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Title: The workshops of the cutlery industry in Hallamshire, 1750-1900
Author: Beauchamp, Victoria Anne
ISNI:       0000 0001 3452 7685
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 1997
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The cutlery industry of Hallamshire, of which Sheffield was the natural centre, was established over 700 years ago. The cutlery industry was based on a multitude of small scale firms situated within Sheffield and the surrounding rural areas with a large number of water-powered sites used for grinding. The arrival of steam at the beginning of the nineteenth century allowed for the development of a few large integrated sites creating much needed accommodation for the growing industry. The workshop buildings have few distinguishing characteristics suggesting that they were not purpose built but could be used by a range of industries. Most of the money for erecting them came from speculators, although established businesses occasionally invested in purpose built property. Builders followed vernacular designs with only larger firms using architects to create frontages which conveyed signs of status. However structures housing individual branches of the trade can be identified from windows, floor construction and internal evidence of the processes carried out. Evidence for power sources comes largely from documentary sources but steam power did not have the same impact as in the textile industry and only with the arrival of gas and electricity at the end of the nineteenth century was power widely adopted by the small scale firms. Potential does exist for the reuse of many of the surviving buildings as offices, studios and domestic space; however the majority of the small scale workshops have disappeared and only the large atypical sites survive. This research has highlighted that the Sheffield trades, like many industries of the period, experienced continuity rather than change, thus demonstrating that the Industrial Revolution was a 'process' rather than an 'event'.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: History