THE BIRMINGHAM LABOUR MOVEMENT, 1918–1945
Author: Hastings, R.P.
Source: Midland History, Volume 5, 1979 , pp. 78-92(15)
Publisher: Maney Publishing
Abstract:By 1918, the economic and social structure of Victorian Birmingham, which had helped to make ?the greatest industrial city of the Empire? the political stronghold of Liberal Unionism and the Chamberlain family, had largely ceased to exist. Although in 1938 Birmingham still possessed some 1,500 trades and many small factories, the transformation of its major industries from the small unit to mass production had begun after 1860 and received its final impetus during the closing stages of the Great War when the city became a primary arsenal of the Allies. In this process, new industrial buildings were erected, factories were extended, and plant increased in scale. The Austin Motor Company, which employed 2,800 workers in 1914, had a work force of 20,000 by 1918. The immediate post-war years, ?a time of industrial progress and prosperity, particularly in the motor and allied trades?, saw the development of more new industrial districts such as the Tame Valley which was extensively occupied by companies producing vehicle parts and accessories, including the giant Fort Dunlop factory which began full operation in 1923.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 1979-01-01