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British Industrial History

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Joshua Llewelyn Morgan

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Joshua Llewelyn Morgan (1820-1875)

1864 Joshua Llewelyn Morgan, Aberdulais Tin Plate Works, near Neath.[1]

1875 January 5th. Died.


1876 Obituary [2]

JOSHUA LLEWELYN MORGAN was born on 10th April 1820, at Llanelly, Breconshire, and studied engineering and chemistry at King's College, London.

His first engagement of any consequence was that of furnace manager at the Victoria Iron Works, Monmouthshire, and in 1847 he was appointed assistant manager of the Cwm Avon Copper Works.

In 1849 he went out to Australia and visited the celebrated Burra Burra Copper mines and others; he then went to Sydney, New South Wales, and on his way inspected the Fitzroy Iron Works by the desire of the owners.

In 1850 he formed with other gentlemen a company for smelting copper, of which he was appointed manager, and erected works for that purpose at Burwood, near Newcastle, on the Hunter river.

In 1852 large coalfields in the vicinity were added to the property of the company, and they then carried on operations under the title of the Newcastle Coal and Copper Co. The discovery of gold in the neighbouring colony of Port Philip just at that time rendered all manufacturing industries nearly impossible, in consequence of the scarcity of labour; and in 1853 the company abandoned the copper works, and developed more fully their rich coalfields. Mr. Morgan continuing to act as manager made a railway for the conveyance of coal from Burwood to Newcastle, overcoming great difficulties in the form of almost impracticable country and great scarcity of competent assistance.

In 1855 he was engaged to conduct an experiment which had previously failed for smelting copper ore with wood as fuel, at a place called Ophir, about 100 miles from Sydney; he reconstructed the works on his own principle and succeeded in the experiment.

He afterwards returned to his former post of manager of the Newcastle Coal and Copper Co., which he retained till 1864, when he returned to England. He did not at once engage in any employment, but visited the principal ironworks in England and Wales, and studied assiduously all the latest improvements in his profession.

In 1869 he became manager of the Clydach Iron Works, Breconshire, which post he held till 1874, when he became managing partner of the Wildon Iron Works, near Abergavenny; these works he reconstructed thoroughly, and was managing them as successfully as the depressed state of trade would admit, when he met with an accident in the works, which was the cause of his instant death, on 5th January 1875, in the 55th year of his age.

He became a Member of the Institution in 1864.



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