In the early 20th century, Manchester city became the 9th most populous city in the world. Manchester’s industry diversified to some extent. Several new industries developed, including flour milling, biscuit production, and breakfast cereal production. Cotton was once a thriving industry, but it has been declining steadily. John Rylands library opened in 1900, and it merged with the university library in 1972. Manchester University was also established in 1903. The council purchased Heaton Park in 1903.
Manchester became the fourth port in Britain by 1910, and Trafford Park was developed as the first (and largest) industrial estate in Britain alongside the docks. The city was also home to new industries, including Westinghouse and Ford, which moved to Essex in 1929. More than 50,000 workers were housed within the factories at its peak, though that number declined later.
Engineers, chemical manufacturers, and electrical companies made up Manchester’s economy. The development of the ship canal resulted in the establishment of Trafford Park in 1910, the world’s first industrial park, and the arrival of Ford Motor Company and Westinghouse Electric Corporation from the US. It can still be seen in “Westinghouse Road” and in the numbering of streets and avenues.
A leading provincial newspaper in Britain, the Manchester Guardian, attained international prominence, while the Hallé Orchestra was equal in the world of music. Manchester Grammar School was a model for developing selective secondary education in England. Owens College (now known as Victoria University of Manchester) served as the intellectual hub of the first and most prominent great English civic universities.