Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery is also home to the Lewis Textile Collection, gifted to the Borough of Blackburn by Thomas Boys Lewis in 1936. Housed in the Lewis Textile Museum from 1938, the collection moved to Blackburn Museum following its closure in 2006.
Thomas Boys Lewis (1869-1942) was a local cotton manufacturer, philanthropist and collector. He managed the family business at Springfield Cotton Spinning Mill until his retirement in 1920. His textile collection was established to illustrate and celebrate the developments in cotton manufacture during the Industrial Revolution, and acknowledge the industry that had made him so wealthy.
The collection has been extended over the years and a proportion of it can be seen on display in the Blackburn Museum’s dedicated industrial history gallery, Cotton Town.