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what my ancestor did in 1841

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what my ancestor did in 1841

Postby jim stansfield » Tue Dec 18, 2007 12:33 am

During my researches I found that my GGgrandfatherwas a Richard Hankinson, his occupation in 1841 was as a fustian cutter and that his wife was also a fustian cutter. They lived in Dyke/Dyche street in Manchester, which happens to be one street away from where Time Team did there dig on Richard Arkwrights first mill in Manchester, it's possible they may have worked in the mill but as I am not sure as to what type of cotton was produced I cannot be certain, as I belive that fustian cotton was a form of cotton velvet sometimes called velveteen it was made the same way as corduroy(another name for fustian cotton) but the looped fabric was cut with a knife and trimmed by the fustian cutters. does any one have any knowledge of the factory and it's products.

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RE: what my ancestor did in 1841

Postby paulberyl » Thu Dec 20, 2007 12:20 am

[font="times new roman"][size=3]Whilst in 1783 Arkwright’s was the only spinning mill in Manchester situated on Miller Street in Shude Hill, by 1816 there were 86 steam-powered cotton spinning mills peaking at 108 mills in 1853. [/size][/font]
[font="times new roman"][size=3]An extract from Friedrich Engels’s book [i]The Condition of the Working-Class in England [/i]provides a graphic picture of this area of Manchester in 1844:[/size][/font]
[font="times new roman"][size=3] [/size][/font]
[i][size=3][font="times new roman"]Here the streets, even the better ones, are narrow and winding, as Todd Street, Long Millgate, Withy Grove, and Shude Hill, the houses dirty, old, and tumble-down, and the construction of the side streets utterly horrible. Going from the Old Church to Long Millgate, the stroller has at once a row of old-fashioned houses at the right, of which not one has kept its original level; these are remnants of the old pre-manufacturing Manchester, whose former inhabitants have removed with their descendants into better built districts, and have left the houses, which were not good enough for them, to a population strongly mixed with Irish blood. Here one is in an almost undisguised working-men's quarter, for even the shops and beer houses hardly take the trouble to exhibit a trifling degree of cleanliness. But all this is nothing in comparison with the courts and lanes which lie behind, to which access can be gained only through covered passages, in which no two human beings can pass at the same time. Of the irregular cramming together of dwellings in ways which defy all rational plan, of the tangle in which they are crowded literally one upon the other, it is impossible to convey an idea. And it is not the buildings surviving from the old times of Manchester which are to blame for this; the confusion has only recently reached its height when every scrap of space left by the old way of building has been filled up and patched over until not a foot of land is left to be further occupied. [/font][/size][/i]
[i][font="times new roman"][size=3] [/size][/font][/i]
[size=3][font="times new roman"]Working conditions in the mills were harsh the working day being 13/14 hours long.[/font][/size]
[size=3][font="times new roman"]Mechanisation had shifted cotton spinning from a craft to an industrial process, but it came at a cost - a human cost.[/font][/size]
[size=3][font="times new roman"]The noise from machinery was deafening; many workers became skilled lip readers in order to communicate over the noise. With no ear protection many workers became deaf. [/font][/size]
[size=3][font="times new roman"]The air in the cotton mills had to be kept hot and humid (65 to 80 degrees) to prevent the thread breaking and workers suffered from many illnesses.[/font][/size]
[size=3][font="times new roman"]The air in the mill was thick with cotton dust which could lead to byssinosis - a lung disease. [/font][/size]
[size=3][font="times new roman"]Eye inflammation, deafness, tuberculosis, cancer of the mouth and of the groin (mule-spinners cancer) could also be attributed to the working conditions in the mills. [/font][/size]
[font="times new roman"][size=3]Long hours, difficult working conditions and moving machinery proved a dangerous combination. Accidents were common and could range from the loss of a finger to fatality.[/size][/font]
[font="times new roman"][size=3] [/size][/font]
[font="times new roman"][size=3]However I believe fustian cutting was a textile outwork activity carried out in special workshops. This cutting was organised by masters mainly in Manchester who sent out the rolls of cloth to outworkers not only in Manchester but also in the outlying villages, where labour costs were cheaper than in Manchester. The cutting had to be carried out in a well lit room on benches of many yards long on which the cloth could be stretched by means of rollers on either end. A thin spiked knife 18 inches long was inserted into the loops, called a race, and the threads cut with a sweeping movement. Considerable dexterity and accuracy was needed. There could be from 600 to 1200 races depending on fineness in a two yard length of 22-29 inches wide, which would take about an hour to cut. [/size][/font]
[font="times new roman"][size=3] [/size][/font]
[font="times new roman"][size=3]Hope this is of some interest.[/size][/font]
[font="times new roman"][size=3] [/size][/font]
[font="times new roman"][size=3]Paul[/size][/font]
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Re: what my ancestor did in 1841

Postby jitenrajput9 » Thu Sep 12, 2013 11:18 am

I really appreciate your research. You have calculated a good historical data and nice information. Thank you very much for sharing a deep knowledge.
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