'Manchester Ship Canal, Swing Bridge, Latchford', 1893-1894.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Stereoscopic photograph, one of a series relating to the building of the Manchester Ship Canal. The canal was built to allow the cotton mills of Manchester to break free of the shipping monopoly of the port of Liverpool. Opened by Queen Victoria in 1894, it allowed ships as large as 20,000 tons to reach Manchester's docks. Nine road bridges were built acros the Manchester Ship Canal, seven of which were swing bridges, including the one at Latchford, Warrington. Swing bridges are hydraulically operated bridges which can be moved laterally through 90 degrees so as to give unobstructed acces to shipping.