Article ID: CBB001422656

A World of Copper: Globalizing the Industrial Revolution, 1830--70 (2015)


For most of human history the smelting of metallic ores has been performed immediately adjacent to the ore body. In the 1830s the copper industry that was centred on Swansea in the UK departed abruptly from that ancient pattern: Swansea smelters shipped in ores from very distant locations, including sites in Australasia, Latin America, and southern Africa. Swansea became the hub of a globally integrated heavy industry, one that deployed capital on a very large scale, implanted British industrial technologies in some very diverse settings, and mobilized a transnational workforce that included British-born `labour aristocrats', Chinese indentured servants, and African slaves. This paper explores the World of Copper between its inception c.1830 and its demise in the aftermath of the American Civil War. It asks what the experience of this precociously globalized industry can contribute to some current concerns in global history.

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Authors & Contributors
Nuvolari, Alessandro
Evans, Chris
Solar, Peter M.
Ravshonbek Otojanov
Zahedieh, Nuala
Galofré-Vilà, Gregori
Economic History Review
Ziran Kexueshi Yanjiu (Studies in the History of Natural Sciences)
VIET: Voprosy Istorii Estestvoznaniia i Tekhniki
Transactions - Newcomen Society for the Study of the History of Engineering and Technology
Social Science History
International Journal for the History of Engineering and Technology
Renaissance Books
Technische Universiteit Eindhoven (The Netherlands)
Johns Hopkins University Press
Grove Press
Industrial revolution
Copper and copper industry
Mines and mining
Inventors and invention
Thompson, Robert Means
Hybinette, Noak Victor
Gualdi, Federico
Brunel, Isambard Kingdom
Time Periods
19th century
18th century
20th century, early
17th century
Edo period (Japan, 1603-1868)
Great Britain
United States
North America
Middle and Near East

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