Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 133,791 pages of information and 211,900 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.
1675 Frederick de Blewstone from Germany constructed an experimental furnace in Wednesbury, in an attempt to smelt iron using coal, traditional charcoal being in short supply. Unfortunately the attempt failed because of contamination from the sulphurous gasses emitted by the coal.
Dr. Frederic de Blewston obtained a patent from Charles II. on the 25th October, 1677, for "a new and effectual way of melting down, forging, extracting, and reducing of iron and all metals and minerals with pit-coal and sea-coal, as well and effectually as ever hath yet been done by charcoal, and with much less charge;"