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The leading figure behind the establishment of the society as a more organised body during this early period seems to have been Matthew Boulton: his home at Soho House in Handsworth was the principal venue for meetings, and in 1776 he is recorded as planning " to make many Motions to the Members respecting new Laws, and regulations, such as will tend to prevent the decline of a society which I hope will be lasting.
" This reliance on Boulton was also to prove a weakness, however, as the period coincided with the peak of his work building up his steam engine business and he was frequently absent.
Although the 1770s was one of the society's richest eras in terms of its collaborative achievements, the society's meetings declined from regular occurrences in 1775 to infrequent ones by the end of the decade.

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