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History of Britain - Changing Lives

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11.Factories and Machines
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1785

An exploration of the factory system, introduced in the late 18th century, and its impact on our working lives. (7 mins)

12.Urban Slums
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1800 -1830 next video 12/17next

iconChapter Breakdown

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1. How did the Industrial Revolution impact ordinary people? A visit to Quarry Bank Mill in Cheshire.
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2. Machines and factories transformed our lives, creating the modern culture of 'working life'.
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3. The factory system - a contract between workers and 'capitalist' factory owners.
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4. What was life like on the factory floor?
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5. Child labour - and how it was justified. The human cost of this 'glorious experiment'.

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This module was all shot at Quarry Bank Mill in Styal, Cheshire, just south of Manchester.

It's one of the best preserved industrial mills in Britain, boasting a weaving shed, a mule shed, and a massive water wheel that was smelted in 1904 to replace the mill's original wheel.


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Styal is chock full of interest. Make sure you visit the Apprentice House which housed the paupers that worked at the mill. There's no better place to get a real sense of the lives of industrial workers in the early decades of the Industrial Revolution, before water-power was superseded by steam.

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