Technology and Enterprise: Isaac Holden and the Mechanisation of Woolcombing in France, 1848-1914

This book examines Isaac Holden's achievements both as an inventor and as a specialist woolcomber in France during the second half of the nineteenth century. Early business failure in Bradford prompted Holden's move to France, where, by the late nineteenth century he had built up the largest woolcombing enterprise in Europe. The study further considers the process by which woolcombing was mechanised, and specifies the means employed by the principle inventors to monopolise control of the new technology. By analysing Isaac Holden's technical and commercial exploits within the French worsted industry, the authors have been able to confront the general question of technical change in the process of European industrialisation in the second half of the nineteenth century. This book should appeal to those interested in nineteenth century European economic history, as well as those interested in business history and the history of technology.