Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 148,518 pages of information and 233,949 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

University of Manchester

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1909. Main engine room.
1909. Gas engine room.
1909. Hydraulic laboratory.
1909. Testing room.

The Victoria University of Manchester

1851 Owens College was founded

1866 The chair of Civil and Mechanical Engineering was founded at Owens College with support from local industrialists

1868 Osborne Reynolds was appointed Professor of Civil and Mechanical Engineering

1872 Incorporated the Royal School of Medicine and Surgery, which had been formed in 1824 as a medical school owned by doctors

1873 J. J. Thomson was awarded one of the first engineering certificates

1873 the college was transferred from Quay Street to a larger building in Oxford Street

1880 Owens College became the first constituent part of the federal Victoria University, England’s first civic university, which later included colleges in Liverpool and Leeds.

1887 The Whitworth Engineering Laboratory was opened

1889 The Whitworth Art Gallery was founded commemorating Sir Joseph Whitworth, the great Manchester engineer whose legacy funded many of Manchester’s educational investments around the beginning of the 20th century.

1899 The John Rylands Library on Deansgate was founded by the widow of a Manchester merchant, and became one of the world’s finest charity libraries.

1900 After Birmingham gained its own as charter as a University in 1900, the colleges of the Victoria University separated

1903 Owens College was reconstituted as the Victoria University of Manchester, though it was often known simply known as the University of Manchester, or simply as Owens.

Between 1890 and 1914 the University expanded considerably, with new laboratories appearing on Coupland Street.

1909 New engineering building was opened (see illustrations)

Between 1918 and 1939 new arts buildings to the south of Burlington Street were added.

After 1945 the science, engineering and medical departments were rehoused to the east of Oxford Road.

1958 The Whitworth Art Gallery joined the University

1972 The John Rylands Library joined the University

2004 On 1 October, the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST) was subsumed by the Victoria University of Manchester to form a new entity called The University of Manchester.

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