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Manchester 1st

The saying: "what Manchester does today, the world does tomorrow", is a statement of fact. The city and its twin sister, Salford have produced a rich treasure chest of beginnings without which the world would be much reduced. Below is a list, with a brief description, of the most prominent "firsts", some global, some national, some frankly bizarre.
 
World's First Modern Industrial City
 
Manchester, in the last years of eighteenth century and the first years of nineteenth century, provided for the world a model of the emerging industrial society. The new opportunities, together with the tremendous problems to be overcome, were highlighted in this one place.
In Asa Briggs' memorable words, Manchester was "the shock city of the age": where ideas of society, economy, of the way people lived and worked, were turned on their heads. There has been no treaty signed at Manchester, no famous battle won or art movement defined. What Manchester has is a period of years when it led the world, for better or worse, into the modern age. This is history with a capital H.
 

MANCHESTER 1st Index

POLITICS, RELIGION AND SOCIETY
SCIENCE AND INDUSTRY
TRANSPORT
ARTS
SPORT
CIVIL ACHIEVEMENT
MISCELLANEOUS
POLITICS, RELIGION AND SOCIETY
 
THE ANTI-CORN LAW LEAGUE
This was the first modern political movement. It employed full time administrators, teams of public speakers, mail shots, lobbying and the latest technology - the new telegraph. Its methods were the model for the most later political lobbying groups. The League was a combination of the middle and working classes brought together with the twin aims of freeing trade from tariffs and lowering the price of bread. The victory of the movement in 1846 marked the symbolic end of aristocratic rule in Parliament.

VEGETARIANISM
The movement began in 1815 in the Salford Bible Christian Church, inspired by the sermons of the local preacher, named, of all things, the Rev. William Cowherd. A vegetarian cookbook was published here by Martha Brotherton in 1821 and her husband Joseph was the first vegetarian MP.

VOTES FOR WOMEN
Emmeline Pankhurst founded the Women's Socal and Political Union in 1903 in her home, which still stands, on Nelson Street. Three years later, with the slogan "Deeds not Words", the movement became militant and gained the title suffragette in the battle for the vote. Earlier, in 1867, the National Society for Women's Suffrage had been founded in Manchester by Lydia Becker.

TUC
Originally founded in The Three Crowns pub in Salford, the first general meeting of the Trades Union Congress was in 1868 in the Mechanics's Institute, Princess Street.

INDEPENDENT LABOUR PARTY
A forerunner of New Labour, the ILP was born in Manchester in 1892. Its first MP was Keir Hardie.

COMMUTER TOWNS
The world's first true commuter or dormitory towns - suburbs too distant from the city to be rached easily by horse carriage or on foot - developed along the railway routes of southern Manchester from 1842 at places such as Alderley Edge and Sale.

SHAKERS
Ann Lee, founder of Shaker Religion, was born in Manchester in 1736. She emigrated to America in 1786 taking her visions and follower with her.

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SCIENCE AND INDUSTRY
 
TRANSIT OF VENUS
Salfordian William Crabtree greatly improved knowledge concerning the movement of planets. His friendship with Liverpudlian Jeremiah Horrox led to them jointly becoming the first to witness, in 1639, the transit of the planet Venus across the sun.

STEAM POWERED MILL
In 1783 Richard Arkwright set up the firs mil to use steam power on Miller Street in the city centre. This marked the move away from natural power sources such as water and paved the way for mass production techniques.

ATOMIC THEORY,
METEOROLOGY,
COLOUR BLINDNESS

John Dalton was the scientific colossus of early industrial Manchester. His atomic theory (1803) with its pioneering work on the constitution of elements was the precursor of all modern chemistry whilst his lectures on meteorology turned the study of the weather into a science. He was also the first to describe color blindness.

ELECTRO-MAGNET
Adopted Mancunian William Sturgeon (1783-1850) discovered the electro-magnet which would later assist in the development of such items as the electric telegraph and electric motor.

