The milling industry is, next to the docks, the chief feature of Bombay’s commercial success. The staple manufacture is cotton-spinning, but in addition to this there are flour mills and workshops to supply local needs. The number of factories increased from fifty-three in 1881 to eighty-three in 1890, and that decade saw the influx of a great industrial population from the surrounding districts; but the decade 1891-1901 witnessed at least a temporary set-back owing to the ravages caused by plague and the effects of over-production. In addition to the actual mortality it inflicted, the plague caused an exodus of the population from the island, disorganized the labour at the docks and in the mills, and swallowed up large sums which were spent by the municipality on plague operations and sanitary improvements. After 1901, however, both population and trade began to revive again. In 1901 there were 131,7 9 6 persons employed in the cotton industry.