Not sure whether I am going to make this a regular Sunday series, but the idea came to me when I was wondering what I should post today.
As you may have noticed, I am trying to post daily at the moment – kind of making up for the lack of more RA focussed blogs. I f you are sick and tired of reading me, here is my promise: As soon as there are more blogs again, Guylty will shut up! No hard news really. And it’s not necessarily wildly exciting for you if I tell you that I have embarked on another Thornton inspired junk journal. But in that context I decided to show you the above-mentioned Thornton selection: While searching for suitable vintage imagery for the journal, I came across some stuff that I found amusing. Apparently, Mr Thornton was a bit of a business whizz! After turning around Marlborough Mills, he started a whole business empire. Ah, marrying an heiress was a *great* idea…
Moving from cotton to rubber – very foresighted, Mr Thornton. You had your finger on the pulse, understanding that the future was going to be plastic. The Thornton empire definitely grew:
Very nice flagship store!! I am amused by the fact that Thornton & Co were based in Edinburgh (where NS) was filmed, as well as Leeds (which, as the centre of flax milling in the 19th century, was a similar place to the fictional Milton of the novel. Oh, and of course we know that Richard Armitage has family connections to Leeds). Ok, one last one of rubber baron Thornton:
By the grown number of warehouses you can see how Thornton’s business expanded into the 20th century…
However, diversification obviously was another strategy of Mr Thornton’s:
I have to admit that I like the packaging better than its contents.
Especially as the wholesaler is based in Farringdon, London, where I used to work when I had my great job with my London client. However, again I have to admire Mr Thornton’s foresight – as dental hygiene eventually really took off… BTW, I’d just like to say here that I almost prefer Mr Thornton’s set of *normal* teeth to the high-gloss, ultra-white finish of someone else.
Anyway, what do you think would have been Mr Thornton’s leisure activity? I know, the word “hobby” really doesn’t suit Mr Thornton. He just doesn’t “dabble”, as he quite clearly stated at some point. And an entrepreneur is never at leisure but always works. I’d like to think, though, that Mr Thornton, once his marriage with Margaret was blessed with a respectable number of children (any number between 4 and 8 – it was a love match, after all!) calmed his own business activities down a bit, not least because his business empire (see above) was so successful that he was able to employ people to take over whenever he wanted some time with his wonderful family. And somehow I believe that this forward-thinking and technically minded man would’ve been open to new technologies like photography – a mixture of science and documentary. Not art at that stage, but Thornton would have enjoyed fiddling with lenses and shutters, plates and chemicals, arranging his children around his beloved wife, recording country walks and domestic scenes of the Victorian middle class.
By the way – Ruby Thornton was the Thornton’s beloved baby of the family, arriving late as quite a surprise, the youngest daughter by far, just before Margaret’s 41st birthday…
And they lived happily ever after.