By Edgar Jones
This can be the tale of an immense enterprise. It describes the transformation of a small partnership, shaped in 1759, into a world workforce, the size of whose different actions has demanded the production of a multi-divisional constitution, supported via many professional departments. essentially the most longeval of Britain's present production businesses, GKN's background can be interpreted as a special and revealing perception into Britain's commercial adventure over previous centuries.
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Additional resources for A History of GKN: Volume 1 Innovation and Enterprise, 1759–1918
The population of Merthyr, estimated by Malkin in 1802 as being upwards of 10,000, was then far larger than that of Cardiff;96 in fact, the 1801 census gave Merthyr's population as 7,705 at a time when Cardiff had only 1,870 inhabitants. 'No place in the kingdom', suggested Manby in 1802, 'has had so rapid an increase in trade and population in the same number of years'. 97 This demographic explosion was, in part, explained by the influx of farm labourers from THE GUESTS AT MERTHYR, 1759-93 4 A general view of Merthyr Tydfil in 1811 from the north by John George Wood.
Thorne's tesselated tile works t51 this description may have been inaccurate or a misuse of the term 'furnace'. The abortive association with Wilkinson over the Plymouth ironworks did not, however, prove entirely fruitless. For, shortly afterwards, the latter helped Guest obtain the post of manager at the Dowlais Iron Co. Possibly because the three executive partners Nathaniel Webb, William Lewis (d. 1802), a son of Thomas Lewis and partner in the Pentyrch Forge, who had inherited his father's shareholding, and Thomas Price - could no longer give the expanding business their full attention, or because they felt that the enterprise needed the direction of an expert hand, on 30 April 1767 they offered John Guest the post of works manager.
1, Oxford (1970), Vol. 2, Oxford (1975). , London (1954), Vol. 3, London (1968). e. Barker, The Glassmakers, London (1977). W. Ferrier, The History of British Petroleum, Vol. B. Corley, A History of the Burmah Oil Company, London (1983). W. Flinn, The History of the Coal Industry 1700-1830, Vol. 2, Oxford (1984). Peter L. Payne, Colvilles and the Scottish Steel Industry, Oxford (1979). Part I Iron in South Wales, 1759-1850 1 The Guests and Foundations at Merthyr, 1759-93 The Dowlais Iron Works was established at Dowlais, near Merthyr Tydfil, in September 1759 when a partnership was formed between a group of merchants and ironmasters to construct a single blast furnace.