Women using spinning wheels, 1751-1765.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Engraving after Gousier showing craftswomen spinning yarn in a well-furnished and airy room, suggesting a cottage industry. Below are illustrations of their equipment. From volume 3 of 'Encyclopedie, ou Dictionnaire Raisonne des Sciences, des Arts et des Metiers', edited by Denis Diderot (1713-1784) and Jean d'Alembert (1717-1783) and published in 14 volumes between 1751 and 1765. The 'Grand Encyclopedie' (Encyclopedia or Dictionary of the Sciences, Arts and Profesions) was more than a summary of all contemporary knowledge, it served as a manifesto for a new way of looking at the world by describing many of the proceses which transformed the world during the Industrial Revolution.