Cotton reels (2), wood / cotton / paper, made by W Evans and Co / Manlove, Derby, Derbyshire, England, 1900-1902
These cotton reels are part of a collection of lace and patterns that the donor's mother, Edith Mary Georgeson (nee Lester), brought to Australia in 1912. Edith Mary, originally from County Cork in Ireland, had been a professional lacemaker making mostly hand-embroidered machine made net lace of the kind known as Limerick lace. The two cotton reels manufactured by Manlove Brothers and W. Evans & Co. cotton mills, are an important reminder of the subsidiary role lacemaking played in the industrialisation of Britain. In response to the high demand for cotton, the mills also provided much needed employment in rural areas.
The first cotton reel was made by W. Evans and Co. in England in around 1900-1902. Between 1782 and 1840, the Evans family headed by Walter Evans, transformed the old village of Darley Abbey from a quiet little backwater to an important and vibrant industrial centre. Their thread under the brand name, Boar's Head, was exported all over the world. In the 1860s and 1870s, Boar's Head products won international recognition at the 1861 and 1862 London exhibitions; Paris in 1867 and 1879 and Vienna in 1873. With the death of Walter Evans in 1903, the mill was bought by manager John Peacock who ran the business until 1943 when it was taken over by J & P Coats. The mill was sold in 1969 to house a variety of small businesses. The Boar's Head cotton mill structures survive today and are among the most complete of any early cotton factory sites.
The second cotton reel was made by Manlove cotton thread mill in England in around 1900-1902. Established by the Manlove brothers in Holymoorside village, Derbyshire in about 1840, the business enjoyed many prosperous years prior to ceasing manufacturing operations in 1902.
These cotton reels are part of a collection of lace and patterns that the donor's mother who had been a professional lacemaker in County Cork, brought to Australia in 1912.