View of the Copper Works, Swansea, Glamorganshire
Artist: Walmsley, Thomas
Medium: Aquatint, coloured
View of a copper works in Swansea. During the 18th century Swansea and the surrounding area became well known for its copper smelting industry. John Lane established the first works in the Swansea valley in 1716. He was attracted to the area because of the existence of coal mines (large quantities of coal were needed to produce copper) and because the River Tawe ran through the valley providing easy access to the port and consequently to the Bristol Channel. The establishment of the copper industry also helped to develop other industries such as nickel, tinplate and zinc and over the following two centuries Swansea became the centre of metal manufacture in the United Kingdom.