The production of this curious substance is explained in an article on the 'Value of Rubbish, No. 385. Notwithstanding this, we were assured by a gentleman connected with the copper-works, that there is no specific disease arising from copper-smelting, as in the case of lead.
She has had the latter place comfortably fitted up for the use of the principal employés on the works, and has provided it with a billiard-table, a very fair library, and several spare bed-rooms for the accommodation of visitors. After luncheon we went to see the copper-smelting works, which were very interesting. The manager walked through with us, and explained the processes very clearly.
Up the valley of the Tawe the town spreads several miles, and here are the enormous copper-works and smelting-furnaces which make a reproduction of the infernal regions, defile the air, but fill the purses of the townsfolk. Swansea is the greatest copper-smelting dépôt in the world, drawing its ores from all parts of the globe.
We shall avail ourselves of the valuable services of Mr Morgan, the manager for Messrs Vivian, in our walks round the works, although it is not our intention to give a technical description of copper-smelting. Such a course would be alike uninteresting to the reader and unsatisfactory to ourselves.
We crossed also the valley of Chaneral; which, although the most fertile one between Guasco and Coquimbo, is very narrow, and produces so little pasture, that we could not purchase any for our horses. At Sauce we found a very civil old gentleman, superintendent of a copper-smelting furnace.
It is therefore to this branch of industry the town and port are chiefly indebted for their remarkable rise and progress. The population in 1801 was only about 6000; while in 1851, if we include the copper-smelting district, it had already reached the number of 40,000. The original cause of Swansea being selected as the great seat of the copper trade, we may very briefly explain.
'And mind you write to me, Tom, and tell how you get on. I'll write, and let you know about your grandfather, and Marksedge news and all The 'Thank you, my Lord, came with great pleasure and alacrity. 'Some day, when you are a foreman, perhaps I may bring Miss Clara to see copper-smelting.
With such propriety has the selection of a locality been made, that even now, out of the twenty copper-smelting works of which the country can boast, seventeen are situated on the navigable rivers of Swansea and its neighbourhood. But this was not the only advantage the Cornish miners derived from this judicious step.
Our principal object in visiting Swansea, was to obtain some information concerning the important business of copper-smelting, for which this port has now become so celebrated. Few of our readers, who have not enjoyed our opportunities of seeing them, can form any accurate conception of the vast extent and great economical value and importance of the Swansea copper-works.
At one of the worst turnings we met several bullock-carts filled with iron pyrites from the copper-smelting. The custom of the drivers of these carts is to stop at the bottom of a steep bit of hill, and then put five or six pairs of oxen to draw up one cart. The process is a slow one, but is better for the oxen.