By P L Payne
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Additional info for British Entrepreneurship in the Nineteenth Century
In the event, he died a disappointed man, in 1859, but a few months before his famous works were dosed [324: 43-4, 52-6; 78-81]. ' at appallingly low wages. Not surprisingly the products were execrable and failures numerous. As John Dugdale, owner of the Lowerhouse Print Works, near Burnley, observed in 1847: 'If yo'lllook back forth' last six years, yo'll find half o' th' Printers are brocken- an' half o' those that are left canno' break, for nobody'll trust 'em, and the rest get on as weel as they con' [165: 73].
32: 133] And Coleman's elegant series of variations on the earlier part of this theme, 'Gentlemen and Players' , is both thought-provoking and convincing. There seems little question that many known cases of neglect have correctly been ascribed to the fact that 'the Englishman ... [had] yet to learn that an extended and systematic education up to and including the methods of original research [was] now a necessary preliminary to the fullest development of industry' [217: 17 ]. Landes has pointed to the: library of lament and protest about the failure of British educational institutions to turn out applied scientists in numbers and of a quality comparable to those produced in Germany; the failure of British enterprise to use such scientific personnel as were available; the scorn of the body of entrepreneurs for innovations in this domain; and the misuse of such scientists as were employed.
Neither is the immediate future position very promising. Whereas several collections of business records of the classic period of the Industrial Revolution have been carefully preserved and studied, the overwhelming majority of those of the early Victorian period have either been destroyed or have not yet attracted much attention. Analysis is thus either impossible or insubstantial. Not until the legal requirements associated with the adoption of corporate status guaranteed the retention of certain basic records by going concerns is it possible even to begin to assess the role of entrepreneur with any confidence, and even then the surviving sample of archives is unlikely to be representative simply because the records of those firms which were wound up or liquidated have usually disappeared.
British Entrepreneurship in the Nineteenth Century by P L Payne