Ahmedabad said cheers to 1st mill 150 years ago..
AHMEDABAD: They say Ahmedabad's luck changed the day the first textile mill started in what was to later become the "Manchester of the East". It was on May 30, 1861, the city's first mill; founded by a Nagar, started operations.
But Ahmedabad knew how to do business with foreigners then.
Mahatma Gandhi and his idea of prohibition were yet to dawn 150 years ago. In the wake of the hooch tragedy, those calling for freeing wine and beer from the purview of Gujarat's dry laws today should gain inspiration from the celebrations which Ranchhodlal unleashed in front of his British guests at the inauguration of the Ahmedabad Spinning and Weaving Mill.
Business historian Makrand Mehta has noted in his book "Indian merchants and entrepreneurs in historical perspective": The mill was now ready to start production.
The leading citizens of Ahmedabad assembled on the mill premises to watch the opening ceremony on 30 May, 1861. they included-persons from all walks of life - teachers, medical practitioners, businessmen, lawyers, government officials, and artisans. The English officials, mostly with their families, were special guests. The company's promoters had stocked liquor bottles for them to celebrate the occasion. The giant wheels started roaring in the midst of loud cheers as Edigton's wife cracked a bottle on the ground. The speeches which followed were full of praise for Ranchhodlal.
Edigton was the technocrat who trained workers to work on the machine.
Ranchhodlal Chhotalal founded the first textile mill in Ahmedabad 150 years ago and the rest is history.
Incidentally, Ranchhodlal himself was a teetotaller and staunch Nagar Brahmin.
with a courtesy of TNN. The original article "Ahmedabad said cheers to 1st mill 150 years ago" was reported by Ashish Vashi, TNN on 23 July 2009, 03:02am IST.