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Stunning Historical Photos Show Life in Swansea, Wales in the 1850s

Swansea is a coastal city and the second-largest city of Wales. It lies along the Bristol Channel at the mouth of the River Tawe. During the industrial heyday in the 19th century, Swansea was the center of copper-smelting, earning the nickname Copperopolis. Due to foreign competition, the copper industry collapsed. The port of Swansea also prospered as a port for the anthracite mines of South Wales’ western coalfield. Swansea’s port was linked to the coalfield in the 19th century by a canal built along its valley and railways built during that century. New docks built after 1852 increased the port’s capacity. The coal exports of Swansea peaked about 1913 but virtually ceased by the 1980s. Other nonferrous metals were also produced in and around Swansea, including lead, zinc, nickel, and especially tinplate production, but these industries declined dramatically during the 20th century.

Below are some stunning historical photos that will take you back to Swansea in the 1850s.

#1 The Llewelyn children

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#2 The Snowman

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#3 Thereza and Elinor

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#4 Thereza and Emma

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#5 Thereza Dillwyn Llewelyn wearing a Bernese (Swiss) Peasant dress

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#6 Thereza Dillwyn Llewelyn

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#7 Three Cliffs Bay

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#8 Three girls in a garden

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#9 Two singers, Davey Bottin and Daniel Williams

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#10 Two Welsh country people

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#11 Two women and a girl in a garden

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#12 Unidentified elderly couple

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#13 Waterfall at Penlle’r-gaer

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#14 Willy and Mustard

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#15 Willy Dillwyn Llewelyn fishing at River Llewitha, Penlle’r-gaer

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#16 Boy and girl with two dogs

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#17 Calvert Richard Jones (on the right), with six women, a man, boy, girl and dog, standing and sitting in a colonaded porchway

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#18 Calvert Richard Jones and woman (possibly Portia Smith, Jones’ second wife) in front of a colonnaded building

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#19 Calvert Richard Jones, Lady Brewster, Mrs Jones, Sir David Brewster and Miss Parnell (seated)

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#20 Caroline & Dulcie Eden

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#21 Carriage outside unidentified house

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#22 Caswell Bay

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#23 Church porch

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#24 Dillwyn Llewelyn children

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#25 Elderly lady knitting

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#26 Elinor Amy Dillwyn Llewelyn

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#27 Emma, wife of John Dillwyn Llewelyn

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#28 Harry and Amy Dillwyn (children of Lewis Llewelyn Dillwyn)

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#29 Haymaking at Penlle’r-gaer

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#30 J. D. Ll’s children with Mr Knight, their tutor

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#31 John Dillwyn Llewelyn

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#32 Lion cubs

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#33 Man standing with woman on horse back

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#34 Man, woman and horse-drawn carriage before a colonnaded porch

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#35 Mary Dillwyn

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#36 Milson street, Bath

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#37 Miss Southern with Eleanor and Lucy

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#38 Mr and Mrs Iltide Thomas

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#39 Mrs Vivian and little Ernest

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#40 Mumbles

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#41 Our schoolchildren

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#42 Oystermouth

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#43 People in gardens of unidentified house

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#44 Picnic at Oystermouth Castle – Dulcie Vivian, Caroline Eden and Etta (Henrietta) Vivian

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#45 Sally and Mrs Reed

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#46 Somerville

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#47 Street scene, Dover

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#48 Thatched cottages, Black Pill

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#49 The Bryn, Dulcie Eden and the gardener

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Written by Aung Budhh

Husband + Father + librarian + Poet + Traveler + Proud Buddhist. I love you with the breath, the smiles and the tears of all my life.

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