Victorian Powys for primary  schools
Powys Digital History Project
Newtown and district
Earning a living
  Trades 1858: coal merchant to cooper  
Don't forget!
The surnames are first.

During the Victorian period the demand for coal increased. Many factories, which had at first been powered by a mill wheel, later converted to steam power. These new steam engines were more powerful but used a lot of coal to heat water to make steam.

As you can see from the addresses on this rather blurred extract from the Slater's Directory, the coal was mostly brought into the area in barges on the canal. It would be unloaded there and delivered around the area by cart.

As the town grew, coal was used to heat the new workers' houses. It was also used on the railways and in the making of gas. This coal gas was used in the new gas streetlights and for lighting in the houses of the better off.

In Victorian times there were no plastics and glass was expensive and fragile. Large quantities of liquid were therefore transported by barrel. The cooper in his workshop made wooden barrels for storing liquid. These could be taken apart and stored until needed again. This was a very skilled and important job.

extract from Slater's Directory

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