Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 145,005 pages of information and 230,628 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Manchester's Museum of Science and Industry

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The tall cast iron columns are remarkable survivors from Deptford Generating Station
Beyer-Garratt locomotive
Governor of Galloways steam engine in action
English Electric turbine-generator unit, ex-Back o' th' Bank Power Station. NO LONGER ACCESSIBLE
Planing machine made by Joseph Whitworth and Co, 1842 patent
c.1843 Abraham and Dancer travelling microscope, used by James Prescott Joule for calibrating thermometers
Ferranti steam engine
Working replica of 'Planet'
JD MoSI A10.jpg
Not the remains of an upright piano, but a novel sluice gate designed by John Frederick La Trobe Bateman and made c.1851. It was one of three located at Crowden Brook as part of the first Longdendale Reservoir scheme, and was in service until 1971
Cotton carding machine by Asa Lees and Co in 1896
Cotton spinning mule
Small geared steam turbine generator and condenser, made by Metropolitan-Vickers
JD MoSI A18.jpg

Also widely known as MoSI.

Museum website.

This is an outstanding museum. Located in the city centre on the site of the Manchester terminus of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway.

The museum provides an important and fitting tribute to the scientists, engineers and industrialists whose work made Manchester the world's first 'industrial city'. Manchester has now lost its traditional industries, so the role of the museum is invaluable to understand the city's development, and to place the surviving 19th century infrastructure of canals, mills, etc. in context. The exhibits are remarkably well-chosen to illustrate the breadth and depth of local production and technological achievements. The wide range of artefacts, large and small, encourages visitors to make many return trips.

A large proportion of the museum's collection is on open display, and a remarkably large proportion of the items were made within a few miles radius of the museum.

The leading light in the establishment of the museum was Richard L. Hills. The fascinating story of its development and the difficulties of acquiring exhibits is told in 'The North Western Museum of Science and Industry, Some Reminiscences' by Richard L. Hills, available online here.

Unfortunately, there are clouds on the horizon, and the results of the hard graft are starting to be undone. The excellent electricity and gas galleries have been permanently closed. The space is wanted for temporary exhibitions, which will apparently rely heavily on words and pictures rather than historic artefacts.

See Also