Many people still worked from home on hand looms and knitting machines like these, from 'The Art of Stocking Frame Work Knitting', 1750.
Image: Science Museum / SSPL

Working from home

In the early 1800s, textile mill workers were still outnumbered by weavers working in their homes.

Home working was very different from factory work. A Yorkshire weaver recalls how there was more freedom working at home, where the 'atmosphere was not fouled by the smoke of the factory':

'There was no bell to ring them up at four or five o'clock... there was freedom to start and to stay away as they cared.'

What about work in the factories?