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Sugar mills: shining light into the shadows

Elizabeth Bartram Two months ago, I introduced our 13th Mills Archive Research Publication “Sugar Mills and Slavery” by Stuart Nisbet. The book has been well-received and there is now a digital edition (see below). At the same time, we curated an online exhibition “Sugar & Slavery: Reproductive Mills” that sheds light on the links between technological developments…

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Robert Stone, miller of Pangbourne

Elizabeth Trout The diaries of Robert Stone give us a rare and fascinating glimpse into the day-to-day working patterns and activities of a Victorian country miller.Robert Stone was baptised on 28 February 1852 in High Wycombe, the son of Alfred Stone, Master Chairmaker and his wife Ann nee Atkins. Robert went to the National School…

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Wood in millwrighting

Since mills first appeared in Britain, the main material that has been used to construct them has been wood. The first mills reported in Britain date back as early as the Domesday Book in 1086. Though there is no mention of windmills, it is confirmed that both water and animal powered mills existed at this…

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Satanic mills

William Blake Opinions are divided on the question of what the poet William Blake was talking about when he referred to the ‘Dark Satanic Mills’ that plague ‘England’s green and pleasant land’ in his famous poem, best known as the hymn ‘Jerusalem’. It is often seen as a reference to the Industrial Revolution, and some…

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Women in milling

Elizabeth Bartram (Director) & Mildred Cookson (Founding Trustee) Milling has a rich and immersive history. Women have always been involved in some aspect of milling, those roles and their level of involvement have reflected wider society’s views on women, work and gender roles. The detail (or even existence) of records documenting their roles has been…

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