Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Powell Duffryn Associated Collieries

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April 1933. Synthacold.
June 1933. Presotim.
December 1933.
December 1934.

of By-Products Department, Aberdare House, Cardiff, South Wales. Telephone: Cardiff 7900/1. Telegraphic Address: "Presotim, Cardiff". (1937)

1840 Thomas Powell sunk the first deep mine at Cwmbach, Aberdare.

1840-1863 He opened many further deep mines, both in Aberdare (Cwmdare, Abernant, Abergwawr, Middle Duffryn and Cwmpennar) and in the Rhymney Valley. At their peak these collieries produced over 400,000 tons of coal each per annum.

1863 Thomas Powell instructed T. E. Forster, William Armstrong and George Elliot (Later to become Sir George) to put a valuation on all his collieries.

1864 As a result, George Elliot formed the Powell Duffryn Steam Coal Co Limited (PDSC) for the purpose of working the whole of Thomas Powell's collieries. At this time the wealth of the South Wales Coalfield was only just being realised.

1867 The PDSC bought the Aberaman Estate from the iron master Crawshay Bailey. The acquisition of the Aberaman Estate was an important purchase, as underneath lay some of the best steam coal in the world and all within easy access to the ports. Aberaman became the headquarters of the company.

1914 The market in France was so large that they registered as Compagnie Francaise des Mines Powell Duffryn, with their main offices at Rouen.

1916 An able businessman, E. M. Hann (who had started his career in the company in 1879) was made director of the PDSC and enabled the company to become the greatest coal-producing company in the world.

1935 The Company registered as Powell Duffryn Associated Collieries with the amalgamation of the PDSC and Welsh Associated Collieries.

1937 Advert for By-Products of British coal: Presotim Wood Preservative; Presomet Rust-resisting Paint; Synthaprufe Liquid Waterproofing and Jointing Material; Synthaflex Plastic Material for filling crevices before final sealing with Synthaprufe; Synthacold Cold Dressing for paths, drives, roads. (Engineering/Metals/Quarry, Roads and Mining/Transport Section - Stand No. B.320)

1940 Acquired Cilely Collieries Ltd[1].

1930/40s Acquired Crynant Colliery Company Limited[2].

1940 Owned more than 50 mines with 34,000 employees[3].

1942 Amalgamation with Cory Brothers and Co

1944 Formation of Powell Duffryn Ltd and voluntary liquidation of the 3 former companies[4].

Other Products

  • Synthacold; a bituminous emulsion, applied cold to form a hard, permenant surface for path and drive construction.
  • Presotim; a range or coloured wood preserver.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. National Archives [1]
  2. National Archives [2]
  3. Durham Mining Museum [3]
  4. National Archives [4]