The Rise of a Victorian Ironopolis

February 2011
5 black and white, 122 line illustrations
256 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
Regions and Regionalism in History
ISBN: 9781843836339
Format: Hardback
Boydell Press
BISAC HIS037030, BUS023000, HIS015000

The Rise of a Victorian Ironopolis

Middlesbrough and Regional Industrialization

Minoru Yasumoto

Explains the astonishing growth of Middlesbrough from a hamlet to a very substantial town in the space of a few decades in the middle of the nineteenth century.
Middlesbrough's rise was truly extraordinary, from almost nothing in 1850 to a great industrial city within a few decades, its success based on iron and steel.
This book examines the development. It discusses the role of urban planners, charts the growth of the iron and steel industry including the introduction of new manufacturing techniques and the exploitation of important local iron ore deposits, and explores the role of a vast range of self-help institutions through which workers supported themselves at a time when aid from the state was minimal.
It shows how industries "clustered", explaining why Middlesbrough became the hub of such a cluster; outlines the demographic nature of the workforce, showing how there was much migration, with people coming to Middlesbrough to work for a while then leaving; and concludes by examining the adverse factors which quickly became apparent, some of which were to lead to Middlesbrough's decline - over-dependence on one industry, a relatively undiversified economic and social structure, and insufficient urban infrastructure which left the city vulnerable to debilitating environmental pollution.

MINORU YASUMOTO is a Professor in the Faculty of Economics at Komazawa University, Japan.

Table of Contents

Town Planning and the Birth of Middlesbrough
Industrial Agglomeration in the Cleveland Iron and Steel Industry
Demography and Urban Growth
The Labour Market in Cleveland Iron and Steel
Welfare Provision in Mid-Victorian Middlesbrough


An admirable study....Any economic, urban or demographic historian who ignores [it] does so at their peril. CULTURAL AND SOCIAL HISTORY

By some distance the most complete and sophisticated history ever attempted of Middlesbrough. ... [Yasumoto] has thrown down a challenge to other historians of regional economic development and provided a model for how the history of Victorian urban communities can be researched and written. NORTHERN HISTORY

Future scholars will be grateful for the data made available in this study. VICTORIAN STUDIES

This stimulating study is not only a significant contribution to Middlesbrough's history but also has much to offer for anyone interested in Victorian economic and social history. CLEVELAND HISTORY

[A] thorough and meticulously researched book, full of impressive detail which paints a vivid picture [...] It provides an excellent basis for understanding the foundation and take-off in the growth of a town and industry, and makes an important contribution to the analysis of population growth during the rapid industrialisation of a previously undeveloped area. YORKSHIRE ARCHAEOLOGICAL JOURNAL

[A] useful contribution to the urban, demographic, and medical history of midnineteenth-century Britain. ECONOMIC HISTORY REVIEW

[A] most meticulously researched study. THE LOCAL HISTORIAN

This study [...] will doubtless become a chief authority on industrialization and rapid urban development. MINER'S ADVICE WEBSITE

Though packed with statistics, the author has worked them well into a readable narrative in which the general reader will find much of interest and a student of industrial and social history will revel. YORKSHIRE GAZETTE & HERALD

[T]his thoroughly researched study makes use of an impressive array of sources in providing a detailed quantitative analysis throughout [...] in covering areas as diverse as urban growth, business organizations, labour markets and the contested terrain of medical provision, Victorian Ironopolis is sure to have broad appeal to urban historians researching a range of topics. URBAN HISTORY

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