Irish linen industry, 18th century

Irish linen industry, 18th century

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Credit: LIBRARY OF CONGRESS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Irish linen industry. 18th-century artwork of a scutch mill where bundles of flax are being broken and beaten to remove the woody fibre. Linen is a textile made from fibres of the flax plant. At centre, the main shaft is being used to turn the mill's wheels. This painting is by the Irish-born artist William Hincks (active 1773-1797), and was dedicated to Wills Hill (1718-1793), 1st Marquess of Downshire. It forms part of a series of 12 paintings that Hincks did on the production and manufacture of linen, with the illustrations first published in London in 1782. This copy is from the set republished in 1791 by R. Pollard.

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