'India Mill, Over Darwen', 1873.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Engraving of India Mill in Darwen (previously known as Over Darwen), near Blackburn, built by Eccles Shorrock. The chimney, at over 100 metres, was inspired by Italian architecture, and was built between 1864 and 1868 at a cost of £12,000. Many mill owners built such chimneys, competing with each other to construct the tallest. A blockade of the cotton-producing Southern states because of the American Civil War stopped cotton imports to Britain and led to unemployment and famine in the northern textile towns. Shorrock went bankrupt and died of ill health. The mill finally closed in 1991; both the mill and tower are now listed buildings. Illustration from Volume 1 of 'The science of modern cotton spinning' by Evan Leigh, published in Manchester in 1873.