Wednesday, January 15, 2014

France's history of Luddites repeats

Opposition to firms like Uber have turned violent - but apparently this isn't a new approach for the French (core77):

In 1829, a French tailor named Barthelemy Thimonnier invented the first French sewing machine. It was primitive, looking more like a big wooden drill press than anything, but it worked, and together with an engineer buddy he cranked out several dozen of them. They then set up the world's first clothing mass-manufacturing facility and won a contract to produce military uniforms.

Business ended quickly—and badly. In 1831 a gang of unemployed French tailors (arguably not the most frightening demographic by modern standards) stormed Thimonnier's factory, destroyed all the machines and burned the place to the ground.

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