We led the way in...
Mining then was confined to digging 50ft bell pits or drifts cut into hillsides, but later the region was in the forefront of overcoming the obstacles to sinking shafts deeper.
This ranged from the safety lamp and steam engines to pump out water, to the winding engine by Phineas Crowther from Heaton in Newcastle in 1800 to move miners up and down the shaft and coal to the surface.
Shipbuilding: Thomas Marshall launched an iron-hulled paddle steamer, Star, in 1839 from his shipyard at South Shields and in 1842 followed it up with Bedlington, the world's first steam collier vessel. The record of shipbuilding innovation continued to Charles Parsons. whose steam turbine powered Turbinia, the fastest boat afloat in the 1890s, and also paved the way for cheap electricity, with his turbo-generators at Forth Banks power station in Newcastle a world-first.
Transport: The need to move coal from pit to river saw the development of networks of wooden-railed, horse-powered waggonways across the region.
Iron rails replaced wood and early locomotives took the place of the horse. Railway engines such as Puffing Billy, Blucher, Locomotion and Rocket followed, with Robert and George Stephenson opening the world's first locomotive factory in South Street in Newcastle in 1823.
The Newcastle-Carlisle railway, completed in 1835, was the first across England and the longest in the world. Glass: The first purpose-built glassworks in Britain to use coal instead of wood opened in 1617 near the Ouseburn in Newcastle and by the early 1800s there were 31 glasshouses operating on Tyneside, making 40% of English glass. More glass was made on Tyneside than in the whole of France.
The surviving, listed cone from the Lemington glassworks in Newcastle - one of only four left in the UK - is rated as one of the most important industrial monuments in the North East.
At the Sowerby glassworks in Gateshead, covering five and a half acres, 1,000 workers were employed, with one just one operative capable of making 1,000 tumblers in a shift.
Stone: According to a publication of 1649 "A Scot, a rat, and a Newcastle grindstone you may find all the world over."
The sandstone grindstones of Tyneside were in great demand, with 23 quarries alone in the Heworth area of Gateshead and more in Windy Nook, Springwell, Eighton Banks, Kenton, Burradon and Wideopen.
Water: Cholera epidemics between the 1830s-1860s drove home the need for clean water supplies.
The risk of taking supplies from the Tyne were underlined by the fact that Pipewellgate in Gateshead had a population in 1842 of 2,040 but only three privies.
The answer was the creation of reservoirs like Whittle Dene in 1845 to supply Newcastle, followed by Catcleugh in Northumberland and later the Derwent, Burnhope and Kielder reservoirs.
Electricity: In his book The Electric Revolution, R. A.S. Hennessey says: "Tyneside has many claims to be called the one true source of the electricity industry. Here Swan made his discoveries on the incandescent lamp, Parsons perfected his reactive turbine, Charles Merz started 3-phase industrial power and erected the first real central power station with integrated control in Britain."
Swan set up the world's first electric light bulb factory in Benwell in Newcastle and Neptune Bank in Wallsend was the first power station in the UK to supply industrial electricity.
Chemicals: There were 24 chemical works on Tyneside in the 1860s, producing over half the national output of alkali (soda).
Christian Allusen's firm at Saltmeadows in Gateshead made alkali, soap, sulphuric acid and Epsom salts on 137 acres which are now the site of a riverside park and Gateshead International Stadium. Soap: Thomas Hedley, the son of a Northumbrian sheep farmer, ran his soap factory on City Road in Newcastle. Business boomed after the lifting of the tax on soap following the cholera outbreak of 1853 and the introduction of palm oil to replace tallow, or animal fat.
The company made 50 types of soap, launching Fairy soap in 1898. The firm was acquired by Procter and Gamble in 1970.
Ropes: The Crawhall family set up its rope-making factory on City Road in 1812 and the nearby Thomas Smith ropery at St Lawrence supplied Scott's Antarctic ship Discovery and also the wire ropes for the Sydney Harbour bridge.
Pottery: The industry flourished on Tyneside for almost 250 years, with at least 100 potteries. Maling's Ford B pottery in Newcastle was probably the largest on one site in the world when it opened in 1879.
Iron, steel and engineering: The Derwent Valley was the scene of early iron and steel making, with Ambrose Crowley's 1690 works one of the greatest manufactories in Europe, while John Spencer's steelworks at Newburn were of national importance.
The North East produced many engineers. One was John Dixon, born in Newcastle, who was employed at Consett Iron Company and Bedlington Ironworks.
He went on to build a bridge over the Nile at Cairo, piers in Mexico, a sanitary works in Rio, the first railway in China and the erection of Cleopatra's Needle in London.
For details of Saturday's conference go to www.twhf.co.uk
<BAbove, Workers producing grindstones at a Tyneside quarry