Ornate steel casket

Contributed by National Waterfront Museum Wales

Ornate casket presented to Sidney Gilchrist Thomas. 1878

A new method of prosessing steel was invented in Blaenavon in 1878, it is still used across the world todaySidney Gilchrist Thomas was a young chemist who invented a new process of steel making at Blaenafon, Gwent in 1878 - a process by which all the world's steel is now made. This casket, adorned with Wagnerian figures, was presented to him by an Austrian steel company - on the continent the process was known as the 'Thomas Process'; in the UK it was simply the 'basic process'. The new process enabled the German steel industry to outstrip the UK steel industry and relegated the UK industry first to second place internationally then to third place. S.G.Thomas died tragically young of tuberculosis.

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