Swansea at Work
People and Industries Through the Years
Series: At Work
- Lisa Tippings
15th October 2023
Swansea’s history has been shaped by its position on the South Wales coast since its foundation in the 12th century, growing up as a trading post around the castle and exporting and importing goods from its port. From its earliest days the workforce on the ships and at the port required the town to develop supply industries, particularly food and drink. With the onset of industrialisation, a host of metalworking industries sprang up alongside the River Tawe, including a copperworks and lead works. Swansea for a time was nicknamed Copperopolis due to the vast amounts of copper that were imported around the world from Swansea. The town also became an important centre of pottery production in the 18th and 19th centuries. The last 100 years have seen massive changes in Swansea, first following destruction of large areas by aerial bombardment in World War 2 and later as the country moved away from its old industrial base and now employs large numbers in the tourism, retail and service industries, new technologies and education.
Swansea at Work explores the working life of this South Wales city and its people, and the industries that have characterised it. The book will appeal to all those with an interest in the history of Swansea.