‘Works on Paper’ was commissioned in 2008. I stayed in Manchester and spent a few days visiting Bury just finding out about the place, people and history, including the library and archive. Of course Bury is a prime site in the Industrial Revolution both in terms of technical innovation and its rapid economic development as a manufacturing centre. I was particularly interested in Bury’s later position in the early twentieth century as a world-leading producer of paper. This makes sense when you realise that industrial paper production came about as a kind of diversification of the cotton industry after much earlier breakthroughs in mechanical weaving, John Kay’s flying shuttle, programmed looms and so on. They had cotton waste and rags, water and then steam power; factories with highly trained mechanics and inventive engineers, and were very well placed to respond to the explosion of print culture.
Discover more HERE at the Text Archive Blog and site which also includes news and articles by derek beaulieu, Helen White, Richard Pinkney & Holly Pester