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Dr. Penelope Corfield, Lecturer in History at the University of London, describes the development of specialised manufacturing centres which were the 18th century fore-runners of factory towns. Ta...king the wool textile towns of Yorkshire as a case study she explores the phyysical environment of the 18th century industrial town and analyses its function as an economic, organisational and social centre. Finally, it is argued that the emergence of a specialised, full-time and urbanised work-force in 18th century England can be regarded as part cause and part effect of the economic development that led to the industrial revolution.
Metadata describing this Open University video programme
Module code and title: A322, English urban history 1500-1780
Item code: A322; 08
First transmission date: 13-09-1977
Published: 1977
Rights Statement:
Restrictions on use:
Duration: 00:24:49
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Producer: Patricia Hodgson
Contributors: Penelope Corfield; Anthony Herrick
Publisher: BBC Open University
Keyword(s): Provincial towns; Textile industry
Footage description: The programme opens with an early nineteenth century weaving song, sung over film of Yorkshire textile mills and prints of artisan weaving. In voice over, Corfield comments on the popularity of work songs in the eighteenth century. Over prints of early industrial towns, Corfield explains that the aim of the programme is to investigate the scale and nature of early industrial life. An animated map shows which industries developed in the new industrial towns of the 18th century. Over shots of surviving rural industrial workshops from the period, she describes the role of such places. Shots of Pennine scenes, over which Corfield describes the urban growth of the area in the 18th century. An extract from Defoe describes the area in the 1720s. Further film of West Yorkshire. Over contemporary prints, Corfield comments on the appearance of these early industrial towns. Shots of Addingham, where many 18th century industrial buildings survive. In voice over Corfield describes the overall appearance of the town, as well as specific buildings, Addingham is compared and contrasted with early industrial Halifax. Old prints of Yorkshire cloth halls, the purpose of which is explained by Corfield in voice-over. Shots of Halifax Piece Hall, which is examined in detail. Film of Halifax, over which Corfield describes the town's importance in the eighteenth century. From the Piece Hall Museum, she demonstrates the use of tools of the early wool industry, and describes the processes of production. Prints showing workers in the early textile industry. Corfield describes their work conditions and explains how work in a small workshop differed from that in a factory. Over a variety of prints illustrating aspects of l8th century artisan culture and leisure, Corfield sketches the life style of the early industrial workers. Further shots of Addingham, in Wharfedale, over which Corfield reviews her outline of the early development of Northern industrial towns. The programme concludes with a weaving song, sung over aerial views of Sheffield.
Master spool number: 6HT/72526
Production number: 00525_3270
Videofinder number: 3328
Available to public: no