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During the early years of the nineteenth century, Newtown developed as a centre of the flannel industry. Although parts of the industry – such as spinning – had been mechanised, weaving remained a manual process. Dozens of three or four storey buildings sprang up, particularly in the Penygloddfa area of the town, many of which had small back to back cottages on the lower floors. On the upper floors, open rooms, running the whole length of the building, accommodated the handlooms of the weavers where both men, women and children laboured to produce the fine quality woollen cloth. George Morgan took over the Crescent Street Mills in the late 1870s, by which time the handloom factories were being converted to steam power. Morgan installed a steam engine in his factory in November 1881. The building was destroyed in a fire in 1938, by which time flannel production in the town had ceased.

Each worker in the mill was issued with a brass token, individually stamped with his own number, which was used as an attendance check. This example appears to have been unused, as it lacks a number.

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