ABERDEEN IN THE 19th CENTURY
Facilities in Aberdeen continued to improve. A mental hospital or asylum was founded in 1800. The Royal Infirmary was rebuilt in 1840. City Hospital opened in 1874.
Meanwhile new streets were built. Union Street was built after 1801 and Union Bridge was built in 1805. They were named after an Act of Union 1801, which united Britain and Ireland. King Street was built after 1804. Bon Accord Square was laid out in 1823. The facade in Union Street was built in 1830.
Communications to and from Aberdeen improved in the 19th century. A canal to Inverurie was completed in 1807. The railway arrived in Aberdeen in 1850. The railway meant it was possible to 'export' cattle from Aberdeen to other parts of the country. Steam trawling arrived in Aberdeen in 1882.
Many new buildings were erected in Aberdeen in the early 19th century. St Andrew's Episcopal cathedral was built in 1817. The Music Hall was built in 1820. North Church was built in 1830. It is now an arts centre.
Amenities in Aberdeen also improved. In 1824 Aberdeen gained gas street lighting. While we might take streetlights for granted people at that time thought it was wonderful. Also after 1830 water was pumped from the river into public wells. From 1866 this water was filtered. Then after 1865 a network of sewers was built in Aberdeen. It became a much healthier city in the late 19th century.
The port of Aberdeen continued to flourish. Girdleness lighthouse was built in 1833 and In the years 1871-73 the Dee was diverted.
In the 19th century the textile industry (linen and cotton) in Aberdeen declined. The industry moved to towns nearer the coalfields.
Furthermore whaling came to an end in Aberdeen. The oil from whales had been used to light lamps but gaslight sounded the death knell for the industry. It ended by 1858.
On the other hand granite production continued and in the 19th century granite from Aberdeen was exported to the USA. Shipbuilding boomed in this century. It reached a peak in the 1850s, 1860s and 1870s when clippers (fast sailing ships for transporting tea) were built.
In 1860 the 2 colleges, Kings and Marischal joined to form Aberdeen University.
Many new buildings were erected in Aberdeen in the late 19th century. St Mary's Roman Catholic cathedral was built in the years 1860-1880. The Art Gallery was built in 1885. Grays School of Art was founded in 1886. St Mark's Church was built in 1892. The Salvation Army Citadel was also built at this time.
Public parks opened in the late 19th century. Victoria Park was laid out in 1871 and Duthie Park was laid out in 1883.
Meanwhile in 1881 a bridge was built to Torry.
The Wallace statue was erected in 1888.
In 1891 the two ancient burhs of Old and New Aberdeen, which for centuries had been legally separate, were united.
In the late 19th century horse drawn trams ran in Aberdeen. However they were later replace by electric trams. The first electricity generating station in Aberdeen opened in 1894. The first electric trams ran in Aberdeen in 1899.
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