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Title: Steam, Steel and Lizzie the Elephant - The Steel Industry, Transport Technology and Urban Development in Sheffield, 1800–1914
Authors: Simmons, Richard Thomas
Supervisors: Naslas, Michael
Sutcliffe, Anthony
Award date: 1995
Presented at: University of Leicester
Abstract: This thesis examines the relationships between the development of transport systems and manufacturing technology, and the effect of these and other factors on industrial location within cities. To study these relationships in isolation from the effects of state planning, the focus is the evolution of Sheffield's steel industry from 1800-1914, and the consequences for the emerging city. Industrial location and urban theories are compared, and the psychology underlying decision making is discussed. Variables proposed by these theories as influences on location decisions are reviewed, including accessibility and transport costs; technological and organisational change; urban infrastructure; the influence of land owners and markets on land supply; and topography and environmental issues. Sheffield's topography, communications, industrial and urban growth are described. The distribution of the steel industry is plotted decennially. Contemporary data suggesting the reasons for location decisions are analysed. There follow examinations of local goods distribution, and how the extension of public transport affected labour mobility. Two case studies explore the development of an industrial suburb by the Dukes of Norfolk, and the establishment of a large steel works. The thesis concludes that industrialists usually perceived their location decisions to be economically rational - a weighing up of variables including:- balancing the cost and convenience of goods transport within the wider production function; access to labour; the unfettered ability to pollute; availability of large, level sites; and some intangible factors. The scale of a plant was significant in determining whether a company required (or could afford) direct rail access, and railways priced services to discriminate in favour of firms with such access. Landowners co-operated with the industrial land market, but also influenced it, planning for industrial development; controlling land uses; and reserving sites speculatively. This restricted the ability of the steel industry to choose sites freely, and develop rational plant layouts.
Type: Thesis
Level: Doctoral
Qualification: PhD
Rights: Copyright © the author. All rights reserved.
Description: The electronic version of this thesis differs slightly to the print version. Some typographical corrections were made to the text in October 1995. In 1997 a small amount of additional evidence came to light and is referenced in a short addendum to Chapter 10.
Appears in Collections:Theses, School of Historical Studies
Leicester Theses

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