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Thomas Hoyle and Sons: Quality Prints for the Masses

This is a joint project with John Beckett, an independent scholar. It seeks to tell the story of this iconic Manchester firm, and to assess its technical innovations and design contributions. The prints of Thomas Hoyle and Sons achieved brand name status in mid-nineteenth century Britain, and the firm's works at Mayfield (just south of present-day Piccadilly Station) was a "must" on the route of Victorian visitors to Manchester. They came to experience the spectacle of a mile of calico being printed in an hour- a symbol of industrial achievement through technology. Hoyle's purples became the standard day wear of middle-class Victorian women, and are preserved today in numerous antique pathwork quilts. This research aims to gather the evidence for why this company achieved such greatness and longevity.

Hoyle's purple print from a pattern book of the late 1830sHoyle's purple print from a pattern book of the late 1830s