In 1947 J. Lyons & Co. Ltd. invited Jack Beddington, the pre-war publicity chief of Shell-Mex, to choose sixteen works by contemporary artists to decorate the Lyons Tearooms. A series of colour lithographs were produced and these were displayed in the 250 tearooms all over the country. Barnett Friedman was a contributor and Technical Adviser for the first series, and other contributors included John Nash, Carel Weight, Duncan Grant and Edward Bawden.
Industrial Scene was reproduced by J. Lyons & Co. Ltd. and the painting was displayed with a copy of the print in the 1951 and 1977 exhibitions. Examples of fourteen of the first series of lithographs were illustrated in G.S. Whittet, Teashop Lithographs, The Studio, CXXXVI, September 1948, pp. 71-74.
The industrial scene that Lowry depicts is a composite view across the River Irwell in Salford. In another composite of this scene, A River Bank (1947) Lowry has rendered the narrow stretch of water into a large river complete with shipping, and the park on the other side has become an industrial landscape, both features of the present work (see J. Sandling & M. Leber, Lowry's City A Painter and his Locale, Salford, 2000, p. 39).