Dictionary of Welsh Biography


A new website has been created for The Dictionary of Welsh Biography. It will be launched at the beginning of November 2018 and will include new content, functions and design. Head over to biography.wales now to see what's new!

This website will eventually be replaced by biography.wales. In the meantime, we would like to hear from our users so you're welcome to send us any questions or feedback that you may have.

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z



THOMAS , DAVID ( 1794 - 1882 ), pioneer of the iron industry in U.S.A. ;

b. 3 Nov. 1794 , the son of David and Jane Thomas , Ty-llwyd farm, parish of Cadoxton-juxta-Neath, Glam. He attended schools at Allt-wen ( Pontardawe ) and Neath , worked on his father's farm for a while, and then ( 1812 ) started in the Neath Abbey Iron Works . In 1817 he was working in the Ynyscedwyn Anthracite Iron Works , where he was in charge of blast furnaces , etc. During his stay of about twenty-two years there he experimented with the use of anthracite coal as a smelting fuel ; he has the honour of having made, at Ynyscedwyn , the first ‘anthracite’ iron ever cast in the world . This success caused him to be invited by the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company , Pennsylvania , U.S.A. Emigrating to that continent in June 1839 he had, by next year, effected almost revolutionary changes in the iron industry . Thereafter his career was most successful and he became one of the great ironmasters of the world. In 1840 he organised the first Presbyterian church at Casanqua . He d. 20 June 1882 .

Sources:

  • The Cambrian (Cincinnati), 1885 , 104-8, 133-6;
  • Y Drych newyddiadur cenedlaethol Cymry America (Utica), 2 March 1909 ;
  • Hanes Cymry America (1872) , 163;
  • Edwards , Welshmen as Factors in the Formation and Development of the United States Republic (1899) ;
  • The Red Dragon , 1883 , 289.

Author:

Robert (Bob) Owen, O.B.E., M.A., (1885-1962), Croesor

Published date: 1959