Salt and Light in 19th Century England

Author Melinda Penner Published on 07/17/2014

Titus Salt was a contemporary of of John Cadbury, whom I wrote about last Thursday, and there are similarities in their stories.

Salt expanded his father’s wool manufacturing business and became quite successful. He innovated a method of manufacturing alpaca wool, which Charles Dickens even mentioned in one of his books.

Salt was motivated by his Christianity to improve the social and natural environment his employees lived in. He became mayor of Bradford with the goal of improving the poor standard of living. He attempted to innovate ways to diminish the intense air pollution that England’s manufacturing spewed out during the industrial revolution. He used a burner in his factories that produced less smoke and tried to persuade other manufacturers to use it, but to little success.

He had more success improving the lives of his employees. Like George Cadbury, Title Salt built a village in Yorkshire he called Saltaire. He moved his factory there and built homes, parks, churches, and shops for his employees. “He was a great philanthropist of the age, helping his workers have unprecedented living standards for the time.”