Dark and Satanic…

Came across this poem by the Reverend John Dyer written in 1757 acknowledging the importance of the cotton spinning machines:

A circular machine, of new design

In conic shape: it draws and spins a thread

Without the tedious toil of needless hands.

A wheel invisible, beneath the floor,

To ev’ry member of th’ harmonius frame,

Gives necessary motion. One intent

O’erlooks the work; the carded wool, he says,

So smoothly lapped around those cylinders,

Which gently turning, yield it to yon cirue

Of upright spindles, which with rapid whirl

Spin out in long extenet an even twine.


The poem highlights the importance of the machines in the manufacturing process; it seems to me to portray the industry in a romantic light, using terms such as harmonious, smoothly and gently – totally at odds with the noisy, dangerous places the early mills were.  William Blake’s ‘Jerusalem’ with it’s description of the mills as being ‘dark and satanic ‘ seems to capture the essence of these mills much more succinctly.

This weekend has been particularly expensive ordering audio equipment!  I have been putting these purchases off for as long as possible but there comes a point when you just have to bite the bullet and go for it. Experimented with amplifiers over the weekend but the one I had, whilst fine for headphones or if the installation was in a silent gallery, was not loud enough for some of the soundtracks – so have now ordered a bigger one!  Let’s hope this one is up to the job!


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