Scottish Industry 1745–60


Map Code: Ax02128

From about 1760, the first wave of Scottish industrialization began. Prior to 1760, linen production was an important part of the Scottish economy, with crofters spinning hemp and flax to produce cambric and fine linens for the English and continental markets. The export market was controlled by linen stamp offices. As industrialization advance bleachfields, where linen was laid out in the sun and rain to bleach naturally, proliferated, as did the use of mills. Manufacturing improvements resulted in cheaper linen and small, croft-based industries suffered. Paper manufacture, an established industry in 1745, also thrived, with paper mills built in Kinross and Edinburgh. Linen and cotton rags were used for paper production. Wool production and spinning was concentrated on the islands and Highlands in 1745 and was relatively unproductive until the introduction of the wheel and foot treadle in the 1800s. Scotland was exporting coal prior to 1745, but the Industrial Revolution resulted in the opening of more coalfields, particularly in central Scotland.

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