Book reviews — June 1976
Days at The Factories, George Dodd
publ.1843, reprinted 1975 by EP Publishing, East Ardsley, Wakefield; 408 pages, £4.50
Many members are probably aware of a valuable series of articles published in 1835-40 in the Penny Magazine, which describe in detail many factories and their technology. George Dodd revised and extended these articles for an intended series of books entitled 'Days at the Factories or the Manufacturing Industry of Great Britain described'. Unfortunately only the first volume, dealing with London, was published. EP Publishing have now reprinted chapters 1-17 of this valuable volume, which deals with some twenty different manufacturers. The original introduction gives the aims of the book as 'an attempt to convey some idea of the general character of a few London manufacturers, in the form of visits to certain establishments, the general arrangement and internal economy of which are described as a means of illustrating more distinctly the manufacturing details.' The descriptions are an excellent record of many processes, some now lost, such as the Wandle Snuff Mills and Day & Martins Blacking Factory, while others such as the Whitechapel Bell Foundry (where a GLIAS visit is planned for the autumn) are still at work. The many illustrations, three of which appear in this newsletter, deal not only with the machinery, but equally importantly with the work force. It would be excellent if GLIAS members could investigate what remains of all these works and if possible see how the present processes compare with those described by Dodd.
My only regret about this reprint is that the last five chapters of the original have not been included. They dealt with the Westminster Gas Works, Baxter's Coach Factory in Long Acre, two days spent at the famous shipyard of Wigrams Green at Blackwall (now B & H Green & Siley Weir), Huddart's Rope & Sailcloth Factory in Limehouse and a Copper and Lead Works in Shoe Lane.
All industrial archaeologists and particularly members of GLIAS should be grateful that Dodd's visits are again available and at a reasonable price. David Perrett
(Editor's note: We intend to get copies of this fascinating book for the GLIAS bookstall and hope to have them on sale at the Annual General Meeting. The list of premises covered is: Barclay Perkins Brewery, Southwark, (now Courage); Octavius Smith's Distillery, Thames Bank; Beaufoy's Vinegar & British nine Factory, Lambeth; Fairrie's Sugar Refinery, Whitechapel; London Docks, Tobacco & Snuff factory; Christy's Hat Factory, Bermondsey St; Neckinger Mills Leather Works, Southwark; Hawes Candle & Soap Factory, Southwark; Day & Martins Blacking Factory, Holborn; London Marble Works, Millbank; Smith & Babers Floor Cloth Factory, Knightsbridge; Pellatt's Flint Glass Factory, Blackfriars; Whitechapel Bell Foundry & Church Clock Factory; Clowes Printing Office, Duke Street; Westley & Clarke, Bookbinders, Ludgate; Broadwoods Piano Works, Horseferry Road.)
'Money, Milk and Milestones'
28 A5 pages, 35p from the Secretary, HADAS, 88 Temple Fortune Lane, London NW11 7TX
A selection of nine articles of general interest from the Hendon & District Archaeological Society's monthly newsletter. Subjects range from a history of trade tokens, reminiscences of a milk-round boy in 1919 to an account of the surviving milestones in the Borough of Barnet.
100 pages, 111 illustrations. £2.50 plus 45p post, from The Director of Amenity Services, 14 Knights Hill, London SE27
This illustrated history by Eric Smith portrays the growth of Clapham from medieval hill-top village, 18th-century abode of bankers and merchants, to residential suburb promoted by the railways and Thomas Cubbitt's development of Clapham Park.
'Waltham Forest Since 1940'
65p + 10p postage from Vestry House Museum, Vestry Road, Walthamstow, London E17 9NH
56-page pictorial history of the Borough including many transport pics, commercial architecture, etc., particularly sites now redeveloped.
Two site reports by GLIAS members are now available. These are not glossy popular histories but limited-run photocopies of the factual reports prepared by the Recording Group for placing in museums and other archives. The reports are:
'Bennetts Lower Wharf' (former grain warehouse & mill, Bermondsey Wall East) and 'A Howard & Sons' (upholsterers' springmakers, Brick Lane, E2). Bennetts is 25p + 10p postage, Howards 40p + 10p from Adrian Tayler, or post free at major GLIAS meetings. Other reports are on the way.
© GLIAS, 1976