By: Robert Balgarnie (1826-1899)
Titus Salt was a British manufacturer, politician and philanthropist, renounde for having built Salt's Mill, a large, innovative textile mill, together with the attached village of Saltaire, where he provided cleaner air, better housing, schooling, banking, churches, recreation, shorter hours and higher wages for over 4000 employees. Salt's tireless work and innovation with alpaca thread lead him to fame and fortune. He was awarded a baronetsy by the British Crown in 1869. It is estimated that over 100,000 people attended his funeral. Salt left no memoirs, but his personal friend, Rev. Balgarnie, pieced together this fascinating biography from interviews, records, news articles and speeches by or about him. One testimonial stated "Titus was perhaps the greatest captain of industry in England not only because he gathered thousands under him but also because, according to the light that was in him, he tried to care for all those thousands." Salt disbursed over £500,000 in philanthropy by the time of his death .
THE GREAT YORKSHIRE LLAMA, by Charles Dickens, the story referred to in Chapter 6 which elaborates how Sir Titus discovered a huge stash of alpaca wool in Liverpool, and developed it into a highly popular fabric, can be found in LV's Short Non-Fiction Collection #82