In Georgian and Victorian Times, Britain was to become known for its inventors, and several major figures came from Trowbridge.
Isaac Pitman had a dramatic effect on the workplace with his method of shorthand, which freed owners and managers from the time-consuming task of responding directly to correspondence, making them more productive. Whilst the typewriter was to later mechanise this process, Pitman’s shorthand was the vital link. Isaac was not the only inventor in the family, for his brother, Ben, invented an electrochemical process of relief engraving.
John Dyer invented the rotary shearing machine, which mechanised the shearing of woollen cloth during the finishing process. Possibly one of the most successful was George Hayden, who patented a number of inventions for improving the production of woollen cloth, but also in the heating and ventilation of buildings. His company went on to provide heating systems for King George IV in Windsor Castle, the Houses of Parliament and the British Museum Reading Room.