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Women have played an important role in the labour force for hundreds of years, yet it is often assumed that their work was less valuable than the tasks performed by men. Interpretations of industrialization have tended to marginalize both the contribution of female labour and the relevance of a gendered workforce to the process of industrial change. During the 1980s and 1990s, however, gender issues were placed more centrally in analyses of historical processes and our understanding of industrialization benefited from this trend. In this study, Honeyman draws on such scholarship to suggest that the contributions of women workers influenced the direction and progress of England's manufacturing industry.