'Making drain tiles a "home manufacture"': agricultural consumers and the social construction of clayworking technology in the 1840s

Watt, Kathleen (2002) 'Making drain tiles a "home manufacture"': agricultural consumers and the social construction of clayworking technology in the 1840s. Rural History, 13 (1). pp. 39-60. ISSN 1474-0656

Full text not available from this repository.

Full text URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0956793302000237

Abstract

During the nineteenth century newly invented clayworking machinery offered potential solutions to production problems in the British brickmaking industry. Three different mechanical brickmaking processes were available, but a combination of design imperfections and restrictions imposed by the excise duties on bricks discouraged their adoption in ordinary brickyards for many decades. This posed a serious dilemma for machine inventors. Without an opportunity to test machinery in brickmaking situations, they were unable to correct defects and produce implements that were clearly superior to hand brickmaking methods. For as long as brickmakers rejected mechanisation, the technical development of machinery was effectively halted. A breakthrough occurred in the 1840s when a lucrative new market emerged for machines capable of manufacturing large quantities of drainage pipes and tiles in rural locations. The exhibitions and implement trials at meetings of the Royal Agricultural Society of England were a decisive factor in the continuing technical development of clayworking machinery. Agricultural consumers, through debate, evaluation and negotiation with machine makers, ultimately determined the success of one mechanical clayworking process over others, and established the direction of future technological change in the brickmaking industry.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:During the nineteenth century newly invented clayworking machinery offered potential solutions to production problems in the British brickmaking industry. Three different mechanical brickmaking processes were available, but a combination of design imperfections and restrictions imposed by the excise duties on bricks discouraged their adoption in ordinary brickyards for many decades. This posed a serious dilemma for machine inventors. Without an opportunity to test machinery in brickmaking situations, they were unable to correct defects and produce implements that were clearly superior to hand brickmaking methods. For as long as brickmakers rejected mechanisation, the technical development of machinery was effectively halted. A breakthrough occurred in the 1840s when a lucrative new market emerged for machines capable of manufacturing large quantities of drainage pipes and tiles in rural locations. The exhibitions and implement trials at meetings of the Royal Agricultural Society of England were a decisive factor in the continuing technical development of clayworking machinery. Agricultural consumers, through debate, evaluation and negotiation with machine makers, ultimately determined the success of one mechanical clayworking process over others, and established the direction of future technological change in the brickmaking industry.
Keywords:Drain tile manufacture, Brickmaking industry, Clayworking
Subjects:K Architecture, Building and Planning > K210 Building Technology
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V360 History of Architecture
Divisions:College of Arts > Lincoln School of Architecture
ID Code:709
Deposited By: Kathleen Watt
Deposited On:22 Jun 2007
Last Modified:08 Mar 2013 11:54

Repository Staff Only: item control page