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British Industrial History

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W. Gilbertson and Co

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November 1919.
January 1920.
January 1920.
January 1920.
January 1920.

Comet Steels of Pontardawe, near Swansea, South Wales

William Gilbertson (1810-1882) of Cwmavon, Glamorgan, was a leading citizen in Pontardawe and the founder of Messrs. William Gilbertson and Company Limited.

1860 Company established.

1862 London Exhibition [1].

1860s Acquired Primrose Forge and Tinplate Works at Pontardawe.

1900 Faced with increased demand for tinplate and sheet steel, the Gilbertsons decided to increase capacity by building a new steelworks on a site adjacent to Port Talbot Dock, in conjunction with Miss Emily Talbot of Margam who provided a lease on the land. A private company was formed: Port Talbot Iron and Steel Co.

1904 Mr F. W. Gilbertson of F.(sic) W. Gilbertson and Co, steel, tinplate and galvanizing works at Pontardawe, gave evidence to the Tariff Commission[2].

1910 Galvanizing had taken the place of tinplate manufacture; W. Gilbertson and Co acquired tinplate from Bryanman; installed 6 new tinplate mills[3]

1914 Manufacturers of Siemens steel. Specialities: tinplates, terne plates, aluminium coated plates, galvanized sheets, high carbon and soft steel billets and bars, basic slag meal. Employees 1,600. [4]

1919 March. Advert for Comet Steels with 2,500 tons produced every week. [5]

1934 Acquired by Richard Thomas and Co[6]

1937 Listed Exhibitor - British Industries Fair. Tinplate, Blackplate, Galvanizing and Sheet Mills. (Stand No. D.328) [7]

See [2] for map. The site is now occupied by housing.[8]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. 1862 London Exhibition: Catalogue: Class I.: W. Gilbertson and Co
  2. The Times, Apr 25, 1904
  3. The Times, Feb 23, 1910
  4. 1914 Whitakers Red Book
  5. The Autocar 1919/03/29 p24
  6. The Times, Mar 20, 1934
  7. 1937 British Industries Fair Page 368
  8. [1] GGAT 130: The Sinews of War: South East Wales Industry and The First World War, 2015, Report for CADW by Johnny Crawford. See pp.40-1
  • [3] Archives Network Wales