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British Industrial History

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Samuel Baldwyn Rogers

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Samuel Baldwyn Rogers (1778-1863) of Nantyglo Ironworks


1863 Obituary [1]

Mr. Samuel Baldwyn Rogers, formerly of Nant-y-Glo. His age exceeded years, and although, by an improvement relating to the manufacture of iron, he largely contributed to the wealth of others, yet died in the deepest poverty himself. He expressed an earnest wish that he might not be buried in a pauper's grave, and his brother Freemasons have responded to that wish.

And now, sir, let me tell his story. He was formerly employed at large ironworks in South Wales, and committed the indiscretion of publishing 'An Elementary Treatise Iron Metallurgy'. He was dismissed from his situation. The improvement which he introduced was that of iron bottoms for puddling furnaces, and it is one of great practical, and, I might almost add, national importance. It was never patented, nor did he, I believe, ever receive for it any substantial reward. It is true that iron bottoms for certain furnaces had been previously suggested; but to Rogers is unquestionably due the merit of having first rendered their application practicable for puddling furnaces. When proposed them he was laughed at by some ironmasters of experience, and yet they are now universally adopted. Measured by its results, the invention of iron bottoms a great one.

When the distressed condition of the poor old man became known - a condition not resulting from misconduct on his part several persons connected with the iron trade assisted him with money; but assistance came too late. An imbecile daughter survives, and efforts are now being made in South Wales to save her from the workhouse. You will, sir, I think, agree with me that this is a sad story worthy of being recorded. It furnishes another instance of the unhappy fate of inventors, who, in enriching others, have impoverished themselves. The annals of the iron trade there are too many instances of similar kind.


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Sources of Information

  1. Hereford Times - Saturday 19 September 1863