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18 June 2014
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Legacies - Teesside

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Immigration and Emigration
Iron miners in 1906
The Iron industry brough rapid population growth.

© The Cleveland Ironstone Mining Museum
Coping with industrial growth

Middlesbrough's skyline is dotted with symbols of its chemical and steel industry. However, it was coal and iron in the 19th Century that transformed the area from largely uninhabited farmland to one of Victorian Britain's fastest growing towns. This dramatic increase in Middlesbrough's population happened in two stages. The first occurred in the 1830s, following the birth of the town's coal industry. The second began in the 1840s, when Middlesbrough's iron ore industry took off.

Whereas entrepreneurs went to great lengths to plan and build a new town for the initial influx of workers in the 1830s, the second influx exceeded expectations and soon outgrew the town. Overcrowding, poorly and hastily constructed accommodation, and over-stretched sanitary facilities led to disease and death. Middlesbrough was a victim of its own success, struggling to support the people it attracted. More...

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