Queen Victoria opening the Manchester Ship Canal, 1894.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Plate from the 'Illustrated London News' (Vol 94/1 p 637). In an attempt to ease the pasage of goods into the habour, the Manchester Ship Canal Company was formed in 1882 with the intention of building a canal large enough to let ocean going liners sail directly into Manchester from Liverpool. However, the plan met with opposition, and lack of funds, as well as the technical complexities involved in the series of swing bridges and aqueducts, and was not complete until 1894 when it was opened by Queen Victoria (1819-1901).