- circa 1880 in Darwen
Lancashire loom, made by J. & R. Shorrock, Darwen, c.1880, and used at Pennington Mill, Leigh.
There were over three quarters of a million Lancashire looms across the county by 1850. They supplied the world with cotton cloth. Weavers were paid by the quantity and quality of material produced, so they had to work quickly and carefully for up to 12 hours a day, six days a week.
In the weaving shed, the thunderous clatter of hundreds of machines made it impossible for weavers to hear each other speak. They communicated using ‘mee-maw’, a cross between mime and lip reading.