Piccadilly Mill

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Piccadilly Mill, also known as Bank Top Mill [1] or Drinkwater's Mill, owned by Peter Drinkwater, was the first cotton mill in Manchester, England, [2] to be directly powered by a steam engine, [3] and the 10th such mill in the world. [1] Construction of the four-storey mill on Auburn Street started in 1789 [3] and its 8 hp Boulton and Watt engine was installed and working by 1 May 1790. [4] Initially the engine drove only the preparatory equipment and spinning was done manually. [5] The mill-wright was Thomas Lowe, who had worked for William Fairbairn and helped with the planning two of Arkwright's earliest factories. [6]

Peter Drinkwater was an English cotton manufacturer and merchant.

Cotton mill factory housing powered spinning or weaving machinery for the production of yarn or cloth from cotton

A cotton mill is a building housing spinning or weaving machinery for the production of yarn or cloth from cotton, an important product during the Industrial Revolution in the development of the factory system.

Manchester City and metropolitan borough in England

Manchester is a major city and metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, England, with a population of 545,500 as of 2017. It lies within the United Kingdom's second-most populous urban area, with a population of 2.7 million, and third-most populous metropolitan area, with a population of 3.3 million. It is fringed by the Cheshire Plain to the south, the Pennines to the north and east, and an arc of towns with which it forms a continuous conurbation. The local authority for the city is Manchester City Council.

During the early 1790s the mill employed around 500 workers. [4] Robert Owen was employed as the manager in 1792. [5]

Robert Owen Welsh social reformer

Robert Owen was a Welsh textile manufacturer, philanthropic social reformer, and one of the founders of utopian socialism and the cooperative movement. Owen is best known for his efforts to improve the working conditions of his factory workers and his promotion of experimental socialistic communities. In the early 1800s Owen became wealthy as an investor and eventual manager of a large textile mill at New Lanark, Scotland. He initially trained as a draper in Stamford, Lincolnshire, and worked in London before relocating at the age of 18 to Manchester and going into business as a textile manufacturer. In 1824, Owen travelled to America, where he invested the bulk of his fortune in an experimental socialistic community at New Harmony, Indiana, the preliminary model for Owen's utopian society. The experiment was short-lived, lasting about two years. Other Owenite utopian communities met a similar fate. In 1828, Owen returned to the United Kingdom and settled in London, where he continued to be an advocate for the working class. In addition to his leadership in the development of cooperatives and the trade union movement, he also supported passage of child labour laws and free, co-educational schools.

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  1. 1 2 Kidd 2013.
  2. Oxford Archaeology North (2005). "PICCADILLY MILL, PICCADILLY, MANCHESTER Post-Excavation Assessment" (PDF).
  3. 1 2 Nevell 2007, p. 198.
  4. 1 2 Nevell 2007, p. 199.
  5. 1 2 Miller & Wild 2007, p. 18.
  6. Miller & Wild 2007, p. 64.


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Coordinates: 53°28′43″N2°14′00″W / 53.4787°N 2.2333°W / 53.4787; -2.2333

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