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Collier's New Encyclopedia (1921)/Manchester

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MANCHESTER, a city in Lancaster co., England; on the Irwell, an affluent of the Mersey, 31 miles E. of Liverpool. Including Salford, a suburban town on the W. bank of the Irwell, it stands in a large plain, covering over 3,000 acres, surrounded with hills except on the W., and is the center of the cotton trade of Great Britain, and one of the principal manufacturing cities in the world. The Irk and the Medlock join the Irwell near the town, and are of the greatest advantage to it. The Manchester Ship Canal (q. v.) has greatly developed the city's industrial importance. Factories and warehouses are numerous and of gigantic proportions. The principal among its public buildings are the Exchange, built in the Doric style; the Town Hall, an elegant building of Ionic architecture, formed on the model of the Temple of Erectheus at Athens, and the Corn Exchange. It has also several educational institutions, one of which, the college founded by Humphrey Chatham in 1665, contains a large library. There are besides, several public libraries and a number of associations for promoting literature and science. It is as a manufacturing city that Manchester derives its importance, being the great center of the cotton manufacture of England. Besides the population connected with the factories, which almost absorb the plain goods trade, the principal articles manufactured are velvets, fustians, dimities, calicoes, checks, tickings, jeans, shirtings, ginghams, quiltings, handkerchiefs, nankeens, diapers, muslinets, muslins, cambrics, and almost every kind of fancy cotton and silk goods. The spinning trade is extensive, and considerable quantities of yarn are annually exported. Manchester derives considerable advantages from the almost inexhaustible coal fields in its neighborhood, and from the canals and railways which connect it with different parts of the country and the E. and W. seaboard. The climate of Manchester is very healthy, despite the disadvantage of the prevalence of smoke arising from the number of factories, etc. Pop. about 775,000.