The extraordinary life of John Holker: industrialist, rebel, prisoner, fugitive, soldier, undercover agent, spy-catcher, industrial spymaster, innovation inspector, and nobleman.
That's the thing about ideas, discoveries, or what we often call "intellectual property." They are non-rivalrous. One's use of an idea does not deprive another use of it. Generally speaking, copying is a good thing. It lowers the cost of products, drives up competition, and can trigger faster follow-up innovation, so long as the original inventor still has sufficient incentive to innovate. This all raises the question....do modern IP laws, which have gotten stricter over time, actually promote innovation...or do they now inhibit it by blocking innovation? I have argued that it may be possible to transform patents and other IP into "partially publicly owned" property that balances the trade offs between investment efficiency (invention) and allocative efficiency (dispersion) of new ideas. It's a concept that I refine every few months: https://www.lianeon.org/p/supercharging-innovation
Until the late 20th century, Australian department stores directories listed all cotton goods as 'Manchester'.
So, to us colonials, that's what it was.
This makes me wonder about other technology, like grain/wheat milling?
I think the dominant position of wheat flour production in Minneapolis over 50 years was thanks to flour milling technology brought over from Europe
Of course, the British were hardly above this kind of thing when it suited them either. The Lombe Brothers stole silk textile production techniques from Italy, though as far as I know, the Italians had never set up anything like the Lombes' revolutionary water-wheel powered silk mill in Derby, sometimes been called the first factory. Did the British not also steal glass-making techniques from the Venetians? How much other British industrial technology also came from abroad?