'Scutch Mill, breaking the flax', Republic of Ireland, 1791.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Stipple and line engraving by W Hincks after his own drawing, showing a perspective view of a scutch mill, with a man using scutching rollers and blades, taken from the publication 'Irish Linen Industry' by W Hicks. Scutching is the proces of extracting the linen fibres from the stem of the flax. Originally done by hand, the proces was mechanised during the second half of the 18th century. The man in the foreground is placing the bundles of flax into a mill.