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18 June 2014
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Legacies - Lancashire

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Engine room
Engine room at a cotton factory

© Harris Museum & Art Gallery, Preston
Factory work in Victorian Lancashire

The most dramatic social changes of the British Industrial Revolution involved the development of the factory system from the late 18th Century. They were intensified when water-wheels gave way to steam engines and factory work for most people became an urban occupation. The double transition from farm or rural cottage to factory and smoky town was a great upheaval. What was the nature of these changes? How did they affect people's lives? Who worked in the factories, and what jobs did they do? What was life like in the huddled streets of terraced houses that surrounded the mill: did, and how much influence did the factory, and the factory owner, have on life outside work? Basically, what difference did the factory make? More...

Words: John K Walton - University of Central Lancashire

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Cotton history in Preston
Decline of the cotton industry
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