- How money from slavery made Greater Manchester
- The importance of cotton in north west England
- The Lancashire cotton famine
- Smoking, drinking and the British sweet tooth
- Black presence in Britain and north west England
- Resistance and campaigns for abolition
- The bicentenary of British abolition
Why was cotton so important in north west England?
Souvenir cotton bale
Made in the USA, 1885
Object number 1942/9
Given by Councillor E Henthorn, 1942
See this object at Gallery Oldham This object may not always be on display. Please check with the venue before visiting.
Enlarge image © Gallery Oldham
Throughout the 1800s the USA supplied most of Oldham's cotton. Raw cotton was processed and packed in large bales for shipping. This small cotton bale is from the World Exposition Trade Fair held in New Orleans in 1884-85. Representing the USA's most recognisable export, it is labelled 'A souvenir of the sunny south'.
The cotton bale was donated to Gallery Oldham in 1942 by Councillor E Henthorn, whose grandfather Thomas Henthorn was a cotton dealer in the 1880s, and later manager of a group of Oldham cotton mills.
This information was provided by curators from Gallery Oldham.