Showing posts from January, 2022

Hidden histories of disabled mill workers

By Gill Crawshaw   George Thompson worked at Gotts Mill, now  Leeds Industrial Museum at Armley Mills in Yorkshire, UK, in the 1840s. George’s job was as a handle-setter, putting teasels into metal frames which were fitted onto a teasel-raising gig. This machine was used in the finishing stages of cloth making, there’s an example of one in the Industrial Museum. The cloth would pass over the spines of the teasels in the gig to raise the nap of the fabric. It was then cropped to give it a smooth surface.  The Leeds Industrial Museum at Armley Mills Source: George was a young man who lived near the mill in Armley. Jobs preparing teasels for cloth-finishing were usually done by young men and boys, and perhaps George had started work as a preemer, sorting and cleaning the teasels. His boss reported that George “acquired the business equally fast, and as well as others” and reckoned that “when he is of age he will be a