Furniture-making in London c. 1700-1870 : craft, design, business and labour
This thesis is a study of furniture-making in London in the years between about 1700 and 1870. The aims of the thesis are outlined in the introduction, which also explains why the years 1700-1870 were chosen. The special character of furniture-making in London, particularly its geographical location and the division between the and 'dishonourable' sectors of the trade, is discussed in the introduction. In Section A, the first two chapters cover the various crafts involved in furniture-making, the demarcations between them and the division of labour within them while Chapter 3 examines the craft training and the decline of the apprenticeship system. Section B deals with business organisation. Chapter 4 considers the ways in which the various crafts were brought together in firms and Chapter 5 examines the numbers employed and stock held therein. Section C analyses the split between craft, design and management. Chapter 6 concentrates on the entrepreneur furniture-maker and the development of his managerial role while Chapter 7 discusses the emergence of the professional designer. The involvement of furniture-makers in developments associated with the 'industrial revolution' is discussed in Section D. Chapters 8 and 9 consider the effect of new materials and techniques, including machinery, on furniture-making while Chapter 10 considers the involvement of furniture-makers in patents relating to furniture-making. The final section, E, examines the ways in which the London companies, in particular the Joiners' and the Upho1des Companies, and the journeymen's trade societies attempted to protect both the furniture-making trade and those who worked in it.