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Additional info for Authority and Control in Modern Industry: Theoretical and Empirical Perspectives (Routledge Studies in Business Organization and Networks, 10.)
In 1815, for example, a strike by Macclesfield silk weavers over a reduction in piece rates led manufacturers to establish hand factories and employ erstwhile apprentices and others at significantly lower rates of pay. Elsewhere in the trade, a system of ‘half-pay apprentices’ was employed in which nine or ten young persons were gathered together under one roof and set to work under the supervision of a skilled silk weaver. Silk weaving factories were not widely adopted, however, even though water-powered silk throwing factories had been in existence for almost a century by this time.
But what was it that so radically transformed the nature of economy, society and environment in late eighteenth-century England? A major force for change, in the eyes of many, was the modern factory system. This appeared in its embryonic form in the silk industry, reached its full bloom in cotton, was adopted by the rest of the textile industry and, in the nineteenth century, spread to other manufacturing sectors. The essential features of the modern factory system have been carefully spelt out by both Mantoux and Landes.
JONES the adoption of hand factories and, in the case of cotton and wool, was contemporaneous with the emergence of jenny factories and loom shops. For many economic historians, it is the introduction of these power-driven factories that constitutes ‘the rise of the factory system’, and on this subject Marglin remains largely silent. New technology and exploitation The failure of Marglin to explore the nature of exploitation within powerdriven factories is somewhat paradoxical, because it was the hours and conditions of work within such establishments that attracted the ire of factory reformers.