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A NEW WELSH INDUSTRY.

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A NEW WELSH INDUSTRY. Lord Penrhyn, of Penrhyn Castle, Bangor, whose gigantic slate quarries at Bethesda are probably the most important in the world, is now taking step3 to introduce into that district the industry of brick and tile making, the chief seat of which, hitherto, has been in Staffordshire. The process of manufacture, as developed at Bethesda is not, in itself, new, but although what is called the "dry dust" system of tile making is known to everybody in the trade, it has never before been applied to slate powder and refuse. It might well be supposed that, like the utilization of waste chemical products, the using up in a profitable form of quantities of slate dust and fragments which at present lie in huge mountainous heaps outside the quarries, is a very important economy indeed, nor can any doubt whatever be entertained that it will in time to come exercise a most important influence on the slate country, as this part of Wales may not inaptly be called. Some- thing of a change has come over the spirit of the quarry proprietor's dream of late years. Time was when the demand for slate was greater than the supply, ample as that supply was, and time was when families of a father and two or three sons living in the picturesque little town of Bethesda were practically able to dictate their own terms to the proprietors, as the proprietors in their turn got whatever price they demanded from the purchasers. In those halcyon days occasionally these families, working by contract, earned from S40 to £ 50 a month, and lived literally like lords. That, of course, is passed now, and depression" is left in slates as in most other things. Under these circumstances the successful setting up in North Wales of a new manufacture connected with slate working is a matter the importance of which it is scarcely necessary to emphasise. For some little time past bricks and tiles have been made in South Wales from slate refuse by the plastic or damp process, but only in a limited way, and not sufficiently to offer serious competition at all to the clays produced in Staffordshire. The present application of the dry dust system to slate pro- ducts is likely, however, to change all this. Its success has been confirmed by exhaustive experi- ments. It has been patented, and nothing now is needed but development. With Lord Penrhyn's vast resources, which are under the able manage- ment of Colonel the Hon. W. E. Sackville West, this is not likely to be delayed but unless a visit be paid to the spot little idea can be formed of the resources of the district for the new manufacture.

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