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The English cotton spinning industry, 1780–1840, as revealed in the columns of the London Gazette

  • Solar, Peter M
  • Lyons, John S

We investigate the early development of English cotton spinning by analyzing about 700 bankruptcies and 1300 dissolutions of partnership reported in the London Gazette, 1770–1840. The data show two temporal cycles, peaking in the early to mid-1800s and in the later 1820s, near the ends of investment booms. Both earlier peaks were absolutely higher than the later, despite industry growth. Over time both bankruptcies and dissolutions show the concentration of spinning in greater Lancashire, and within greater Lancashire in the surrounding towns rather than in Manchester. The industry was dominated by single proprietors or firms with only two partners and integration with weaving was steadily increasing. The paper demonstrates the potential of the Gazette, now searchable online, as a source for business and industrial history.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 15422.

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Date of creation: May 2009
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:15422
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  1. Lyons, John S., 1985. "Vertical Integration in the British Cotton Industry, 1825–1850: a Revision," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 45(02), pages 419-425, June.
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