MARIA PLATT-EVANS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MARIA PLATT-EVANS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Sir Francis Crossley, 1st Baronet of Halifax (1817-72), British manufacturer and philanthropist. Crossley was born at Halifax into the family of a carpet manufacturer. While at school, his pocket money was made dependent on his own work. He had his own carpet loom at which he learned the trade. With his father and siblings he established the company J. Crossley & Sons, the largest carpet manufacturer in the world. Its success was largely due to steam power and power looms for which the company owned patents, also generating a good income in royalties. On becoming a limited company, the family offered shares to the workers at very favourable rates. His philanthropy included the building of 21 almshouses for the city of Halifax, the creation of a 12-acre public park and the building and endowment of an orphan home and school. For the last 20 years of his life he was a Member of Parliament.
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