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6th - 27th April 2024


This diverse exhibition features a variety of artworks encompassing different mediums, formats, and styles, all cantered around the theme of Industry. Included in the showcase are pieces showcasing Industrial photography and paintings, as well as a collection of posters from the South Wales Miners’ Strike of 1984/5 kindly provided by South Wales Miners’ Libary.

Additionally, the exhibition will showcase a series of banners paying tribute to local industrialist David Thomas, whose impact played a significant role in the inception of the Industrial Revolution in the United States.


About David Thomas

David Thomas was born in Cadoxton, near Neath. He went to school at nearby Alltwen and at Neath, and worked on his father's farm before going into the iron industry. He married Elizabeth Hopkins in 1817.


As an adult, he was widely regarded as one of the foremost ironmasters in the United Kingdom. It was while employed at the Yniscedwyn Works, in Ystradgynlais in the Swansea Valley, that he devised the process which would advance the Industrial Revolution. On February 5, 1837, Thomas used a hot blast to smelt iron ore and anthracite coal. The result was an easy method to produce anthracite iron, which revolutionized industry in the Swansea Valley. This type of iron had been patented by Edward Martin of Morriston, Wales in 1804.


In 1839 he relocated to Pennsylvania, where the owners of the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company in Lehigh County wanted Thomas to build a furnace for the production of anthracite iron. The Lehigh Valley region, being rich in both anthracite coal and iron ore, was the perfect setting for Thomas's creation.

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