King Copper: South Wales and the Copper Trade, 1584-1895

King Copper: South Wales and the Copper Trade, 1584-1895

King Copper: South Wales and the Copper Trade, 1584-1895

King Copper: South Wales and the Copper Trade, 1584-1895

Synopsis

This is a full treatment of the impact of the copper industry upon society and environment in south Wales. For the whole of the 18th century and much of the 19th a belt of coastal smelters using local coals and ores from Cornwall, Cuba and Chile produced virtually all of Britain's copper and much of the world's. It was a remarkable industrial concentration that brought wealth to Swansea, the centre of the industry, and to neightbouring towns. But there was a price for prosperity. Copper ores are notoriously impure and the many roastings and meltings required to drive out the impurities and separate the metal from the ore produced mountains of slag and furnace ash and billowing clouds of toxic, foul-smelling smoke. Laced with sulphur and arsenic, the smoke killed all but the hardiest of plants, ruining crops and killing and disabling grazing animals.
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