The end of the tinplate era at Aberdulais
The success of the Welsh tinplate industry - pioneered at Aberdulais - brought vast wealth to Victorian businessmen. But it wouldn't last.
In particular, the Americans - probably our best customers - were keen to develop their own tinplate manufacturing, thanks in large part to an enterprising Welshman who stole the idea and told people in the US he could replicate it more cheaply over there.
So a young, up-and-coming congressman - William McKinley - persuaded Congress to impose punitive tariffs on Welsh tinplate imports. Aberdulais's days were numbered.
Within a few years, the Upper Works - with its earlier water-powered technology - closed and the workers transferred to the Lower Works with its more modern methods.