more powerful and economical steam-engines. Fixed capital, therefore, grew more rapidly than the number οf worker, and productivity increased, especially in the first half οf this period. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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