One of the characteristics defining the image of Coventry is its industrial past. During the medieval period it was one of the largest urban areas in the country based on its woollen industry. A period of industrial decline was only reversed with the development of ribbon weaving and watch making in the nineteenth century. Despite the industrial revolution coming late to Coventry it more than made up for this in the first half of the twentieth century by becoming the fastest growing town in the country. This was on the back of the car, motorcycle, aircraft and associated engineering industries, not to mention the electronics and artificial fibre industry which tends to be forgotten.