Wales and the Industrial Revolution

9fb385a62547d5ebd51374728625602f0add2d46When one thinks of the Industrial Revolution the thoughts usually turn to people like Eli Whitney who invented the Cotton Gin and subsequently turned the cotton industry on its head virtually overnight. What many are not aware of is the great role that Wales played in the Industrial Revolution and how that small country was able to change the way that many things around the world were done up until that time.

Farming and agriculture, mining and transportation were all changed by events and inventions that were first found in Wales. The earliest examples of Wales being at the forefront of inventions comes much earlier than the days of the Industrial Revolution.

Many archaeological digs have produced evidence that Wales was a major hub of industry and tool and weapon building long before the mechanization of industry, and shows that Wales was in fact a major hub of civilization as we now know it in the West. The fact that Wales had just about everything required in the way of natural resources, form lumber to coal to copper to tin, Wales had it all and for this reason civilizations have flourished there for many, many centuries.

The many rivers and streams in Wales would also prove fortuitous and make the industrial revolution one that Wales could exploit to the fullest due to the many sources of potential energy that the water in addition to the other natural resources played. The Wye Valley in Wales is considered by many to be the birthplace of the industrial revolution and was in the process of industrializing as early as the beginnings of the 1600’s.

The many inventions and processes that are considered to have played a massive role in industrializing Great Britain got their start in Wales. No historian worth his salt can mention the Industrial Revolution without giving the country of Wales its proper due. To do so would be less than factual and be a great affront to this hard working and innovative country. The Great Little Trains of Wales pays homage to this rich and full history.