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In the 19th century, shipbuilding and heavy engineering were central to the city's prosperity; and the city was a powerhouse of the Industrial Revolution.
Joseph Swan's electric light bulbs, and Charles Parsons' invention of the steam turbine, which led to the revolution of marine propulsion and the production of cheap electricity.
In 1882, Newcastle became the seat of an Anglican diocese, with St. Newcastle's public transport system was modernised in 1901 when Newcastle Corporation Tramways electric trams were introduced to the city's streets, though these were replaced gradually by trolley buses from 1935, with the tram service finally coming to an end in 1950. Council housing began to replace inner city slums in the 1920s, and the process continued into the 1970s, along with substantial private house building and acquisitions.
Unemployment hit record heights in Newcastle during the Great Depression of the 1930s.
The city grew as an important centre for the wool trade in the 14th century, and later became a major coal mining area.
The port developed in the 16th century and, along with the shipyards lower down the River Tyne, was amongst the world's largest shipbuilding and ship-repairing centres.
It was given the family name of the Roman Emperor Hadrian, who founded it in the 2nd century AD.
This rare honour suggests Hadrian may have visited the site and instituted the bridge on his tour of Britain.
In 1644, the Scots then captured the reinforced fortification on the Lawe in South Shields following a siege. It was eventually stormed ("with roaring drummes") and sacked by Cromwell's allies.
Pons Aelius' population at this period was estimated at 2,000.
Fragments of Hadrian's Wall are visible in parts of Newcastle, particularly along the West Road.
In the 1630s, about 7,000 out of 20,000 inhabitants of Newcastle died of plague, more than one-third of the population.
Specifically within the year 1636, it is roughly estimated with evidence held by the Society of Antiquaries that 47% of the then population of Newcastle died from the epidemic; this may also have been the most devastating loss in any British City in this period.