The Industrial Revolution
The 18th century is drawing to an end. Lieven Bauwens, son of a Ghent tanner, leaves for England at a young age to learn the latest tanning techniques. During his stay he becomes fascinated by the inventions in the textile industry. He manages to smuggle the Mule Jenny, a spinning machine, to the continent. Back in Ghent he becomes a powerful textile baron and the first mayor of this powerful city. Ghent is the “Manchester of the mainland”! Monasteries and even the Castle of the Counts are transformed into factories. The city is bursting at the seams. Factories and working-class housing determine the cityscape. The gap between rich and poor is widening.