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Sunday, 10 March 2013

Oldest Factory

The silk mill in Derby was the very first factory ever built! I learnt this on my visit to Derby yesterday. And also perhaps the first case of Industrial espionage.

The Lombe family of Norfolk had been involved in the weaving trade for many generations. In the early 1700's John Lombe visited Italy where he saw mechanical weaving machines, known as "throwing machines".

Armed with this knowledge and his engineering skills he built a factory five stories high with 26 machines powered by water.  A workforce of up to 400 meant the amount of silk that could be produced quickly and in vast quantity's.

His glory was short lived however, as John died in mysterious circumstances five years later, many believing he was poisoned by the Italians for stealing their machine design.

8 comments:

Adullamite said...

Good looking building.
I wonder if the Italians did finish him off, or his family did it for the money perhaps?

PerthDailyPhoto said...

Beautifully shown here Mo, interesting history. I can't believe it's 0C still over there brrrrrr!

Sharon said...

Another fabulous photo and equally enticing story today. I love it.

Kay said...

Nice shot of an interesting place. It leads me to wonder how silk was produced at that time in Asia. I read a novel about it some years back. I should take a look at it again.

Jenny Woolf said...

Interesting! Is it still a mill?

Jack said...

Mo, your composition of this photograph is superb. Love it!

LONDONLULU said...

Love the photo and love the story even more! I like to think it was a case of industrial espionage revenge.

Mandy Southgate said...

Oooh, that is so interesting! I love factories and the history of the industrial revolution! Must visit.

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