Weavers vs. Machines
In 1786, on behalf of thousands of workers in the cloth manufacturing business, a petition was created to speak out against the invention and use of Scribbling- Machines. Although the speed of cloth production increased, as well as the amount of labor needed decreased, it ended up causing more harm than good in the eyes of the workers.
The Leeds woolen workers created this petition to try and get rid of using machines, instead of humans, to create cloth. The new invention of the Scribbling- Machine changed the need for labor drastically. In the petition, they state that just seventeen miles away from the town of Leeds, close to two hundred new machines were beginning to be used. In the eyes of the cloth manufacturing companies, these new inventions are something to be proud of. They are able to have one machine do the work that would usually take ten men to do by hand. Although this seems like a wonderful new invention to the industry, the workers are stating the case that this causes many men to lose their jobs, which in their eyes, makes the new machines a negative invention. They even plead the case that not only do the new machines effect the jobs of many hard workers, but it also effect the cloth itself. The overall quality of the cloth is ruined. The cloth is left thread-bare due to the wool being drawn out.
The major issue the weavers have agains the new Scribbling- Machines, is how the lack of men now needed to created the cloth then causes distress for those men's families because they no longer have a source of income. Their fears truly revolve around their families, and how they are suppose to find a way to keep food on the table when they are being replaced by machines for work. In the petition they state how they consider trying to find a new trade. Although this seems logical when their former trade is no longer providing, the time it would take to go through another apprenticeship would be long and the results would...
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