- How money from slavery made Greater Manchester
- The importance of cotton in north west England
- The Lancashire cotton famine
- Smoking, drinking and the British sweet tooth
- Black presence in Britain and north west England
- Resistance and campaigns for abolition
- The bicentenary of British abolition
Why was cotton so important in north west England?
The Cotton Industry: A Romance of Modern Work
Published by the Amalgamated Cotton Mills Trust Ltd, 1920
Printed paper and card
Object number 1987.19.IND and ZZ/4/1
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Towns like Bolton could produce everything necessary to build and run a cotton mill, except for the raw cotton. The Lancashire cotton boom was dependent on the expansion of the cotton plantations in the southern states of America to provide the quantity of raw cotton needed to keep the mills going.
This illustration, from the introduction to Concerning Cotton, published by the Amalgamated Cotton Mills Trust Ltd in 1920, co-opts that history. It shows three smiling cotton-pickers transported from the plantations of southern America to an idealised industrial Lancashire landscape. Behind them, the gleaming white walls of the towering mill rise up beneath a clear blue sky, a monument to industry and progress. The reality, of both life on the southern plantations and in the factories of the north west of England, was considerably harsher.
This information was provided by curators at Bolton Museum and Archive Service.