These fascinating images are taken from an album of photographs, part of the Bradford Technical College Archive. The album was put together for the 1911 opening of a new textile department at Bradford Technical College, and was presented to Alderman William Warburton, Chairman of the City’s Education Committee: the College was at that stage in its history run by the City Council. The photographs show the facilities of the new department, which was equipped with machinery similar to that students would encounter in textile mills, to carry out all operations from “the raw material to the finished cloth”. The album also showed external views of the College buildings and equipment in the other departments, such as the Motor Car Engineering Laboratory (below).
The BTC had been founded in 1882, growing out of classes held by the Mechanics’ Institute. Its teaching centred on the advanced skills required by Bradford’s industries. The original departments were Textile Industries, Chemistry and Dyeing, Engineering and Art, plus a day science school, though by 1911, the Art department had become a separate School of Art, and the science school was closed.
Bradford Technical College is part of the heritage of both the University of Bradford and Bradford College. In 1959, the BTC’s higher education strand became one of the Colleges of Advanced Technology (CATS), renamed the Bradford Institute of Technology, which later became the University of Bradford. Find out more about the BTC and its successors on the Archive webpage. The full story of the various institutions which are now Bradford College can be found on their 175 heroes exhibition web pages.