Mule spinning in a cotton mill, 1835.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Engraving after a drawing by Thomas Allom, showing textile workers using the spinning mule. The mechanisation of textile machinery throughout Britain and Europe in the early 19th century revolutionised cotton manufacturing. The cost of cotton production fell, while demand for cotton products rose, and workers were increasingly driven from the fields into the new cotton mills and factories. Many of these were children, who worked long hours and were given dangerous jobs such as cleaning the fibres from the machinery while it was moving, as can be seen here on the right. Illustration from 'History of the cotton manufacture in Great Britain: with a notice of its early history in the East, and in all the quarters of the globe' by Edward Baines (1800-1890), published in London in 1835.