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This article assesses the contribution of the various industrial sectors to the growth of the British equity market in the 1825-70 period. It also provides estimates of the rates of return on these industrial sectors in this period. The article then proceeds to examine whether differences in rates of return across the various sectors can be explained by risk or other financial factors. One of the main findings is that the relatively high rates of return in the banking, insurance, and miscellaneous sectors appear to be in some measure explained by the presence of extended liability and uncalled capital.