Commerce and industry
Today Jersey's principal industry is finance, but the island has pursued several profitable activities over the years. For centuries the main industry was farming, but whereas Jersey's early 20th century prosperity was founded on the export of new potatoes and the island's unique breed of cattle, earlier money-spinners included cider. Not surprisingly for a small community surrounded by the sea, maritime activities have often proved very successful, but although fishing in local waters for oysters provided a 19th century boost to the economy, the cod trade on the other side of the North Atlantic proved much more important and longer-lasting.
During the Victorian era and into the 20th Century, Jersey developed all the public services essential to a growing community, including a public water supply, gas and electricity, post and telephones.