from The Century Dictionary.
- A name given to certain riotous proceedings about 1842, when cotton-mills in Lancashire were stopped from working by the removal or drawing of a few bolts or ‘plugs’ in the boilers, so as to prevent steam from being raised.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
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They had been told, too (let that never be forgotten), that in order to carry the Reform Bill, sedition itself was lawful; they had seen the master-manufacturers themselves give the signal for the plug-riots by stopping their mills.
Alton Locke, Tailor and Poet An Autobiography Charles Kingsley 1847
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