A large number of cotton mills furnish the chief source of industry; printing, dyeing and bleaching of cotton and calico, spinning and weaving machine making, iron and steel works, and collieries in the neighbourhood, are also important.
The cognate industry of bleaching has been carried on since early in the 18th century, and large ironworks grew up in the latter half of the 19th century.
Bleaching and cotton-spinning and the manufacture of fire-bricks and tiles are carried on.
In the presence of water it frequently acts as a bleaching agent, the bleaching process in this case being one of reduction.
It is prepared on the industrial scale for the manufacture of sulphuric acid, for the preparation of sodium sulphate by the Hargreaves process, and for use as a bleaching-disinfecting agent and as a preservative.
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