Pioneers and profits: Copper’s past for copper’s present

White Rock’s enormous smelting hall, known as the Great Workhouse, is a reminder of how technological knowhow combined with business acumen for efficient and unrivalled capacity for smelting and refining. (From Pioneers and profits).

One of the most gratifying articles I have written on copper was published in Materials World, the journal of the IOM3–The Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining. It is entitled Pioneers and profits and is a short introduction to the history of the copper industry from a Welsh perspective and particularly focusing on the global domination of smelting in Swansea. An important aspect of my work on the ESRC-funded Welsh Copper project was to promote this history to modern-day industrialists and scientists who may feel inspired about the history of copper in Britain but have little idea of the impact it had on business, industrial processes and the landscape. Continue reading