150 years of the Shelton Works - page 6
|The first furnaces to
appear in the Midlands were at Cannock Wood near Hednesford, built by
William Pagnet. These were followed some 20 years later by one at
Teddesley. The number of furnaces increased to 13 over the decade,
including furnaces at Apedale, Biddulph, Fenton Park and Silverdale.
Those inefficient production methods were short-lived as the industry was revolutionised by people like Dud Dudley, and Abraham Darby between 1709 and 1735. During this time they successfully used coal as a fuel in the furnace, thus sounding the death knell for charcoal as a source of fuel.
Progress in the industrial revolution was rapid, steam power for furnaces and forges was developed in 1758 by John Wilkinson, and another shackle on the siting of ironworks was removed.