This is a study of an important family business, set firmly within the wider context of English society during the period of industrialisation. Established at a time of predominantly small-scale business organisation, the firm of Samuel Greg & Co. soon emerged as one of the very few giants within the cotton industry, and the reasons for this unusual growth provide valuable insights into the nature of English industrial activity during the Industrial Revolution. Such strength was, however, short-lived, and by 1914 all but one of the Gregs’ cotton mills had become a financial liability. The peculiar problems imposed by the operation of old and largely rural cotton-mills during the latter stages of industrialisation are graphically demonstrated by the Gregs’ ultimate failure, and much of the significance of the book arises from its extensive analysis of industrial decline. Full coverage is given not only to the story of the Gregs themselves, but also to their employees, and within the text numerous contemporary illustrations provide their own graphic commentary upon the human experience of industrialisation.
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