HENRY'S LAW
This law concerning the solubility of gases was formulated by Manchester doctor, William Henry (1774-1836)

MICROPHOTOGRAPHY
In 1853 John Benjamin Dancer working from 43 Cross Street invented microphotography and microfilms. He also developed a spring contact breaker for electric bells and stetoscopic camera.

FIRST LAW IN THERMODYNAMICS
This law of physics concerning the mecanical equivalence of heat was discovered by James Prescott Joule (1819-89) whose work is commemorated by the international name for the unit of energy, the "joule".

PRECISION ENGINEERING
Sir Joseph Whitworth (1803-87) was the father of precision engineering. His work finding true planes allowed him to gain accuracies in tool making up to 0.000001 inch. He was also the first to develop a standard screw thread and the first to design a mechanical street cleaner.

CAST IRON BEAM
The introduction of cast iron beams strong enough to span large distances was the work of Eaton Hodgkinson and sir William Fairbairn for bridge building, in particular the Britannia Tubular Bridge across the Menai Straits. They also began the large scale use of plated wrought iron. Fairbairn, (1789-1874), an engineering giant, was responsible for a leap forward in boiler making and the invention of riveting machine.

STEAM HAMMER
Invented 1840 by James Nasmyth at his Patricroft works: the hammer enabled huge iron components to be shaped.

INDUSTRIAL ESTATE
The first purpose built industrial estate was Trafford Park. It was created in 1896.

SPLITTING THE ATOM
Ernest Rutherford working at Manchester University discovered how to split the atom in 1919.

COMPUTERS
The first computer with a stored programme and memory, nicknamed "Baby", was developed at Manchester University in 1948 by professors Tom Kilburn and Fred Williams. Before this computers had been simple calculating machines, afterwards the modern computer was possible.

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TRANSPORT
 

THE MODERN CANAL
In Britain, this was the Bridgewater Canal - a totally artificial waterway independent of natural rivers. Opened in 1761, it was an instant commercial success and provoked 'canal mania'.

STEAMBOATS
The first steamboats operated on the Bridgewater Canal in 1773.

RAILWAY AND RAILWAY STATION
The worlds first true railway started operating from a purpose built station on Liverpool Road in 1830. Other places had used steam engines but the Liverpool and Manchester Railway had the lot, including steam locomotives throughout (no horse drawn carriages), two tracks, timetables and proper stations. It also got the attention of the world's press and started the global stampede for railways.

SUBMARINE
The first mechanically powered submarine was launched in 1880 to the designs of eccentric Hulme curate, the Rev. George Garrett. He also invented an armour plated mortar-board for academies under attack.

SWING AQUEDUCT
The first and only swing aqueduct in the world is at Barton, west of the city. Built in 1893, it carries the Bridgewater Canal over the Ship Canal and carries 800 tons of water.

BRITISH AEROPLANE AND AVIATOR
Local man A.V.Roe designed and flew the firs totally British plane in 1908. The plane was described as a "damaged toast rack, imitating a motor-car". He had already claimed, unofficially, to be the first Briton to fly earlier that year. Roe pioneered the enclosed cock-pit and single joystick. In 1928 one of his Avro Avians, made in Manchester, became the first plane to complete a solo flight to Australia.

AIRLINE SERVICES
Propably the world's first scheduled airline service was set up in 1919 between Manchester and Southport.

TRANS-ATLANTIC FLIGHT
Former Manchester Central High School students , J.W. Alcock and A.W. Brown, were the first to fly the Atlantic Ocean, non-stop, in 1919.

SUPERTRAMS
Trams were reintroduced on to British Streets by Manchester's Metrolink service in 1991.


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ARTS
 
PROFESSIONAL, PERMANENT ORCHESTRA
This was the Halle Orchestra, set up in 1858 by German conductor Charles Halle who was later knighted for his work.

REPERTORY THEATRE
Ann Horniman began British repertory theatre in 1908 at the Gaiety Theatre Peter Street.

ART TREASURES EXHIBITION
Following the success with science and industry of the Great Exhibition in London, Manchester in 1857 began a trend for international art exhibitions.

