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British Industrial History

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Fine Spinners and Doublers

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Fine Spinners and Doublers was a major cotton spinning business based in Manchester.

1898 Fine Cotton Spinners and Doublers Association, formed from a group of spinning companies specialising in fine Sea Island Cottons, was registered on 31 March 1898. It had the objective of promoting the interests of cotton spinners in North West England.

The business was founded through the efforts of Herbert Dixon and Scott Lings in 1897. Businesses that joined in this enterprise at the time included A. and G. Murray; Thomas Houldsworth and Co; C. E. Bennett and Co; James and Wainwright Bellhouse; and McConnel and Co; but many more followed in subsequent years.

The new association was vast compared with its competitors and its large size enabled it to secure its supplies of cotton from Sea Island and Egypt. For thirty years it was the world's largest cotton-spinning concern, expanding to operate 60 mills and employ 30,000 operatives.

1915 the vice-president, McConne, was on the RMS Lusitania when she was sunk by enemy action. He survived and wrote an account of the sinking which was published in the Manchester Guardian.

1946 the name of the business was changed to Fine Spinners and Doublers Limited.

During the next five years there was a sustained boom in the textile industry owing to the worldwide shortage of cotton goods. Yarn production increased by 50 percent but output contracted by 28 percent; the Lancashire industry had collapsed.

1963 Fine Spinners and Doublers was acquired by Courtaulds.

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