Staffordshire was close to the seat of the Industrial Revolution in the Ironbridge Gorge. Industry expanded rapidly to the Black Country in the south of the county. Mining was mainly for coal, but also for iron ore and clay. The iron ore was used for the steel making indusrty around Bilston and Brierley Hill, and the clay was used in the “Potteries” around Stoke-on-Trent.
The main transport links, started in the 18th century, were the canals (Shropshire Union, Staffordshire & Worcester, Trent & Mersey). Railway building was started in the 19th century (London & North Western, Midland, Great Western ).
The main centres of population were:-
Bilston, Brierley Hill, Cannock, Darlaston, Dudley (an exclave of Worcestershire), Newcastle-under-Lyme, Stafford, Stoke-on-Trent, Smethwick, Tipton, Walsall, Wednesbury, Wednesfield, West Bromwich, Willenhall, Wolverhampton
Tamworth was partly in Staffordshire and partly in Warwickshire. Handsworth and Harborne, now suburbs of modern Birmingham, were formerly in Staffordshire.