POT BUILDINGS
Pit-owner John Fletcher finding fire-clay next to a coal seam at Bolton decided to advertise the use of terracotta (a product of fire-clay) by building churches completely of this material in the 1840s at Holy Trinity, Platt Fields, Manchester, and at St Stephens, Little Lever, Bolton.

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SPORT
 
FOOTBALL LEAGUE
The world's first professional football league was set up in 1888 in the Royal Hotel, Piccadilly. Curiously of the twelve original memebers none were from Manchester.

EUROPEAN CUP, DOUBLE DOUBLE, TREBLE
Manchester United were the first English football team to win the European Cup in 1968 and first English club to twice achieve the FA Cup and the Championship in the same year in 1993-94 and in 1995-96. They then topped both of those achievements in 1998/99, winning the Champions League, FA Cup and Championship all in the same year.

CROWD ATTENDANCE
The first and only time that the crowd at a English club match has exceeded 84,000 was at Maine Road in 1934, when Manchester City played Stoke City in the FA Cup 6th round. The actual attendance was 84569 and City won.

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CIVIL ACHIEVEMENT
 
GAS STREET LIGHTING
Part of Chapel Street in Salford was illuminated in 1805 along with the Philips and Lee factory.

MUNICIPAL PARKS
Philips Park, Queens Park and Peel Park opened in 1846 to become the firt municipal parks.

WATER
Manchester led the way in providing the citizens of the new big cities with a supply of pure, fresh water when it opened its Longdendale Reservoirs in the 1850s.

MUNICIPAL LIBRARIES
Salford Borough Library opened in 1850, followed in 1852 by Manchester's which operated the first Children's Library from 1862.

FREE PUBLIC LIBRARY
Perhaps, the nation's first free, public library opened as Chetham's Library, off Long Millgate, in 1653, for "the use of scholars and others well-affected. "It was a bequest from wealthy mercant, Humphrey Chetham and is still open, public and free.

FIRST BUS ROUTE
This ran from Market Street, Manchester, to Salford and began in 1824.

SMOKELESS ZONES
Manchester and Salford led in the development of smokeless zones in the 1950s.

URBAN HERITAGE PARK
The castlefield area of the city became Britain's first Urban Heritage Park in 1982.

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MISCELLANEOUS
 
FIRST CASUALTY OF ENGLISH CIVIL WAR
This dubious honour lies with Richard Percival, linen weaver, shot on Market Street in 1642.

OBSTETRICS
Doctor Charle White pioneered many new practices in obstetrics including the use of fresh water and fresh air for women after giving birth. His book, "The Management of Pregnant and Lying- in Women" of 1773, marked a great leap forward in midwifery.

BULLFIGHTER
Frank Evans from Salford is Britain's first and only matador and has fought many times in Spain. He took inspiration from the pictures he saw in the home of a Spanish family who lived in his street.

LONELY HEARTS
Helen Morrison was perhaps the first Briton to advertise for a husband in 1727 in the Manchester Weekly Advertiser. She was later sent to a lunatic asylum.

MARKS AND SPENCER STORE
Despite having a market stall in Leeds, the first Marks and Spencer store opened in Stretford Road, Hulme, Manchester, in 1894.

ROLLS ROYCE
In 1904 Frederick Royce produced the first car from his factory in Cooke Street, Hulme. He soon attracted the attention of Charles Rolls and following a meeting in the Midland Hotel (now the Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza, Midland Hotel) they set up the famous company which bears their names.

WATERPROOFS
Glasgow born, Manchester mill owner, Charles Mackintosh, took out a patent in 1825 for practical waterproof fabric. He gave his name to the raincoat. Crease proof fabric was the work of Manchester company Tootal Broadhurst Lee in 1932.

UFO LANDING PAD
In the new Hulme Park there is to be a UFO airport located on so-called ley lines. The potential of the site was pointed out by local Geomantics. Manchester likes to think ahead: who knows where the business links of tomorrow will be?

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