Minute Books (Greenock Branch), 1835-1848; Cash and Contributions Books, 1831-1851; Apprenticeship Certificates 1822-1850.
Journeymen Steam Engine, Machine Makers' and Millwrights' Friendly Society
- This material is held at
- ReferenceGB 152 JSE
- Dates of Creation1822-1851
- Name of Creator
- Language of MaterialEnglish
- Physical Description2 boxes
Scope and Content
Administrative / Biographical History
The Journeymen Steam Engine, Machine Makers' and Millwrights' Friendly Society (Old Mechanics) was formed on 26th July 1826 through the merging of the Friendly Union of Mechanics and the Mechanics Friendly Union Institution. Generally the Union became known as the Old Mechanics. By 1839 the Old Mechanics had 3000 members and a part-time secretary. In 1836 the Union made a demand for a 10 hour day which resulted in an 8 month strike. The strike cost the Union £5000 but resulted in victory. The word Millwright was added to the Union's name in 1841 bringing an older class of skilled labour into the membership. 1n 1845 the Old Mechanics attacked the employment of unskilled labour on machines, the piecemaster system and systematic overtime. Actions by branches to enforce the Union's demands led to the Executive Officers and 20 members being indicted for conspiracy and illegal combination. A national movement was instigated by the engineers and the indicted men were freed in June 1847. The success of the national demonstration was a major factor is speeding up the process of Amalgamation between the various engineering Unions. The Old Mechanics were one of the founding members of the Amalgamated Society of Engineers in 1851.
Reference: J.B. Jeffreys, The Story of the Engineers( London, 1945; repr. 1970).
Reference: Arthur Marsh and Victoria Ryan Historical Directory of Trade Unions Volume 2( Gower Publishing Company, 1984).
This collection is available to researchers by appointment at the Modern Records Centre, University of Warwick. See http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/services/library/mrc/using/
These papers form part of a large collection (MSS.259) that has been deposited in the Modern Records Centre over a number of years. Most of the Records came from the Amalgamated Union of Engineering Workers (Engineering Section). The first deposits were made in 1984 with further deposits made up to 1997.
Other Finding Aids
Link to full catalogue: http://mrc-catalogue.warwick.ac.uk/records/JSE
Conditions Governing Use
There are no restrictions on the use of this archive, apart from the requirements of copyright law.
This collection has been weeded for duplicates.
Further deposits are not expected.