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Museum of Science and Industry

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Go back in time to Cottonopolis and learn what life was like for Victorian mill workers (including some as young as your students) in this thunderous demonstration.

Your group will learn about the industry that built our city and experience the deafening sounds of the mill machines as we demonstrate how cotton is processed from its raw state to the finished product—a piece of calico cloth. They may even get to meet someone with first-hand experience of working in a textile mill.

What will they learn?

  • Understand how raw cotton from a plant can be turned into cloth via a number of scientific processes.     
  • How machinery during the Industrial Revolution employed scientific processes to mass produce cotton cloth.
  • Why Manchester was known as Cottonopolis.
  • About the dangerous working conditions in Victorian mills, and the jobs that mill workers had to do.
  • How the cotton industry in Manchester impacts on today.


Manchester Mills Demonstration is also available for families. Find out more.

Scheduled dates