This year in December we partecipated in a learning week in Wrexham, a city in Wales not far from Manchester. There we did a project about industry in Manchester, we visited MOSI museum and we had lessons.

Why Manchester:

England was an island and so isolated.

England had an important commercial role.

In England they there was an efficent railway system.

England was rich in coal.

The Victorian Age:

In the Victorian age, children were used to work in factories, mines and as chimney sweepers, because their families were very poor, so they had to help them often working long hours in dangerous activities with very low wages. Children worked as chimney sweepers because they were very agile. In 1840 only 20% of children attended schools in London but in 1860 about half the children aged between 5 and 15 years went to school. They worked many hours: the masons could work up to 64 hours a week in summer and 52 in winter, while the servants worked about 80 hours a week.


At the beginning of the industrial revolution the goods were only hand made by women not in factories but at home. They used mainly wool. The hand made production was limited so they started to produce using machineries and wool was replaced by cotton. This material was not from Manchester but from the plantations in South America. They used machineries such as the spinning wheel, the flying shuttle and the spinning Jenny. They needed water to work, so they had to move to real factories and the steam engine was invented. These inventions sped up the production.


Before 1700 cloth was mainly made of wool. The wool industry was one of the most important in England and wool merchants were often extremely rich. The cloth was made in people’s own homes.
1.Children and women cleaned the dirty greasy fleece by washing it with soap in a wooden tub.
2.Then they used to hang it from the beams in the cottage ceiling to dry. Next the wool was carded and spinned by hand
3.The wool then became yarn or thread.
4. Mothers passed the skills down to their daughters.
5. Then men took the yarn the women had spun and wove it to make it into cloth.

New industries

In the second part of the 19th century new technologies developed in Manchester area so both clothes and food industry changed.

Textile industry today

It is not as developed as in the past and it is more specialized.