Industrial Archaeology: Principles and Practice
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Industrial Archaeology uses the techniques of mainstream archaeological excavation, analysis and interpretation to present an enlightening picture of industrial society.
Technology and heritage have, until recently, been the focal points of study in industrialization. Industrial Archaeology sets out a coherent methodology for the discipline which expands on and extends beyond the purely functional analysis of industrial landscapes, structures and artefacts to a broader consideration of their cultural meaning and value. The authors examine, for example, the social context of industrialization, including the effect of new means of production on working patterns, diet and health.
Gorge, and a classic potbank has been preserved in nearby Coalport. By far the largest concentration of potbanks was in the Potteries area of Staffordshire, and some of those which still exist have been recorded by RCHME (Plate 21) (Baker 1991). They were often situated on the banks of canals since water was ideally suited for the transport of the fragile product. RCHME also recorded much of the extensive terraced housing in the ‘six towns’ of the Potteries, where in the mid-nineteenth century
These had large windows at the front and rear of the workshop, which could be situated either on the ground, first or even second floor. Many remain in the East Midlands where 90 per cent of the industry was located. Larger machines meant that a domestic environment was no longer possible but, as in the boot and shoe industry, small workshops with maximum window area were built in back yards. Hosiery workers, like others who Figure 19 Elevations of a master hosier’s house in Hucknall,
tried to contribute to wider historical debates, e.g. on the origins and effects of industrialisation. If the ‘new archaeology’ did nothing else, it taught archaeologists to approach both fieldwork and the analysis of data with a series of often complex questions in mind. But the data of industrial archaeology is generally limited to the physical remains of sites and structures plus map, documentary and photographic evidence; what is nearly always lacking is normal artefactual material for
reports of the various mine captains deposited in the Tehidy Estate papers. For example, the report for October 1868 stated: we have during the last two months fixed the two new stamping engines and boilers with 35 fathoms of 15 inch plunger lifts, also two balance bobs with three 16 heads stamps axles and erected 12 round buddles with the necessary driving gear. The whole is now working satisfactorily. (Cornwall Record Office, Tehidy Estate Papers, TEM 286, Wheal Basset Report, 6 October 1868)
loss of slime tin led • 135 • • 136 • Industrial archaeology in practice to considerable debate among mine captains in Cornwall during the 1880s, since the mines themselves were losing profit to numerous tin streamers on the local rivers below the mines. One solution was the adoption of round buddles immediately below the stamps grates, and this appears to have been implemented at West Basset: the mine captain’s reports refer to the erection of additional buddles and Cornish frames in 1892