The Royal Exchange in Manchester was built in 1729, and was at one time the largest commercial room in the world. Cotton was bought and sold here in the commercial heart of Manchester. The beautiful clasical building fell into disuse in the 1970s, but was restored, with a part of it converted into a theatre in the round. Illustration from 'History of the cotton manufacture in Great Britain: with a notice of its early history in the East, and in all the quarters of the globe' by Edward Baines (1800-1890), published in London in 1835.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library