Industrial Revolution in Manchester is considered to be an important chapter in the history of Manchester. The revolution is associated with the proper industrialization of this English city, making it the nerve center of textile industry in Britain. The transformation began since 1761, when cheap coal was brought to the city through the Bridgewater Canal, initiated by the duke of Bridgewater.
Manufacturing of textile commodities during the Industrial Revolution forms an important phase of Manchester history. During this period, most of the cotton spinning activities took place in north Cheshire and south Lancashire towns, making Manchester one of the productive centers in cotton processing. Gradually, Manchester became the biggest marketplace for cotton products in the world and was known as the “Cottonopolis”.
One reason for the development of textile industry in Manchester is its favorable topographic and climatic conditions. The elevated topography and the humid climate in the east and north Manchester were ideal for establishing hydro-powered cotton mills at the Quarry Bank. The Quarry Bank Cotton Mill revolutionized the cloth spinning and weaving process tremendously, making Manchester the distribution center of raw cotton, spinning yarn and finished textile goods.
Side by side with the cotton textile mills, Manchester developed different other industries as well. In the initial stage, the engineering firms manufactured machinery required for trading cotton. Chemical industries were set up for the production of dyes and bleaches, required for processing the cottons. During Industrial Revolution, cotton industry in Manchester derived immense supports from the financial service sectors like the insurance and the banks.
With the increase of cotton trading activities in Manchester, there was notable development in the transportation system of the city. Convenient transportation means were developed in order to distribute the raw materials and finished goods to different parts of the country. As a result, passenger railway came into existence to operate between Manchester and Liverpool. The canal system was also developed. Moreover, the first telephone service was introduced in a Manchester firm.