War, Gender, and Industrial Innovation: Recruiting Women Weavers in Early Nineteenth-Century Ireland

TitleWar, Gender, and Industrial Innovation: Recruiting Women Weavers in Early Nineteenth-Century Ireland
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1994
AuthorsMcKernan, Anne
JournalJournal of Social History
Volume28
Issue1
Start Page109
Pagination109-124
Date PublishedAutumn 1994
Abstract

Much has been written about the participation of women in war production during the twentieth century but virtually nothing about women in war production during the extensive period of the Napoleonic war. Armies and navies grew dramatically creating unprecedented demand for sailcloth, canvas and uniforms while weavers of such goods were withdrawn from the labor force for military service. This article focuses on the efforts and postwar consequences of innovative linen bleachers and drapers who recruited women to weave linen cloth which was usually a man's job. After the war, census data for 1821 confirm that women were not withdrawn from the weaving work force. Rather, a decade of industrial innovation snapped the link between gender and linen weaving. Snapping that link had a direct bearing on the growth of rural proletarianization in the "linen triangle", a geographic area of concentrated linen production.

URLhttp://www.jstor.org/stable/3788345
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936742521

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