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David Dale

(1739-1806), Industrialist and philanthropist

Mid-Georgian Portraits Catalogue Entry

Sitter in 1 portrait
David Dale was a Scottish merchant and businessman, famous for establishing the influential weaving community of New Lanark. The son of a grocer, he served an apprenticeship with a weaver in Paisley, and in 1763 set up as a linen yarn dealer in Glasgow. In 1784 Dale joined with the English cotton-spinning inventor Sir Richard Arkwright to build the New Lanark Mills. By this time a wealthy industrialist, Dale was also a philanthropist by inclination with progressive ideas for the education and welfare of his workforce. Consequently, at New Lanark, he improved the conditions of his employees, providing a balanced diet, free schooling and low cost housing.

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