Cotton spinning and power-loom weaving are the chief of numerous manufacturing industries, and there are large collieries in the vicinity.
The first power-loom for cotton manufacture was set up in North Providence in 1817.
" Not a yard of fancy wool fabric had ever been woven by the power-loom in any country till done by William Crompton at the Middlesex Mills, Lowell, in 1840 " (Samuel Lawrence).
The principal industry was weaving, but the substitution of the power-loom for the hand-loom nearly put an end to it.
The Cartwright memorial hall, principally the gift of Lord Masham, opened in 1904 and containing an art gallery and museum, commemorates Dr Edmund Cartwright (1743-1823) as the inventor of the power-loom and the combingmachine.