These huge pans were used to boil sugar cane syrup. They were exported to the Caribbean and the Americas where most of the refining work was done by slaves. Due to the high death rate on the plantations and the labour intensive nature of the process tens of thousands of slaves were brought from Africa every year.
The founding of the Carron Iron Works in Falkirk in 1759 marks the start of the industrial revolution in Scotland, and an era of ingenuity and progress now regarded locally with pride and nostalgia, and an inspiration for future prosperity. This object reflects the global impacts of local actions, and is a source of hope that future local prosperity is not achieved at the cost of global suffering.