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Thread: A cotton picking tale

  1. #1
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    Default A cotton picking tale

    It is often very interesting how one thing can lead to another.
    You go to the pub, get as full as a boot and then fall flat on your face, unexpected concequences from your original action.

    A series on our TV about the Industrial revolution during the time of Queen Victoria threw up an interesting article.

    Manchester was the Cotton capital of the world at the time of the American Civil War.

    Mechanical engineering had brought about a new breed of machinery, far removed from the original Spinning Jenny of Hargreaves.

    Arkwright had perfect a better machine in 1788, one worker could now control six machines at once, workers who did a 14 hour day seven days a week.

    But there was at that time a great rivalry between Manchester and Liverpool, a rivalry many think is all about soccer, nothing could be further from the truth.

    The cotton used by the mills came from the Southern states of America, cotton picked by slaves.
    Much was carried along the Bridgewater canal from Liverpool, keeping the cost of transportation low.

    When the civil war began in America the workers refused to use it.

    As a result the production from the mills fell by some 50%.
    But like all wars this one came to an end and Lincoln wrote to the workers in the mills offereing praise for their actions and selfless resistance to the use of cotton picked by slaves.
    This assisted in bringing slave labour to an end.

    Shipments of cotton came back on stream into the port of Liverpool, but there was a catch, freight costs were increased to a point where the price of the cotton goods became too much.

    But the people of Manchester were not to be beaten.

    It was this dispute that saw the building of the Manchester ship canal begin, a canal some 36 miles in length and one of the greatest achievements of it's time.

    Some 35,000 Irish navies moved over 40 milion cubic meters of soil and rock to build it.
    Towards the end the company ran out of money and the building came to a standstill.
    The councuil of Manchester then made a loan of 3 million pounds to ensure the project was completed.
    On January 1st 1894 it was opened

    But when completed the Liverpool people began their fight with Manchester again.
    They began to offer freight costs so low the canal was no longer profitable.

    Manchesrter now is no longer the capital of cotton production but the canal still exists, and had it not been for the civil war it may well never have been built.

    British engineering at its best is the finest in the world, engineering that will continue no matter the outcome of you know what.

    All my own work, not a cut and paste thank you.
    Happy daze John in Oz.

    Life is too short to blend in.

    John Strange R737787
    World Traveller

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    Default Re: A cotton picking tale

    Have done many trips up the Manchester Ship canal.
    We used to check our speed by the number of condoms that passed a minute.
    Vessels were:- Pacific Importer, Pacific Liberty, Pacific Reliance, Scottish Prince, Palestinian Prince.
    An early trip when still steam tugs, saw the skipper of the stern tug up with a 12 bore and shoot a rabbit. He then pulled over to the bank and the deck boy jumped ashore, ran over picked up the rabbit, the tug again pulled over to the shore and deck boy jumped back on board

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    Default Re: A cotton picking tale

    Hi John
    , Bolton was King Cotton, more than Manchester was,
    The Cotton was transported from the Mississippi to Manchester by ship via the MSC and then by barge on the Bolton canal ,directly into Bolton town centre ., From Louisiana to Bolton and never touched a Road,
    Manchester was the the trading centre to all the cotton towns such as Oldham, Blackburn, Rochdale etc. but Bolton had more mills and spindles than any other town or city in the world In Manchester was the Cotton Exchange,, it was the Financial Centre of the Cotton Industry,
    We exported our Textiles world wide to every country on earth.

    .
    I have a Souvenir book of my Mother`s of the Centenary of Samuel Crompton of Bolton who invented the Spinning Mule, with all the history of the Cotton Industry , dated 1927.
    All my family worked in `t Mill for generations, When I left school I worked in`t Mill until it was time to go to the Vindi,.It was the largest Cotton Spinning Mill in the entire world, John Musgrave and Sons, employed over three thousand Spinners.
    Apart from Cotton from the States, one of the Best Cottons was Egyptian Cotton, excellent, I have a Video of King Faisal of Egypt visiting Musgraves Mill in Bolton in the 1927 and my Dad is on it.

    Then in 1967 , Harold Wilson, a good socialist, signed the Lima Agreement, and all the mills closed down, the machinery packed up and shipped to India and other countries in the east. 200 thousand mill workers lost their jobs, Dad who worked in`t Mill for 52 years was 6 months short of his 65th birthday , lost his pension He started at the age of 12.

    Cheers
    Brian
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Captain Kong; 22nd October 2019 at 10:28 AM.

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    Default Re: A cotton picking tale

    Saw another doco last night which touched on the cotton industry.
    One mill the presenter claimed could turn out as much as 1 million miles of cotton cloth.

    But all is now gone, like so many other industries, swallowed up by other countries, China, India etc.
    Happy daze John in Oz.

    Life is too short to blend in.

    John Strange R737787
    World Traveller

  5. Thanks Captain Kong thanked for this post

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