The principal industry was the manufacture of iron and steel products, which, including steel and rolling mills, car, foundry and machine shops, and shipyards, represented more than 30% of the total capital, and approximately 25% of the total gross product of the manufactures in the state.
During his eleven years' ministry (1876-1878 with Depretis, 1884-1891 with Depretis and Crispi, 1896-1898 with Rudini), he succeeded in creating large private shipyards, engine works and metallurgical works for the production of armour, steel plates and guns.
The older shipyards have been considerably extended, and shipbuilding is actively carried on, especially by the Orlando yard which builds large ships for the Italian navy, while new industries - namely, glass-making and copper and brass-founding, electric power works, a cement factory, porcelain factories, flour-mills, oil-mills, a cotton yarn spinning factory, electric plant works, a ship-breaking yard, a motorboat yard, &c. - have been established.
The city is the chief commercial centre of the state and has shipyards for the construction of river and lake vessels.
And to make the great Clyde shipyards easily accessible from the naval base at Rosyth, and thus to avoid the necessity of constructing docks and repairing yards there.