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 number rapidly increased, and in 1851 there were 66 cotton mills with 860,000 throstle spindles at work.
Large markets and fairs are held for corn, hops, cattle and sheep; and the town contains some highly reputed ale breweries, besides paper mills and iron foundries.
In the flax-mills the tendency is to produce the finest tissues as well as the coarser.
Long and weighed 36 lb to the yard, manufactured in England, since there were then no mills in America able to roll them.