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From the 1770s onwards Britain experienced an economic growth pattern that was distinctive in world history. The economy did not boom or bust, innovation did not happen and remain dormant, but rather both steadily and continuously grew. What we see in the eighteenth century is the emergence of what Joel Mokyr calls the first "enlightened economy." Progress rested on knowledge and it too expanded throughout the century and into the next. This site, made possible, in part, by NEH funding, aims to document the contours of this new knowledge economy by providing manuscripts and printed books from the period that can searched for research into transformations in textile production, coal mining, and steam engines in the mechanization of industry.

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