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Derby Silk Mill

This photograph of the River Derwent in Derby shows the Silk Mill, with the modern pedestrian swing bridge in the foreground, and the tower of Saint Mary’s church, all dwarfed by the new Jury’s Inn hotel.

The Silk Mill was built between 1717 and 1721 by George Sorocold for the Lombe brothers, it was powered by an undershot water wheel. John Lombe had copied the design for the machines used for spinning large quantities of silk during a time he spent in Italy working in the silk industry. This was possibly the first recorded example of industrial espionage

John Lombe died in 1722 in mysterious circumstances. One theory is that he was poisoned by an Italian assassin for stealing trade secrets.

Photo was taken by a member of the Digital Photography group

Derby Silk Mill