How did Bombay become a major industrial center?
AT first, Bombay was the major outlet for cotton textiles from Gujarat. Later in the 19th century, the city functioned as a port through which large quantities of raw materials such as cotton and opium would pass. Gradually, it also became an important administrative center in western India and by the end of the 19th century a major industrial center. Bombay became the capital of Bombay presidency in 1819, after the Maratha defeat in the Anglo-Maratha War. The city quickly expanded with the growth of trade in cotton and opium, large communities of traders and bankers as well as artisans and shopkeepers came to settle in Bombay. The establishment of textile mills led to a fresh surge in migration.
Bombay had its first cotton textile mill established in 1854. By 1921, there were 85 cotton mills with about 1,46,000 workers. A large number of people flowed in from the nearby districts of Ratnagiri to work in the Bombay mills. Women formed as much as 23% of the mill work force in the period between 1919 and 1926. After that their number dropped. Bombay dominated the maritime trade of India till well into the twentieth century.