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|Shipbuilding in Britain in the late 19th century|
In the 19th century the British shipbuilding industry was the largest in the world. During the 30 years between 1850 and 1880, British steamship tonnage increased by 1600%.
In the same period, the tonnage of steamships owned by the rest of the world grew by only 440% - and the majority of these would have come from British yards!
The Thames Ironworks
The Thames Ironworks was the most important shipbuilding business on the Thames and one of the biggest private shipbuilders in the country.
The ironworks built several of the biggest and most famous vessels of the time. The ironworks was one of the largest employers in east London, and it survived until 1912 when it finally succumbed to competition from northern shipyards.
These rendered the Thames-side shipbuilding industry unprofitable under modern conditions.