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History 398 Lecture 6 THE FACTORY SYSTEM PowerPoint Presentation
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History 398 Lecture 6 THE FACTORY SYSTEM

History 398 Lecture 6 THE FACTORY SYSTEM

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History 398 Lecture 6 THE FACTORY SYSTEM

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  1. History 398 Lecture 6THE FACTORY SYSTEM The factory was more than just a larger work unit. It was a system of production resting on a characteristic definition of the functions and responsibilities of the different participants in the productive process. David S. Landes, The Unbound Prometheus History 398 Fall 2004

  2. History 398 Fall 2004

  3. Bedworth Mill History 398 Fall 2004

  4. The Factory as a Machine • Individual machines as coordinated parts of larger, continuously operating mechanism • < central power source (whether water or steam) driving all machines at coordinated rates (allude to other forms of organization made possible by small electric motors) • inherent in factory itself and reinforced by every step of increased mechanization • think about the alternatives at the time and in general History 398 Fall 2004

  5. The Factory as a Machine • Individual machines as coordinated parts of larger, continuously operating mechanism • The mill clock - autonomous factory Many mills have a clock turned by the mill; close to another clock regulated by a pendulum, and the motion of the mill is so regular, that these two clocks will never vary more than two or three minutes. Both are made with dials and hands exactly alike, but one has a title on the dial, mill time, and the other, clock time. The Rees Cyclopedia, quoted by Hills, 193 History 398 Fall 2004

  6. The Mill Clock mill time, as measured by waterwheel clock time Victorian clock from Pyemore Mill, near Bridport, Dorset J.M. Richards, The Functional Tradition in Early Industrial Buildings, 109 History 398 Fall 2004

  7. The Factory as a Machine • Individual machines as coordinated parts of larger, continuously operating mechanism • The mill clock signifies self-contained, autonomous nature of factory-machine • Humans Whilst the engine runs, the people must work – men, women and children are yoked together with iron and steam. The animal machine ... is chained fast to the iron machine, which knows no suffering and no weariness. J.P Kay, Moral and Physical Condition ... in Cotton Manufacturing (1832), 4; quoted by Briggs, Age of Improvement, 61 History 398 Fall 2004

  8. History 398 Fall 2004

  9. The Factory as a Machine • Individual machines as coordinated parts of larger, continuously operating mechanism • The mill clock signifies self-contained, autonomous nature of factory-machine • Humans • Difficulties of adjustment • individual • cultural • socio-economic History 398 Fall 2004

  10. The Sources of Factory Labor • Artisans --> factory hands • hand - manufacture: ironic • gradually find skills replaced, but in meantime find themselves and their work subjected to ever tighter discipline, e.g. weavers in factory • surrender means of production • surrender craft standards • cash nexus with employer History 398 Fall 2004

  11. The Sources of Factory Labor • Artisans --> factory hands • Marginal labor --> factory hands • neither skills nor tools; only labor • full-time employment ==> loss of autonomy • breakup of family • severance from traditional landed community and its support system • Laslett: family and home History 398 Fall 2004

  12. The Sources of Factory Labor • Artisans --> factory hands • Marginal labor --> factory hands • Breakup of tradition village (and marginal labor attached) early industrial concentration improvement, commercial crops, enclosure emergence of industrial village and transformation to city History 398 Fall 2004

  13. History 398 Fall 2004

  14. History 398 Fall 2004

  15. History 398 Fall 2004

  16. Factory Discipline While the domestic system had implied some measure of control, 'it was ... an essentially new thing for the capitalist to be a disciplinarian. [...] The capitalist employer became a supervisor in every detail of the work: without any change in the general character of the wage contract, the employer acquired new powers which were of great social significance.' [quoting Usher, Intro. to Industrial Hist. of Engl. (1921), 348] The concept of industrial discipline was new, and called for as much innovation as the technical innovations of the age. Pollard, "Factory Discipline", 259 History 398 Fall 2004

  17. Factory Discipline • "Profit made in last half-hour" common belief translated into long workday of continuous labor by all hands • regular attendance • punctuality and sobriety • attentiveness to task • continual industry by schedule (eat, relieve self, work when you don't feel well) • no rowdiness, distracting conversation, wandering away from machine • no rebellion against authority or conditions History 398 Fall 2004

  18. Factory Discipline • "Profit made in last half-hour" common belief translated into long workday of continuous labor by all hands • Workers had to be trained to these traits • cf. function of modern school • production schedule of agricultural community and domestic industry • "time thrift" History 398 Fall 2004

  19. Factory Discipline • "Profit made in last half-hour" common belief translated into long workday of continuous labor by all hands • Workers had to be trained to these traits • Discipline in factory greater problem because of • high proportion of children in workforce • dissolution of family and community ties History 398 Fall 2004

  20. History 398 Fall 2004

  21. Factory Discipline • "Profit made in last half-hour" common belief translated into long workday of continuous labor by all hands • Workers had to be trained to these traits • Discipline in factory greater problem • Discipline achieved largely through: • threat of punishment • incentives • education History 398 Fall 2004

  22. Factory Discipline • "Profit made in last half-hour" common belief translated into long workday of continuous labor by all hands • Workers had to be trained to these traits • Discipline in factory greater problem • Discipline achieved • ==> Emphasis in readings about factory system on supervision and superintendence, architecturally as well as managerially History 398 Fall 2004

  23. Factory Discipline • "Profit made in last half-hour" common belief translated into long workday of continuous labor by all hands • Workers had to be trained to these traits • Discipline in factory greater problem • Discipline achieved • ==> Emphasis in readings about factorysystem on supervision and superintendence • New industrial norms introduced and reinforced not only individually, but by society at large History 398 Fall 2004